“Apex Legends” steals the show

Electronic Arts

Millions spent on V-Bucks, kids flossing all over the nation, and Drake playing for thousands of people on stream.

“Fortnite” won 2018.

Battle Royale games started after the popularization of the “Hunger Games” concept, pitting contestants together and having only one winner.

The genre was introduced to the gaming scene with “Arma 2” and “Minecraft,” serving nothing more than just an unofficial game-mode created by dedicated fans. “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds”  and “Fortnite” were two of the first fully developed battle royale shooters, and its reception was overwhelmingly positive.

Now, in 2019, we get another contender.

“Apex Legends” is a 2019 battle-royale shooter created by Respawn Entertainment that aims to give “Fortnite” a run for its money.

Respawn Entertainment isn’t a newcomer to the shooter genre. Back in 2014, they released “Titanfall” and while it and its sequel was met with decent reviews, they both fell into obscurity among the sea of failed FPS games.

“Apex Legends” adds new concepts that make the game more fluid and adds many quality of life changes compared to other battle royales.

The biggest difference between “Apex Legends” and its competitors is the class-based system. The system in itself is nothing new, “Team Fortress 2” and “Overwatch” are two of the more popular examples. The idea is that players choose roles to play within their teams. You have high DPS characters, tanks and healers to name a few.

This one change adds a massive amount of variation compared to other battle royale games. If you want to focus on surviving, Lifeline can heal you and your team using a healing drone. Maybe you’re more of a flank, in which case, Mirage can go invisible and confuse the enemy with decoys. There are currently eight legends in the game, so one of them will surely satisfy your playstyle. 

You land as a unit of three rather than everyone having the ability to go wherever they want. The ability to branch away from your squad is available, but having everyone land together diminishes the possibility of having one teammate landing miles away.

The gunplay is tight and responsive, ultimately reminiscent of the earlier “Halo” entries. A lot of this can be credited with having a great movement system that allows for interesting and versatile tactics. You can run and climb as every character in the game, but legends such as Pathfinder have a grappling hook to mix things up.

This is also the first battle royale game where you can respawn your teammates. By looting their dead bodies you can receive their banner, and if you bring it to a respawn station, they can come back to play – just without their items, of course.

Oh, did I mention the game is free? And not “free” as other games put it. No, the whole game is free. While there are currently two characters to unlock using currency given to level up, nothing purchasable is anything more than cosmetic.  

While your wallet is going to thank you for playing, your eyes aren’t going to believe that it’s free. 

They’re certainly not breathtaking graphics, but the zones are so incredibly diverse and beautiful that it’s hard not to appreciate them.

The feeling of emptiness the desolate desert of “Skull Town” provides contrasts with the terrifying suspicion of feeling surrounded in the infamously busy landing spot, “Market.”

“Apex Legends” has yet to release their battle pass, a series of challenges that come with rewards for dedicated fans. Respawn claims that it will drop sometime in March.

“Apex Legends” shows that sometimes a few small changes can go a long way. 

Grade: A-

“Apex Legends” shoots through the competition.