Having released with no marketing campaigns, no public betas and no announcements even, it was actually amazing to see Apex Legends rise to the top of Twitch as the most watched game, dethroning Fortnite and League of Legends. So, even though it entered the crowded market space of battle royale games, what got players so hooked? I strongly believe that even though top streamers were paid pretty hefty amounts to play this game, that is not why it attracted so many players. I believe what attracted those players was the fact that it was a free-to-play game that had no bugs at launch, no pay-to-win formulas and that it was very well optimized (I play on an Intel i7 8700k and Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 config), which, nowadays, is a very hard combination to find. 

Respawn's Apex Legends

I would definitely not call myself a pro at battle royale games but I have good experience with them. In the first few hours into Apex Legends, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was able to pick it up, learn the mechanics and adapt to the character abilities. Though I mainly concentrated on Wraith because I saw Shroud (Twitch streamer) play the character like a boss and thought, “yeah I can do that too”. I couldn’t. But now, having spent about 70 hours in the game, I still can’t. No one can. 

Anyway, Apex Legends is a first-person only shooter that drops 60 players divided into squads of 3 into a moderately sized map where they fight to be the last team standing. Typical battle royale right? Well not really. The 9 characters, or as the devs call them, “Legends”, have different abilities which switches the genre a little while still keeping it balanced. And, a very different and welcome addition, respawns. I’ll talk about that in a bit. Wraith, the “Legend” I mentioned has the active ability to “go into phase” which is disappear (not really) and become invulnerable for like 4 seconds. Her Ultimate ability allows her to create portals and all “Legends” have some passive abilities as well. This creative use of abilities by different “Legends” to get the advantage in a situation is what makes Apex Legends a strong contender in the arena of battle royales. 

Respawn's Apex Legends

Oh, and the gun-play of course. How can I not talk about gun-play in a shooter? That would be silly. Hats off to Respawn for using similar gun mechanics from their previous games ‘Titanfall’ and especially ‘Titanfall 2’, a game very close to my heart. There’s a good variety of weapons in Apex Legends and that combined with the abilities and fast-paced traversal makes for a fun experience.

It’s clear that I like the game a lot. But, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the flaws as well. I personally feel that It would have been great if we got a solo or duo mode as well along with squads of three. I prefer playing solo or teaming up with a friend. Having two random people on my squad doesn’t always work out how I want it, or how the second person wants it, or how the third person wants it. You get my point, right? Another miss on Respawn’s part is that in a span of almost 3 months since release, they haven’t really added anything to the game, except for 1 new “Legend” and 1 new gun, the Havoc energy weapon. Yeah, there are different types of ammunition as well (light, heavy, shotgun, energy). Because of this lack of new additions, the game has seen quite a drop in players and viewers. Playing the same map again and again and again does get boring after a point. 

Respawn's Apex Legends
Apex Legends vs Fortnite

Other than this, I think Apex Legends has a pretty robust system of interacting with your squad members even without voice chat. They introduced a ping system that allows you to mark locations, enemies, and loot, tell your squadmates to watch a certain location and several other handy but tactical communications. The respawn system, as I mentioned before, allows you to bring back your KIA squadmates. You do this by collecting your squadmate’s “banner” from his “death box” and running to the nearest respawn point which then summons a plane from where your previously-dead-but-now-alive squad mate jumps down. (There’s no fall damage in the game… sweet).So, In my opinion, Apex Legends is a fun battle royale that shows a lot of potential and I hope Respawn does everything they can to keep it alive for as long as possible!

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