The start of Apex Legends’ second season earlier this week brought a lot of changes to the game. It’s still the Apex you know, but everything from the weapons, to the way they’re balanced, to the Legends you can choose to play as, are a little bit different now. But none of these changes are even close to as big as what season 2 brought to the map itself.
The Apex Legends map was the most consistent thing about the game during its first season. A weapon was added, Octane was released, and bug fixes and balance changes arrived every few weeks, but Kings Canyon stayed the same. But in the introductory video for season 2 we saw a mysterious and malevolent force disable the barrier around the map that was protecting it from local wild life. This unleashed the leviathans onto the map and they left a trail of destruction on their path from one side of the island to the other.
The leviathans themselves don’t appear to be hostile. In fact, the leviathans don’t even seem to notice the Legends below them battling it out in the Kings Canyon arena. They’re simply too big to care about 60 people running around with guns.
But regardless of their intentions, now that the leviathans are wandering the map, Kings Canyon is a mess. Some areas that were once pristine villages full of stilt houses have been completely destroyed, leaving behind open fields strewn with wreckage. Where the houses once stood are now one or two freestanding walls for cover. It’s all the same geography you knew from season 1, but with only ruins where the buildings used to be. It’s a change that will take some getting used to, but after a while the remains of these villages you used to know will just become more cover on the map.
One village, known as Bridges in season 1, got a slightly different treatment. It has been completely rebuilt into an entirely new area called The Cage. As its name implies, the new area is a giant cage, designed to contain some of the flyers that are roaming the skies of Kings Canyon. At the center of The Cage is a massive building, one of the tallest in all of Apex, with a variety of rooms and an almost maze-like structure. Around three of the sides there’s hallway that runs along the cliff walls that surround the tower.
These two buildings give the area an entirely different feel from anything else on the map. It’s easy to imagine three or four teams landing in different areas of The Cage, all getting lost in their own separate firefights with other teams. It creates longer range engagements, with only narrow pathways to get from one building to the others, forcing players to stand their ground and shoot, rather than just sliding their way to a new location like so many of Apex’s other areas.
Respawn did something similar with the area of the map that was once known as Cascade. In season 2, that area’s called Containment and it too features a blend of ruins and new pristine buildings that feels a little bit different from anything you could find in season 1.
Areas like The Cage and Containment, that introduce a slightly new style of gameplay to Apex Legends’ map are exactly the kind of additions that make seasons fun in battle royale games. While the destroyed areas of the Kings Canyon are fun, and make for an refreshing change of pace in familiar areas, it’s the entirely new stuff that’s most exciting. With all the areas of the map that have been damaged by the leviathan so far, hopefully we’ll get even more new and rebuilt areas in Kings Canyon for season 3.