Apex Legends is another battle royale game, only this time it brings something unique to the table, whilst making signification improvements to communication, and focusing on squad based play with no option to play solo nor duo. It was developed by Respawn, the studio behind the Titanfall franchise, and published by Electronics Arts. Releasing in the same window as another big EA release Anthem, Apex Legends came out without any multimillion dollar marketing campaign or hype. Apart from a couple of minor leaks, nobody even knew this game was being developed. The reaction from gamers around the world was overwhelmingly positive from the outset.It even went on to knock Fortnite off the top spot over on Twitch.
Intuitive and effective ping system, makes communication the best it has ever been in a battle royale game
Each round has 60 players split into squads of 3. Each squad has a jump master randomly assigned who will be in control of where you land. You can pass the jump master to someone else, or even launch solo, but I wouldn’t recommend this. There is enough danger when you’re together. Taking on 3 players solo is not easy. At set intervals the ring will begin closing in forcing players together. When outside the ring you take damage directly from your health not your shields. The damage is so minimal that with medkits you can easily run around outside the ring. I think Respawn will increase the ring damage and/or make it so you can’t use meds outside the ring.
There are currently 8 legends to chose from, each bringing different abilities to the squad. There are 3 main categories of legends as I see it offensive, defensive and support. As using weapons still plays a large role in the core combat, each legend is viable and trying each of them out is the best way to find the right legend for you.
The aim of the game and rule set is similar to every other battle royale title. You drop from an airship and must search for weapons, ammo and items which will be useful in coming out as number 1 squad. Apex Legends has one unique difference compared to PUBG and Fortnite, that being Legend specific abilities. These range from defensive bubbles, artillery strikes, ziplines, care packages and plenty more. If you don’t know which too choose then Lifelife and Bangalore are both solid picks to get started.
Second chance mechanics is a nice touch keeping squads together for longer
Take enough damage and you will begin bleeding out. You can still be revived by your squad at this point. If you get finished off don’t fret, your squad can still grab your banner and you will be drop shipped back to the battle. Most BR games have some kind of downed state/revive system but none let your team mates bring you back from the dead. Nothing is worse than being sent back to the lobby and this keeps you in the game for longer.
The gunplay is responsive and feels great, alerting you of head shots and breaking armour with satisfying audio cues. Not only do the guns feel powerful but they also sound it, making gunfights very satisfying win or lose. The graphics are decent without becoming a problem for performance at all. The map has all different backdrops from small fishing villages to industrial buildings and military bases for you to explore and strikes a nice balance between graphics, polish and terrain types.
Until now communicating with your squad has been limited to voice or text chat. The new intuitive ping system makes marking useful loot, enemy locations, where to head next simple and easy. You do still have access to in game voice and text chat but a quality of life improvement all around.
A diverse map with plenty of areas to explore and loot
The map is diverse, and has a nice variation of landscapes and features. Some areas are built up with lots of cover and buildings to move through whereas other parts of the map are wide open and surrounded by high ground. This brings me on to my next point. Not only is the map interesting but super fun and easy to get around. You have everything from zip lines connecting areas and the running slide when used downhill grants you a boost of speed. Running, sliding and climbing all happens so naturally and isn’t forced.
Legends Introduction and Breakdown
Bangalore – Is Apex’s professional soldier with a nice utility based bringing solid offence and defence. Able to evade enemies easily and cover your team from fire using smoke grenade launcher. Her ultimate is a creeping artillery barrage which if it hits can deal some serious damage. Often her ultimate is used too suppress a known enemy location.
Bloodhound – A master tracker making him one of the most powerful legends. Can see enemies through cover for a short distance but can also track enemy squads by following clues. His ultimate gives him a super boost of speed and also highlights nearby enemies around you.
Caustic – He can deploy poisonous traps, which when triggered release a deadly nox gas. His ultimate blankets the area with gas, his passive also allows him to see through the gas, giving him the upper hand in combat. You don’t get Caustic by default and will have to unlock him with in game currency.
Pathfinder – Is a popular pick due to his mobility and general utility. He can launch a grapple hook to get around. His ultimate deploys a zip line the whole squad can use. Lastly he can scan a survey beacon to reveal the rings next location. You can set up an ambush near to the next ring and pick off enemy squads moving in. His aesthetics are the most interesting in my opinion. Mobility and utility is always popular in fast paced combat.
Gibraltar – Is a more defensive legend but can be used in an offensive role just beware of his larger hit box making you easier to hit. He has a pop up arm shield which blocks fire pretty well but does break so use with care. His ultimate is basically just another version of Bangalore’s artillery strike.
Mirage – Unsure of himself and insecure Mirage uses decoys to evade and confuse the enemy. His passive cloaks for 5 seconds and drops a decoy automatically when knocked down. His ultimate sends out an army of decoys to disrupt the enemy.
Wraith – Described as an inter dimensional skirmisher she can pass into the void to break contact and also lay down portals for you and your squad to use. Voices from the void is her passive. You hear voices when your being aimed so best thing would be to move to hard cover.