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Hot Drop: Apex Legends’ The Broken Ghost Quest has found a possible successor in IMC Armories

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 information on the evolution of the game, as well as delving into its episodic storytelling and characters.

We are two years away from the best thing that has happened to Apex Legends: the introduction of Quest. The new story-focused mode kicked off in May 2020 with Season 5: Fortune’s Favor. His first story was called The Broken Ghost, and it was fantastic. Even two years later, no quest series has been as compelling, and Respawn hasn’t found a suitable successor in subsequent seasons.

That is, until Season 13: Saviors. This new season adds IMC Armories to Storm Point – these armories provide a way for squads to engage in PvE combat against Specters to earn better loot. For now, they’re strictly a way to finally add PvE combat to a PvP battle royale without it feeling unnecessary or obtrusive, but I think they can be so much more than that. The IMC Armories present the potential to reintroduce something like The Broken Ghost into Apex Legends.

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Para aquellos que no lo saben, The Broken Ghost era una misión secundaria opcional semanal en Apex Legends. Cuando jugabas una partida de Battle Royale, podías encontrar Treasure Packs. Encontrar cinco paquetes le dio un boleto para acceder al próximo capítulo de Quest, que se lanza semanalmente. Estos capítulos lo vieron jugar como sus leyendas favoritas mientras exploraban un universo alternativo en busca de artefactos para Loba, participando en combates PvE contra los merodeadores sombríos de ese mundo y luego obteniendo interacciones basadas en texto entre las leyendas, promoviendo la historia de Apex Legends a pasos agigantados. límites.

La temporada 5 fue el momento en que la comunidad se enteró de que en realidad nos habían alimentado con simples bocados en las temporadas 1-4. Respawn acumuló conocimientos y desarrollo narrativo en nuestras gargantas hambrientas en la temporada 5: por primera vez, la comunidad de Apex Legends estaba festejando.

Se sentía como ser parte de un programa de televisión interactivo, con fanáticos entusiasmados que acudían a Twitter y Reddit todas las semanas para discutir los últimos desarrollos de The Broken Ghost y teorizar sobre lo que sucedería la semana siguiente. Y esa historia dio lugar: finalmente vio el regreso de Ash de Titanfall 2, los emocionantes primeros pasos de una relación queer entre dos mujeres de color, la formación y disolución de la adorable amistad de Wattson y Crypto, los primeros signos de la hermana mayor de Wraith. mentalidad cuando se trataba de Wattson, y el más mínimo indicio de que Caustic puede preocuparse por las personas más allá de su uso como sujetos para sus experimentos.

Y además de eso, The Broken Ghost también influyó en el lado de batalla real de Apex Legends semana a semana. La temporada 5 vio la introducción de bromas de personajes reactivos, coloreando la forma en que ciertas leyendas interactuaban entre sí. Loba y Revenant eran antagónicos entre sí, por ejemplo, mientras que Caustic era paternal con Wattson. Y cómo evolucionaron estas interacciones a medida que avanzaba The Broken Ghost: cuando Wattson perdió la fe en Crypto y Caustic, por ejemplo, sus líneas de voz con las dos leyendas se transformaron de amistosas y joviales a desconfiadas y cortantes. Fue una temporada increíble.

Casi todas las historias de las temporadas 6-12 se remontan a The Broken Ghost. Es ampliamente considerado por la base de fanáticos como el arco más influyente en la narrativa de Apex Legends. fue mucho Da la casualidad de que era demasiado.

Los escritores de Apex Legends intentaron hacer más misiones centradas en PvE, pero no pudieron. “Tenemos muchos desarrolladores aquí a los que les hubiera encantado seguir haciendo algo como [Season 5’s Quest]then-Apex Legends game director Chad Grenier told me while discussing Battle Royale’s transformative second year in February 2021. “The problem is, well, we did the Quest and then we had a crash.”

“Believe me, we’ve tried this multiple times in the last year with things ending up on Twitter,” then-Apex Legends writer Tom Casiello wrote on Twitter. Twitter in October 2021. “We were never able to get it right before launch. It’s a manpower issue, it’s a memory issue, it’s a timing issue. We all wish it was different. But it’s the reality of the situation.”

