Today, Respawn adds some of the most exciting stuff to Apex Legends that I think they've added yet. Call me over-excited if you will, but I've tried the new 3v3 Arenas game mode and it's well good. I've also had a go at the new walking Titanfall reference, Valkyrie, and she has a delightfully satisfying jetpack. A jetpack! All the best games have jetpacks. Both of these excellent additions arrived today in Apex's ninth season, Legacy, alongside a new weapon, new maps, and a whole lot of balance changes.
First up, the new mode. Arenas is a permanent 3v3 mode available alongside the battle royale. It offers short, sweet matches so you don't have to fully commit to a battle royale session, and without extra squads jumping in on your fights, you're freed from the tyranny of third-partying.
The mode puts you in a team deathmatch where squadmates can be revived, but not fully respawned if they properly die. The victors are the first squad to win three rounds, or lead by two wins. Arenas is pretty different from any game mode we've seen in Apex so far (there's a buy round, and new maps, and so much more detail to them), so do take a look at one of the matches I played if you want to know what you're getting into.
As for the new Legend, Valkyrie has landed with a frankly concerning number of abilities. Her passive ability is her jetpack (made from from her old dad Viper's Northstar Titan), which allows her to zoom into the air at will, as long she has some rocket fuel in the tank (she works a bit like Pharah from Overwatch in that you'll need to spend some time on the ground to get fuel back). Her tactical shoots a swarm of missiles in a rectangular pattern on the ground in front of her, like a mini Bangalore ult. Then her ultimate lets her grab her squadmates and fly way up into the sky, and once she reaches the apex of the jump, it turns into a skydive so you can relocate - just like when you first drop into a match.
On top of all that, Valk is also a recon Legend. This means she has a couple of extra passives that give her info about the ring and her enemies. Her secondary passive (you know, next to the jetpack) highlights enemy players when she's in a skydive as long as they're in her line of sight. Also, like other recon Legends, Valk can scan survey beacons letting her and her team know the next ring location in a battle royale match.
The Legacy update also adds a brand new weapon, the Bocek bow. It's a precision weapon that acts like most video game bows: holding down your fire button will draw the bow, and releasing it once it's pulled all the way back will make it go further and do the most damage. Arrows are a new ammo type you'll find around the battle royale. They're pretty limited, but the nice thing is you can collect them after you've shot them - whether that's pulling some out of the ground, or grabbing them out of your enemy's deathbox is up to you and your aim.
Olympus has an update too. When dropping on that map, players will see a new docked ship, the Icarus, which happened to be carrying parasitic plants that have spread throughout the docking area. Searching around on Icarus, you'll be able to find key cards, which will open a vault full of good loot, just like the ones on World's Edge.
Also: players now start a battle royale match with white armour, a helmet and knockdown shield; each Legend has a selection of emotes you can unlock; the low profile trait (which made it so Wraith, Lifeline and Wattson took more damage because their hitboxes were small) has been removed; Lifeline's rework which takes away her shield when reviving squadmates is now in place; Octane and Horizon have been nerfed; Loba's dopey teleporting bracelet has been fixed; and so, so much more.
This is a truly beefy update, so do yourself a favour and have a look at the full patch notes.