Reviews - Updated on April 10, 2022

Respawn had only to say once about the release of the Apex Legends Battle Pass in March for the game’s community to literally go crazy. At first, everyone expected the start on March 1, then an anonymous insider showed the next character and named a more accurate date – March 12. That day, too, nothing happened, but a little later, an advertisement for the pass appeared on Origin – but even then it did not go on sale. As a result, on March 19, it finally came out, only this pass turned out to be a big disappointment for the fans.

Let’s do it again

Among all the battle passes that I have ever upgraded, this one is the worst against the background of Fortnite, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and even Paladins. It feels like they thought about its content at the last moment, without offering anything interesting at all. It’s so bad that even users who used to want to buy a pass as a thank you for a great free game have posted on Reddit about their unwillingness to support such a hack.

The structure here is about the same as in other games: 100 levels, over a hundred rewards, the longer you play, the sooner you earn new ranks and unlock trophies. The most interesting content in these “battle passes” is usually character skins, and here they are, too. But there are a couple of nuances: there are only four skins, three of them are instantly issued when buying a pass, and they look simply miserable. These are exactly the same skins as the standard costumes, just a different color and with paint smeared over the faces of the characters. They’re not even legendary, just rare.

The same can be said about weapon skins – with very rare exceptions, new skins for guns do not change their appearance, as they do in Black Ops 4, but only make them red, yellow or speckled. These coloring pages are already useless – I personally am not interested in this element at all in Apex Legends, at least because of the lack of the opportunity to watch the replay of the murder so that the opponents would at least see these skins. And when they are not just stupid, but also drawn lousy, it’s quite sad. The exception was the coloring for “Chaos”, which changes during the course of the match when killing enemies. It’s a pity that this is not the best weapon in the game – for the sake of it, it’s not worth parting with the R-301 in the “endgame”.

Unfortunately, all other rewards are even worse. About 20 positions – emblems of the first season indicating the level of your pass. Since the emblem “evolves” every fifth level, you regularly lose the previous version and get an updated one. In total, we can assume that there are no approximately two dozen prizes in the pass, which makes the situation even more absurd. But for the 110th level they give the first animated emblem – it’s not so insulting.

First season of Apex Legends.  Respawn, what's wrong with you?

They could even change the healing drone!

Even more positions are occupied by profile statistics. For each character, the number of victories, damage dealt and the number of kills are separately taken into account here – all for the first season. First, it is not clear who and why will use the murder data for the first season in the profile instead of murders for all time. Secondly, the pass upgrade is designed in such a way that it is much more logical to constantly play for different heroes – in this case, the player is given about twice as much experience as usual. As a result, your statistics are “smeared” over six or nine characters, and not one “main”, which could have been much more solid. In a couple of days I won about 10 times, but only four of them were for Lifeline, which I mainly play.

All other rewards in the pass are banner decorations (primitive), voice lines (everyone says the same thing about the start of the season), experience boosters (probably will come in handy later), loot boxes (no comments), and virtual currency. Fortunately, upon reaching level 97, you will not only get the full cost of the pass back, but even get a profit and receive a bonus 50 coins. However, the prizes are so stupid that you probably won’t want to waste time getting this rank – there simply isn’t a single prize that you would like to open as soon as possible.

It’s funny that the best version of the pass was received by residents of Belgium. As you know, the government of this country banned the sale of loot boxes, considering them to be an analogue of a virtual casino, and therefore the Belgians see materials for creating items instead of loot boxes. And this is a really useful reward with which you can create the desired items, including the legendary costume for your favorite hero. It got to the point that players found a way to change the region of residence in Origin (on PS4 they were also able to do this) and bought a pass only after that.

First season of Apex Legends.  Respawn, what's wrong with you?

Already in the next season, such statistics will be completely useless.

Who is guilty?

Many defenders of Apex Legends on social networks immediately began to recall Fortnite – they say that in the first season there was no pass at all, and in the second season, only a knight’s suit was found among the valuables. However, Apex Legends is now competing with the eighth season of Fortnite, not the first. And although now the “window” is also full of garbage, like unused stickers and graffiti, there are picks with a funny design, and a dozen costumes, and dances, and new hang gliders. And they ask for the same amount of money for this – a couple of weeks ago, skipping the eighth season was generally allowed to earn absolutely free.

