Apex Legends Season 17: Arsenal is nearly here, with less than 24 hours to go before the new season–and all of its wild new features–become available to the playerbase. But with all the focus on the seasonal update’s meta-altering changes and Apex’s stylish new legend, it can be easy to miss the limited-yet-fascinating information we have on Season 17’s upcoming plot developments.
Players have, of course, gotten to know Season 17’s new legend, Ballistic, quite well. From the suggestion that he may be taking an anti-aging medication created by Silva Pharmaceuticals to the revelation that Pathfinder was once his housekeeper, players already know Ballistic is full of surprises. But Respawn says even more impactful lore is on the way this season.
During a Season 17 preview event attended by GameSpot, Respawn’s team of developers walked attendees through everything there is to know about Ballistic, including details about his design (animating his jacket was surprisingly difficult) and his personality (“James Bond meets John Wick”). But during the post-preview Q & A session, Respawn answered one of our questions with an intriguing surprise: A “lore bomb” is about to drop in Apex Legends.
With only two entries in the lore-heavy Apex Chronicles quest series (and the last one ending over a year ago), Apex’s lore seems to have taken a bit of a backseat in recent seasons. Season 16 didn’t add a new legend, and it also had one of the shortest in-game “story chapters” in Apex history. So where is it headed from here?
After Apex Legends narrative lead Sam Gill informed the audience that Ballistic prefers his tea “with a dash of whiskey,” the developers moved on to our question: Will the game’s lore be sitting out on the sidelines again this season, or are any interesting plot developments headed to the game in Season 17?
“Yeah, absolutely,” Apex Legends narrative lead Ashley Reed told us. “We’ve got something that’s coming a little bit closer to the middle of the season, end of the season, that we don’t wanna talk about too much yet, ’cause we want make sure you actually get a chance to see it.”
“We’re looking at ways that we can tell bigger, more cohesive, longer stories within Apex, and using the full extent of the universe and really getting a good look at the characters,” Reed continued, “So we’re experimenting with some of the stuff that we’ve done previously. I know people really enjoyed some of the–what we called ‘original programming’–some of the longer Stories From The Outlands pieces.”
Although her answer seems to suggest more cinematic lore, some of the “original programming” referenced by Reed may also be playable. Unlike the Apex Chronicles, Season 5’s in-depth, playable Broken Ghost questline was widely seen as Apex Legends storytelling at its absolute finest, and a good portion of the game’s playerbase would love to see these story-driven playable quests return every once in a while–preferably with content that lasts longer than the cutscenes included in Apex Chronicles questlines.
Season 17’s incoming lore drop is at least a month-and-a-half away, if not more. It may not even be about Season 17’s legend, or could simply be a reference to the next entry in the Stories From The Outlands series. But additional comments from Reed–plus her insistence that Respawn wants to tell long stories closer to the game’s “original programming”–suggest there’s at least the possibility that players could see another in-game adventure at some point in Season 17.
“We’re experimenting with that [original programming] and coming up with new ways to utilize that content, and you’ll get to see the first results of that later this season,” Reed added.
Whatever sort of story-based adventure Respawn is cooking up this season, Pathfinder sums up our feelings on the matter perfectly: “Ready and excited!”
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