Apex Legends' 14th season, officially known as Hunted, is right around the corner, and Respawn is currently in full-on hype mode ahead of its 9th August arrival. And now, following the official unveiling of new hero Vantage last week, the developer now confirmed a major overhaul for its original Kings Canyon map, alongside a level cap increase for players.
Kings Canyon has, of course, been around since Apex Legends' launch back in 2019, and Season 14's extensive overhaul aims to improve some of the ageing map's more troublesome issues. Before we get to the mechanical stuff though, there's perhaps the most immediately obvious change - upgraded lighting and a new skybox, both intended to make for a "more immersive, vibrant environment".
In terms of gameplay changes though, there's the new Relic point of interest, which is designed to help create a little bit more breathing space on the map in the early to mid game so squad battles are less likely to be interrupted by third parties. This has been achieved by filling the Skull Town and Thunderdome area sunk in Season 5 with sand and building a new series of winding, interconnected buildings for fresh skirmishes, complete with a giant skull centerpiece.
"With Relic," explains Respawn, "we saw an opportunity to bring back gameplay that many players loved from the original Kings Canyon, but with a POI more appropriately sized for the overall health of the map."
In addition to Relic, Kings Canyon will see a number of other POIs modified as part of Season 14. The Cage, for instance, has seen changes to reduce its defensibility in what is a high traffic area and make it easier for squads to put more pressure on dominant teams. The hillside POI near Containment has been similarly opened up, and Broken Relay (which will be renamed to Basin) has had some buildings restored and zipline gameplay reintroduced over the ravine.
Additionally, smaller map changes have been made throughout Kings Canyon, with the likes of caves and connecting bridges altered to improve traffic flow and pace throughout.
That's not quite it for Kings Canyon, however; Respawn has also significantly overhauled loot on the map, meaning players can look forward to rebalanced loot distribution across POIs, increased loot counts (said to be comparable to the quantity seen on Olympus), and improved loot quality that should "feel much more intuitive".
Further details on Season 14's Kings Canyon overhaul can be found in Respawn's latest blog post, which arrives alongside the news that Hunted will also introduce a new level cap increase from the current limit of 500, making it possible for players to earn an additional 345 Apex Packs through account progression.
Expect more on Apex Legends' 14th season as its Tuesday, 9th August launch approaches.