After an unfortunate week of leaks and rumors, Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends is finally out on all platforms. While the game was being looked down upon by the majority of the industry, the final game has surprisingly proved the naysayers wrong. Yes, we finally have a battle royale game that’s actually better than the competition.
Apex Legends was developed as a Titanfall spinoff. After talks of a Titanfall 3 broke down with EA, Respawn set their eyes on the emerging trend of Battle Royale games. With the global sensation that Fortnite and PUBG are, many developers tried to jump on the trend. Even this year’s Call of Duty instalment ditched a story campaign in order to cater to the multiplayer masses. We also had a slew of other games which tried to get on the BR bandwagon, but for the most part failed.
The new Titanfall spinoff, which wasn’t even marketed as one, has suddenly turned into a sleeper hit of sorts. Gathering in over 1 million players in less than 8 hours, the game has certainly got to a strong start. No, there are no Titans in the game, and no you certainly cannot fly around like in EA’s other game, but Apex Legends has somehow managed to get players’ attention.
The game employs many new mechanics, the likes of which haven’t been seen in any Battle Royale game. Instead of focusing on external factors like say building structures (Fortnite) or armor management/traversal (PUBG), Apex Legends goes for a more team based approach. You can only play the game in trios, and the focus on teamwork is razor sharp. With a simple button press, you can ping weapons, enemies, ammo and even locations for teammates to know about. This changes the gameplay dramatically. See a specific ammo that one of your friends needs? Ping it. It’ll notify your whole trio about that specific location.
The game is also more focused on characters. Similar to Overwatch, Apex will let you choose which of the 8 different characters you want to play as. Each character has different abilities, similar to Javelins from EA’s other game, Anthem. This reminds me of Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege, which is also focused on character classes. Even the revive mechanic is different from other games. While you can revive your teammates when they’re knocked down, there is a certain time limit. After that, they’re gone. BUT even when you fail to revive them, you can visit a certain location near their death and revive them wholly new. This level of freedom adds a new level of replayability, where communication can be the difference between respawning or leaving the match.
While the map itself isn’t very large, it does provide a good level of verticality- something that the Titanfall universe is known for. You may not be able to fly, but you surely can use grapple guns, railings and launching pads for traversal. All these new changes make Apex Legends a satisfying experience. And I didn’t even talk about EA’s microtransactions. Yes, they’re there but most of it is cosmetic. Given the fact that Apex is a Free-to-play game, it’s acceptable. Rest assured, there are no pay-to-win policies here. Good job Respawn.
Apex Legends is free-to-play and is available on PC (Origin), PS4 and Xbox One. While you won’t need a PS Plus subscription to play it, Xbox owners will need to have Xbox Live.