Five years ago, the battle royale games barely existed. Titles like PUBG and Fortnite catapulted the new craze to unimagined heights. Every influencer with half a streaming device is pouncing on the phenomenon, and there’s literally no escaping the buzz. Terms like “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” and “Where We Dropping Boys?” have transcended video game media into mainstream pop culture, which, for better or worse, has to be considered an accomplishment.
Respawn Entertainment secretly unleashed Apex Legends on the world, reaching a player base of 25 million within a week. That’s an accomplishment many developers dream of for a lifetime not in seven days. It’s easy to see why it was so successful, as Apex borrows heavily from Respawn’s highly acclaimed Titanfall universe, even going so far as to call it a spinoff. However, Apex stands on its own two feet better than anything the studio has released before.
Compared to Fortnite and PUBG, the first 12 months of Apex Legends were filled with new heroes, content updates, and unorthodox changes to the formula that kept the audience engaged and constantly attracted new players. Each season was a welcome surprise, whether you were hooked on a new map variant or immersed in the mechanics of a new Legend. Despite the lack of a flashy visual identity, Apex Legends is a must-play Battle Royale contender, and it’s almost a mystery to me why such a high-quality experience is even free. Combine that with an affordable Battle Pass, and you’ve got a package that’s hard to beat right now.
Apex Legends review: Skill Or Be Skilled
We really appreciate that if you get into a fight with an enemy that has a fully equipped weapon, and you have a gun with no attachments, you still have a chance to win the encounter through skill alone. In Ubisoft’s battle royale game Hyper Scape, part of the problem with gunplay was that without a level five weapon, you couldn’t really fight enough to get out of the fight alive or do any real damage to the enemy, no matter how good your aim. In Fortnite, skills are rewarded better than weapon rarity, but the level of a weapon is still an important factor. In contrast, all weapons in Apex can be used without the best attachments, which makes the game a real skill game.
Apex has an extensive arsenal of extremely satisfying futuristic weapons (some of them taken directly from Titanfall) that test your aim more than your luck. If you’re into ranged combat, there’s a varied collection of sniper rifles that range from light volley shots to slow but effective projectiles, or you can choose from a range of submachine guns and shotguns if you prefer to be up close and personal. A new weapon is added every other season, making the choice of weapons even larger. Weapon attachments let you further customize a weapon to your preferences in terms of handling, instead of simply increasing damage, so the way you use the weapon is more important than what’s attached to it.
Apex Legends review: Key Features
An array of legendary characters Master a growing array of powerful legends, each with their own unique personalities, strengths and abilities that are easy to learn but difficult to master. Assemble your crew Choose your legend and combine their unique abilities with those of other players to create the ultimate crew.
Those who drop together, become champions together
Ever since the Battle Royale sub-genre hit the mainstream with PUBG, many studios have tried to create their own version of it, borrowing elements like crafting and tree mechanics directly from survival games or simply copying PUBG and hoping for the best.
Meanwhile, many of these games have come and gone, while active and dedicated communities have formed around the best this sub-genre has to offer. But in a matter of days (and completely unexpectedly), Respawn Entertainment has turned the Battle Royale landscape on its head with a new challenger that has the potential to be something special.
Apex Legends review: Drawing of the three
Apex Legends is set in the Titanfall universe, but plays very differently from it: Every weapon has ballistics, Titans no longer exist, and wallrunning is gone as well. The weapons feel more responsive and upbeat than they have since Modern Warfare, and accounting for range and drop in the same split second it used to take just to aim makes me feel like a mathematical savant when the shots hit.
Almost every gun has its own personality. The lever-action Peacekeeper shotgun fires single pellets in a star-shaped pattern, while the faster EVA-8 Auto spits out a 3×3 square. Another highlight is the Triple Take, a sniper rifle that fires three horizontal shots with each pull of the trigger, relieving pressure when tracking shots from long range.
Apex Legends review: The Economy
Apex Legends has 4 different currencies, which can make dealing with them very confusing. First, there are the Apex coins. Some coins can be added through Battle Passion, but mostly they have to be purchased through the Apex Store. They can be used to unlock new Legends, buy premium skins from the store, and purchase Apex Packs, which is technically a Lootbox. Then there are legend tokens.
These are earned mainly by playing Apex Legends, and if you grind the game enough, you can buy the new legend that appears each season with your Legend Tokens. They can also be used to buy a premium weapon or character skin from the Apex store, however, to do so you usually need to have a legendary skin similar to the one you want to buy, and to buy that skin you need Apex coins. Legendary crafting materials are used to create premium weapon skins, character skins, banners, trackers, emotes, holo-sprays or new quibs.
We’ve said that we think Apex Legends is the best battle royale game on the market, and we still stand by that in terms of gameplay. Apex Legends feels great, the characters are diverse, the lore and story are amazing. The Olympus and Worlds Edge maps are great and give players amazing encounters. However, Apex suffers from technical issues and a lack of cross-progression. Apex knows what it wants to be, it just needs to overcome its technical hurdles to become even better.