“Apex Legends” is the newest game to enter the “Battle Royale” genre of gaming and has reached 25 million players in just one week of release.
A “Battle Royale” game usually takes place on an island where players are dropped off and must fight until they are the lone survivor or team, similar to the “Hunger Games” series. Each player starts off with no equipment, so they must find weapons and armor to survive.
What makes “Apex Legends” stand out against other BR games is how intuitive it is to every aspect of the genre. The first thing it does well is movement and aim. Other games of the same vein, like “Fortnite”, “Player’s Unknown Battlegrounds”, or PUBG and “Call of Duty: Blackout” have distinctly different movement mechanics. PUBG takes a realistic approach on movement and carrying capacity of the character. Blackout’s movement is much faster, which speeds up processes such as reloading a gun and running. The faster movement leads to faster gameplay.
Apex adopted Blackout’s fast pace style and added to it by reducing the player counter per game to 60 rather than 100 like in Fortnite, Blackout and PUBG. The map size is also relatively small which makes up for the reduced player count, so that matches don’t feel cluttered. PUBG map sizes vary from big to small but with the slow paced game play, every match feels like a journey. Apex is set in the same universe as Titanfall 2, a first person shooter that receives a lot of praise for its well-refined gameplay and movement.
Communication is also a big part of BR games as you queue up and play in teams. In PUBG and Blackout, you can opt out of teams to play solo, but Apex allows you to queue up with a squad of three, either by yourself with strangers, or with your friends.
This is different than other BR games that usually have four-player teams and also give the option to play as a duo or solo.
All three games include voice communication, but this has always been a lackluster experience because players tend to opt out of it or say unuseful or offensive things. Apex created a great solution for this because it added a ping system, allowing silent or disruptive players to communicate useful information by using emoticons or symbols to flag important game information. This allows people without microphones to communicate with the rest of their team.
Finally, Apex differentiates itself with legends: unique player characters that each have their own abilities. Legends range in ability types specializing in supportive, offensive or defensive capabilities. Considering how legends pair together also creates a consistency that usually is not seen in BR games because they rely on randomness of positioning and equipment. This adds to the competitiveness of the game because it feels more rewarding when you can win consistently rather than rely on luck.
“Apex Legends’” intuitive looting system is the final aspect of the game that sets it apart from its competitors. When you pick up a weapon or armor, the game will show that you either cannot use an item or that you already hold better equipment. This simplifies looting immensely and saves time in an already fast-paced game.
All these aspects combine to form a well-refined and intuitive BR game that refreshes the genre for players who felt burned out. With it being dubbed the “Fortnite killer,” Apex has left a pretty huge mark on the genre.