Developed By: Respawn Entertainment
Published By: EA Games
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: PlayStation 4
Publisher EA Games and Developer Respawn Entertainment surprised us with a sneaky release of a new battle royale game, Apex Legends. The game while plays like a battle royale, has some interesting mechanics which makes it stand out on its own.
Looking Quite Familiar
One might say Apex Legends is what would happen if Titanfall had its own Battle Royale mode. Well, they are right in a sense since the weapons and abilities are ripped straight out from Titanfall. I even notice some map assets from Titanfall 2 being reused in the battle royale maps. Players of the Titanfall series will feel right at home with the same movements and intuitive controls present in Apex Legends.
The gunplay itself is a treat as in Apex Legends it feels very good. Most of the weapons from Titanfall make its return with a few modifications to fit into the game. Each gun sounds brilliant with an excellent hit mark indicator UI to tell you how many bullets you hit or miss.
All for One and One for All
Where it differs from other battle royale games nowadays is some new mechanics which takes battle royale to a new direction. First, a squad is made out of 3 players who will have turns picking out a legend. Only one legend can be selected in a squad so there is no overlapping of characters. Each legend will have their own skill and abilities that they bring to the team. This gives each squad an Overwatch type gameplay when deploying skills during battle.
Each character has their own passive ability, active ability and ultimate. Take Lifeline for example who is basically a combat medic. Her passive gives her the ability to use shield recharge and healing items faster. Not only that, but she also revives squadmates faster with a shield protecting her in the process. The active skill creates a drone which heals allies around it while her ultimate calls down a care package with random loot. This skills are unique to her only and having her in your team would help increase the chances of survival.
Your squad is eliminated once all 3 people in your squad are dead. A new mechanic is the ability to revive your squad members using the Respawn Beacons located around the map. The revived member will be empty handed but at least you have more lives. Just remember to collect the banner of your teammate once he is knocked out.
Ping me baby one more time
The game also streamlines certain aspects of teamwork by appointing a Jumpmaster who will take the lead of deploying from the dropship to a selected drop zone. Players can break off solo anytime they want but it is not recommended. The communication system in this game is sublime thanks to the well thought ‘Ping‘ system. Calling out the location to go to or enemy never has been this simple. You can even inform your squad of items you have found and ammo you need by just highlighting them and pressing R1 on the PlayStation 4 controller. There are even separate voice lines for each command for each character.
Holding on R1 brings out the ‘Ping‘ radial for more options but those are rarely in need as the smart ‘Ping‘ system handles everything brilliantly. For example, highlighting an open door and pinging it will activate a voice informing your squadmate that the areas have already been looted. I have never seen such a well thought out system in any other existing game and this ‘Ping‘ system has set a bar for how future game communication should be especially on consoles.
Now, this game has no direct pay-to-win option. The closest it has is probably just the need to unlock more Legends on the roster with credits earned by playing or direct coins purchasable in the store. Unlocking a character roughly costs around RM30. But this does not offer any kind of advantage as far as I know.
Luckily there is an enormous amount of skins to unlock for both weapons and characters. Skins can be obtained by opening Apex Packs (which are basically loot-boxes) or crafting with Crafting Metals which you also gain from Apex Packs. All skins are purely cosmetics and do not modify any stats what so ever.
A good start
Apex Legends has a lot of things to be proud of. Even with the lack of marketing the game manages to take hold of the Battle Royale market like a storm. Hopefully, Respawn Entertainment can keep up the momentum of the game by introducing more Legends and expanding the map choices. There is already news of an additional squad member bringing up a squad up to 4 players instead of the current 3.
Certain weapons also have to be looked at as it is very clear some weapons dominate the game more than others. I know a lot of players like to have a ‘peace‘ of the weapon in the game.
What I Liked
- A well thought out class system
- An amazing ‘ping’ communication system (especially on consoles)
- Ability to respawn your squad members after they are taken down
- Simple and amazing UI
- Great customization
- Encouraging players to work together as a squad
What Can be Improved
- A training area or custom games needed to try out other legends.
- Certain weapons seem a little better than others. Some balancing is needed.
Battle Royale games are now very common but Apex Legends manages to stand out from the rest. The ‘Ping” system is a game changer. Its efficient and effective and the best of all is simple to use The ability to able to revive your team members keeps the core teamwork well in place. Yes, most of the assets are reused from the Titanfall series but knowing that also makes it have some sort of a pedigree as Titanfall is a mechanically solid shooter by its own right.
Score : 8/10
Must try – Apex Legends totally injects new life into what seemed to be an intimidating genre. The Battle Royale genre has been a craze as of late but newcomers find it anything but. Apex Legends has set a new bar in by retaining the core essence of BR gameplay but making it fun, simple and enjoyable. For fans or the Battle Royale genre or those who are looking to get into it, give Apex Legends a shot as you basically have nothing to lose since it is free to play.