“Apex Legends,” released Feb. 4, is a breath of fresh air in the battle royale genre.
Released across PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, “Apex Legends” is a first-person shooter where 60 players, divided into teams of three, are put into a match together. Each team starts without any equipment and must eliminate the other teams, resulting in them being the last team standing similar to “The Hunger Games.”
This isn’t the first game to take a crack at the battle royale genre. Other titles such as “PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds,” “Fortnite” and “The Culling” have also attempted to monopolize on the recent interest in the genre.
Unlike other titles, “Apex Legends” has implemented systems and mechanics distinguishing it from other titles. It’s unique twist on the player’s character, innovative movement system (the way a player moves their character around in the game) and smaller, subtle improvements for common mechanics provide an exhilarating and enjoyable experience unlike any other game in the genre.
In battle royale games, the main difference between each player in a battle, besides player skill, is the gear each player has scavenged throughout the match.
While finding and equipping new weapons, armor and miscellaneous gadgets provide a degree of strategy, player’s often flock toward what is considered the best gear. This often results in matches ending with players facing off against players with gear they’re used to seeing. This leads to battles sometimes feeling repetitive and even boring.
“Apex Legends” remedies this by providing an extra twist to each player’s character through a roster of nine unique heroes.
Each hero boasts its own set of skills special to them. For example, the hero Caustic has the ability to use gas traps and grenades, each releasing a poisonous gas to hurt opponents.
By adding a roster of different heroes, player’s have to make a decision of which hero to play when starting a match.
Further complicating their decision is the requirement of each member of a team to pick a different hero from one another.
This adds a new layer of strategy to the game other video games in the genre lack. Simultaneously, it adds a fun modifier to each battle a player encounters while reducing the feeling of repetitiveness.
Alongside its enjoyable character system, “Apex Legends” comes to the table with an innovative movement system.
Previously released battle royale games have had average movement systems. Video games such as “Fortnite” and “PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds” movement systems get the job done, but that’s about it.
On the other hand, moving around in “Apex Legends” is a blast in itself.
The game places a heavy emphasis on momentum, giving the players an efficient sliding mechanic, the ability to climb fairly large walls and overall fast running speed.
When a player slides in most video games, they tend to stop after a short distance.
This isn’t the case in “Apex Legends.” Instead, if a player slides down an incline, they’ll travel as far as their momentum carries them. Combining this with the fast running speed and wall climbing results in a fluid movement system yet to be seen in another battle royale game.
On top of “Apex Legends” new hero system and exhilarating movement system are other quality of life improvements on common mechanics in battle royale games.
The game’s inventory system is both intuitive and easy to use, and the built-in ability to “ping” enemies and pieces of equipment is simple, making communication with teammates painless.
Alongside these changes is a new mechanic making one player on each team in charge of where the team goes after jumping out of the plane every team starts in. It’s common for battle royale games to start each team in a plane before forcing them to jump out, however, it’s hard for teams to stay together. “Apex Legends” fixes this with this mechanic.
All of these unique features, systems and mechanics make “Apex Legends” exciting and enjoyable to play and arguably the best battle royale game to hit the market.