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Apex Legends update nerfs Wraith’s Naruto run

Wraith now sprints as if she’s never been in anime club

A still image of Wraith from Apex Legends’ CG reveal trailer Image: Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Respawn Entertainment dropped a substantial update for Apex Legends on Monday, kicking off the battle royale game’s cross-play beta, Flashpoint limited-time mode, and the Aftermarket Collection Event. According to Respawn’s patch notes, the update also includes balance changes to Legends like Bloodhound, Wraith, Loba, and Pathfinder.

One big change made to Wraith is her sprinting animation. She no longer runs like Naruto (or a Naruto fan intent on storming Area 51), hunched over with aerodynamic arm placement. The Apex Legends News Twitter account has a clear, side-by-side illustration of this change, which is breaking hearts across the Apex Legends community.

Why change it now? For a very good reason, Respawn says. “Wraith dominates,” the developer explains in its patch notes, and instead of further nerfing her abilities (and running the risk of making Wraith “a lot less fun to play”), Respawn looked at one of her other unique characteristics: how she runs.

Respawn discovered that Wraith’s sprinting animations “are unique in how much they artificially shorten her (by hunching over), thus shrinking her shootable area from the perspective of the enemy. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but taken together with her already small hitbox, it’s a lot of power.” Wraith’s new sprinting animations are “much more upright and expose a larger area of her body to gunfire,” Respawn says.

The developer continues: “Now we know her old sprint was iconic and we hate to see it go as well, but we believe this is the best way by far of bringing her in line without having to hit her abilities again. Depending on what we see after these animations go live, we may even be able to put some power back into her abilities (no promises though).”

More details about Apex Legends’ changes are available at EA’s website.