Battle royale-styled shooters have been all the rage in the gaming community for the past two years. This craze started with South Korean developers, Bluehole, and their release of “PlayerUnknown’s Battleground” in 2017 and Epic Games’ “Fortnite” in that same year. This love of battle royales has only increased with the release of Respawn Entertainment’s “Apex Legends” a few weeks ago. This game became an instant hit in the gaming community with gamers comparing “Apex” to “Fortnite” and even going as far as to say that it’s better.
Now, first things first, battle royale games have never really been my type of game. I found them to be somewhat pointless and just not a fun experience overall. That being said, “Apex Legends” has changed my opinion on the genre. The gameplay itself is reminiscent of “Titanfall”, with very fast-paced scenarios that require decent reaction time. This should come as no surprise, as Respawn Entertainment also developed “Titanfall” and its sequel, “Titanfall 2.” The gameplay is also very reminiscent of the “Halo” franchise with the floaty jumps and tight controls. The fast pace of the game makes for interesting firefights between squads with rash decisions running rampant in everyone’s approach to tactics.
Another great quality is the use of unique character abilities. As a Pathfinder main, I find the use of his grappling hook to make the fast gameplay very interesting. The game also has ultimate abilities that improve the upon the regular abilities. Anywhere from creating ziplines to creating large protective shields make the gameplay all the more interesting. All this being said, “Apex Legends” is not a game for the weak. It took me a solid three games before getting my first kill. I began to wonder if the game itself was just hard and I couldn’t figure it out. But as I played one game after the other, I realized the issue that I was having: the team dynamic wasn’t there. How well one does in a match is almost completely dependent on how well a team works together. This squad-based system that the game employs can act as either the most efficient method of having fun or it is the bane of the player’s existence. The main issue with the squad system is the lack of communication that is going to occur if one is unfamiliar with the team they’re playing with. But this isn’t necessarily the game’s fault as this has more to do with the choice of the player.
However, this game is not perfect. One major issue I found with “Apex Legends” is the gap between the weapon rankings. The game suffers from a major balancing issue where high tier weapons make decent midtier weapons look like peashooters. When I found myself facing enemies with high tier weapons, I had no chance of leaving the exchange with a victory. Also, “Apex Legends” suffers from the same issues that plague every battle royale game. Those issues being: getting killed in the beginning of a match, getting killed by an opponent extremely far away and never seeming to find good gear at the right time. All in all, I’d rate “Apex Legends” a solid 8/10 due to it being a fresh take on the battle royale genre and the unique style of play that comes with the parkour-esq mobility of the player.