A new season of Apex Legends has arrived!
This season is titled Saviors and focuses on the return of Bangalore’s brother, Jackson, who has come back as the newest Legend Newcastle. Alongside that, the Storm Point battle royal map has come back with the addition of some… colorful new friends: the massive corpse of a Kaiju-Esq sea creature has washed up ashore and bases housing IMC Spectres dot the landscape guarding loot and valuables. Ranked has also had some changes, making it both easier and more punishing in equal measure. This is alongside a whole suite of new patch notes and other changes to the game, which can be found here.
All of that is good stuff, but not why we’re here today.
Ever since Octane was released alongside Season 1, a large draw for Apex Legend’s new seasonal offering is its battle passes. When a player hits max level and when they cannot get any more of the deeply coveted Apex Packs, it’s the battle pass that keeps them playing. Stuffed full with goodies and cosmetics to earn, seeing who is going to get the legendary skins (and who is going to be ignored for the umpteenth time) is a highlight of the new season.
Or it should be.
Apex Legends battle passes have never been ‘bad’ per se, and the game has definitely come a significantly long way from offering muddied-up versions of Mirage and Wraith to paying customers (which were some of the original skins in the Season 1 battle pass). However, there has been a severe decline in quality goods as of late.
The artists at Respawn are always good and we by no means are trying to undersell or undervalue their effort and craft – there are people out there who adore the cosmetics added to the latest seasons, and I like a fair few myself (Loba’s legendary skin ‘Breaking the Law’ from last season and the Evangelion colored Devotion skin ‘Dragon’s Spine’ from several seasons ago were highlights). However, the days of universally beloved battle passes such as Meltdown seems to have ended.
Maybe the Saviour’s battle pass can change that.
Overview: A Closer Look at The Goods from Apex Legends
As usual, the Apex Legends Saviors battle pass offers 2 unique legendary gun skins (3 if the level 110 recolor is included), 2 legendary character skins, 3 epic character skins, an epic weapon skin, and a host of other cosmetics for various legends.
As this is Newcastle’s season and Newcastle is fashioned as a knight in shining armor, this season is all about the fantasy land of knights, kings, and dragons.
The main events of any battle pass are the legendary skins. This time, Fuse and Bloodhound are the power couple rocking this season’s pair of matching legendary skins: the cranky old Australian comes dressed in high-tech knights’ armor while his hunter companion is donned in a dragon-themed set befitting their wild nature.
Both skins look great – they keep up the quality set by last season’s Seer and Loba skins. Some have even started saying that Bloodhound’s new legendary skin is better than their far rarer (and far more expensive) Mythic skin.
The two legendary gun skins coming with this pass are a new CAR skin based on dragon scales with a fiery glow called ‘Wyrmborn’, and the Spitfire lays claim to the two reactive skins, ‘Winters Soul’ and ‘Molten Soul’, which features a dragons head carved in gold and red steel. These look plucked straight out of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, and they look absolutely fantastic. The CAR skin especially is one of the cleanest skins in the entire game, a set above a lot of other legendries. As a huge fantasy lover, this battle pass has absolutely fed me well.
The epics are nothing to scoff at either. All 3 of the new Epic character skins look really cool – which is a far cry from how most epic skins are treated in past battle passes – with Maggie sporting a draconic corruption look matching the legendary CAR, Newcastle is decked out in a spiffy set of red and gold plate, and Pathfinder has come very nice jewel-encrusted gear to match.
A good look at all the battle pass gear can be found below: credits to Oscar Aguirre (@Oscreat on Twitter), an artist at Respawn, for the close-up pictures of the weapons. The artists at Respawn are among some of the best in the industry and being able to see their work up close and personal is such a treat.
Now that we’re done gawking, let’s discuss why this is possibly one of the best passes in a very long time.
Apex Legends Epic Skins: A True Rarity
Firstly, let’s direct our attention away from the legendries for one moment and instead look towards the epic offerings.
As customary, every battle pass offers the player 4 things when they purchase it: 3 epic skins for different characters and a legendary gun skin. This time, it’s the skins for Maggie, Pathfinder, and Newcastle alongside the legendary CAR skin. I don’t want to repeat myself, but these skins are truly excellent and worthy of the name epic… which cannot be said for previous passes.
Looking at skins in general, the overall rule of rarity is this: common and rare skins are simply recolored, epic skins contain some level of customization and/or animation and legendary skins are a near-complete design overhaul. The Saviour skins fit this description: whether it be the glowing red scales on Maggie, the bright vigil on Newcastle’s chest, or Pathfinder’s sparkling jewels.
