Hot Drop is GameSpot’s weekly Apex Legends column, in which Jordan Ramée takes a closer look at Respawn’s battle royale to provide additional insight into the game’s evolution, as well as dive deeper into its episodic storytelling and characters.
Apex Legends Awakening Collection Event is underway, adding Valkyrie’s heirloom to the battle royale and even further confirming the legitimacy of that giant Apex Legends leak from March 2022. Like her namesake, Kairi “Valkyrie” Imahara wields a spear as her heirloom, one that’s been custom-made to use propulsion jets in order to make it easier for Valkyrie to stab or swing the massive weapon with one hand.
It doesn’t, however, really do anything to change what it’s like to play Valkyrie. This has been the case with most of Apex Legends’ heirlooms. While these mythic-tiered cosmetics give their assigned legends a unique banner animation and intro quip, they don’t change what a player sees while actually playing the game, other than the animation of a character’s run and melee attack.
I don’t really like that. Sure, an heirloom shouldn’t fundamentally alter how it is to play as any one character, but they should at least add a little bit of flair to the gameplay experience–these are the most expensive and rarest cosmetics, after all. And it should be something more substantial than the rare instances where certain heirlooms cause unique door-kicking animations.
One heirloom does actually do this: Crypto’s Biwon Blade changes how he hacks into survey beacons when he interacts with the beacon himself. Instead of just inserting a chip to hack into the beacon like his fellow recon legends, Crypto uses his Biwon Blade to scan the beacon. It’s a cool touch, and it’s something that Respawn should incorporate into all of Apex Legends’ heirlooms. Each one should have a ramification on the gameplay for their respective legend–not in that they should alter what a legend’s ability does, but each should, in some way, change how at least one ability looks when it’s used.
Below, I go over some ideas on how the Apex Legends team can update all 14 of Apex Legends’ heirlooms so that they alter the animations of their respective character’s ability kit. I start with Wraith’s Kunai and go in the same order they were added to the game.
Wraith’s Kunai is an easy one. The offense-focused legend uses abilities tied to the void, whether that’s hearing voices from it or opening a portal to the interdimensional space. That same void energy can be seen on the blade of her Kunai.
Having the Kunai equipped should change how Wraith uses her tactical or ultimate ability (or both!). If used for her tactical, Wraith could use the Kunai to cut into and enter the void as opposed to doing so by activating her bracer. Similarly, the Kunai could be what Wraith uses to cut open her portal when using her ultimate ability, as opposed to simply waving her hand.
Bloodhound’s Raven’s Bite
Similar to Crypto’s heirloom, Bloodhound should be able to use Raven’s Bite as part of their passive ability to hack into survey beacons–a perfect reflection of how Bloodhound represents a hybrid of traditional hunting techniques and more modern-day technology.
Bloodhound could use the blade of Raven’s Bite to pry open the panel on a survey beacon, before then hacking into it with the scanning chip that they, Pathfinder, Crypto, Seer, and Valkyrie use. The Apex Legends team could also have it so that Bloodhound attaches the chip to the handle of the Raven’s Bite so that they use it to make the hack itself as well.
Lifeline’s Shock Sticks
Lifeline’s electrified drumsticks could be creatively used for a lot of the combat medic’s capabilities. I most like the idea of her using them as a makeshift defibrillator, giving her a unique revive animation where she literally drums out the rhythm of her ally’s heartbeat. Granted, she’d only do this if her abilities were disabled by Revenant, given that her passive ability allows her to use her D.O.C. drone to revive someone while she keeps fighting.
With that in mind, it may be a better idea to tie her Shock Sticks to her ultimate ability, where she calls down a Care Package. Normally, Lifeline uses a remote to call down the package right in front of her–I think it would be a lot cooler if she used her Shock Sticks to quickly drum out a solo on D.O.C. or slam her sticks together in a 1-2-3-4 rhythm that acts as a signal for her Care Package to be summoned.
Pathfinder’s Boxing Gloves
I think the easy answer here would be to have Pathfinder use his Boxing Gloves to bust open the survey beacon panel so that he can hack it, but I have a far more fun-sounding idea. When using a zipline–whether a regular one or one that he creates with his ultimate ability–Pathfinder should reach out and grab onto the line with his boxing gloves in order to protect this precious boy’s robot hands.
Octane’s Butterfly Knife
This is a pretty easy one, as Octane’s Butterfly Knife has Stim in it and an injection needle hidden in the handle. So instead of the legend stabbing himself full of Stim from his collection of medical needles for his tactical ability, he can stab himself with the Stim from his butterfly knife.
