On February 5th, a new battle royale game was released seemingly out of the blue by Titanfall series developer Respawn. That game has now taken the world by storm and its called Apex Legends. But just how good Apex Legends though and could it possibly be a worthy competitor to Fortnite, the king of the battle royale genre?
This review will delve into Apex Legends, analyzing the game and what makes it different from other battle royale games as well as what it could learn from the other battle royale games out there.
Respawn’s new game is a battle royale game set in the Titanfall universe. Players are put into squads of 3 with a total of 20 squads per match. Like other battle royale games there, the game starts with players jumping out of a dropship and into the map with no gear or weapons on them. Players must scavenge around the map for weapons, shields, health packs, and other things that will help them stay alive for as long as possible. Similar to Fortnite, gear such as armor and weapons have varying degrees of rarity ranging from “Common” to “Legendary.” As the game progresses, a ring around the map will gradually become smaller and smaller, forcing teams to kill one another in hopes of being the last squad standing.
Differences From Other Battle Royale Games
While Apex Legends certainly draws a lot of inspiration from Fortnite and other battle royale games, there are a few key differences that separate it from the pack. Firstly, Apex Legends is much more team based of a game than any other battle royale game out there right now. Each player on a squad has a variety of heroes (called Legends) to choose from. Similar to games such as Overwatch, these Legends are broken up into different classes such as soldier, healer, tank, and scout. Players can’t choose the same hero as their squad mates and can only choose a hero at the beginning of the game, so planning with teammates to have the best combination of Legends is important. This adds an extra element of strategy to the game which makes it even more fun, and also encourages players to learn the play style of multiple legends in case one of their squad mates takes their primary hero. Good communication between squad mates is key for surviving till the end and the game’s mechanics make team play essential.
Another difference between Apex Legends and other battle royale games like Fortnite and PUBG is that in Apex, players have 90 seconds to get to where their team mate died and recover their “chip”. Once this is recovered, the squad mate must head to one of many respawn stations scattered across the map in order to bring their fallen squad mate back into the game. If brought back into the game, the newly revived squad mate will start off once again with nothing on them and must find new weapons, armor, etc.
At the center of this communication between teammates is the highly innovative non-verbal communication called the “Pinging System”. With the press of a button, team mates can communicate a whole array of things such as suggesting where the squad go, pointing out enemies, pointing out weapons or supplies, or even requesting more of a specific supply. The Pinging system is incredibly useful and is one of the best forms of non-verbal communication in gaming today.
The map in Apex Legends is also considerably smaller than probably any other game in the battle royale genre and it also has a smaller player count per match with only a maximum of 60 players per match. These two things work well with one another because it causes the squads to be more aware of where they drop into the map, but it can also provide them with ample amounts of time to find weapons and supplies.
With games like Titanfall 2, Respawn has gained a good reputation as creating games that have incredibly smooth mechanics and great controls. That doesn’t change with Apex Legends. Controlling your legends feels great and each one has their own unique feel. The game allows you to slide around as well as run up walls to an extent and to doing either feels incredibly fluid.
The gunplay also feels great as some weapons feel heavier than others and carry a little more kick. Finding different weapon parts scattered around the map also provides noticeable differences in gunplay based on what parts are attached. It feels a lot like Call of Duty and it’s very satisfying taking down players in rival squads, which further adds to the fun that this game provides.
Issues with the Game
As far as the gameplay goes, there’s little issues to be found. However, players may occasionally find lag and other server issues from time to time which can be frustrating. Thankfully, the game makes it easy to rejoin sessions players were in if they got disconnected. Another minor annoyance that players might find is if they are playing this game with random people online, the level of teamwork involved isn’t always the best. Aside from that, Apex Legends has the polish of a triple a game.
Where Do We Go From Here?
It’s clear that Apex Legends has a lot of potential and room to grow despite how enjoyable it is already. Respawn has already confirmed that the game will have a battle pass with 4 seasons per year just like in Fortnite. The game will have special events as well and Respawn is looking into adding crossplay in the near future. It would be interesting to see Apex have new maps added to it that present various challenges for players as well as maybe have bigger or smaller player capacity. It’s also rumored that the game will eventually add a singles and duos game modes so that people who prefer playing alone don’t need to worry about cooperating with the their team mates. Much like Overwatch, new heroes will be introduced over time adding new styles of gameplay.
Bigger Than Fortnite?
While it’s way too early to jump to any conclusions about the longevity of Apex Legends, it’s already had a better launch than Fortnite did. In the span of only 72 hours, the game had been played by over 10 million people with 1 million recurring players. By the end of the game’s first week, it has been played by over 25 million people, an achievement that took Fortnite 2 months to reach. Another thing that has helped Apex off to a near-perfect launch is the amount of streamers on Twitch and Mixer that have made the jump over to the new battle royale game. Streamers such as Ninja, Dr. Disrespect, and Shroud have made the switch to Apex Legends and have played it almost nonstop, causing it to be the number 1 streamed game on Twitch and Mixer over the past week. It’s hard to say if Apex Legends will dethrone Fortnite to become king of the battle royale games, but it definitely seems like it will take a sizable chunk out of Fortnite’s player base, offering up a more mature, team based game.
Respawn’s Apex Legends does a lot of things right and not many things wrong as they have now entered the battle royale scene with this incredibly addicting and fun game. From fluid game controls to great team mechanics, Apex Legends is not a game to be missed by fans of battle royale games or even team-based shooters. The game borrows all the right things from other battle royale games as well as adding it’s own unique style and feel. In time, Apex could give Fortnite a run for its money in becoming the go-to game for battle royale players. The game is free to download now on PC, PS4, and Xbox with it possibly coming to the Switch sometime in the near future.
Overall Score: 9/10
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