Up For Debate - Are You Enjoying Apex Legends?

Written by Jon Sutton on Tue, Feb 5, 2019 2:13 PM
System Requirements Optimum 1080p PC Build Low vs Ultra Screenshots GPU Performance Chart CPU List That Meet System Requirements GPU List That Meet System Requirements

Yesterday, Respawn did something very unusual, and especially unusual for a developer now owned by a AAA behemoth like EA. It announced and release Apex Legends there and then. No waiting. No marketing campaign. Nothing. Just ‘here it is’; it costs nothing; play it and see what you think.

The reaction from the anti-EA zealots who instinctively distrust anything that comes out of EA was entirely predictable, and in fact, this was the deciding factor in why Apex Legends was shadow-dropped.

"There are some people who think there are too many battle royale games or it's a fad, the world thinks we're making Titanfall 3 and we're not - this is what we're making,” said Apex Legends’ lead producer Drew McCoy during an interview with Eurogamer.

"To try and convince a sceptical audience for months with trailers and hands-on articles, we're just like 'let the game speak for itself' - it's the most powerful antidote to potential problems.

"We're doing a free to play game, with essentially loot boxes, after we were bought by EA, and it's not Titanfall 3. It's the perfect recipe for a marketing plan to go awry, so why have that - let's just ship the game and let players play." 

It’s a candid, interesting statement for McCoy to make. First and foremost, Respawn was all too aware of the perfect storm that would be brewing when it announced its first game as an EA-owned studio would be F2P battle royale with microtransactions and loot boxes. It didn’t matter that Apex Legends was Respawn’s idea entirely and it had to convince EA this was the right idea. People see what they want to see. Development of Apex Legends began after the launch of Titanfall 2 as a potential new game mode; Titanfall 3 was never even on the cards.

The only conceivable way to get around this huge potential PR pitfall was to get Apex Legends straight into gamers’ hands and win them over the old-fashioned way - by trying to give them a damned good game.

On that front, it looks as if Respawn has hit on something rather special. Respawn not only developed Titanfall; it’s also the core team that helped created Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4 and effectively laid the blueprint for modern FPS. Apex Royale hit 1 million players within just eight hours. These folks aren’t messing around.

Apex Legends is a fusion of classic military battle royale, like Call of Duty: Blackout, with hero shooter (Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, etc). There are currently eight playable characters, each with a trio of unique skills that can help them in a combat situation. This layers in additional depth, both individually and with team composition. Apex Legends is currently played entirely in trios and each player in a squad must use a unique character. Playing as a team reaps the biggest rewards, and it’s here where Apex Legends makes some of its biggest changes to the norms of battle royale.

In Apex, not only can downed players be revived but dead players can be respawned at special respawn machines. The dead player’s teammates just need to pick up a tag from their corpse within 90 seconds and then head to a respawn location. This calls the player back into battle aboard an attention-grabbing dropship. They’ll be weaponless but they’ll still have a chance. This introduces some great risk/reward in heading to death locations and respawn points, as well as providing a reason for dead teammates not to instantly drop out of the match or grow bored waiting for their team to die.

Then there are the ‘Legends’, the playable characters themselves. Each has a tactical ability, a passive ability, and an ultimate ability. Bloodhound, for example, has a tactical ability to see through walls, a passive ability to track enemy footprints, and an Ultimate that highlights enemies with a red glow and allows Bloodhound to move faster. They’re all totally unique as well. An early favourite of mine is Wraith. She can use her tactical to enter an alternate dimension and briefly move across the map undetected, popping out behind enemies. Her passive warns when an enemy is near while her tricky-to-use yet powerful Ultimate opens a dimensional rift that allows her to link two locations with portals to allow instant travel for an entire squad. These characters are where we see the big parallels with Overwatch and they help Apex Legends stand out from COD: Blackout in the same way Fortnite is distinct for its building.

The next key factor is the single map that’s currently available. It’s named, suggesting more are in the works, but it also offers plenty of unique biomes and an unprecedented amount of verticality. Getting around is easy thanks to Titanfall 2’s zip wires which can be used both upward and downward, while some characters can even benefit from grappling hooks to get up high at any point. It’s a dense, interesting map with plenty of easy to recognise locations even after only a handful of matches.

Gunplay in Apex Legends feels much the same as Titanfall 2, albeit with a much higher time-to-kill depending on the armour being worn. It’s slick, fast-paced and there are plenty of Blackout/PUBG-style attachments and upgrades for the weapons, along with a ton of gadgets and grenade types to give players the edge. Movement is fast-paced although it does lack the wall-running of Titanfall. In particular, slides are awesome. Run and crouch on a hill and you will knee slide the entire way down. It’s utterly joyful.

