Good news if you’re a battle royale fan! Another free-to-play title has landed in the gamesphere, and it’s available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Origin on PC. Titled Apex Legends, the game is set within the universe of the Titanfall franchise, although it’s not a direct sequel so prior knowledge of the IP is not essential. Which is just as well. *Googles Titanfall…
But what is Apex Legends? Well, the game all takes place against the backdrop of a fairly neat SF premise. A bitter war between a mining corporation and a militia has just ended, but for a remote cluster of planets maintaining law and order can be something of a challenge, existing as they do on the fringes of the Frontier. And so people tend to settle their differences by taking part in the Apex games, which the developer describes as “a bloodsport where Legends from all corners of the Frontier compete for money, fame, and glory.” Not unlike YouTube.
And this is one big Frontier. Matches can house up to 60 players at a time, and squadplay is a must; after selecting your Legend of choice, you must join forces with other fighters and combine your unique skills to form the ultimate team. For example, you might opt to go with Pathfinder – a robot that is experienced in location scouting and surveying, with a useful grappling hook tool. Or you might want to go with someone a little bulkier such as Gibraltar, who is described as a “gentle giant with a wild side,” with a proficiency for defensive bombardment. Or you might opt for the more nimble Bangalore – an experienced soldier with an extensive knowledge of weaponry. But success in this game will be in strategy and the formation of complementary teams.
Otherwise, the standard battle royale tropes are in evidence in Apex Legends. You’re all dropped into an expansive map from above, defenceless and lacking in equipment, so getting geared up pronto is a priority. There are some areas that can always be relied upon to yield the highest-tier loot (the marked hot zones) but the most prized items will come from hovering dropships that can appear at any spot on the battlefield. And of course, the map is contracting at regular intervals, so you will find yourself contained within an ever-decreasing battle space, just to up to ante. And yes – venturing outside of the inner ring will result in serious damage.
However, an interesting twist in Apex Legends is the inclusion of Respawn Beacons. Basically, when your character perishes they drop a Legend Banner Card, which another member of your squad can carry to a Respawn Beacon and use to bring you back from the Great Beyond. Nice.
And if you’re wondering whether the world is ready for yet another battle royale game, it seems that question has already been answered. Yes – yes it is. Apex Legends got off to a great start after its surprise release earlier this week, clocking some 1 million players on its first day. So it will be interesting to see if the developer Respawn Entertainment is able to maintain this momentum moving forward. Undoubtedly, it will be gifted with regular updates and special events to keep things fresh, so hopefully there will be plenty of newness if you ever tire of all the victories(!)
There’s no word as yet as to a Nintendo Switch release, but if you’re feeling ready to take on the fearsome foes of the Frontier, fire up your PS4, Xbox One or Origin account and dive right in to the Titanfall universe.