Hot Drop: Apex Legends’ Battle Passes Have Fun Narrative Implications

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.

Most aspects of Apex Legends contribute to the game’s story–character design, Quest chapters, in-game conversations between the legends, map changes, legendary and mythic cosmetics. Respawn has done a superb job twisting the evolutionary nature of live-service games to serve its brand of episodic storytelling. And with that in mind, I think we can even consider Apex Legends’ battle passes when we talk about the game’s story. Admittedly, the battle passes only contribute in a rather simple way, but it’s still cool to see how the battle passes seem to reinforce how the Syndicate has had a growing corporate presence in the Apex Games in the past several seasons, as the company endeavors to sell the blood sport to the general public.

Every battle pass in Apex Legends corresponds with a theme, starting with wildlife in Season 1 and extending to the safari in Season 14, with both Wraith and Caustic going so far as to dress up as *sigh* big game hunters. But when you look back at all the themes, they notably tighten up in Season 3, and from then on are seemingly used as a means of advertising new legends and maps. The battle passes are, of course, something sold to players, but the themes seem to have an in-universe function as well–within the game, they act as corporate messaging from the Syndicate, almost as if to unify its marketing for each season of the Apex Games and make the blood sport seem more appetizing to audiences.

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Author: Jordan Ramée