Last season’s offerings, however, were lacking in this regard, as was the pass before that. While the decals of the graffiti-soaked skins of last season were interesting to look at (and the fact that Respawn remembered that Crypto mains exist) they didn’t feel like epic tier skins: no glows, no armour additions, or touch-ups, just decals that looked like they belonged more on rare skins than on epic.
The season before that was worse. Wraith’s ‘Vision Walker’ skin is particularly egregious – there’s just… not really a lot here to justify it being called epic, with the only real addition being that of a select few face and body tattoos. Compared even to the regular sweet of colorful holographic epics, it couldn’t cut it, and neither could the other two skins from that set.
Here in Saviors, the epic character skins seem to have made a triumphant return and I for one am far happier for it.
Devotions & Dragons
One of the other things that carry this season to the top is the theme: good old medieval fantasy.
As one of the most tapped and most creatively free genres of artistic expression, fantasy still comes with enough guidance and aid to create some truly spectacular stuff. The classical images of knights in holy light or those taken by the abyss, treasure and loot galore stuffed with magical artifacts beyond your wildest imagination: and who, really, can think of anything cooler than a dragon?
Apex Legends taps into that potential in the Saviors battle pass. As previously stated, Bloodhound’s ‘Feral’s Future’ skin is wildly considered one of their best and it draws upon that fount of knowledge and experience of that past in the fantasy genre. The ‘Wyrmborn’ CAR skin as well is just top class, with that perfect blend of ‘magical’ and… ‘gun’ that is so rare. The passion behind these skins is so palpable and draws upon such a storied history that many players, including myself, just adore.
Now, this isn’t to say that the previous seasons haven’t been without a concrete theme, but more often than not they are a little unfocused in comparison.
Last season was all about Mad Maggie and so the battle pass revolved around liberty and mayhem: cool concepts for sure, but a lot harder to translate into compelling skins. Loba and Seer made it work, styling them as fashionable heisters, but the guns simply didn’t reach that same bar – the Hemlock’s ‘Gentleman Baller’ skin is just too similar to some other previous offering to be all that exciting (as well as it not really being to do with the theme of anarchy) while the EVA-8 skin was good, just not good enough.
In comparison to that, the season of Ash’s introduction and Valkyrie’s introduction had strong themes that just didn’t work out as well. For Escape, the theme of ‘tropical pirate’ and ‘high tech masks’ just didn’t translate very well, with Mirage looking awkward and out of place, and the guns had a blandness to them that just isn’t present with other offerings. In Legacy, Japanese folklore was the basis and it is particularly strong – the Spitfire skin and the Devotion skin from this pass were both great – but many players felt drained from having so many skins and ideas revolve around this theme.
With Saviors, the team at Respawn was able to capture that perfect balance between a compelling theme and a spice of their own uniqueness put in for good measure.
All the Sweeter for It
The final point on this list is kind of cheating.
Nothing has changed regarding the holo-sprays, the banner frames, or emotes featured in this pass compared to any other. They’re still a nice little added bonus that all look their own version of cool. In comparison with the legendary skins, they do not look like much, but they always maintain a high standard of quality with each pass.
So why put it here, then?
When the rest of the pass is so high in quality, then even small stuff such as this becomes better for it. I look forward to unlocking the banner frames for Bloodhound and Maggie or the emote for Mirage, and I look forward to them even more because the rest of the pass is so good. In the past, it could often feel as though the levels between big rewards were a slog because not every part of the pass shined: either the gun wasn’t exciting enough, or the character skin wasn’t compelling, and so it made these levels feel wasted.
When these items are in a great battle pass, however, it makes everything come together. While players may still be rushing to get their hands on the amazing Spitfire skin, the levels between now feel even more rewarding and exciting to get through – the overall rise in quality is a nice little bow on an already great package.
Apex Legends has always been popular, and it always manages to draw back players in droves whenever a new season begins. Whether it be for the sake of completing every pass, for the new changes made to modes and legends, or if it is simply for the new rotation of Apex Packs, players do come back for one reason and another.
It pleases me to say that Apex Legends Saviors’ battle pass is 100% worth the asking price and is worth coming back to the game to play: like I said, what is cooler than a dragon?
What do you think of this newest batch of skins? Are they worth buying the battle pass for? Let us know your thoughts below in the comments!
Apex Legends is available now for free on PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch. The newest season, Saviors, is available now.
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