If Apex Legends only does one thing, it is the feeling that the game is complete– something that can not all boast royal games. The explosion of popularity in the genre means that there are many games that do the competition of the last player pretty well, but with some nods. Some existing shooters add Battle Royale modes to their offer and adapt their existing gameplay to a new framework; other Battle Royale games are constantly trying to solve bugs, kinks and balancing problems; and still others started life as something else and managed to generously retrofit their ideas to the form of the battles, with a little better than others.
Meanwhile, Apex Legends is focused on doing one thing extremely well. That thing is team competition in the BR genre; at the launch, it only contains a team-based mode where 20 groups of three players face each other. Everything in Apex Legends is working on further teamwork: that includes a number of improvements to problems that plague the entire genre, such as cleaning inventory management and improving accessibility, and adding new ideas, such as squadron composition elements and special character traits.
Apex Legends excels by combining good ideas that have worked previously with shooters. The ruleset for the battle royale is the same as in comparable games, with very few changes: Teams jump with nothing on a huge island and clamber to collect weapons and items against other teams they encounter until only one team survives. Although there are no titans or wall races, it is still possible to see the bones of Titanfall 2 under Apex, which reuses the weapons of Titanfall and part of the fluid movement mechanics, such as sliding and shearing. But the core of the formula here is the tight squadron structure with three players, of which all other pieces benefit.
Another big change in the combat generous formula in Apex Legends is one that is extremely similar to what Blizzard brought to multiplayer FPS games in Overwatch. At the beginning of each match, each player chooses one of eight characters, each with specific skills that serve specific roles. The defending Gibraltar can drop a shield and call an air raid to drive another team back; the offensive Wraith can create portals between two locations and even disappear to prevent damage; the supporting Pathfinder uses enter hooks and ziplines to help the team reach areas where they can have a tactical advantage.
It all plays back in the focus on teamwork, because no character is particularly powerful and no possibility is usable all the time. You are not a lone wolf – instead, you have a specific role that complements teammates as you play, and that works to find a new side of the struggle that has not been explored before.
From moment to moment, however, it is remarkable as far as Apex Legends is concerned to work. Battle royale is a bit of a stupid genre with many moving parts; in most games you will find weapons, gun attachments, armor, healing items and more. You will spend a lot of time digging in menus to manage the inventory. Apex streamlines all that with user interface modifications that allow you to instantly identify what you need and ignore the things you do not ignore. Ammunition types have a color code for the weapons they use. Attachments automatically join with weapons they fit and switch to suitable new weapons when you pick them up, while things that you can not use or do not improve your equipment are clearly marked as such. It is an even more accessible version of the generous improvements of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 with its Blackout mode, and the rest of the genre should adopt it.
The best feature of Apex Legends is the extremely robust "ping" system, which allows you to press a button to make a mark on the screens of your teammates. The ping system is super smart – aim it at a gun or a helmet and your character will identify the location of that object for everyone. You can ping in your menu to call things you need, mark places you want to visit or identify places that other players have passed. Most importantly, you can use pings to mark hostile locations. The system is so responsive and well implemented in Apex Legends that it can completely replace talking with your team. In fact, the accuracy of a ping on the screen can often be better to help you quickly convey information than to talk.
A revival system also helps you to get more involved with your team. If a teammate is in the fight and is beaten out of the game, you can get his banner, an item that falls with his shower, and use it to put them back into play as if they had just started. The system adds an intense, gripping strategy to Apex, where you have to risk everything to save your team; You can only call dead team members back to specific Respawn Beacons for single use on the card, but you are fully exposed while doing this. However, pull out a pairing game and you can take your team off the edge. The system offers a great incentive to stay in matches and to keep talking and to offer assistance to your team, instead of just leaving when you die to participate in another competition.
Just like in the previous games of Respawn, photographing here is substantial and satisfying, and Apex has a wide range of cool weapons to learn and control. However, firearms are sometimes stopped because many guns carry strange little magazines. Players have a lot of health, which is greatly expanded with the addition of armor, so it often takes a lot of shots to get people down. Ideally, you always shoot someone with the help of a friend, but the small magazines have the effect that you only feel under the pressure. In most games I've played, shotguns get the most use of players because they have the best chance of knocking down an opponent, while many of the other guns spray bullets too much and make you vulnerable while you reload and reload and reload.
Apex Legends is a mix of smart shooter ideas that provides a competitive, team-based game that takes the best parts of the battle against generous parties while tackling many of the weaknesses.
As a free-to-play game, Apex Legends includes both outer boxes and in-game items that can be purchased with real money, and outer boxes can also be earned by playing. Everything that is offered is cosmetic, just like in Fortnite or Overwatch, so paying money is not essential to play the game and remain competitive, and you can largely ignore microtransactions if you are not interested in paying.
The only place where the microtransactions of Apex Legends can cause irritation is trying to unlock new characters. At the launch six characters are available free of charge, with two that can be unlocked with paid or earned currency. Neither is essential – they offer different options, but no better or worse – but as an average player it still took me about 17 hours to play to earn enough money to buy one character (it will be shorter if you get more ) kills and wins more). If Respawn adds more characters to the game in the future, it is entirely possible to try to unlock new characters to become a slog that disables ordinary players and people who are unwilling or unable to pay.
Apex Legends is a mix of smart shooter ideas that provides a competitive, team-based game that takes the best parts of the battle against generous parties while tackling many of the weaknesses. Respawn's intense focus on team play makes Apex more than just a worthy addition to the genre; it is an indication of where Battle Royale should go in the future.