As the size of the Legends seem to shrink, one developer explains why Apex Legends big characters could be a thing of the past.
Caustic, Gibraltar, Pathfinder, what do all these Apex Legends favourites have in common? Similar to Nintendo making the most of "thicc" Donkey Kong, these three Legends are all slightly larger in size when compared to the waif-like Revenant and Wraith. While a lot of Respawn Entertainment's character fit into the same middle-tier category in terms of size, don't expect devs to be adding more plus-size models to its first-person shooter. The days of "bigger" Apex Legends characters are apparently behind us.
With the latest addition of Fuse to the ever-expanding roster of Legends, the team behind the hero shooter has opened up about what goes into designing each legend and how they decided who's up next. Unlike Call of Duty and Fortnite, you don't simply select a stock character based on aesthetic and jump into battle. When it comes to Apex Legends, selecting your go-to Legend relies on a variety of factors. If you thought picking whether to play as Horizon or Rampart today was a tough decision, believe us, a lot more work goes into it behind the scenes.
Why aren't there more Apex Legends big characters?
Just like Hulk being part of the Avengers, big guys can take a lot of damage and pack a punch at the same time. Admittedly, their supersized stature makes them an easier target and a little sluggish when it comes to getting out the way, while Respawn Lead Game Designer Daniel Klein has pointed out other problems. Discussing big characters on Reddit, Klein explained why there hasn't been a big legend added since the start of the game. Addressing whether everyone could be given the same hitbox in Season 8, Kelin said that in an ideal world, this would be the case, but now, it's impossible.
“Listen. If we were developing Apex today, I’d be like 'EVERYONE IS ON THE SAME SET OF HITBOXES, MAKE IT WORK'", said Klein. "Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in. You may have noticed we haven’t shipped another legend on a large hitbox; there’s a reason for that". Expanding on what the problem is, Klein added, "Unless we find a way to shrink Gibby and Caustic visually in a way that’s not super derpy without having to redo all their skins and animations (and probably do the same for our tiny legends), I don’t see us realistically moving to the same hitboxes for everyone, as preferable as that would be".
Klein's words would explain why the past few Legends have all stuck to a similar size in terms of hitbox. Loba, Rampart, Horizon, and Fuse all have the same basic template and are instead defined by their abilities. For lovers of someone who is bigger boned, you could be out of luck with the future of Apex Legends big characters.
Will Apex Legends hitboxes be adjusted?
Last year, community manager Jay Frechette said everyone was "aware" of problems with hitboxes and were actively discussing a solution. One year on and it seems we're still in the same place. By the sounds of it, levelling the playing field and giving everyone a Fortnite-inspired template of the same hitbox would be more trouble than it's worth. Despite the odd moan and groan from players, most have come to accept Apex does it differently with hitboxes. It's also important to remember the likes of Gibraltar and Caustic have advantages in other areas.
The Apex dev team is continuously buffing and nerfing its legends, meaning it's a constantly evolving process. The issue of hitboxes has reared its head before and been adjusted only recently. Season 7's Ascension gave Pathfinder some much-needed attention by buffing his grappling hook while also making his hitbox bigger as a nerf. Even if Klein would like to go back to the start and give everyone the same hitbox blueprint, it just isn't going to happen. By the sounds of it though, we aren't going to see anymore supersized sluggers jumping off the dropship and into battle.
Images via Respawn Entertainment