So far, so awesome. But, and there’s always a but, the microtransactions probably aren’t going to sit well with some people. As a F2P title, Apex Legends is absolutely loaded with them from top to bottom, it’s what’s going to pay the bills after all. However, MTX are almost exclusively cosmetic aside from two characters which can be bought or grinded for. I'm not entirely sure how long this actually takes just yet, or if they’re better in any way than the standard characters, but this could be a point of contention. Loot crates are handed out fairly generously at the start though, and I’ve already earned six from about two hours of play.

The other downside right now is Apex Legends is it’s currently exclusively for trios. No solos, duos or quads. I suspect this comes down to a couple of things.

Firstly, I imagine Respawn wanted to guarantee a healthy player count and minimal queue times at launch. Splitting Apex off into four playlists could’ve risked trouble. Seeing as Apex has already received a considerable degree of success though, we reckon other playlists could be added shortly.

The other issue is down to balance. The Legends’ unique skills a big factor and some are clearly designed to work with teams, putting certain characters at a disadvantage in solo play. I’ve also heard plenty of disappointment about the lack of Titans, although it seems ludicrous to assume Respawn didn’t try to incorporate Titans in Apex. As it turns out, they did, obviously, but it became difficult to balance and the game was less fun for it. That doesn’t totally rule out it happening at some point in the future though.

Anyway, that’s my slightly rambling diatribe on all things Apex Legends. So far I’ve been loving been time with it, it’s been a real surprise and feels like a sorely needed breath of fresh air in the battle royale scene. I'd probably go so far as to say I've been blown away as my expectations weren't high at all, but grab a few mates together for a squad and Apex is a great time.

I’d love to know what your thoughts on it are though, or if you haven’t played it yet, whether you’re planning to give Apex Legends a shot!

Have you played Apex Legends?

What are your impressions of Apex Legends?

Our favourite comments:

I like it, just got no friends who play it.

decimal

It's very uncommon these days to release a full blown game with as little issues as Respawn launched Apex. I downloaded it, played a few matches, had fun. It's definitely a squashed together mix of some of the best out there. Add Fortnite to Blackout and spice it up a bit with Overwatch and you have an interesting game. I myself was getting a little tired of BR, but here I am having fun. The shooting feels great, the map isn't overly large, and the "ping" system is literally amazing. I can dig it.

ForeverZ3RO

"I'm just here to moan about battle royale", God I love this site :D

risiblewilbury

Login or Register to join the debate

Rep
-9
Offline
00:52 Feb-11-2019

It's on origin... So it's a no from me.

-2
Rep
20
Offline
admin approved badge
07:05 Feb-07-2019

I like it, just got no friends who play it.

1
Rep
23
Offline
16:27 Feb-06-2019

i was always against br in general but darn it this one is done so well and i've been enjoying the hell out of it so far and it might become a genre defining at this rate . highly recommand it for everyone even br haters like me before this one

0
Rep
67
Offline
admin approved badge
07:36 Feb-06-2019

Thoroughly
it's especially good with friends but what game isn't :P

1
Rep
67
Offline
admin approved badge
10:36 Feb-06-2019
0
Rep
7
Offline
00:30 Feb-06-2019

First MOBA games now BR games. I hate myself for not enjoying both of the genres. There's still a kid living in me hoping for a good MMO

0
Rep
67
Offline
admin approved badge
07:37 Feb-06-2019
0
Rep
76
Offline
admin approved badge
22:02 Feb-05-2019

I am just not really that interested. I will give it a go at some point. It sounds like a good free game. I just am not that badly interested in BR, since I played it when PUBG was still in Early Access. Not that I am great at it, it just kind of got to the point where I just had to move on. So Apex is not my priority.

1
Rep
45
Offline
admin approved badge
00:00 Feb-06-2019

Same, I played Fortnite once and it was all I needed to know it wasn't for me.

0
Rep
23
Offline
16:29 Feb-06-2019

i was not interrested in br at all before and tried the most popular ones out there but could not really get into them unlike this one , this one is done so well and i recommand you check it on and give it a try you won't regret it

0
Rep
55
Offline
admin approved badge
20:55 Feb-05-2019

It's very uncommon these days to release a full blown game with as little issues as Respawn launched Apex. I downloaded it, played a few matches, had fun. It's definitely a squashed together mix of some of the best out there. Add Fortnite to Blackout and spice it up a bit with Overwatch and you have an interesting game. I myself was getting a little tired of BR, but here I am having fun. The shooting feels great, the map isn't overly large, and the "ping" system is literally amazing. I can dig it.

