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Apex Legends developer ‘motivated to do Revenant justice’

Apex Legends developer Respawn is considering how to give Revenant rewarding gameplay, with the battle royale team “motivated to do his thematic design justice”

Apex Legends developer 'motivated to do his thematic design justice'

Apex Legends game designer John ‘JayBiebs’ Larson has responded to a Twitter discussion with former Apex developer Daniel Zenon Klein talking about the low pick rate of Revenant, saying that the team is “motivated” to provide gameplay that can “do his thematic design justice.” The discussion initially began when Klein responded to a fan querying how he would look to encourage people to play the legend, who is the lowest-picked in the battle royale game’s thirteenth season.

With a disclaimer that he hasn’t worked at Respawn since August 2021, Klein says that he is “not surprised at all that he’s barely picked.” He notes that the primary reason players pick characters in Apex is how it affects their chance to win, and that this means that a legend’s kit “needs to answer relevant questions” in order to make them a viable choice.

Revenant’s ability set, says Klein, is very “in keeping with his creepy theme” – but rarely offers a good opportunity to react to a situation. Even his ultimate ability, Death Totem, which Klein notes is very strong, is only really useful proactively – that is to say, you need to use it before a fight starts – meaning that it can be very inflexible.

Klein goes so far as to say that, were he still at Respawn, he would “absolutely look at Revenant for a full rework.” However, he notes that the Apex design team is “really small and trying to do a hundred things,” so there aren’t always the resources available for such things. He then invited current game director John Larson to comment, to which Larson graciously responded saying that he largely agreed with the breakdown that Revenant feels very theme-first to the detriment of his actual functionality.

“When Rev first came out I racked up 6,000+ kills fueled by thematic design alone,” says Larson. “He was overly oppressive but only when paired with another legend.” Larson notes that dependent legend combos such as the popular ‘Revtane’ combo – a pairing of Revenant with Octane that utilised both ultimates to place down a Death Totem before springing far across the map to maximise the distance from the Totem going into a fight and ensure as much safety as possible when returning to it.

This meta meant that “The team on the receiving end was rarely the team that was able to capitalise on misplays,” continues Larson, “usually whatever third party stumbled across bad totem placement got to reap the rewards” for the Revtane team making a mistake, which Larson describes as “a recipe for frustration all around.”

While he doesn’t offer any immediate solutions, Larson says that the team is “aware of the frustrations surrounding Revenant, knows his pick rate is low AF, and is motivated to do his thematic design justice with rewarding gameplay.” He signs off with a clearly-labelled joke, teasing, “Unfortunately his heirloom already came out so we don’t have much incentive to buff him.”

Recently, Larson discussed why the Respawn team felt it was important for new legends and weapons to be “sexy and strong.” In other Apex news, the Apex Legends Gaiden event begins on July 19, and we have all the details. A recent update to the FPS game finally addressed the long-running problems with Loba’s bracelet not activating correctly when thrown without any obvious cause.