Apex Legends' Iron Crown Collection event is now live in a new update, bringing with it a new, temporary solos mode and at least seven stylish character skins that mix medieval armor, post-apocalyptic looks, pirate apparel, and other themes.
The Iron Crown Collection is bigger, much more expensive, and more complicated than I expected. It adds a whole separate unlock system for 24 time-limited legendary and epic items—a mixture of character skins, gun skins, and other cosmetics. It also adds a separate seasonal currency, Crowns, for unlocking separate items in the Iron Crown Event Shop. You earn Crowns by completing special Iron Crown challenges (separate and concurrent with Season 2 challenges).
VIDEO: I open an Iron Crown pack, plus a look at the Iron Crown Collection page in-game.
You can get up to two Iron Crown packs by completing the tasks "Complete 20 Daily Challenges" and "Deal 25,000 damage," but mostly they can be purchased with Apex Coins. The major difference is that Iron Crown packs cost 700 coins, not 100. Like normal packs, Iron Crown packs contain three things, but two of those items are guaranteed to be Crowns, meaning they essentially only contain one item.
A special Heirloom item, the second such high-tier item in the game, Bloodhound's "Raven's Bite," can only be purchased for 3500 Apex Coins, effectively $35. You can only buy Bloodhound's axe after you unlock the 24 other items in the set.
As explained in the full event details that are viewable in-game, unspent Crowns will be converted into an equivalent amount of Apex crafting metals after the event ends.
Some of the Iron Crown Collection's skins are Apex's best-looking so far, particularly the new Lifeline, Bloodhound, and Wraith legendaries. But I didn't expect the packs that they sit in to be seven times more expensive than a normal Apex pack, or be so difficult to obtain for free-to-play players. Spending $21 got me a Legendary Wattson skin, an Epic Havoc Skin, an Epic Octane frame, and 90 Crowns. Ouch.
In smaller news, Apex's map continues to transform with this incremental update. Legless daredevil Octane has taken over a western edge of the map (it looks like it's south of Airbase) and thrown down an extreme sports playground of sorts, with a fiery ring sitting in the middle of a few ramps and jump pads. This may have been intended as a nod to Apex's recent tournament appearance at the X Games in Minneapolis, which was later cancelled from broadcast on ESPN2. If anyone is lucky enough to fight through a final ring in this spot, please send me your clip.
We also learned that Respawn will be running a bonus XP weekend this Friday through Sunday, August 16-18. Below, I've screenshotted a few of the new skins.