Apex Legends Cell Season 2 has been going nicely, largely as a result of battle royale recreation’s newest playable legend, Rhapsody. Like Fade, Rhapsody is described as a “mobile-first” legend, which implies she’s unique to the cell spin-off of Apex Legends–at least for now. As a full-time DJ and part-time hacker, Rhapsody is an extremely enjoyable help legend, possessing highly effective sound-based talents that disrupt opponents and improve her allies.
At first of Season 2, many players–myself included–believed Rhapsody was put into Apex Legends Cell as early as she was for her final potential, Rowdy’s Rave, which erects a flashing wall of sunshine that blocks an opponent’s sight and scans. It appeared like Rhapsody was a preemptive measure to maintain Apex Legends’ scan meta from popping up in Apex Legends Cell. And though that meta did play a component in Rhapsody’s design, that is not the whole foundation behind her design.
For context, the scan meta has been a scorching matter within the Apex Legends group for years. A number of characters have talents that enable them to scan enemies and reveal their place by way of strong objects–it’s basically built-in wallhacking, and there is not any technique of countering it. As you may surmise, having the ability to see your enemy by way of a wall unopposed is an extremely helpful ability in a first-person shooter, encouraging squads to have not less than one legend who can scan–like Bloodhound or Seer–in order to have a greater likelihood at successful.
Coping with the scan meta has change into a posh difficulty, as scans have developed with the addition of latest characters. Ash’s potential to disclose the place of a participant’s killers is taken into account a scan, for instance, as is Fuse’s potential to spotlight all enemies caught in his final potential, The Motherlode. Even two of the talents for Apex Legends Season 14’s new character, Vantage, are thought of scans, although neither works by way of partitions like most different scan legends. With no singular definition of what a scan is, a tough counter within the console/PC recreation for all scans can be grossly overpowered–explaining Respawn’s hesitance so as to add an “anti-scan legend” to Apex Legends.
However in Apex Legends Cell, the place the one scanning legend as of Season 2 is Bloodhound, Respawn has a possibility to dissuade that technique from ever taking prominence by curating what kind of scanning legends ultimately make it into the sport and what methods are in place to counter them–counters like Rhapsody, the primary true anti-scan legend.
“Rhapsody’s final is unquestionably some good counterplay to most of the scan-based talents on the market,” Apex Legends Cell senior gameplay designer Jason Shifter informed GameSpot. “We love when gamers discover new methods to play in our recreation, so once we consider alternatives for brand spanking new legends, we all the time take a look at present, previous, and potential future metas. When Rhapsody was created, we wished to satisfy the ability fantasy of controlling sound. So the logical subsequent step was to judge how her talents would match into the present dynamics after which resolve how far to take it.”
The Apex Legends Cell group likes how Rhapsody has carried out up to now, embodying their philosophy of making characters that make gamers really feel highly effective and intelligent. “She landed within the house that we felt was a wholesome addition to the present meta,” Shifter stated.
The character has stunned Respawn too, because the group has seen information suggesting gamers are adapting her primarily outdoors-focused potential package to combat indoors. And regardless of her function as a help legend, some gamers are utilizing Rhapsody’s talents extra offensively or to compensate for Apex Legends Cell’s present lack of recon characters.
“Gamers additionally make the most of [Rowdy’s Rave] to create a flanking alternative to get to a extra advantageous place,” Apex Legends Cell lead recreation designer Chad Wilson stated. “We have now seen groups coordinating together with her to create a excessive mobility group paired with Octane’s soar pads. We have now additionally seen gamers using her [passive] potential to efficiently observe legends and changing into a low-key ‘tracker’ character. One cool tactic I have been seeing an increasing number of is utilizing her final as a diversion tactic. Since gamers cannot see in the event you’re behind the wall, they will usually shoot by way of it considering you are there even whenever you’re not. It is the proper option to get opponents to disclose their areas and catch them off guard whenever you seem out of nowhere.”
I actually like Rhapsody too, however I am biased. I’ve wished a sound-based legend in Apex Legends for years, although I all the time imagined they’d be extra like an auditory variation of Mirage, tricking opponents with noise versus holograms. It did not take the Apex Legends Cell group years to design and create Rhapsody so I sadly cannot take credit score for manifesting her existence, however it did take a while–the technique of her creation took months.
