Welcome to Apex: Legends.
The new kid on the block and most recent in the long, long line of battle royale games to come out in the past few years. Developed by Respawn, the same people who made the Titanfall franchise, Apex: Legends follows the basic battle royale formula. Drop in from the sky, grab loot, kill your opponents, stay in the circle, and be the last one standing. What sets it apart is its quick gunplay, Legend system, and fantastic ping system.
In Apex you always play in a squad of three. No solos, no duos, unless you get some cheeky people that disconnect before the game starts. One person controls the jump for the team, but you can split off on your own if you really want to (hint: stick together or you’ll be focused down in no time). The ping system shows it’s strength from the get-go, even on PC where most people have mics. Anybody can ping somewhere on the map by pointing their cursor at it, and it’ll show a yellow diamond to your other squadmates along with a voice line from your hero. From there, your teammates can actually respond to your ping, saying that’s a good idea or that there’s no way in hell they’ll do that. The ping system works for loot and enemies too, letting your team know when you’ve found something good or want to engage an enemy squad.
The gunplay, much like Titanfall, is extremely fast paced. Legends have unlimited sprint, can slide and scale short walls, and some even have abilities that help them move more freely. This leads to extremely hectic gunfights, where teams reposition often to gain the high ground. It only takes a few seconds of shooting someone before they hit the floor. Your team can revive you if you go down, and even grab your banner if you fully died and bring you to a respawn station where you can get back in the game, sans equipment. Some legends are even better at helping you up than others!
The legends in this game are the characters you play as. No longer are you the nameless character that falls from the sky, now you’re Gibraltar, the shield toting tank, or Mirage, the quick witted illusionist. Every legend in Apex has 3 abilities – one passive, one active, and an ultimate. Most of these abilities are geared to assist you defensively or help you and your team in getting kills, not killing them for you. Using them wisely can be the difference between losing a fight and winning one!
Overall, Apex: Legends is a fun, engaging shooter that takes the battle royale formula and adds enough spice and good mechanics that it pulled in 25 million players in its first week of launch, even on EA’s less than stellar Origin game service. I don’t know if it’ll stick, but for now Apex is the game to play.