The new battle royale that came out of nowhere looks to dominate the competition.
There were rumours and rumbles last weekend of a new battle royale game coming out on Monday 4th February from Respawn. According to reports journalists and influencers had been invited to a location to try out the game so info started to leak last weekend.
On Monday 4th Respawn dropped this trailer and went through the game in more detail in a reveal stream.
It’s refreshing in this day and age to have an announcement and then get your hands on the game so quickly. No build up, endless analysis – just get your hands on the game and enjoy yourself.
What is Apex Legends?
Apex Legends is a new free-to-play battle royale game from Respawn & EA.
Rather than take a generic character into battle like Fortnite, Blackout or PUBG you can select from 8 characters (2 are locked when you start the game). Each character has unique abilities and play style akin to Overwatch. Apex Legends takes place in the Titanfall universe, albeit without Titans.
You team up with 2 other squad mates and head into battle. There’s no solo play at present so the game is very team focused. In total there’s 60 players on the map, made up of 20 teams.
In classic battle royale style you start out high above the map and drop in with your team mates. Once you hit the ground you pick up your weapons, ammo and gear and try to get into the best position you can.
The action is fast and the gunplay feels good. There’s pistols, shotguns, SMGs, assault rifles, LMGs and sniper rifles so there’s plenty to choose from. For items there’s your med kits, shields, and other healing items.
You have your standard grey, blue and purple items but there’s also gold legendary weapons and items to be found which include unique perks. For examples the legendary helmet will help your ultimate recharge faster or the knockout shield allows a one time revive.
We haven’t seen the hero-focused style before in a battle royale game. This has been common in previous MOBA games or Overwatch and it’s good to see this style come to battle royale games. Each Legend has their own ultimate ability which can be a game-changer. Bangalore’s ultimate includes a missile strike, Bloodhound can detect enemies (which could be super useful in a final 5 situation) and Lifeline can bring in a drop of defensive capabilities.
The ping system is also great bringing an easy and accessible form of communication to the game. You can direct team mates, refocus the battles and highlight weapons and items all with the touch of a button. The pings take into account the context of the item or location you are pinging – for example you can mark a location to your team or ping a weapon or items for them to pick up.
Unlike other battle royale games there’s a revival mechanism allowing you to bring back one of your team when they get knocked out of the game. Pick up an item from your fallen team mate, take it to a specific respawn station on the map and get them back int the game. It adds a high risk but high reward element to gameplay.
There’s other various quality of life changes added to the game. You are told in the UI if the item you are about to pick up is better or worse than the one you currently have
Cost, currencies and micro-transactions
The game is free-to-play at launch but like other battle royale games there’s micro-transactions in the game. There’s a few in game currencies – Crafting Metals, Legend Tokens and Apex Coins.
Crafting metals can be earned by playing the game (or paying for Apex Packs) and they can be traded for cosmetic items like skins for your legends. Legend Tokens are earned by playing and can be used to unlock new legends as well as special cosmetic items. Apex Coins can be bought and are used to buy Apex Packs which in turn give you cosmetic items and specific loot items.
Players can currently purchase The Founders Pack for £24.99 and that gives you
- 2000 Apex Coins
- Exclusive Legendary Demon Hemlok Weapon Skin
- 3 Exclusive Roughneck Character Skins (1 each for Wraith, Bloodhound, and Gibraltar)
- 3 Exclusive Banner Frames (1 each for Wraith, Bloodhound, and Gibraltar)
- 1 Exclusive Founder’s Badge
Personally when I play these games I tend to collect the in game currency and purchase items as and when I can rather than pay for extras. If I am really enjoying the game and I want to give back to the developers then I’ll happily hand over some money. For now, I’m building up my stash of legend tokens to unlock the two new characters.
Respawn have been open and upfront about the content that’s coming soon including their battlepass, new legends/weapons/loot in the coming months.
So far the reaction to the game has been positive. This has been one of the smoothest launches I can remember. This is particularly relevant in the context of the recent Anthem VIP and Open Demo weekends, which didn’t go too smoothly.
I’m really enjoying the game. The speed, the gunplay and the hero-focus appeals to me much more than Fortnite or Blackout. The only thing left to do is get good!
Check out Apex Legends for free now, it’s available for PS4, Xbox One and PC.