Apex Legends

Introduction

You would figure with the rising popularity of the Battle Royale genre of gaming that EA wouldn’t be far behind. Well here they are! Thankfully they opted for Respawn to create their version titled ‘Apex Legends’. There isn’t much to say with the introduction because by now the formula is quite obvious but I’ll give it a shot.

Apex Legends sees a 3 man cell drop into the map against another 19 teams (taking your total player count to 60). You select one of 8 characters which all have a unique ability similar to Overwatch. It uses the same formula of Blackout, Fornite etc. where the map shrinks. The map itself doesn’t seem to have a confirmed size anywhere, though it does feels smaller than its competitors because of how easy it is to get from A to B. The unique ‘ping’ system and ability to respawn team-mates are 2 new features (or that I’ve experienced anyway) in the battle royale genre.

Though I haven’t played it, I would surmise this is more like Realm Royale than Blackout or Fortnite.

Initial Reaction

I’ve played enough battle royale games now to be quite confident about what I’m going to get and the overall experience I’m going to have. I have a pre-determined expectation of how long it’ll keep me interested for, who it will be for and how it’s part of a genre that delivers a similar experience no matter which one you play. If I sound like I’m trashing battle royale games, I don’t mean to be. The above could be said for just about any genre, I just feel like it’s more specific to FPS PVP (battle royale, team deathmatch, capture the flag etc.)

So Apex Legends dropped with no advertising whatsoever…it just kinda happened. I’m a big fan of Titanfall and I feel like once I had my first drop, I remembered why I was such a big fan of Respawn. Their gameplay has a profound fluidity which is second to none. Everything from wall climbing to gun play has a certain crispness or smoothness to it – and I love it. Apex Legends has been no different. It’s Titanfall meets battle royale.

I was quite interested in the Paladins battle royale game but never got around to playing it. I was interested in the idea of an Overwatch/Blackout hybrid because I feel it would just give a more lasting experience. It requires good teamwork to form a team that compliments each other and when it comes to adding more to the game, it’s feels more interesting to have a character with new abilities instead of just one that looks different.

Positives

I could go on and on about the gameplay more, but I want to pinpoint what makes this different or more enjoyable for me so I’m going to start with the ping system. It’s incredible how something so little as pressing (or holding) RB/R1/(PC Button to tell someone where you’re going can add to a game. This means if you’re not comfortable on mic, don’t have one or just prefer not to use one, you can still effectively communicate with your team to tell them you’re going here, or there’s an enemy there, or you want to stay and defend an area. I feel like writing it down as something that I would try and sell you on is probably stupid but when you’ve played it you’ll understand.

Next up is the respawn feature, which sadly some people don’t even give you a chance to do. When you die in Apex Legends, it’s not necessarily the end. Your team mate(s) have a chance to be stealthy and grab your tags or avenge you and grab your tags. With these they can had to a green point on the map and drop your dead buddies back into the game. They land with nothing but even just having that chance to have all 3 of you together could be the difference. It adds more camaraderie into the mix as it feels like a more team based experience and you find yourself rooting for your team when you die, instead of just quitting.

I’m sure it was also apparent that I love the overall ‘feel’ of the game. I thought I’d struggle to find something more refined than Blackout but Apex brings home the bacon when it comes to a polished experience. They’ve just taken something that works with the Titanfall movement system and it works so well. Sometimes the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is exactly what industries should do and Respawn have stayed true to that. What this means for Titanfall 3 remains to be seen, but maybe that’s a different post all together…

Negatives

It’s very hard to point out a negative on a free to play game but the one thing that annoys me is players leaving when you can still pick up their tags. I’d like to see some form of reporting system where if a player leaves prematurely, you can report them. I don’t mind people leaving once their tags expire but to split up from the team, get killed and leave within 45 seconds of a game is just a waste of everyone’s time. I can’t quite remember which game it was, but if you left by quitting the game you would end up with a cooldown before you could search again. It’s a big problem for me and though it isn’t the games fault, it is something that needs to be addressed.

Conclusion

I’m really enjoying Apex Legends. I’m not going to label it the best battle royale ever, I’m not going to say this is the Fortnite killer and I will enjoy Apex Legends for what it is. It will be interesting to see what happens going forward but Respawn are off to a great start, proven by the streaming numbers and player base it has acquired in such a short space of time. I’m giving it 4 stars because I think it all comes down to improvement, proper support and keeping it fresh and that is what truly determines how good this game is. So far so good though, I’m having fun and Apex is giving me something to play as I take a break from Call of Duty.

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