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 information on the evolution of the game, as well as delving into its episodic storytelling and characters.
Apex Legends Season 14 is fast approaching, scheduled to release on August 9th, and adds Xiomara “Vantage” Contreras to the playable roster. It confirms my longstanding theory that Vantage would be the next playable character after Newcastle. Seeing her added to the Apex Games should make me happy; after all, he was right. But if I’m honest, now I wish I was wrong. As cool as Vantage sounds, I’ve since discovered that there’s someone far more interesting: his mom.
As seen in Stories from the Outlands: Survive, Vantage has been stranded on the planet Pàgos for her entire life, trapped in the snowy tundra alongside her mother, Xenia Contreras. Although Vantage is led to believe that both she and her mother are natives of Pàgos, her trip to the bowls of a crashed ship called the GDS Vantage reveals a startling secret: Xenia was held prisoner aboard the ship, with GDS for her. Gaean Detention Ship. .
Ignoring, for a moment, that with Xenia and Vantage being Cuban-Americans, the Apex Legends team has yet to write other A Latin character for a criminal, a longstanding problem in video games, especially when it comes to hero shooters, Xenia is (so far) a more interesting character than her daughter.
As Respawn describes in a press release, Xenia is a “wrongly convicted criminal.” That’s not that big of a deal when it comes to Apex Legends – we already have legends that were falsely accused of something, like Crypto and Seer. But Respawn has taken noticeable pains not to specify what Xenia was convicted of.
Every other criminal in Apex Legends lore has had their crimes, whether they actually committed them or not, revealed almost immediately. And there’s some heinous stuff in there between Caustic willingly gassing an entire room of scientists to test a pesticide, Revenant throwing a father down an elevator shaft so he would collapse in a bloody mess in front of his daughter, and Ash leaving a colleague. rot in a black hole for 88 years just to make a quick buck. There are a lot of bad people in the Apex Legends lore.
And yet Respawn doesn’t want us to know why people think Xenia is among them. What is so detestable about Xenia’s crime that we have seen her in two There are already trailers (which is insane for what currently amounts to being a supporting character), and the only hint of the ramifications of doom is Vantage asking her mother, in the season 14 launch trailer, about it, saying, “Is…Is it true? Did you do the things they said?” with a face that has been twisted with pain, revulsion, and fear.
There’s clearly something there, something that Respawn wants to keep hidden for now. My mind is already running over possibilities, many of which seem far-fetched, but there are some that could be promising.
My favorite theory has to do with where Xenia was imprisoned. Given that Xenia was held on a Gaea ship, does her crime of hers have any connection to Caustic, Crypto, or Rampart, all of whom also call Gaea home? There’s a lot of interesting potential there, especially if Xania’s story somehow ties into Rampart. Could Xenia have some sort of connection to Big Sister, the leader of the masked gang seen in Stories from the Outlands: The Endorsement, who first introduced us to Rampart? Although Xenia was apparently injured in Pàgos long after the events of The Endorsement, it is noteworthy that her gouged out eye now causes her face to reflect the mask Big Sister wears, perhaps implying some sort of narrative connection. invisible. I think it’s safe to say that there’s no way Xenia could be her older sister, how could she have been at Rampart’s shop in Gaea and trapped in Pàgos at the same time? But the similarities in the two “sides” of her are hard to ignore.
It’s very possible that I’m wrong about that, obviously, but the fact is that Xenia has a story that is interesting, mysterious, unknown and full of potential: there are many things we don’t know, and I personally want to find out. I’m not convinced the same can be said for her daughter, who can apparently be summed up as “a girl who was born in a snowy desert and had never known anyone other than her mother before.” Okay, you can make some fun stories out of it, it’s like a kid who is homeschooled and is put into public school for the first time in his senior year of high school, but there’s not a lot of mystery or intrigue there. Vantage’s past doesn’t create a character he desperately wants to meet.
And it’s not just the past: Xenia’s story also has more potential to take interesting directions in the future. As seen in the Apex Legends Season 14 launch trailer, she is being held in the same detention center as Mad Maggie, who is currently working with Lifeline to take down Torres Silva, Octane’s grandfather, and the Syndicate, the governing body of the Outlands and overseer of the Apex Games. Could future seasons see an alliance between Xenia and Maggie?
Again, it might be totally out of place there, but at least there’s that possibility for something interesting to happen, and that’s something that Vantage’s future seems to lack. Even if we don’t know what it was, Vantage already knows about his mother’s crimes, so he doesn’t have any mysteries to solve there. And we know he won’t stop competing in games to raise awareness of the injustice of his mother’s imprisonment because no legend’s story can ever develop to the point where they leave games and therefore need to be removed from the playable roster of Apex Legends. The most intriguing thing about Vantage, at least so far, is seeing their fish-out-of-water story unfold, though I suspect they’ll remember the Bloodhound stories of their early life, given that they were also a person largely cut off from the outside world. which eventually joined the Apex Games.
Xenia is being set up as a much more interesting character. And I have to believe that she will become someone significant to Apex Legends history because I refuse to think that Respawn hired someone like Krizia Lows who lent her excellent voice acting skills to shows like Arcane (Ximena Talis) and Carmen. San Diego. (Lupe Hazard), as well as games like League of Legends (Akali), Batman: The Telltale Series (Renee Montoya), Legends of Runeterra (Silent Shadowseer), Eliza (Nora) and Prey (Mariana Arias), to give voice to a character that we will never know again. low is incredible–she’s the caliber of actor that Respawn typically brings in to voice a legend, not a one-time character. And the prospect of Xenia playing Ash, Maggie or Newcastle and going from a supporting character to a playable legend is far more exciting than anything she’s gotten from Vantage characterization so far (Natalie Cañizares’ Vantage installment as well). is stellar, all I’m saying is that Bass is similarly talented).
And let me be clear: Vantage’s abilities look really cool and I love his partner Echo, who looks like a bat. But being a cool legend to play doesn’t make for an interesting character, and I worry that Vantage is already a bit overshadowed by his mom. Everything that’s interesting about Vantage from a historical perspective relates to Xenia: Vantage grew up cut off from the outside world because her mother was a criminal in hiding, Vantage joined the Apex Games to raise awareness of her mother’s wrongful conviction, and the great The secret is to hide anything of which his mother is accused.
It’s hard to invest in a character when the most interesting thing about him is how his story is tied to the mysteries of other character. Not that Loba’s past with Revenant was the only interesting thing about her at launch: she accidentally destroyed Skull Town and was later hired by the Syndicate to travel to another dimension for a mysterious heist. And even though Newcastle was linked to Bangalore, he too had his own story: he was secretly taking the place of the original Newcastle and joined Apex Games to earn enough money to pay off a gang that threatened his hometown and his hometown. family. All the previous legends were able to stand on their own as someone interesting – the main character of his own personal story.
But not Vantage. Before the release of season 14, she feels like a supporting character in her mother’s story, a channel through which fans can learn more about Xania’s story. She doesn’t have a story of her own. I’m guessing Respawn has written one for her and we’ll learn about it over the course of the Season 14 quest, but this is the first time I’ve gone into a new season where I wasn’t excited to play as the new character. and learn as much as I could about them because Respawn has done also good job of making another new face much more interesting.
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