Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Review Platform: PS4
Release Date: February 4, 2019
EA and Respawn Entertainment announced their free to play battle royale game Apex Legends just last week, and promptly released the game immediately after the reveal stream.
Going into Apex Legends, we didn’t expect much. While battle royale games were the genre of 2018, we’ve played Fortnite, PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds, and Call of Duty Black Ops 4‘s Blackout mode enough to be relatively done with battle royales, even though most gamers still absolutely love the concept. We’re just burnt out games journalists.
Honestly, the biggest problem with Apex Legends is battle royale fatigue. Which probably hit us harder than most, given the sheer number of battle royale games that have released since PUBG and Fortnite permanently changed the gaming landscape. Much like its predecessors, Legends will have different content seasons with a battle pass type reward system, which will help pay for its FTP service. Naturally that means there are a ton of character skins and vanity items for players to unlock, and from what we can tell so far, none of it is gamebreaking. Granted, that may change going forward, but it seem unlikely.
Of course, none of that is particular to Legends and doesn’t explain why we’re actually fond of the game. Legends borrows not only from other battel royale games, but hero shooters like Overwatch, which makes it an intriguing hybrid game. Each of the “Legends” has a different skillset that alters how you play. However, unlike a hero shooter, you don’t have to worry about which characters your team picks, so you can main whoever suits your playstyle best.
The game has absolutely slick controls on both consoles and PC, at least if you keyboard and mouse on the PC servers. For those who prefer to take a controller handicap on PC, the base control mapping does have its bugs. So we’d recommend using an external controller mapping software to clear up any issues. We had trouble with the D-pad mapping on a Dualshock 4, though using external software fixed the issue for us.
But none of that accounts for how fun Apex Legends is. Rather than using the whole “remote island” mechanic, the map is an arena and the fighters are professionals who go head to head for the profit and glory. Which is a nice bit of story fluff to explain the more unusual aspects of the battle royale setup. The game honestly feels like Titanfall, which makes perfect sense, and is a more straightforward shooter because of that. So, Apex Legends is a battle royale that feels familiar, much the same way Black Ops 4’s Blackout does. However, it’s got a flashier art style and more customization than Blackout.
Your traversal options are limited, but at least sprinting into a slide is easier than in several other titles, which can help turn a match. Granted, there’s no building in Legends. So if you absolutely must build your own sniper nests, its probably best you stick with Fortnite.
The season content hasn’t started, so the game is still just in its base format, however, we’re excited for what is to come. And that’s more than we ever expected from the latest battle royale.
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