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 Season 14 is coming, likely kicking off on or around August 9–a week following the conclusion of the Gaiden Event. Already, developer Respawn seems to be hinting at what may be coming with the new season, which may focus on Seer. I think Seer’s home planet is the next stage for Apex Legends’ story, providing the narrative backdrop for the battle royale game’s next playable legend and map.
As tantalizing as the conclusion to Season 13’s Quest has been–Bangalore discovered her brother started a family since they last saw each other, and Wraith learned she experimented on a “Subject 0” prior to subjecting herself to the tests that gave her powers and amnesia–it’s looking like Season 14 may instead build upon the narrative threads of Season 12.
It was nice to see Wraith and Mirage team up again in Season 13’s Quest.
Season 12 saw Lifeline and Octane working together to snoop on Octane’s dad, which ultimately led the duo to learn that Duardo Silva had died years earlier. In actuality, the man posing as Octane’s dad is Octane’s grandfather, Torres Silva, who had been using a special Stim in order to remain youthful.
In the end, Torres successfully took over the Syndicate and used his influence over his grandson to help buy out the Frontier Corps–a publicly funded volunteer program that provides social, medical, and economic aid to all the planets of the Outlands–which he transformed into the Syndicate Corps. Upon first seeing them, Octane remarks that members of the new Syndicate Corps now “look like an army,” a notion that has me thinking Apex Legends may be heading towards war.
And we may be seeing the first step toward that war in Season 14. Recently, Seer was invited onto Outlands TV, where reporter Lisa Stone sandbagged him with questions that implicate him in the continued deterioration of his home planet, Boreas. The planet is dying–ever since a meteor struck Boreas’ moon, Cleo, and destroyed most of it, the planet has suffered repeated bombardment from other meteors as well as pieces of Cleo, massive disturbances in the ocean tides, and extreme fluctuations in temperature at the poles and the equator. All of that is having a drastic effect on the wildlife and ecosystem of the planet, and between the natural disasters and food shortages, it’s estimated that Boreas will be completely unlivable in 50-70 years.
All of this–plus Seer’s lack of attempts to fix any of it–were broadcasted across Syndicate space, thanks to Torres’ decision to sponsor Lisa Stone and make her the official news show to watch. If suddenly Torres wanted the Syndicate Corps to invade Boreas under the guise of providing relief and support after no one was bothering to help, he’d likely have public approval. Heck, he’d probably have Seer’s approval, too, given how Lisa made the legend feel guilty about neglecting his home planet. That’s one more legend who would be pro-Syndicate, expanding the ever-more noticeable divide in their roster that’s giving me major Marvel Civil War vibes. Torres may have found a way to both legally invade a planet and further divide the one group of people capable of stopping him in a single swoop.
Moving the Apex Games to Boreas or inviting another Boreas champion to the games seems like the next logical step in Torres’ plan to really sell the idea that he wants to help the planet and transform it into a destination again. And that’s where I think Season 14’s new legend comes in. Though we don’t know who is going to be added to Apex Legends yet, the giant Apex Legends leak from a few months back only featured two legends with full character models: Newcastle and Vantage.
Seeing as Newcastle was added in Season 13, it stands to reason that Vantage will be added in Season 14. Unlike Newcastle, we know nothing about Vantage’s backstory leading up to her addition to the Apex Games. However, we can make educated guesses as to who she is based on her appearance.
Specifically, Vantage is wearing a heavy white and blue coat that–much like the white and blue outfit Bloodhound wears when their legendary Youngblood skin is equipped–seems specifically designed for living in cold climates. This could mean that Vantage is from Talos like Bloodhound, but there is one other planet in Syndicate space where people are forced to live in cold climates: Boreas. Remember, the partial destruction of the moon caused major environmental fluctuations, one of which is plummeting temperatures around the equator. Sounds to me like the kind of place where you’d need to wear a heavy coat.
Image credit: Reddit user YUSEIRKO
Investing in Boreas would allow Torres to open new battlegrounds for the Apex Games. Apex Legends already has one map set there–an Arenas map called Encore, which is famous for being the battlefield where Seer made a name for himself. So perhaps Season 14 will see the addition of another Arenas map set on the planet or a Control map if Respawn is ready to make Control a permanent game mode after bringing it back over and over again over the course of Seasons 12 and 13.
Establishing a foothold in Boreas, in turn, sets up the addition of a new battle royale map in Season 15. Traditionally, Respawn releases a new battle royale map during the final season for each year (World’s Edge in Season 3, Olympus in Season 7, and Storm Point in Season 11) so the next new battle royale map will likely come out in Season 15. According to that previously mentioned Apex Legends leak, the next battle royale map is called Divided Moon–I bet that it’s set on the partially destroyed moon orbiting Boreas. I think that, narratively, the map will be built over the course of Season 14, before then finally being introduced in Season 15.
It all makes sense. War is coming to Apex Legends, and it seems like Torres is setting the stage for it to silently begin on Boreas, opening up logical avenues for Respawn to add Vantage and Divided Moon to Apex Legends in Seasons 14 and 15 respectively, and for Seer to take a more central role in the story going into the latter half of Year 4. The only thing really holding me back from 100% believing in my own theory is the motive. Why would Torres care about a world that’s less than a century away from being uninhabitable? I assume that’s what we’ll learn over the course of Season 14’s Quest.
It feels like Apex Legends’ story is going to refocus on Loba again in a big way once we finally head to Boreas.
My current theory is that it has something to do with Loba, who, in the book Pathfinder’s Quest, tells Pathfinder, “Hmm. If you don’t mind, I’d like to keep my excursions on Boreas to myself. I have some business deals there that are still tentative. You understand.” She has no problem telling her fellow legend about all her other exploits across the other Syndicate planets. Why is she so cagey about this one, a planet that’s really only known for its production of textiles, its large moth population, and the fact that it’s quickly approaching its end? What’s so important on Boreas that it’s spooked Loba into silence?
It may have something to do with the power that seemingly surrounds Boreas. It’s a planet that appears to be defined by myth and beholden to an almost mystical power. For example, one of the planet’s centuries-old folktales spoke of a future harbinger with cursed eyes who would be born to a woman branded by the moth and doom the world, and Seer–a Black boy with strange, glowing blue eyes–was born to a woman with a moth-looking birthmark literally at the same time that the meteor struck Boreas’ moon and kickstarted the planet’s apocalypse. Is that a simple coincidence, or are there actually supernatural powers at work in Apex Legends’ universe? If they do exist (and given Seer’s existence and Revenant‘s death-defying powers, I’m inclined to believe they do), Boreas happens to be at the center of it all, meaning the doomed planet is actually an incredible well of untapped potential.
Of course, advanced technology could just as easily appear to be supernatural to a culture that doesn’t understand it, which feels like a more realistic expectation as to what’s happening on Boreas. Maybe there’s a place on Boreas where some sort of alien tech allows people to see into the future, a process that was misunderstood by early Boreas’ settlers to be a supernatural vision, eventually evolving into a folktale? Similar technology already exists–in Titanfall 2, the Effect and Cause level saw protagonist Jack Cooper using technology that allowed him to travel in-between the past and present of a place. That technology was based on advancements made by a mysterious alien race that we’ve never seen, but maybe those aliens settled Boreas once upon a time. Boreas could be a far more important planet in the fight for the Outlands’ future than we thought.
Regardless, when Seasons 14 and 15 roll around and ultimately prove me right in regards to Vantage and Divided Moon, I expect one free Apex Pack from each of you and the right to say “I told you so” at the start of every Apex Legends match I join for a whole month.