Mirage’s Too Much Witt
All of Mirage’s abilities have to do with decoys, which he notably seems to control through arm movements–he flails his arms for his passive, points for his tactical, and waves them around for his ultimate. I think the easiest of these to replicate with a miniature golden Mirage statue is the tactical. The Apex Legends team could have Mirage point with the statue instead of his hand, still mimicking the arm motion.
I think the far more fun and chaotic option would be to have Mirage use Too Much Witt for his ultimate ability, however. Instead of waving his arms and having him disappear into a crowd of decoys, have it so that Mirage brings out Too Much Witt and presses a button on it, causing the statue to then emit the army of holograms.
Caustic’s Death Hammer
Caustic’s Death Hammer is already filled with the same poisonous gas that he uses for his tactical and ultimate abilities, so it doesn’t feel like too much of a stretch to tie the heirloom to his ability kit. I think it would be easiest (and coolest) to have Caustic use his Death Hammer for his ultimate ability. Instead of Caustic tossing his toxin-filled grenades, have him hit them towards his opponent with the Death Hammer or fire the grenades from the hammer itself.
Gibraltar’s War Club
Gibraltar has an heirloom that’s tricky to tie to his abilities. Most folks don’t think “club-like axe” when trying to find a way to create bubble-shaped forcefields or call in massive airstrikes. I think Respawn’s best chance of tying Gibraltar’s War Club to his ability kit is in his unique revive animation, which occurs when the gentle giant is reviving allies within his tactical ability, Dome of Protection.
Instead of picking up his allies and giving them a friendly pat on the back to get them up-and-at-’em, Gibraltar could slide his War Club underneath his allies and pull them up. Then he could brandish the club while delivering shouting words of encouragement in order to get his teammates moving.
Bangalore’s Cold Steel
Another tough one. Bangalore’s abilities allow her to run faster while she’s being shot at, launch smoke bombs, and call down huge airstrikes–none of those skills seem to tie to Cold Steel, an old Pilot’s knife, in any meaningful way. Her passive ability, Double Time, feels like the only viable skill of the lot to tie Cold Steel to. Bangalore could pull out the knife and hold it in a specific way while she has the increased running speed.
The Apex Legends team could also make it so that she brandishes the knife and uses it to call down her ultimate ability, Rolling Thunder, but I feel like that would have the unintentional effect of buffing her, seeing as the noticeable flare she currently tosses out to call down the airstrike is a big part of warning enemies as to what’s coming.
Revenant’s Dead Man’s Curve
Revenant’s creepy scythe seems to be made of the same metal and cursed energy that he is, shifting and squirming in his hands like a demented snake when he hasn’t forced it to harden into a blade. You could easily tie this to his tactical ability, Silence, or ultimate ability, Death Totem.
For Silence, Revenant could just use Dead Man’s Curve to fire out the glowing orange blob-like ability as opposed to flinging it with the launcher in his arms. I think it makes the most sense to have him use the scythe for Death Totem, however, seeing as Revenant seemingly summons both his heirloom and his death totem from the same interdimensional place. Instead of using his hands to summon the Death Totem, have Revenant use the Dead Man’s Curve to carve into the shadow realm where he must pull the totem from.
Rampart’s Problem Solver
Rampart’s Problem Solver is just a wrench. It’s a very modified wrench, but it’s a wrench all the same. She should wield it when using Shiela, the minigun tied to her ultimate ability, especially when she’s either fixing it in place or unscrewing it to hold. It might also be fun for her to wave it in the air in excitement either when she picks up or fires a light machine gun. In both cases, she currently just shouts out in excitement, but it could be fun to see a visual component to that joy.
Wattson’s Energy Reader
Wattson should be able to use her Energy Reader while using her passive ability, Spark of Genius. The ability allows her to instantly charge her ultimate ability with the use of an ultimate accelerant. Instead of typing out the energy output on the accelerant, Wattson should hack into the device with her Energy Reader and siphon off the energy that way.
Crypto’s Biwon Blade
As we pointed out in the intro, Crypto already uses his heirloom for one of his passive abilities. Respawn has already done right by him.
Valkyrie’s Suzaku could be used like Crypto’s heirloom in that she relies on it to hack into survey beacons. It’s not the most exciting use for a spear, though. I think a better idea would be for her to pull it out and twirl it around her while she readies her jetpack for flight during the use of her ultimate ability. There’s already a brief window of a few seconds where Valkyrie has to wait for her jetpack to fuel up before taking off–that time should be used for something a little more flashy and cool.