Apex Legends' new hero Ash hunts squads with Titanfall-inspired abilities
She's a bit like Wraith, but much more aggressive
Apex Legends' next season, Escape, kicks off next week, and it introduces the new playable character Ash. She's a simulacrum (read: human brain in robot body) that you might recognise as the evil pilot from Titanfall 2's Into The Abyss level, or as the overseer of Apex Legends' 3v3 Arenas mode. Now she's descending into the Apex games herself, and having taken her for a spin already, I reckon she has some delightfully aggressive abilities that Wraith players in particular are going to enjoy.
My first, and probably most important, impression of Ash is that she doesn't feel too overpowered. The previous Legend Seer launched in a rather oppressive state, but this time around Respawn have made sure that the new character doesn't dominate the battlefield too much.
Having said that, she is an offensive character, and has some nifty abilities that help her hunt down enemy squads. The first is her passive, Marked For Death, which lets her use her pilot data knife on death boxes, and reveals the location of the enemy squad that, well, created said death box. It's some of the most useful info you can get in Apex - you could figure out where the enemies that killed your friends are and go on a proper revenge mission, or simply use it to avoid a fight. It does seem geared towards encouraging players to hunt though. Ash is a rather murderous lady, after all.
"We thought that using the death box had a cool connection to Ash's past," Respawn said during a presentation. "As a simulacrum she has a complicated relationship to death because she's mastered it, in a way. We also felt this was a cool way we could bring in her pilot data knife, although in this situation it's less about hacking the death boxes, but having special access to information based on her role as the Apex [Arenas] commissioner."
Next, we have her tactical ability, Arc Snare. It throws out a sort of grenade that slows enemies caught in it (and will drag flying enemies out of the air). They can still shoot and break free if they try hard enough, but it's designed to hold them in place for a short time, either to stop folks from fleeing, or simply leave them stuck while you go in for the kill.
"This ability started as a version of the arc wave from the Ronin titan, but underwent many different variations to help it fit in Apex," the devs said. "The slow projectile speed and lack of an arc are more reminiscent of the Thunderbolt weapon from Titanfall 2."
Lastly, her ultimate, Phase Breach, is kind of like a more aggressive version of Wraith's portal. Ash opens a void rift, and dashes through it reappearing a decent distance from where she was previously standing. It's very quick, she has to go somewhere in her line-of-sight, and it's only one way, but it does briefly stay open for teammates to follow her through. She can use this to get out of fights, or to aggressively push other squads. While it's not quite as versatile as Wraith's ult, it does let Ash fill a similar role to her. Due to this, I can see some of the more competitive Wraith main's switching over to Ash to take advantage of her speedier abilities.
Ash arrives in Apex's next season, Escape, next week on Tuesday the 2nd of November. The game is getting a sunny new battle royale map too, and an SMG that'll also be familiar to Titanfall fans.
To get a head start with the new bot, check out our Apex Legends Ash guide for some helpful tips and tricks.