Will Apex Legends Ever Get A Single-Player Campaign?
So, where’s the player vs environment (PvE) content? Will and when will Apex introduce more co-op and single-player endeavours? The lack of content surrounding this interesting world seems like a missed opportunity.
Recently, Apex Legends General Manager Dusty Welch and Game Director Chad Grenier spoke with Eurogamer on this topic. The two kept it brief, but they did unveil some critical information regarding Apex’s stance and future PvE content.
Let’s review the prospects of a single-player Apex Legends campaign along with what kind of PvE content Apex Legends might have in the pipeline.
What Happened To Mission-Based Season Quests?
Back in Season 5, Apex Legends welcomed in their first-ever PvE endeavours: Season Quests. Players could participate in missions or “Hunts” to uncover secrets and learn the story of The Broken Ghost. The story of The Broken Ghost revolved around Loba and her search for an ancient relic called The Broken Ghost. Players that completed the season-long quest received exclusive in-game rewards.
The Season Quest was a hit, especially for their first go at a PvE mode. The Broken Ghost quest kept players engaged for the whole season as they came back each week to learn more of the story and play the new Hunt.
Unfortunately, these mission-based Season Quests came to an end after just one season. Nowadays, players collect comics and simply read the story. There is no actual gameplay or PvE encounters involved.
So why did the Apex Legends dev team quit on such a brilliant idea? The answer is the global pandemic of COVID-19. The pandemic forced the Apex Legends team to prioritise the necessities. Protecting the team’s health and working from home made it impossible to focus on both PvP and PvE content. Therefore, the team opted to turn their attention toward the already existing PvP game.
In a comment to Eurogamer, Apex Legends Game Director, Chad Grenier, explains why the team had to forgo these mission-based Season Quests. “We're always balancing team health, and making sure we're not crunching," Grenier declared. "Because our focus is on PvP, we had to move away from that type of content for the time being.”
Creating new Season Quest content while also giving the base PvP game the attention it needs would have been an impractical task while working from home. So, the Apex Legends dev team had no option but to put mission-based Season Quests on the backburner.
What Kind of PvE Modes Can We Expect In The Future?
Though mission-based Season Quests have been put on pause, Respawn would like to resume work on PvE content very soon.
Greiner insisted that the team loves to create PvE content - COVID-19 just got in the way. However, it sounds as though more PvE content may finally be on the horizon. Greiner explains, "And so with all of the awesome Legends and all the lore and storytelling that we're doing, the team naturally I think would love to deliver some sort of content that's like that, like single-player PvE content."
This begs the question, what kind of PvE Modes can we expect out of a game like Apex Legends?
Overwatch is a perfect example of a game that started exclusively as PvP and moved into PvE content. The first instance of PvE content in Overwatch was a mode called Junkenstein's Revenge. In this mode, teams of four work together in different roles to take on waves of AI enemies. Throughout the waves, players will encounter bosses based on some of the Heroes on the roster. A mode such as this would transfer perfectly to a game like Apex Legends.
Expanding their PvE offerings, Overwatch created the Overwatch Archives. Similar to Apex’s Season Quests, teams of four players participate in missions based on the game’s lore. Apex Legends is unique in that the game has such expansive lore. More of these mini story-based PvE missions are a real possibility down the line.
If the team is feeling bold, the raid encounters seen in games such as Destiny and World of Warcraft could be quite an interesting addition to Apex Legends. Raids are intense cooperative PvE missions where players must work together to solve puzzles and defeat epic bosses. Raids are usually some of the toughest content in the game and require perfect communication between players. Everyone has a role to fulfil.
The variety of Legends in Apex would adapt nicely to Raid-like content. We have Offensive, Defensive, Support, and Recon Legends. Respawn could build around these roles and create PvE encounters where teams must synchronise the abilities of each role to succeed.
Respawn is keeping the details of their PvE plans under wrap, but the different modes listed above would be a perfect fit for Apex Legends’ style.
Will Apex Legends Ever Get A Single-Player Campaign?
A full-on single-player campaign would be ambitious, but it’s not out of the question. After all, Respawn Entertainment are the creators of Titanfall 2, a game highly regarded for its single-player campaign.
Thanks to the Titanfall background, Apex Legends is in a one-of-a-kind position. The game came preloaded with a deep history and ever-expanding lore. There’s SO much potential for a campaign mode.
It’s worth noting that Respawn has made it clear that Titanfall 3 is not in development. Could this mean their single-player efforts will be diverted to Apex Legends?
For now, Respawn is focused on delivering story content through the PvP game. The Legacy season adds more lore to Apex Legends than ever. Additionally, the team is creating fantastic animated shorts that explain the backstory of the game’s many Legends. The Apex Legends Stories from the Outlands shorts dive deep into Apex’s story.
The Respawn devs certainly won’t rule anything out, but it seems like a full-fledged single-player campaign could be a ways off. We’ll more than likely receive smaller PvE game modes before we get a real Apex Legends campaign. The team is spread too thin to devote the needed attention to another large project like a campaign.
Nothing is guaranteed, but Respawn likely wouldn’t hint at PvE content if there was absolutely nothing in the works. The Broken Ghost Quest proved that Apex Legends has PvE content in their aspirations. COVID-19 may have delayed their plans, but it seems as though the gears of a new PvE mode may finally be grinding again. Apex Legends players should be on the lookout for new PvE content and maybe even a full-on single-player campaign in the coming seasons.
Images via Respawn Entertainment