Apex Legends is making waves from every corner of the gaming world with what looks to be the most unexpected revival of the Battle Royale (BR) genre since its introduction in 2015. So put your Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) away because we’re here to talk about why the hype of this new shooter survival is worth jumping the wagon!
Okay firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room – Apex Legends is obviously yet another BR and it’s got the numbers to back up its popularity. Ten MILLION downloads in three days to be exact and then a whoppin’ 25 MILLION a week later! It really is no surprise how this genre continues to remain so relevant especially since Respawn, the developer of the game, has chosen the Free-To-Play route which not only gives anyone a reason to play but also being accessible on both PC AND consoles.
For those of you who know me well, I HATE BR games. Not because I suck at the genre (which I really do) but simply because it has become the point of stagnation for the gaming industry where companies just get lazy. You could argue about the business aspect of companies maximising profit through microtransactions etc. but to me, gaming has always been about innovation and having a repeated formula be a quick means of earning our money as consumers is just a crime. We are now at the peak of revolutionising game development yet we hinder ourselves with something that really stunts our growth for the sake of being Tom Cruise in the Edge of Tomorrow and that’s just disappointing for me.
With my rant out of the way, I am happy to be proven wrong when it comes to Apex Legends.
Right out of the gates, I LOVE the premise of the game from character design, music, game play, backstory, world and overall play style that’s just fast paced and adrenaline rushed through in and out. These small things make it stand out from the BR pioneers, PUBG and Fortnite, who not only struggle with the four-year-old genre but also cater to a specific audience of players – the elitists and the young (which for which, I’ll leave that to you to decide).
Apex Legends borrows a lot of what made Titanfall, another game developed by Respawn, great and threw in its own twist of what makes a better BR game. Fun fact: Apex Legends is actually based in the same world as Titanfall!
What I love most about this game is its hybrid concept of games like Overwatch and Evolve, how it extracted the qualities of those two and dashed it with the BR platform with a pinch of improvements that previous titles never adopted. The characters known as Legends give the game personality and having a small roster makes it easy for players to decide and focus on who they want to learn the ropes with.
Legends vary from Tank, Healer, DPS and another unique class to this game, Tracker. You may be familiar with these roles if you’ve already played Overwatch so this was the first appeal for me when I started to get into the game. Playing a specific role adds a whole new dynamic feel to a BR squad, which in this game consists of only three members, but doesn’t restrict you to a traditional role play style. You could go with a healer and still go nuts for kills in a fray – that’s just fun taken to a whole new level!
Much like Overwatch, each character also has Ultimates that act as game changers when things start to get intense. You don’t need to rely on superior aiming skills, high end loot or tactical positioning as much anymore since these ultimates can push the odds in your favour. Characters like Wraith could setup a portal to retreat or reposition the team between two locations, Bangalore could hail an airstrike to flush your enemies out of a narrow corridor and Bloodhound can just go beast mode to track and hunt down nearby enemies in a frenzy.
There is so much potential here that players can experiment with, not to mention make for great comeback gameplays to share online.
The ping system in Apex is another great feature for this BR title because let’s face it, sometimes you just don’t want to talk to your stranger filled squad when you’re going solo. You can ping details such as enemy location, the direction you’re watching out for and even call dibs on loot your teammates spot. A useful ping I found myself abusing a lot was the “Place has been looted” call which saves my squad so much more time from having to scavenge a location.
But what truly distincts this game from the other BR titles is the squad ability to respawn. After a teammate is knocked down and kill, a fixed amount of time is given for you to collect a banner off their corpse and loot. This allows you to respawn your teammate at a respawn station located throughout the map – giving you an added advantage or maybe even springing the trap of an enemy squad. This was a great pull by the developers in adding another means of keeping players invested in the long round where often they would quit as soon as they die. Another round for Respawn!
A few other quick mentions worth noting is that there is NO fall damage, no matter how high you fall from, the general ability to parkour makes walls and other obstacles a breeze to climb over and having sliding in between your sprint saves lives.
There are more than enough reasons for you to try the game out, even if you have no interest in such games, Apex Legends has covered enough grounds for you to blindly jump in without even looking. It is overall fun and having a squad of your friends just party it out through every round makes this BR title a great content source of livestreamers and pro players – no matter how well you play.
Some of the cons you might probably need to keep in mind is that the game is still in its early days so you can expect some glitches and broken tactics exploited by players online. A reliable internet connection is definitely crucial and those on PC, cranking up your graphic settings above medium helps keep the crisp details of this game an edge you’d want to have over your opponent.
We can expect a promising future for Apex Legends as they continue to grow since Respawn has already teased the potential of having new maps, characters as well as cross-platform playability down the line – bridging the divide and hopefully balancing out the advantage over the various platforms. But don’t expect this game to go eSports in anyway, Battle Royale games in general are competitive but in no way are they a viable means of competitive sportsmanship.
Apex Legends is now available Free-to-Play on PC, Playstation and Xbox One!
Game Score: 9/10