The rumors were true. After last weekend’s mysterious teaser stream, Respawn’s new battle royale shooter Apex Legends is available to download. The free-to-play title is a spinoff from Respawn’s Titanfall series. Taking place 30 years after Titanfall 2, Apex Legends has a bunch of colorful mercenaries fighting for control of the limited resources of the Outlands. The game is its own unique entity, as it does not feature Titans or wall-running. The gameplay reveal trailer can be seen below:
The game is an eclectic mix of Fortnite, Overwatch, and Titanfall. Like Overwatch, Apex Legends features several distinct playable characters, all with unique active, passive, and ultimate abilities. At launch, there are six playable Legends, with two additional characters that can be bought either using real money or in-game currency. The heroes each have distinct personalities and voice lines, giving the game a bit more flair than competitors like PUBG.
Team formation is key to Apex Legends, and the pre-game character selection has been tweaked to make sure teams have balanced roles. In most character-based team games you’ll have games where you don’t have an essential character, like a tank or a healer, because some living legend decided to pick Hanzo instead. Apex Legends alleviates this by forcing your team to pick their characters one at a time. If you see your team lacks a healer, you’ll have to pick one to ensure success. For a breakdown of every current Legend, watch the video below:
Gameplay-wise, Apex Legends more closely resembles CoD’s Blackout mode than either Fortnite or Titanfall. Like Titanfall, the gunplay is tight and satisfying, and the movement is fast-paced and fluid. Though the game lacks Titanfall’s iconic wall-running, vaulting over objects and navigating obstacles still feels smoother than other battle royale games. Like Blackout, organizing your items and attachments is surprisingly simple and streamlined, even while playing with a controller. One of the biggest ways Apex Legends differentiates itself from other battle royales is that it is entirely team-based. Every match has 20 teams of three competing to be the last one standing.
Apex Legends has some built-in features for those who want to cooperate but don’t like voice chat. When the match is beginning, a leader is randomly chosen who pings which location the squad will land in. While other players can offer suggestions, the leader ultimately chooses where the squad will land. During the match, players can use the detailed pinging system to highlight loot, enemies, and escape routes, allowing the team to coordinate their movements cleanly. While high-level players will inevitably forgo these options for voice chat, it’s a nice inclusion for more casual players who don’t want the stress associated with voice.
Apex Legends is currently free to download on PS4, PC, and Xbox One. If you’ve played it, let us know what you think! And if you haven’t played it yet, just click below to get started: