APEX LEGENDS: Move Over FortniteFebruary 21, 2019
If you haven’t been living under a rock, the online gaming community has been trending with last-man-standing genre of games lovingly called Battle Royale after the 2000 Japanese movie. The battle royale scene recently has been in full control by Epic’s Fortnite game. But ever since the craze and popularity, other developers have been taking cracks at the popular game-play mode. Of course, there was one of the first battle royale with Player Unknown’s BattleGround (PUBG), then came Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 crack at it (Blackout mode) which got some nice praise for their style, then Ring of Elysium (ROE) another game that players were getting into but still not enough to bring down Fortnite. And of course, Fortnite itself which has been the number 1 battle royale game for the past year or two. That all could change with this new game by the Respawn development team, Apex Legends.
I wasn’t really the biggest fan of battle royales, especially when it started involving building walls and stairs in order to pretty much win. By saying that obviously because it wasn’t my taste, it did not stop millions from playing it, thus beginning the title for best battle royale game began. Well among the players I should say at least. Fortnite shot to the top very quickly with streamers ranging from thousands upon thousands of players, competitive play with million-dollar prize winnings. Next thing you know people were buying skins, season passes, dance videos of people performing Fortnite dances, and so much more. It was the new sensation for gamers, and it seemed like everyone was playing it. What made it even better was the fact the game was free-to-play, with of course in store transactions which luckily didn’t make you better than anyone else despite buying the latest skin. Soon the likes of PUBG started to fade, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 had an impressive battle royale mode by adding some unique features with zombies, and zones. Despite that it still couldn’t really outperform Fortnite but still came popular especially among Call of Duty fans, even more so had people buying the game just for the mode and of course the very popular zombie mode. Ring of Elysium was another free-to-play battle royale game released last year and had more of the PUBG feel to it. With 2 maps instead of one, and a very easy smooth gameplay while it also appealed to those who were not the greatest at the master building required in Fortnite (including myself). You could have up to 4 winners which becomes determined by who can climb the ladder into the helicopter waiting at the designated evac zone. The cool thing about this you can knock someone out as they climb into the helicopter, you could also be the only survivor of the match and be the lone winner. Yet ROE still could not manage to get the same number of players or streamers as Fortnite, that in turn would also fall short of becoming the new favorite but still a very enjoyable game. Now why Apex Legends? What makes this game the one to challenge Fortnite? Good questions, here is why.
In a span of one-week Apex Legends has hit 25 million players, allowing it to be a very successful launch. So far it has peaked at nearly 500,000 streaming viewers on Twitch. Fortnite took about 2 weeks just to gain 10 million players across all platforms, so in those terms Apex is already off to a strong start. Respawn expects those numbers to increase, especially with the announcement of future cross platform play and hosting tournaments for pro-players and streamers. At this rate Apex Legends will hit the same amount of players as Fortnite, which is currently at 200 million, faster.
Apex Legends is free-to-play, with like most free-to-play games they also have in store purchases for credits that can be used to buy skins for legends, weapons, or your banner. As you level up you gain Apex credits that are used to buy new legends, data cards, finishers, and character lines that are said during start of the game, killing an enemy and end game if you win. The game is played with a squad of 3 so it’s recommended you find some buddies or join the Facebook group, or any other forum that looks for players. You can choose from a pool of legends that currently sits at eight, two of which need to be unlocked. Each legend has 2 unique abilities allowing the players to find the style that suits them the best, also each legend has a symbol of the type of character they are. Those range from 3 different classes that are support, assault, and tank classes. No legend has the same ability as another, and finding the right balance is up to how your squad wants to play, aggressive or passive.
Like most battle royales you get to choose your landing zone after you jump out a ship, you can recommend an area but ultimately, it’s up to the jump master that’s randomly chosen on where you land. Each area has a tier grade loot chance with one area being the “Hot Zone” where you have a better chance of finding stronger armor, weapons, and attachments. The game is a squad of 20, with 60 players total in the game with the objective being survive as long as possible and become the champion squad as the ring gets smaller. Communication of course like all games is key. If a teammate goes down you do have a certain amount time or until the enemy finishes them off to revive them, but that does not eliminate them from the game as your able to pick up their beacon and respawn them at a respawn point. Through out the match there will be supply ships that drop which include three items and most the time contain a high tier item, or a gold item which is the highest and strongest item you can find but it does not guarantee you victory at all. Loot as much before the final fight goes down, if you of course make it that far, and always check your enemy’s equipment as they may have had something stronger on them and able to take off them. There dead so they won’t be needing it anymore after all.
The graphics are nice, and the characters all have a different look to them. Kings Canyon which is the map players fight on, looks good in terms of size and quality. With buildings, towers, mountains, and other structures to hide in, loot from and set up shop while you look for any stragglers. Using these buildings and parts of the land are of importance to increase your chances of winning, searching through as much as possible is also important because you never know what you will find, even if it is a “mid-tier” area. The name of the game is to survive, and you should do just about anything to make it happen, even if it’s not the most popular way to do it. As survival is not just about killing, it’s about being the last man standing. Where you land is key, so you have two choices to make. You can start by going hardcore and follow the masses hoping to be one of the first to find a weapon, or land in an area with very few to no other players allowing you time to find weapons and shields to prepare for the later fights.
The first patch fixed some bugs, but issues still are part of them game but hey it’s only been out a week. Like any game developer knows its going to take some time to work out the kinks especially when you have a surge of new players join right out the gate. Some of the issues include game crashes, lag at the start of the game, and some glitches with certain characters. It is reported next patch will focus on some of these issues as they continue to update the game and bring new content making sure players stay satisfied. One thing the Respawn team has done a good job of is in the supporting department, as Respawn members have not only taken feedback, but make sure to give it and keep players updated of anything new they are fixing or that has been fixed.
Overall the gameplay is great and as a former non-battle royale fan, this is the one I have been able to get behind. The amount of game play time I already put into it speaks for itself. It’s fresh, it’s different, and there are just enough new assets that separate this game from other battle royale games. I recommend this game for everyone. Right now, it’s released on PC, Xbox, and PS4 with cross platform in the works. Next month is expected to have the season pass, and new legend introduced. IF you’re a fan of tactical games, and the battle royale mode in general I assure you this game does not disappoint. As time goes by it will only continue to get better and Respawn already released a time table for new content throughout the year.
Squad up, jump on, and jump into the battlefield known as Kings Canyon.