The new season of Apex Legends is upon us, and as you might expect, a whole list of new goodies are available for you to try out. Titled Ascension, I recently took part in a preview event for the launch of the upcoming season, getting a chance to go hands-on with the new character, the new map, and the new vehicle. Whilst I like to think of myself as quite a component individual at videogames, the Apex player base I faced-off with made me look physically inept, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy myself, or what I played. In fact, I believe this new season of Apex could just be one of its very best.
So, what can you expect? Well, let's start with the new Legend, Horizon, a brilliant astrophysicist with a knack for all things gravity. Her backstory, which I won't dive too deep into here, is fraught with tragedy, hardship, and love of the purest of kinds. Horizon took on the challenge of solving the energy crisis plaguing her home, the Outlands. A mission of which saw her take to the stars in search of powerful crystals found near singularities, or black holes. After a stint of betrayal by a former colleague, Horizon finds herself stranded in space, with only the power of the crystals as an escape, an escape that sees her jump forward 87 years due to science I cannot explain - I suggest watching Interstellar. Returning home, she finds Olympus, a floating city in the sky, but what she cannot find is a trace of her long-lost son of whom she promised a swift return home to.
Horizon's kit is based around controlling players and abusing verticality. Her Passive - Spacewalk, provides her more control when airborne, an ability that further extends to limiting the momentum loss on landing from large heights. Her Tactical, Gravity Lift can be used to boost Horizon and allies into the air, in order to claim vital high-ground positioning. This ability can also be used to move enemies, forcing them into undesirable situations, or alternatively just away from Horizon herself. The Ultimate, Black Hole, is pretty much what it says on the tin. Horizon summons a miniature black hole at a location that slows the movement of players in its radius, and traps those at its core, making for easy pickings.
When you combine all of Horizon's kit together, you can really see how well it synergises. The Gravity Lift harmonises with the Spacewalk Passive, and the Black Hole - well, that's just the icing on the cake. This Legend really seems like she could be deadly in the right hands, and with the way her abilities work, the skill-ceiling is very high, but does that mean you need to be incredibly talented to get value out of Horizon? Absolutely not. If I could manage to win a few fights with her, I'm sure many of you will be much better off.
The next major addition is the new map, Olympus, a floating metropolis in the sky. This map is slightly different from anything else in Apex Legends, as its usage of negative space is very unique. With Olympus being a manmade city situated in the sky, there are no mountains, or cliff faces, just holes in the maps between locations, where you can fall and well... die. Olympus' design is also slightly unique as it's much more open to accommodate for the new vehicle I'll get onto in a second. As for what you can expect to find across the map, think beautifully sculpted plazas, industrious complexes, and even a singularity called The Rift as well, one that you can use to teleport across the map at the cost of a little bit of health using the Phaserunner systems.
As for the new vehicle, the Trident, the first of its kind in Apex Legends. This is a three-seated machine designed for transportation and covering large distances quickly. The Trident is not an offensive vehicle, and cannot kill or damage enemies. Likewise, it cannot be destroyed by gunfire, instead, damage is distributed evenly to all passengers, assuming you don't just hit a passenger directly. The Trident can be implemented slightly to attach certain abilities to the vehicle, for example, Gibraltar's Shield, or Caustic's Gas Traps, but the main concept of the Trident is simply transportation, and to encourage players to venture further out across the map at the beginning of a game.
Season 7 will also be bringing Clubs to the live game, a sort of clan system designed to build deeper communities within Apex Legends. Clubs can be set up privately or open to 30 members and will offer a place to socialise or find squad mates easily, which is great for those who usually play Apex solo. The Clubs system will be cross-play enabled when it launches with Ascension, and monitored by the Apex inappropriate content filter, meaning you can be assured of a healthy community experience.
Last of all to look forward to in this new season is a slightly revamped Battle Pass system that brings an easier to understand leveling mechanic. Now you can rely on earning stars from challenges, each of which contributes to a new Battle Pass level - earn ten stars and earn a tier. Challenges are also much simpler to find and track, as now they can be found in-game, even displayed on your screen should you wish for it.
Apex Legends: Season 7 - Ascension is bringing such a wealth of content it's hard not to be excited. There is so much going on, it's easy to forget the title is also coming to Steam this season, bringing cross-save between the platform and Origin, and similarly coming to next-generation consoles on their respective launch days, through the backward compatibility services each are offering. I may not be a fantastic Apex player myself, but this season looks to be very fun, and quite frankly, I can't wait for it to kick-off on November 4 on all platforms.