Apex Legends celebrated its fifth birthday on Sunday, but the celebration is just getting started. The party truly kicked off today, with the release of the Season 20: Breakout launch trailer.
Unlike most launch trailers, Season 20’s trailer is made up entirely of shots from different Legends’ POVs. Conduit can be seen teaming up with Bangalore and Newcastle, and players also catch a glimpse of Wraith finishing off Caustic before having a quick chat with Pathfinder and Mirage–an homage to the game’s very first launch trailer, which featured the trio fighting their way to victory while (lovingly) trash-talking each other.
The new trailer is surprisingly short for a launch trailer and, oddly, was not preceded by an episode of Stories From The Outlands. But it does give players a few hints at what’s coming this season. A few seconds into the trailer, Lifeline, Loba, and Mad Maggie can be seen fighting Catalyst, with Lifeline wielding a very odd-looking bladed melee weapon. Many Legends have already received an Heirloom Weapon, and Lifeline is one of them. Some Legends, like Wraith and Revenant, have even gotten a second Heirloom Weapon–but so far, those secondary weapons have always been identical in appearance to the original Heirloom, essentially receiving a new weapon skin rather than a new weapon entirely.
Lifeline’s original Shock Sticks Heirloom Set features a set of electrified drumsticks, so most players have assumed her secondary Heirloom Weapon would feature the same deadly drumsticks with a new coat of paint. But the strange blade she’s seen whipping around in the Breakout launch trailer bears no resemblance to her original Heirloom Weapon, which is rather odd. It could mean Respawn is taking secondary Heirloom designs in a new direction, or could be a sign that a game mode featuring a handheld blade is on the way, like the Buster Sword seen in the recent Final Fantasy LTM. Meanwhile, Loba is seen snatching up an Alternator using her Black Market ultimate ability before Mad Maggie makes an interesting comment: “Three, girl? Someone’s got sticky fingers.”
But Lifeline and Loba aren’t the only ones using some strange tactics in the new trailer. It also features a brief POV shot of Octane throwing down a Jump Pad–his ultimate ability–before bouncing into the air and immediately dropping another Jump Pad. Lifeline’s odd melee blade, Mad Maggie’s comment to Loba, and Octane’s miraculous ability to suddenly manifest two Jump Pads in the space of roughly one second are likely references to Respawn’s new Legend leveling system, which adds 100 new perks and buffs for players to choose from when leveling up their shield. Loba, for instance, can choose between expanding her Black Market’s range or gaining the ability to snag a third item from it when she levels up her shield from white to blue, which might explain Maggie’s comments regarding her “sticky fingers.” It’s possible that one of the perks Octane can choose from is the ability to drop more than one Jump Pad at once.
But a very brief moment at the end of the trailer features what may be the most interesting aspect of the new season. The trailer’s ending includes a blink-and-you’ll-miss it shot of Horizon staring at a strange, circular piece of technology that looks suspiciously similar to Jack Cooper’s time-altering armband in Titanfall 2. As she stares at it, the voice of her young son, Newton, can be heard saying, “You promised…”
After being left to die in a black hole by Ash, Horizon used her astro-engineering skills to find a way home, but arrived 80 years too late to watch her son grow up. Her reason for joining the games is to try and find a way back to him. When GameSpot asked Apex Legends lead writer Ashley Reed if that familiar-looking little disc is indeed a similar piece of time-altering tech to the one used by Titanfall 2’s protagonist, she told us, “You’re on the right track; I think you saw it.”
The full details of this time-hopping story arc will be revealed via new in-game story chapters when Apex Legends Season 20: Breakout launches on Tuesday, February 13.