“Every considered one of these legends takes some time to create, nonetheless, the precise size of time is decided by the variety of new mechanics and making certain there’s sufficient time to iterate and refine them to make sure our mobile-first legends really feel simply pretty much as good as the opposite legends within the Apex Video games,” Shifter stated. “However creating a brand new legend goes past simply creating the character mechanics. We additionally have to create all the supporting content material our gamers count on for brand spanking new legends: Perks, [cinematics], their backstory and lore. All of that work mixed is well over 10 months for every mobile-first legend.”
When creating a personality like Rhapsody, there’s additionally the third-person perspective to think about. Apex Legends Cell helps third-person play, and meaning character fashions and skills for brand spanking new characters have to be designed in a means that gamers perceive what they’re doing and what’s taking place to them whether or not they’re enjoying in first-person or third-person.
“Third-person [mode] performs an enormous function,” Apex Legends Cell artistic director Kevin Childress stated. “It is a particular Cell-first function that we have to have fun, because it permits gamers to see themselves enjoying within the cool world we’re constructing. [Rhapsody’s drone] Rowdy was particularly necessary right here to ascertain third-person visible language and provide gamers one thing superior to take a look at whereas operating and gunning. We’re all the time asking ourselves, ‘How does it look in third-person? It must be superior there too!’ Not solely are we reviewing the abilities–it contains every part from run animations, slides, idles, and even how every legend holds weapons in distinctive methods primarily based on their personalities.”
Rhapsody additionally stands out within the Apex Legends universe’s playable roster (composed of 24 faces in the event you depend all of the legends throughout each the PC/console recreation and cell recreation) when it comes to each her colour scheme and skills. Whereas most of the playable characters function muted colours for his or her default pores and skin, Rhapsody rocks a vibrant purple. Her talents are additionally all extremely flashy and noisy–it’s laborious to overlook her presence in a match. Apex Legends has featured characters with outgoing personalities and obnoxiously apparent talents earlier than, however nothing fairly like Rhapsody.
“Rhapsody’s hometown is Kómma, which has robust cyberpunk designs and colors–purple being considered one of them,” Apex Legends Cell lead artist Bernie Kang informed me. “We additionally wished her colour scheme to face out amongst the present legend lineup, so purple was an apparent selection for the group.”
“Rhapsody’s background is about performing concert events in an notorious nightlife metropolis, which is each an auditory and visible expertise, so we wished gamers to really feel like she might drop a large celebration anyplace on the battlefield with loud music and dazzling lights,” Apex Legends Cell lead author Mike Rosenthal added. “She bombards the senses as a technique.”
To make sure Rhapsody can be the most effective she could possibly be, the Apex Legends Cell group sought consultants whereas creating her. Written as a Vietnamese girl, the group wished to make sure Rhapsody was designed precisely, and so Respawn shaped a Neighborhood Council–which included, amongst others, the likes of G4TV host Gina Darling, Apex Legends streamer SamanthaKronos, ZA/UM author Elise Trinh, and Respawn lead environmental artist Leah Augustine–to present suggestions on the character’s look, mannerisms, and lore.
We hosted a Neighborhood Council whereas sprucing off our newest @PlayApexMobile Legend Rhapsody—one of many some ways we attempt to make sure correct illustration. Grateful for the suggestions from Vietnamese girls in our gaming group!
Snippet from Gina on her expertise from @G4TV ❤️ pic.twitter.com/5BXsw4L7o0
— Karen (@kalyrical) July 13, 2022
“Getting the cultural background proper for a personality is important for us, and the best means to try this is to succeed in out to these with first-hand expertise,” Rosenthal stated. “Our UXR group organized a council of Vietnamese girls from the Apex group to supply perception into how you can develop Rhapsody. Vietnamese members at EA gave us steering as nicely. We additionally employed an unimaginable voice actress with a Vietnamese background [Xanthe Huynh] who actually introduced the character to life.”
And, in fact, the Apex Legends Cell group works with the Apex Legends group as a way to make sure the lore and backstory for the characters of each video games can coexist in a means that is smart. “We share our work and search suggestions throughout each step of improvement,” Rosenthal stated. “This helps guarantee our new characters match nicely inside the established Apex universe.”
Solely Respawn is aware of whether or not meaning we’ll ultimately see Rhapsody cross over into Apex Legends for console/PC, both as a playable legend or a personality in a Quest. For now, she’s a musical enjoyment of Apex Legends Cell and a bulwark towards the scan meta.
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