Apex Legends: The game that was announced and released on the same day recently surpassed the 25 million user mark… in just one week!
Developed by Respawn Entertainment, whose founders created the Call of Duty franchise and are best known for Titanfall and it’s critically acclaimed sequel Titanfall 2. Apex Legends looks set to continue this legacy of quality and innovation.
...fast, fluid and mobile...
Apex Legends is a first-person shooter that introduces a battle royale twist, in the vein of Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), to the Titanfall universe. The combat is fast, fluid and mobile, just as in Titanfall, and the overall experience is highly polished.
Sporting only a single map on launch, players team-up in groups of three and each select one of six, eight if you’re willing to pay, Legends to play. Each Legend possesses unique abilities and skills that can augment their team, think Overwatch’s heroes.
After selecting your Legend, the game begins with deployment from a drop ship in display-team skydive fashion.
The third player to choose a Legend becomes the Jumpmaster deciding when to drop for the whole team. You steadily watch the number of players remaining in the ship dwindle until your Jumpmaster decides to make their move and launch you towards their chosen landing zone.
This is simultaneously beautiful, terrifying and also wonderfully tactical. The Jumpmaster may have control of the drop but the team can break up if they don’t like the decision in flight. Players can also spread out a little before landing which is useful to recover maximum loot from a zone as quickly as possible.
“...you land with your fists, wits and that’s it…”
As with most battle royale type games you land with your fists, wits and that’s it. The race is immediately on to secure loot and items, which are all pleasingly familiar for players of the Titanfall franchise. I was happy to discover some of my favourite weapons made the cut from the Titanfall games and enjoyed taking people apart with the EVA-80 (an automatic shotgun).
My early team matches made me familiar with basic concepts and controls, having skipped the tutorial. Everything flows extremely well and from what I’ve seen so far movement feels intuitive and fluid.
Pick a Legend, any Legend
I was initially drawn to the Legend called Wraith, her abilities allow for phase walking, meaning she can disappear from sight and teleport the whole team around with her. Whilst this seems powerful, in practice, I couldn’t get it to work well for me. Altogether a shame as I’m a big fan of the Siren in the Borderlands series.
I left Wraith for the time-being and moved on to what looks like a repurposed Spectre from Titanfall known as Pathfinder. The Legend comes equipped with a grappling hook and a zip line that can transport the team around.
Maybe it was luck but I found that using the grapple gun combined with a shotgun allowed for rapid movement to close in on other players and maximise damage. My team and I also made good use of the zip line to traverse the environment and move into firing and looting positions faster than we could have otherwise.
So far I’ve managed to sneak a couple of hours playtime on Apex Legends and, not being the greatest fan of the battle royale format, was genuinely surprised at how much fun I had. Granted, I died many times but by the end of my first session, I was starting to get a feel for the game and earning substantial kills.
With satisfying gunplay, polished aesthetics and some unique mechanics I can see this free to play gem kicking around for a while!
If Apex Legends continues to develop and evolve with new content, maps and characters, I suspect the gaming community are in for a treat and I am keen to return to the maelstrom of battle and prove my worth.