How Apex Legends, the trendy Battle Royale, stays fresh

guard have it a man punch skin. Battlefield has a playable Snoop Dogg. fortress there are cosmetics for every celebrity and IP imaginable, from Palestinians to Ariana Grande. But top legend There’s something no other game has: style.

Read more: The Game Awards’ bad fashion highlights the industry’s identity crisis

From Seer’s Afrofuturistic suit to a bomber jacket so cool they had to turn it into an IRL, the team at Respawn is always creating looks that are more than just blank-headed collaborations or grueling recreations. . And with a wide range of Legends running across the color gamut of race, gender identity, and body type, there’s a diverse set of virtual paper dolls that you can stick a variety of fun vetements on.

Of course, like Kotakuthe most senior member of the fashion police, I spoke to Respawn artists via Zoom to learn more about what inspired them, from giant waterfall to streetwear and even Event horizon.

Echoes of Titanfall

Apex Legends' Valkyrie and her bomber jacket

Respawn loved Valkyrie’s bomber jacket design so much, they made a real-life one.
Illustration: Respawn / Cristina Ferez

Apex Legends’ foothold in the Titanfall universe presents both a unique challenge and a consistent centering for its designers: Every single character and their kit has to have a clear connection to the iconic first-person shooter’s lore and world, which means the team needs to be constantly referencing it when creating new characters. In some cases, that inspiration is more obvious than others.

“Valkyrie was a design that was meant to reflect Titanfall,” lead character concept artist Cristina Ferez says about the high-flying Japanese-American character who rocks a jetpack and can fire missiles normally reserved for fighter jets. “One of her biggest inspirations is actually her father’s mech [Viper was an antagonist in Titanfall 2]so we have this amazing legend coming from Titan falls…when we design the costumes, the main characters, they are always inspired by giant waterfall.”

Binding in the skins of all characters and equipment sets giant waterfall the universe also means placing them in a sort of futuristic military realism that you won’t find in fortress. That’s why when you look closely, you’ll notice an array of tactical clothing like cargo pants and gloves or gear that hangs at the waist, tucked into arm pockets and slung across the chest.

“There is a very specific attempt at grounding things in such a way that they are tactical, like they are functional,” said Hafid Roserie, concept art and lighting director. “It was a piece of DNA that the group brought with them from Titan falls.” But the real creative flow came when the team got over the original character design and started to learn about their individual skins, often designed around a particular season’s theme. “When we started moving into interface design, that was when we could be a little more playful and a little more expansive.”

Skins in the game

Revive rarely pulls something out of the left field—top legend‘ skins are all iterations on its original characters, taking their unique stories and using them as launchpads to reach newer, flashier heights. Skins do not give the feeling of making money blatantly as said, Ghost Face in call of duty or beliefs in Fortnite—and when there’s obvious pop-culture inspiration going on, it makes sense. Horizon’s Very Clear Scarlet Witch Skin still somewhat related to her character, who can manipulate gravity and open up black holes.

Apex Legends' Seer Concept Art

Illustration: Revival / Brett Marting

“We create the foundation for Legend and story, we base it with story, we take the DNA that we have from giant waterfall Roserie said. “So if you look at Horizon, she has a background in science, so we were like, ‘What is science, what could be interesting? Well, it’s an alchemist’…But then we also played with something a little more edgy, a little bit on the dark side of science. And so we have this one Event horizon the skin where she is is a little darker.

As we chat, Ferez shares her screen to show some of Seer’s concept art. His default outfit has a mix of tactics giant waterfall inspiration (light armor on the chest, functional gloves) and more playful nods to his character (he wears a crop top and wide-brimmed hat), while his other looks It embodies this visual language.

Seer .'s Afrofuturism Skin

Illustration: Revival / Brett Marting

“Seer is a performer, so a lot of the outfits have bright, bold colors and some elements that represent his personality,” explains Rosarie before Ferez swaps out to show orange. and gold, non-future his infamous hat skin, but reshaped in a way that feels more sci-fi, more fantasy, and is reminiscent of the visual language of the cultural movement.

“The skins allow people a window into an alternate fantasy world of him, so we have the hat, but how do we make the elements that we have?” push and pull the details? We were always trying to find that core anchor…and then that became the kind of class that we started building different interfaces on.” Ferez flips through some other images of the team’s sketching process. I caught a glimpse Catalyst’s newest character many repetitions, some more inclined Crazy Maxothers more Fifth element.

Fashion forward

Loba, Valkyrie and Bangalore

I see, someone at Respawn is a Louboutin fan.
Image: revival

outside giant waterfall universe, Respawn’s design team told me they’ve always stuck with the fashion scene for inspiration. And lately, it’s easy to make connections between effective, tactical military equipment of giant waterfallthe world in the near future and fashion trends today.

street style significant change towards gorpcore (comfortable, functional outdoor wear) and tech clothes (cyberpunk streetwear created to protect the wearer against the elements) post-covid-19 pandemic, which means shipping pants with tons of pockets, hiking boots and anti-aging materials The weather isn’t just for your cousin, who hiked the entire Appalachian Trail last year—they’re for everyone.

Lifeline’s basic outfit can be found on some people strolling around Brooklyn on a warm spring day: layered ripped tank tops, baggy pants that look like they can be zipped into shorts or capris , heavy, bulky and two perfect combat boots’00s space cake on top of her head. The same goes for Rampart, Ferez tells me his looks are taken directly from street fashion.

The blue-collar weapon operator wears a mechanic’s overalls that are partially unlocked to reveal a crop top underneath and a high, messy ponytail against the background skin. Ferez’s mood board for Rampart (British-Indian) features photos of rapper MIA and streetwear shots of women in jumpsuits randomly falling off their shoulders, with some shoes Hypebeast sports are well coordinated.

A Wraith skin from Apex Legends Season 10

Illustration: Resurrection / Xiao Yang

“With Rampart, we wanted to bring out all the flavors of street fashion. We wanted to give the whole story behind her, being an underground mechanic, she’s a craftsman, she doesn’t care what people think. She has her own style, so it’s very unique to her,” explains Ferez. “The most important thing is to try to find that attitude for a character… in this case, Rampart leaned heavily on that streetwear style, but kept a part of her culture for her sake. Being British of Indian descent, it was important to bring certain colors, certain stereotypes and certain things to her.

“Frequently, we find ourselves returning to street fashion to bring that contemporary and modern side to our Legends,” says Ferez. “I find street fashion very inspiring because it is based on people using clothes to create their own identity.”

Respawn design team’s love of fashion is probably why Wraith has tabis in her season 10 skin (pictured above), right? Or why one of Crypto’s most popular skins, featuring a colorful life jacket, wild sneakers, and giant gold chain, is called exaggerated beast? That’s definitely why Loba’s Purple Reign Skin (and Bangalore and Valkyrie leather is designed to match it) has a tribute to Christian Louboutin red soles icon.

top legend‘ the characters look good because their design is perpendicular giant waterfall Meet the street fashions and their variety gives players the opportunity to choose whoever they feel drawn to, outside of their equipment and abilities in the current meta. That’s why my formerly bald ass is obsessed with getting bald Wraith skinand why, to this day, I still use it with a wry smile on my face.


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