The conclusion of The Broken Ghost is probably the best thing Apex Legends has ever done.

Respawn has attempted to fill the void left by The Broken Ghost with Quests that only played out as comics, radio plays (referred to in-game as Chronicles), and text-based conversations. Some have managed to deliver rewarding stories, but none have captured the interactive element of The Broken Ghost.

Broken Ghost worked because it told its story through PvE missions, like the campaign levels in Titanfall 2, that were totally separate from PvP Battle Royale, where scripted conversations would be understandably hard to enjoy. And while Respawn has since tried to implement PvE into its Battle Royale, it hasn’t worked as well because there’s no escaping the PvP nature of the game, creating frustrating moments where other players attack your squad while you’re interacting with the PvE side of the game. things.

IMC Armories fixes that. These armories are quickly proving to be one of the best additions included in Season 13 – they present a way for anyone to opt into PvE combat if they want and get some really good rewards for the trouble. Armories lock upon activation, so you don’t have to worry about another squad closing in on you and ruining your game. Quite frankly, IMC Armories are a brilliant way to add PvE to a Battle Royale primarily focused on PvP. Also, they are very funny, I love them.

And because those armories are locked and other squads can’t enter them until your squad decides to open them, they present the potential to implement narrative-driven PvE combat back into Apex Legends. Respawn is technically already playing around with this concept – you’ll notice that when Legends hack IMC Armories, they use a version of Crypto’s hacking software, implying that Legend trusts their fellow competitors enough to give them some of their tech. It’s a small detail, but it’s easier to notice when you can take a moment to stop worrying about other players because you’re locked inside an impenetrable bunker.

The romantic connection between Bangalore and Loba was first ignited in The Broken Ghost, only to be further complicated by the arrival of Valkyrie in The Legacy Antigen.
The romantic connection between Bangalore and Loba was first ignited in The Broken Ghost, only to be further complicated by the arrival of Valkyrie in The Legacy Antigen.

I think that’s how Respawn can get back into The Broken Ghost’s PvE missions. Instead of trying to make PvE and PvP completely separate, you can find ways to include bits of PvE into the existing PvP experience, and then lock them in so squads can engage in short story-driven missions.

Imagine that Wraith needs to access an IMC database to dig up something from Newcastle, who he already suspects. Respawn can task players with the need to get to an IMC Armory and hack into the database. As usual, this activates the Wraiths, which players must defeat, earning them valuable loot for their efforts. But that’s a 60-second process, a full minute of time to add uninterrupted narration. So while all of that is going on, Wraith could comment on the details she’s learning of the trick you’re pulling, either in person if she’s a member of the squad or over the radio if she’s not, with a final note that she’ll discuss her findings after the match. .

That follow-up conversation can be a more detailed scene, a comic, a radio play, etc. which is unlocked after the match. And perhaps the lead Wraith she discovers convinces her that she needs more information but from a different source, forcing the player to land at one of the other IMC Armories in Storm Point and repeat the process. I think fighting in IMC Armories over and over again would get boring over time, but it’s a great starting point for introducing the concept of narrative-driven PvE combat in a PvP setting, and Respawn could certainly expand on this idea in later seasons. .

For example, a future point of interest could be a massive IMC Armory that hides still-functioning Titans controlled by a rogue AI, encouraging a squad to work together to take down one of the towering behemoths. Also, it would allow Respawn to finally add Titans to Apex Legends without disrupting the PvP component. Or Respawn could add additional armories that hide remnants of old IMC experiments that implement interesting gameplay considerations in addition to dealing with Spectres, similar to city takeover POIs that add mechanics like jump pads and pools of growing poison.

In an ideal world, we’d somehow get more quests like The Broken Ghost, but as we move away from Season 5, it feels more and more like a dream we’ll never experience again. IMC Armories are a workable solution to this problem, presenting a way to bring the bite-sized PvE experience of The Broken Ghost into the already excellent PvP gameplay of Apex Legends.

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