While the highlight of the new Apex Legends Ice Crown event should be the addition of a limited time solo mode to the team-based game, all most players can seem to talk about are the absurdly expensive cosmetics that may just rank among the most outrageous microtransactions we’ve seen in recent years.
Apex Legends‘ new loot boxes are a bit complicated, but the gist of it is that the new Ice Crown event adds a host of (admittedly well-designed), cosmetics to the game. The problem is that the game puts all of these new cosmetics into special loot boxes and only allows you to earn two of those boxes through the course of normal play. All the other loot boxes must be purchased.
It gets worse. The event’s cosmetics are divided between 24 loot boxes. Since you can only earn two of those loot boxes, that means that you’ll need to spend £6 apiece on each of the remaining 22 loot boxes in order to unlock almost all of the event’s new items. Because of the way that Apex Legends‘ currency system works, that means that you’ll need to spend about £130 to unlock almost all of the events cosmetic items.
Believe it or not, it gets even worse. Did you notice how we said that £130 gets you “almost” all of the new event’s items? Well, that’s because there is a special heirloom item in the game (a cosmetic ax for Bloodhound’s melee attack) that can only be purchased once you have unlocked all the other new items. You read that right. You don’t even unlock the ax; you unlock the ability to purchase it for about more cash, depending on which coin bundles you choose to buy.
Regardless of your feelings towards microtransactions (especially cosmetic ones), it feels safe to say that having to spend about £130 to unlock a bunch of cosmetic items without any real alternative to invest time into unlocking them instead is a step in the wrong direction. Apex Legends was already criticised for the value of its battle pass, but at least that allowed you to grind for the items added to the game.
We worried that EA might ruin Apex Legends through though the implementation of such microtransactions, and it looks like those worries may have been justified.