Apex Legends is the latest entry into the now slightly overcrowded Battle Royale market. It’s from Respawn, the team behind the Titanfall games, which is immediately obvious as soon as you start playing. Even without the Titans and parkour, it does feel like Titanfall.
Like most Battle Royale games, you jump out of a plane onto a large map, forage for weapons, move towards to centre of the ever-decreasing battlefield, and try and outlast the competition.
Unlike Fortnite and PUBG, Apex Legends is purely a squad-based game. There’s no 1 vs 99 here, just twenty three-man squads. It encourages players to stick together right from the start, with one person being the jump master and controller of where the whole team land. You’re free to break out of this and go off alone, but it’s easy for any newcomers to see how the game wants you to play it.
The smaller map and nearly half the number of people than in other titles make each game of Apex feel less epic - getting into the top three doesn’t feel nearly as much of an achievement. There also isn’t that much else to do. Where Fortnite uses its Battle Pass to offer up challenges, this game is purely about trying to win, on its single map, over and over again.
The game uses Legends as it’s “gimmick”, similar to something like Paladins or Overwatch. Those games always feel fresh because the characters are so different, and they take such a long time to learn that the different matchups keep you coming back for more. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with Apex Legends. At the moment, the characters don’t really have much personality to them and they all feel the same. You get different Ultra moves and different abilities, but these are more like different perks in the Call of Duty series rather than different characters.
When it comes to mechanics in Battle Royale games, Apex Legends is probably the best in its class. It feels like a triple-A shooter, and it’s free to play. Its different heroes and unlockables add replayability to some extent. However, one mode and one map put it a long way behind the competition at this point - Apex Legends need more content, and it needs it quickly. Otherwise it’s going to get repetitive fast.
APEX LEGENDS / DEVELOPER: RESPAWN / PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS / PLATFORM: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW