Meet Fade, Apex Legends’ newest hero. He’s a phase-powered mercenary who, like Tracer Overwatch, can rewind time with his tactical ability, send allies and enemies to an alternate dimension with his ult, and gains a speed boost after sliding. He also has a skull mask ripped straight out of Call of Duty and, oh, right, he probably won’t ever be playable on PC or console.
That’s the big thing. Should’ve opened with that.
Apex Legends launched its mobile edition proper this week after a months-long soft-launch, which has been developed in part by Tencent’s Lightspeed Studios. Apex Mobile has being built from the ground-up on a new engine, with its own features and modes (a shockingly more involved firing range and team deathmatch among them). But the game’s launch trailer also quietly just dropped the game’s first mobile Legend.
Wording from Respawn has fluctuated between “mobile-first” and “mobile-exclusive”, though official word is that there are currently no plans to bring Fade to PC. According to Dotesports, his kit was designed specifically for mobile, and would require a significant rework to make the jump to the main game.
That mobile-specific design doesn’t just seem to map to his mechanics, either. Apex Mobile is going for a new audience, and Fade’s visual appearance feels a little more generic, to the point that he’s already being confused for a character from Hi-Rez Studio’s Rogue Company.
Shoutout to Fade’s character design being so “Shooter Guy” that Polygon mistook Chaac from Rogue Company for Fade and put a picture of him in their article covering the release of Apex Mobile 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/PjJJBFUMjpMay 16, 2022
Respawn hasn’t written off bringing Fade (or future mobile legends) to PC entirely. But the new guy arrived without any of the usual fanfare of existing Legends—Newcastle, for example, had a whole season of story buildup and two lore videos to tell us who he was and why we should care before arriving with a truck full of shields this season.
Fade is just a guy in an edgy mask who says “surging forward!” every 15 seconds. Maybe, perhaps, Apex’s handheld legends will make it to the main game someday. I just hope that when they do, they don’t feel like haphazard additions to a roster that takes great care to make each character feel like part of a larger family.