Another argument that I often see in discussions is that Respawn did not expect such a resounding success, and therefore did not prepare quality rewards. It sounds even more crazy – if Apex Legends started at the level of the late Radical Heights and offered such a pass a month later, it would definitely be buried. In my opinion, there can be two reasons: either the artists at Respawn don’t know how to draw attractive banners, skins, and liveries, or quality prizes have been postponed until later due to the success of the battle royale.

Judge for yourself – Apex Legends is gaining an audience as rapidly as any other shareware game before it. 50 million users per month (even if you forget that half a million of them are cheaters who created new accounts) is not just an impressive figure, but a cosmic one. People already play this shooter with pleasure, they don’t really need encouragement and bonuses, streamers who fell in love with the game still spend evenings in it, and the audience watches them with pleasure. The appearance of a pass with bad rewards is unlikely to greatly worsen the situation, but then, when the audience begins to slowly leave, it will be possible to offer such luxurious rewards that everyone will immediately return. Well, or really the problem is in the artists.

First season of Apex Legends.  Respawn, what's wrong with you?

I don’t want to waste time on some heroes, but I have to.

It doesn’t help that the process of pumping the pass is rather burdensome. There are no daily free ranks for winning, no challenges. While the latter are often tedious (running all over the map and using hints to look for ten ducks and dance at five spots is not very fun), they not only make the gameplay a little more varied, but also allow late players to quickly level up and catch up with the others if they joined in the middle of the season. Here, for now, the same thing is happening as in the last part of Call of Duty: if there is a month left, and you just downloaded the game, this time will not be enough to receive all the rewards. It remains only to buy levels for money, which will cost a fairly large amount.

Play and win

New ranks are earned slowly, but not so much that it’s worth resenting as much as in the first season of Black Ops 4. It takes a little over an hour to complete one level – about three or four matches in which you lived to the final or were close to it. Survival time (3 experience points per second), kills, damage, resurrection of partners, elimination of the champion, and so on are taken into account. With the latest patch from Apex Legends, the penalty for leaving the match early was removed – now you still get experience for the time spent. In addition, patient players who die at the start of the game and do not immediately return to the main menu will be rewarded with additional experience – survival time continues to count as long as at least one member of the team is alive.

Bonus experience is given for the first kill of the day for all heroes. Another reason to play as all characters is the “legend bonus” that resets every week. Players are allowed to get 25 thousand extra experience for each hero until the corresponding scale is filled in the menu. That is, as much as you would like to ignore Gibraltar because of his huge hitbox, you will have to play several matches with him to level up the pass, if you do not want to sit an extra hour and a half in the future. In general, the system is tolerable, but I would still like to see a couple of primitive tests and daily skipping levels.

Otherwise, the first season didn’t change the game much. A new character Octane has appeared, which resembles some kind of madman from the Borderlands universe and runs very funny. He is the only hero that regenerates health (so slowly it’s almost imperceptible), and his skill speeds him up for a few seconds in exchange for 10 “life”. Octane’s ultimate ability allows him to place a trampoline that throws the heroes who stand on it into the air – not the most useful thing, but it can come in handy for surprise attacks. The hitboxes of Pathfinder, Caustic and Gibraltar have also changed – the first one really ceased to be fragile, but the rest of the heroes absorbed all the bullets because of their size, and continue to do so.

First season of Apex Legends.  Respawn, what's wrong with you?

It’s a pity that 10 kills give only 500 bonus experience points, but the game is still not about that.


Of course, with the start of the first season, Apex Legends has not become worse. It’s still terribly fun to play, and after the next match you want to instantly start the next one. I earned the ninth level pass in two days, ignoring it and playing as usual, just changing heroes from time to time. But a good game always leaves a lot to be desired, and the first Battle Pass is not even average – it’s just awful, empty, pointless and boring. I would like to hope that the audience criticized this disgrace actively and loudly enough so that in three months we will see something outstanding. The only pity is that you have to wait so long.

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