Photo via CC0 Public Domain
By: Hugh Brown
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y.- “Apex Legends” is a fantastic mashup of all of the recent video game trends. On one hand it’s a battle royale, complete with the descent from the sky, emphasis on scavenging for loot and shrinking playable area (in the same style as Fortnite and PUBG). It’s also a first person shooter, featuring eight characters called “Legends” with unique ability sets (similar to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4).
“Apex” is a free-to-play game made by Electronic Arts, the maker of the “Titanfall” series. “Apex” takes place in the same universe as “Titanfall,” but lacks the namesake Titans. The game features in-game purchases, such as weapon skins and emotes. None of those borrowed ideas are original on their own, but they come together as something totally new thanks to a roster of personable “Legends,” a single lavishly designed map and a smart approach to its mandatory three-person squads. The addition of great gunplay, a groundbreaking communication system and a degree of polish that’s a welcome addition to this genre. “Apex Legends” has proven to be one of the most refined and entertaining battle royale games I’ve played.
Like both “Titanfall” games, “Apex Legends”’ gunplay is impactful and precise. The guns themselves are fairly standard fare: SMGs, shotguns, LMGs, assault rifles, pistols and sniper rifles. Each gun has a satisfying kick and sound when it fires, and they all have a distinct weightiness which makes them feel unique to use. While a simple selection, finding what gun works best for you is part of the fun of this game.
“Apex Legends” makes squad-based battle royale work better than thought possible, even when playing with a randomly matched team. Its intuitive communication system makes strategic teamplay achievable without a word, and the eight unique legends each have cool abilities that are rewarding without feeling like restrictive roles. It all takes place in Kings Canyon, which is a fascinating sci-fi map that leads to tense encounters filled with all of the pristine gunplay and polish from the Titanfall series. Along with this, its free-to-play setup doesn’t pressure you to pay to keep up. “Apex Legends” has the goods to be a true challenger to Fortnite’s dominance.