Popular battle royale game Apex Legends is celebrating its first anniversary with the start of a new season. Developer Respawn Entertainment ramped up anticipation for season 4 by adding big twists to the game's storyline even before the new season kicked off.
Apex Legends season 4, dubbed Assimilation, started Tuesday. It adds a new character, changes to the ranking systems, map adjustments and more. Respawn tried a new approach with the fourth season of the game, including the introduction of a new Legend who was killed shortly after.
Apex Legends is free to play on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Here's what we know so far about season 4.
When does Apex Legends season 4 start?
Season 4 began on Feb. 4. Players can see the rundown of all the changes made in the new season at the Apex Legends subreddit. The date marks the one-year anniversary of the game. To celebrate, Respawn has an Anniversary Gift for players who log on in the first week of the season. The package includes Year 1 Origami Flyer charm, Year 1 Loyalty badge and 10,000 XP bonus on the first match. For the badge, there are three different colors, depending on when the player had their first match.
Who are the new characters in season 4?
Respawn did something interesting prior to the start of the new season of Apex Legends, which takes place in the same universe as EA's Titanfall games. It introduced a new character to the game, then killed that character off before the season even started.
On Jan. 23, the official Apex Legends Twitter account introduced the new character, who goes by the name James "The Forge" McCormick.
Over the next couple of days, more tweets came out about Forge, including a stat sheet that shows how he measures up to the other Legends in the game and some quotes from the competitors about him.
Then on Jan. 27, a video interview with Forge came out. What seemed like a cheeky introduction ended up being the big reveal for the real new Legend in season 4, Revenant. He took out Forge before he could even have his first match.
Following the surprise twist, multiple tweets from the Apex Legends Twitter focused on reports from Hammond Robotics, a tech company in the Titanfall universe. The company reported multiple break-ins as well as employees not showing up for work. One of the tweets showed security footage of an intruder, who happens to look like Revenant.
On Jan. 30, the official trailer for Revenant debuted and provided more backstory to the mysterious character. It also revealed a possible new character for Apex Legends season 5.
The video description says, "Revenant used to be human. He was the greatest hitman the Mercenary Syndicate ever had. But when his programming eventually failed, he saw what Hammond Robotics had turned him into: a walking nightmare of steel and vestigial flesh."
The events in the trailer take place 25 years before Apex Legends and five years after Titanfall 2. Revenant is sent to kill a conman named Marcos Andrade. After he completes his contract by taking out Marcos, his wife and security guards, Revenant realizes that he's actually a Simulacrum -- an android with a human brain. He looks at his hand and sees Hammond Robotics. This could explain his attack years later and Forge, who was backed by the company.
At the end of the trailer, we see Marcos' daughter crying over the dead body of her father, eyes filled with rage. The little girl might actually be a new Legend. Her father mentions her name, Loba, and gives her a wolf figurine early in the video.
In August, a data miner found info about a character named Rosie that also goes by Loba. This could mean she will be introduced in season 5.
Who is Revenant?
Revenant is the new Legend for season 4. According to the Apex Legends wiki, he's "the greatest hitman the Mercenary Syndicate ever had. He used to need a reason to kill… but he's not that man anymore."
His abilities are a bit more on the tactical side when compared to other Legends:
Silence -- Revenant throws a device that will deal damage and disables the abilities of other players.
Stalkers -- He can crouch-walk faster and climb higher than other Legends.
Death Totem -- Revenant's ultimate ability will protect teammates from dying. When the totem is dropped, players who die will respawn at the totem.
What else is changing in season 4?
introduced a new map called World's Edge. It replaced the previous map, Kings Canyon, which was partially destroyed thanks to the last Legend added to the roster, Crypto. In a gameplay trailer released on Monday, World's Edge will have some big changes thanks to Hammond Robotics.
The video shows the robotic company installed a "Planet Harvester" that appears to have torn apart World's Edge. The structure's purpose was to gather metals from the planet's core, but in doing so, caused the creation of lava-filled faults. Players should expect some new routes to get around the map as buildings have been destroyed and a large fissure has split the map.
There's also a new point of interest in World's Edge called the Survey Camp. While it appears to not be anything special, the location has a strategic bonus in the form of Weapon Racks. These new additions let players choose from several readily available weapons rather than having to find them throughout the map.
Season 4 will also see a map split halfway through the season. Players will start the season at World's Edge, but then switch to Kings Canyon. The lore reason for the switch has yet to be revealed.
The Apex Legends ranking system has changed as well. Players climb the tiers throughout the season based on their performance. The very top -- known as the Apex Predator rank -- is now limited to the top 500 players in the world. Below that is the Master tier made up next group of players. Season 4 will be split into two ranking seasons, likely when the switch from World's Edge to Kings Canyon happens.
The Sentinel is the new weapon for season 4, and it's a big one. It's a bolt-action sniper rifle that can cause some big damage to an opponent's shields.
Originally published on Jan. 31 and updated when new information is released.