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.
From the very beginning, Jackson Williams has been characterized as a piece on a chessboard. Specifically, he has been compared to a rook, the castle turret-like piece that can only travel horizontally across the board. Now that Jackson is officially a legend, releasing in Apex Legends Season 13: Saviors as Newcastle, the rook connections aren’t ceasing: Respawn told GameSpot that the chess visuals informed the look, voice lines, and kit. of Newcastle skills.
“Very deliberate [connections]Apex Legends senior producer Tim Lewinson told me when I asked him about the lone tower sitting across from Jackson in the Stories from the Outlands: Gridiron trailer, and Newcastle’s “checkmate” comment in the trailer for Saviors release. “I’m glad you got it. There are probably other Easter eggs you’ll find as well, sort of referring to that chess connection.”
Narrativamente, encuentro que esta conexión es fascinante. Si Newcastle es una pieza de ajedrez, ¿quién es la persona que lo controla? En términos de la historia, ¿en qué tablero de ajedrez lucha metafóricamente Newcastle? Podrían ser solo los Apex Games en general, pero creo que es más que eso.
Hace unas semanas, teoricé que Apex Legends se dirige hacia una guerra total, y sigo pensando que ese es el caso. Pero algo más está sucediendo detrás de escena e involucra a Newcastle. Jackson, en particular, reemplaza al Newcastle real (que está muerto) en un esfuerzo por pagar a la pandilla que amenaza la casa de su familia. La pandilla se llama las familias olvidadas.
Esta es la segunda vez que una pandilla de cobradores de deudas con una conexión con la “familia” aparece en Apex Legends: justo antes de la Temporada 6, el tráiler de Stories from the Outlands: The Endorsement vio la tienda de Rampart incendiada por un grupo dirigido por alguien. llamada “hermana mayor”. Creo que las dos pandillas son una y la misma, con Big Sister como uno de los jefes de Forgotten Families.
Newcastle aún no está en medio de todo esto, pero tal vez Respawn lo está preparando para que lo esté. En el ajedrez, la torre tiene un movimiento especial llamado “enroque”, en el que tanto ella como el rey pueden moverse en el mismo turno, esencialmente cambiando de lugar. Los jugadores tradicionalmente usan el movimiento para llevar al rey a un lugar más seguro, al mismo tiempo que se aseguran de que la torre ahora esté más cerca del medio del tablero y en una mejor posición para defender o atacar. Entonces, tal vez Newcastle no esté en medio de las cosas en este momento, pero ¿qué pasa si alguien de las sombras decide “enrocarlo” en medio de un conflicto para proteger a un “rey”?
Y no me digas que estoy pensando demasiado en esto. Respawn ya ha considerado la mecánica matizada del ajedrez al diseñar el conjunto de movimientos de Newcastle, por lo que confiar en él para su historia de fondo no parece una gran exageración.
“Incluso iré tan lejos como para decir que [chess connection] was not off the table when we talked about [Newcastle’s] the ultimate in his kit,” senior character designer Devan McGuire told me. “There’s the classic move in chess where you castle, you replace your king with your rook, which becomes the keeper, which is something like what do you do with it move by itself. And that is why we structure [the ultimate ability] become a castle wall for him to play in that chess fantasy.
Newcastle’s ult sees him jump into the air and then hit the ground shield first to set up a massive wall. “He can totally use it indoors to block a bottleneck or a door,” McGuire said. “So if there’s any wall or something in the way, it won’t continue to expand outward, and it’ll only open those little sidewalls if there’s enough height or space for that to open as well. So if you use it somewhere contained, it’s You may not get the full breadth of the shield, but you can still use it in situations where you need it, to give you the coverage you want.”
There is also an additional, almost passive, ability tied to the latest from Newcastle. “It really shines when Newcastle target an ally,” McGuire said. “So when you lower your helmet visor and you lift the last thing up, you have this auto-lock mechanic on your allies – they’ll show up in your visor in the environment. You can lock them as long as they’re not buried in a bunker or something where you can’t really reach them, and then jumping into them gives you more height and you can go much farther than you could before with normal range, allowing you to heroically clear tall buildings and reach [your teammates] in very, very quick succession to turn the tide of the fight.”
His passive and tactical abilities are equally protective, leaning into the tower theme. Newcastle’s passive allows him to drag allies while he revives them, and he brings out his own knockdown shield to block incoming bullets and grenades. As the passive uses their own knockdown shield, the ability becomes stronger the better the knockdown shield Newcastle has equipped. So if you see a purple or gold takedown shield, pinging for a Newcastle on your team might be a better option than keeping it yourself.
“The HP value between the knockdown shield itself and the revival shield it carries is not one to one, it’s actually a slightly lower version,” said McGuire. “Let’s use the white knockup shield as an example. You start with 200 health as your knockup shield. Newcastle only gets 150 of that for their revive shield. And that 50 HP left over is what you’d have left if you got knocked down after burning your revive shield. But, he has this secret passive, where he can actually recharge his own knockdown shield whenever he’s not using it, so if he’s not down or reviving someone, after a short cooldown, he’ll start to rebuild, from so that he is ready for the next match.
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s tactical ability is a deployable energy shield that he can redirect on command, allowing him to set up and provide mobile cover for his teammates. “He’s great at getting down the front line and pushing that enemy position,” McGuire said. “So while he’s out in the open, Newcastle can hit his tactic button again to redirect his position to a new position on the map, meaning you can go around a corner with him, or when he’s going through a building, you can pick him off. “
To me, it feels like Newcastle fills a tank role in Apex Legends, a character class that doesn’t technically exist in Battle Royale. Up to this point, Gibraltar has been the closest thing to a tank that Apex Legends has ever had, making it one of the most dominant forces in pro play and at the highest ranked levels. There’s no telling if Newcastle will be similarly dominant until he’s live in the game, but at least he sounds like a promising pick. And I can’t wait to see where his story goes, especially if Respawn continues to lean into those chess visuals for the Newcastle arc.