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Review: ‘Apex Legends’ is the new champion of battle royales

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Review: ‘Apex Legends’ is the new champion of battle royales

Courtesy of Electronic Arts

Courtesy of Electronic Arts

Courtesy of Electronic Arts

Courtesy of Electronic Arts

Sam Lucio

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Following the latest craze of battle royale games in a world dominated by “Fortnite,” Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts take their own shot at the hottest genre in gaming with “Apex Legends.”

Since “Apex,” as the community refers to it as, first released on Feb. 4, the game has dominated gaming headlines around the world. Within the first month, “Apex” had reached over 50 million total players, according to a tweet from the developers, crushing the record “Fortnite” held which took several months to reach.

After spending countless hours playing “Apex” for nearly two months along with millions of others, it does not seem like “Apex” is fading away anytime soon.

Gameplay

“Apex” is a battle royale game, meaning that you fight in an arena against countless others while avoiding a storm that can kill you until there is one team remaining who is then crowned the champion. Unlike in “Fortnite” where each game is comprised of 100 players, games in “Apex” only have 60 total players. Also, in “Apex” you can only play in teams of three, whereas in “Fortnite” you can either play solo, duo or in a team of four. “Apex” also features “legends,” characters each player chooses to play as, which will be discussed later.

Every battle royale game begins with the player jumping out of some type of ship. “Apex” is no different as players jump out of a drop ship, but “Apex” also changes up the formula. In every squad of three, one player is designated as the “jumpmaster.” The jumpmaster is in charge of deciding and controlling where the squad lands.

“Apex” emphasizes teamwork which is made abundantly clear in the game’s “ping” system, a feature which is widely considered one of the main reasons for “Apex’s” success. The ping system is used to communicate with your teammates no matter whether you are on mic with them or not, a feature “Fortnite” lacked but eventually added to the game due to the enormous success in “Apex.” The ping system is used by tapping the right shoulder button on the controller. The ping system has a wide array of uses like pinging a location you want to explore so your teammates know where to head next as well as pinging weapons and ammo which alert your teammates to items they might want or need. The ping system in “Apex” is one of the more refreshing aspects of the game that really set it apart from “Fortnite.”

The combat in “Apex” is also a refreshing change of pace from “Fortnite.” One of my main issues in “Fortnite” is that there’s too much stuff. Every battle in “Fortnite” relies on how well you can build while dodging attacks from other players using “Fortnite’s” myriad of wacky weapons. In “Apex,” all you have is armor, guns and grenades. Killing other players in “Apex” is based more on skill and aim instead of whatever wacky item you have.

Legends

What sets “Apex” apart the most are its characters, called “legends.” Before you start every game, you and your team are shown a list of all 9 of the legends and each player chooses which legends they want to play as. Each legends has their own unique traits and special abilities only they can use. The legends are Bangalore, Bloodhound, Caustic, Gibraltar, Lifeline, Mirage, Octane, Pathfinder and Wraith.

Bangalore is a professional soldier whose abilities allow her to run twice as fast while being shot at, a smoke launcher to blind enemies and an air strike that stuns enemies when hit. She is one of the more popular legends and is perfect for those players used to first-person shooters.

Bloodhound is a mysterious technological tracker whose abilities allow him to briefly reveal hidden enemies and traps, see tracks left behind by enemies and an ultimate ability that allows him to move faster while highlighting enemies.

Caustice is a toxic trapper whose abilities allow him to throw toxic gas traps, being able to see through his gas and a gas grenade. He is great for settling down and defending an area. Caustic is also one of the more annoying characters to fight against.

Gibraltar is a heavy tank character whose abilities allow him to throw down a shield to protect your teammates, a personal shield that deploys when you aim down your gun and an airstrike that obliterates your enemies.

Lifeline is a combat medic whose abilities allow her to deploy a drone that heals your teammates, an ability that allows her to revive teammates faster and a care package she can summon that gives teammates special items.

Mirage is a comedic trickster who can send out a holographic decoy, go invisible for five seconds and can send out multiple decoys to escape. Mirage constantly makes jokes but it mostly comes off as conceited and annoying.

Octane is a high energy speedster who can use an ability to move faster for 30 seconds, heal himself and deploy a jump pad to traverse large distances.

Pathfinder is a quirky robot who has a grappling hook, an ability to see where the next safe circle will be and a zipline for your teammates to use.

Wraith is an interdimensional skirmisher who can phase to avoid enemies, hear voices that warn the player of danger and can place a portal to help teammates escape. Wraith is one of the most popular legends due to her mobility and all around usefulness.

“Apex” offers a diverse cast of legends that the player can choose depending on their play style. Depending on the characters you and your team choose, your squad can pull off cool combos with complimentary abilities. Respawn Entertainment also said that they will continually add new legends to “Apex.”

Battle Pass

The latest addition to “Apex” is their battle pass, a service that allows you to level up and gain new cosmetic items for $9.50.

The battle pass is possibly the weakest part of “Apex” simply because it takes an extremely long time to level up and the rewards you receive seem more like a consolation prize as opposed to something you really want to work toward. The battle pass in “Apex” is more of a lazy effort to copy the battle pass in “Fortnite.”

Verdict

“Apex” is an extremely fun game especially when played with friends. The fast-paced intense action is a welcome change from a more robust combat system in “Fortnite.” I was very impressed with the range and scale of abilities with the legends and the amount of times I felt like a great player. “Apex” is wildly entertaining and the with a player base of over 50 million players, “Apex” is arguably the new champion of the battle royale genre.

Illustration by Ariel Landry.

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About the Writer
Sam Lucio, Reviews Editor

Sam is a journalist with a passion for storytelling, and is a Mass Communication Junior. He currently serve as the Reviews Editor. He has also been Social...

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Review: ‘Apex Legends’ is the new champion of battle royales