What is Apex Legends?
You’ve probably seen all your favourite streamers playing this game at some point within the last two days. Apex Legends is a Free-To-Play Battle Royale game by the developers that created the Titanfall series, where sixty people are dropped into a large map in squads of three. Think of the set characters you’d see in Overwatch, each equipped with various abilities and an ultimate, dropped into a Blackout-style map.
After playing the game for over five hours now, we both have very different opinions about Apex Legends. This video will cover all the aspects we’ve noticed so far, so that you can see both sides of the debate of whether Apex Legends is worth jumping into.
For Apex Legends
Almost Entirely Free-To-Play
Making this game free-to-play was arguably the most important decision EA could’ve made when releasing Apex Legends. Launching this game as a paid title would’ve killed it faster than Cliffy B’s Lawbreakers. By releasing this as a free game, this allows more people to get their hands on it and be able to form an opinion on it themselves. You will have to spend some money if you want some of the new characters, though Fortnite has already established the idea of a Battle Pass so this shouldn’t come as a new concept to a lot of people.
Detailed Roadmap Revealed
Speaking of a Battle Pass, the developers have already shown their commitment to the game by revealing Apex Legend’s Year One Roadmap. We’d say this is a pretty clever idea to take a leaf out of Rainbow Six Siege and Fortnite’s book. This schedule helps to sway people away from other Battle Royale titles whose developers leave their community in the dark when it comes to releasing brand new content.
Okay, so there’s no such thing as an objectively good game, however, Apex Legends certainly feels like a AAA game without any of the extra bits like a single-player campaign or the equivalent of a zombies mode. You would struggle to make the argument that Apex Legends is on the same tier as something like Paladins or Realm Royale. This game adds a unique concept to the Battle Royale genre and despite a few bugs, feels very polished overall. This isn’t a clone of an existing game, and it’s clear that Respawn are invested in continuing to develop its identity.
Respawn understand the Battle Royale genre which is why they’ve made an effort to try and differentiate their game from the rest of the competition. Unlike every other Battle Royale game out right now, if one of your teammates isn’t revived after being downed, that ends their game entirely. In Apex Legends, players not only have the chance to revive downed group members, you also have the option of taking their banner from their corpse. By placing this banner at a respawn station, you can resurrect a dead teammate. They won’t come back with any of their previous gear, but it’s a whole lot better than being completely removed from the game.
Three Person Squads
Another interesting aspect of Apex Legends is the emphasis on three person squads. This can be seen as both a good and bad thing depending on how many people you have to play with. There is a heavy emphasis on teamwork in Apex Legends, it goes as far as squads being the only available mode in the game right now. That’s right, there is no solo mode. Fortunately there are plenty of ways to communicate with your random teammates, primarily the Ping communication system. The Ping system is so good that it needs to be ripped off in every future FPS ever. There’s no more “I spotted them over there!”, now you just point to the location you spotted the enemy and it’ll be marked on the level for your entire team to see. We aren’t sure whether the Ping concept is good enough to justify not having a solo mode, though it certainly doesn’t hurt to have it either.
Most Battle Royale games shy away from giving players a unique set of abilities in order to make the game as even as possible. Respawn are embracing their characters (or ‘legends’ as the developers refer to them), giving each person their own toolset. In the squads of three, it’s up to teams to decide how they want to approach each match, beginning with the character select screen. Squads cannot pick the same character, forcing teams to diversify their picks.
Against Apex Legends
Three Person Squads
Having just three people in a squad makes it difficult for those who have grown accustomed to playing other Battle Royale games as you can usually pick solo, duos or squads, with squads consisting of four people. This game really depends on three people working as a team so you’ll likely have to kick your fourth friend in order to play if you have a group already set up. Going solo and breaking away from the group is not something we’d advise as frequent 1v3s will not be in your favour. It’s early days yet so we’ll see whether any of this changes with the release of more legends in the future.
Not Enough Ammo
Many people will be familiar with the frustration of landing, rushing around in search of a weapon and then getting popped before you’re able to pick up anything useful. While this is par for the course with Battle Royales, Apex Legends adds to this frustration by distributing little ammo across the map. ‘NO RESERVE AMMO’ flashed up on our screens far too often during firefights, even relatively far into the game, where you’d expect to have looted some decent gear.
Guns Need Attachments
It sounds a bit unreasonable to complain about this because the entire point of having attachments for weapons is to improve them, but hear me out. I’ve played Apex Legends for a number of hours and so far I’ve only found one weapon that feels somewhat decent to use before you find all of the necessary attachments. Imagine most of the weapons kind of feeling like the Vector in PUBG. You need to max it out just for it to feel usable. Shotguns feel powerful at close ranges, as you’d expect and the Sniper Rifles are accurate and satisfying to use at longer ranges. However, burst-fire SMGs are the absolute worst without an Extended Mag and the Assault Rifles can be hit and miss depending on which one you pick.
Movement Options Suck
Yes, we are fully aware that this game isn’t Titanfall, however, that doesn’t mean the developers couldn’t have taken aspects from Titanfall that made the game so great in the first place. Moving around the map in Apex Legends feels like a slog compared to Titanfall because, like in most Battle Royale games, players are forced to wade through a giant landscape. In Titanfall, you could bunny-hop around the level using your momentum from the grapple hook. Apex Legends has a character that uses a grapple hook to give you a watered-down version of this sensation. There are so many ways the game’s movement could be improved without having to break the game entirely. Wall-running would help to speed things up considerably in addition to adding another layer of skill to the game.
Healing Takes Ages
There is a Legend (Lifeline) in the game with an ability that speeds up healing times by 25%. Lifeline can also revive teammates quicker, using a shield to protect her while doing so. That said, for every other Legend, healing does feel painfully slow. In addition, the default keys for healing are quite awkward, forcing you to either press ‘4’ and select the Syringes or Medkit on a wheel, or open your inventory using ‘Tab’ and then manually selecting a heal item. We strongly recommend changing your controls before hopping into a game.
I can’t see Apex Legends dethroning Fortnite or PUBG any time soon as those games are basically polar opposites when it comes to the Battle Royale genre. Call of Duty’s Blackout mode however is in for a rough time after the release of Apex Legends. It really wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Blackout’s player-base flock to Apex Legends in addition to all of the free-to-play people who will give the game a try.
As you can see, we have pretty mixed views about Apex Legends and as time goes on, it’ll be interesting to see whether any of the things we’ve mentioned in this video have changed. If you’re somewhat interested in Apex Legends after watching this video, go and check it out. It’s free-to-play and its available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Origin on PC.