Apex Legends: surprise success from Respawn

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Apex Legends: surprise success from Respawn

Wraith and Gibraltar are two of eight playable Apex Legends characters.

Wraith and Gibraltar are two of eight playable Apex Legends characters.

Image Courtesy of Respawn Entertainment

Wraith and Gibraltar are two of eight playable Apex Legends characters.

Image Courtesy of Respawn Entertainment

Image Courtesy of Respawn Entertainment

Wraith and Gibraltar are two of eight playable Apex Legends characters.

Jesse Herrera, Staff Writer

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“Apex Legends” is the newest game from Respawn Entertainment released on February 5. The same developers of the “Titanfall” franchise have thrown their hat into the ring of battle royale games creating an FPS (first person shooter) while mixing the style and universe of “Titanfall” with new character abilities and personalities. The base gameplay is the same as many other battle royale games: 20 squads (all being made up of 1-3 players) are dropped in a map with a gradually closing ring. As you search for better weapons and armor, you fight other players and the last team standing wins, but Respawn has added new life to the genre with their own twist.

The main change to gameplay is that you pick one of eight characters, each having their own passive, tactile, and ultimate abilities. The different play styles of each character add much-needed variety and create a unique dynamic between you and your opponents with each match. The game also gives players the ability to ping areas, items, or enemies to teammates, allowing for quick and easy communication between one another even without mics. Also if you or your teammate dies during a fight you can capture their banner, and take it to a Respawn relay to get them back in the fight, but with none of their previous gear. Every match is enjoyably challenging and when the “Champion” text rolls across your screen it feels earned.

Other than gameplay, Respawn has created a world that feels alive. Each legend has a unique personality and backstory that not only tells you about their character but the origin of their abilities as well. This is the sort of detail rarely seen in most battle royale games and goes to show the care and passion invested in “Apex”.

But Apex isn’t for everyone. With no solo mode, lone wolfs don’t really have a way to play. It is possible to drop away from your team which would be a good alternative except that call outs, pings, and other notifications from the other members are always there. Another big problem is the locking of some characters. Two legends, Caustic and Mirage, are locked when you start out the game and there are only two ways to unlock them. The first is to get credits earned through leveling up. However, to unlock one of them you have to level up to at least 23 which takes time for casual players. The second method, microtransaction, is what’s problematic here. You can buy the premier currency in the game to unlock one of them at any point. It’s understandable for there to be some microtransactions to make money and if this was only limited to non-essential add-ons like cosmetics and voice lines. Locking entire characters down, though a little excessive, could be acceptable too if this was exclusively earned through gameplay. However, allowing those with more money access is arguably unfair and may alienate certain players.

Despite some flaws, after putting 60 to 70 hours in, “Apex Legends” is a different experience that most players will enjoy. Drew McCoy, one of the lead developers of Apex, said in an interview with Game Informer that EA had, “no hand in development or anything about this game,” and with the first season coming in March, we can expect a lot more coming from Respawn soon. Until then, if you haven’t played Apex Legends yet, it’s free on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC.