Apex Legends Emergence has a lot to accomplish with a new Legend, a new weapon, and major map changes – but Respawn is up to the challenge. Many of the changes we'll see introduced in Apex Legends Season 10 this week are over a year in the making, with the team taking great pains to make sure the adjustments improve upon the existing formula but don't entirely rewrite it.
After all, it is a winning formula. Apex Legends has maintained its popularity by being highly adaptable and uniquely keyed into its community. Since its February 2019 launch, Apex Legends has pioneered the ping system, continuously given us dense lore that adds depth and stakes to the battle royale, and introduced a brand-new game type called Arenas that's attracted new players (and won back lapsed ones). Apex Legends has a lot of moving parts, but Respawn knows how to fine-tune this machine.
I sat down with several members of the Apex Legends dev team to discuss Apex Legends Season 10 Emergence and all that it's bringing into the arena, from the new recon Legend Seer, to the decimation of World's Edge. The word "spicy" was used by the dev team on more than one occasion, so prepare yourselves for a wild season.
The all-seeing Seer
The new Legend, Seer, may seem like an odd choice considering Valkyrie (who debuted back in May) is also a recon character. The inclusion of Seer brings the Apex Legends recon class count to five, but Respawn believes he's demonstrably different from the existing recon Legends (Valkyrie, Bloodhound, Pathfinder, and Crypto). Seer's abilities include a heartbeat sensor Passive, a Tactical that releases a set of microdrones that can disrupt revives and shield battery use, and an Ultimate where his microdrones create a giant sphere, detecting any enemies that are moving or shooting inside of it.
Seer seems like a good fit for both passive and aggressive players, so it'll be interesting to see where he fits in following the release of Apex Legends Emergence, especially since Bloodhound serves a similar purpose and is considered a top-tier Legend in the current meta. "Bloodhound's certainly very popular right now," admits Travis Nordin, software engineer and lead on Seer. "But it's always good to throw in another option for players to run recon."
Nordin says that while Seer and Bloodhound both offer scanning abilities that benefit best from close- to medium-range play, the similarities should end there. "I think Bloodhound is good at picking up all the breadcrumbs... Seer is much more intimate in terms of his tracking," he says. "There are some similarities to Bloodhound, but it's much more team-oriented."
Bloodhound's Beast of the Hunt Ultimate and passive ability, Tracker, only aid the individual Bloodhound player. But Seer's abilities can help your entire team, with the Focus of Attention tactical scanning for enemies and revealing them and their health bars to the full squad. Now your team will really know if an enemy is "one hit" or if you're lying…
Decimating World's Edge
Apex Legends Season 10 Emergence will also include a ranked component to the beloved new Arenas gametype, a new LMG that will tear through enemies at mid-range, and weapon and Legend changes that will hopefully bring more balance to the fighting force.
Apex Legends players should be prepared for major map changes by now. Whereas Call of Duty: Warzone will swap out one half-built building for a fully built building between its seasons, Apex Legends likes to blow up entire areas of its maps. Season 10 Emergence is no exception: World's Edge is getting a new look courtesy of some seismic activity, with three new POIs, the original skybox, more ice, and new rotations – all of which have been in the works for well over a year.
Long-time Apex players will either be delighted or devastated to learn that Train Yard is no more, as a landslide has swept in and destroyed the place. "It's like a love/hate relationship POI, but we were noticing since day one on World's Edge that there's a lot of prolonged fights there because of the elevated train cars and stuff like that," says Garret Metcalf, senior level designer. "So because the fights lasted so long, that attracted more players hearing the gunshots, and they're just piling in, and it just becomes a big cluster of so many teams piling in one after the other. Our overall goal is just to simplify the layout, open it up more, and don't give a lot of structures for players to hold."
Fans of this corner of the map shouldn't fret though, as there's almost as much loot in the area formerly known as Train Yard as there was before. Still, it might be worth exploring other parts of World's Edge following the release of Apex Legends Emergence. Many of the incoming changes seek to funnel more players to the northern end of World's Edge, as all three of the new points-of-interest (Climatizer, Lava Syphon, and Landslide) are in that part of the map. We'll have to say goodbye to another OG area as a result, with the Sorting Factory being swallowed up by a huge sinkhole. Naturally, Hammond has already rolled through to construct more facilities, so expect the area to have more layered, overlapping fights – and moving gondolas to make things a bit more "spicy."
During our discussion, Metcalf is quick to point out that Respawn wants to "keep the same design philosophy and goals of World's Edge, but just bring some overall fresh, new experiences." And hopefully "bring a lot more love to the northern region." When you drop into World's Edge during Apex Legends Season 10, expect new rotations and new hot spots, so keep your head on a swivel.
The Apex formula
Apex Legends is a standout battle royale because of its willingness to constantly adjust what is widely considered a winning formula. Respawn isn't afraid of change, but the team doesn't wildly implement changes without months upon months of iteration. That's an attitude that has helped ensure Apex Legends' quality is high, something that Respawn believes we will see reflected through Apex Legends Emergence and the Season 10 content.
"We're living probably eight or nine months from right now with what we're building and developing," says game designer Eric Canavase. "Our goals are always to push the boundary and make the game the most interesting and exciting game it can possibly be. That comes with taking huge risks on the prototype side. So we might be considering something absolutely batshit crazy for a year from now, but we might learn in three months that it is not gonna work or that it's not fun. We're always pushing the boundary, but we do it with enough lead time where we allow ample time for ourselves to fail early and fail often to find the best viable product."
Apex Legends Season 10 Emergence kicks off August 3 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, and Nintendo Switch.