3
Rep
386
Offline
admin approved badge
21:37 Feb-05-2019

If the shooting is like in Titanfall 2 then it's like in CoD MW3 and prior CoD games, so it's great. Quite looking forward to playing it.

2
Rep
23
Offline
16:30 Feb-06-2019

you should

0
Rep
116
Offline
18:04 Feb-05-2019

It is actually, surprisingly very fun. Managed to squeeze 4 or 5 games today and on my last one finished second. It plays a lot like Titanfall although with less freedom of movement because you don't have a jet pack nor a Titan. Movement is surprisingly very fluid, gunplay is fun and solid, and I've not run into any issues in those 5 matches apart from some lag in my last one which fixed itself after a bit. It also runs great, completely maxed with always over 60fps.

1
Rep
116
Offline
18:08 Feb-05-2019

If you were like me and you were intrigued by the concept of BR but no so much to buy them, it's great. I enjoyed Fortnite for what I played but this feels more up my alley. I've not had a chance to play with friends yet, but people I did were surprisingly pleasant for a MP game. There is voice chat, not surprising, but there's also a wide range of pings with which you can communicate quite well if you don't want to talk to others or can't do so.

0
Rep
116
Offline
18:12 Feb-05-2019

I am pleasantly surprised by a game connected with EA lately. Respawn said that EA had no say in the development of the game which may be why I like it.
But this being F2P game, there's a lot of MTs. 3 different currencies - In-game, crafting and premium, and it seems like new heroes, legends in this game, will be acquirable trough buying. There are also lootboxes, which I'm not a fan of regardless of game's nature, but so far only for cosmetic items.

0
Rep
386
Offline
admin approved badge
18:24 Feb-05-2019

I think one of the conditions of Respawn going under EA was for EA to have next to no say in their game development, since they didn't want to repeat what happened with Activision.

0
Rep
116
Offline
18:43 Feb-05-2019

That's a pretty smart deal. Makes me wonder why other studios didn't do that, or they did but got bought out later.

0
Rep
386
Offline
admin approved badge
19:40 Feb-05-2019

Well considering who is in that studio and their history with Activision and EA themselves. Respawn was the original Infinity Ward under Activision, who before going under Activision had left EA, I think due to EA messing up their creative ideas/work, they made the first two Medal of Honor games and quit just at the start of the third.
So if EA wanted them back they had to bend a knee.

0
Rep
-3
Offline
17:41 Feb-05-2019

By far the better F2P BR game

4
Rep
4
Offline
17:34 Feb-05-2019

I´m planning to play it with some friends, maybe it will be good or it will be generic battle royale junk.

0
Rep
1
Offline
17:10 Feb-05-2019

"I'm just here to moan about battle royale", God I love this site :D

14
Rep
24
Offline
15:31 Feb-05-2019

I honestly like it and I have a lot of fun playing it, even tho I hate battle royale lol
I can't wait to see how the game evolves :)

1
Rep
11
Offline
15:25 Feb-05-2019

Looking forward to finishing work and trying this.. Watched a couple of vids from YT and looks fairly decent.

1
Rep
4
Offline
15:24 Feb-05-2019

I'm not a big fan of battle royales, they bore me after a few games however this is something different. It's probably because of the fun teamwork mechanics between the teammates. This is coming from a guy who mostly plays solo in other BR games, so at first glance I was not happy that this one only has trio mode.

3
Rep
4
Offline
15:26 Feb-05-2019

I'm having fun even with random people, haven't even tried it with friends yet. Communication is very well done with the pings, you can ping anything and inform your teammates about everything without saying a word on the mic, and that's a big plus with randoms because a lot of people don't want to talk.

2
Rep
383
Offline
senior admin badge
15:58 Feb-05-2019

Yeah got to say that's a pretty handy feature. Also like the simultaneous drop as an option, keeps a squad together on landing

1
Rep
386
Offline
admin approved badge
14:17 Feb-05-2019

Gonna play it after my physics exam...

0
Rep
383
Offline
senior admin badge
14:23 Feb-05-2019

Good luck!

1
Rep
386
Offline
admin approved badge
14:30 Feb-05-2019

Thanks.

0
Rep
24
Offline
15:32 Feb-05-2019

I hope you'll like it!

2
Rep
383
Offline
senior admin badge
17:01 Feb-05-2019

I am kind of fascinated what type of person would downvote a completely positive comment like this. I hope they found peace with it.

0
Rep
386
Offline
admin approved badge
17:08 Feb-05-2019

I have a bunch of haters that go around and dislike every post I make and everybody replying to it regardless of the content, so yeah, the curse of replying to Psychoman, you will be downvoted XD

3
Rep
383
Offline
senior admin badge
17:23 Feb-05-2019

Hah, the price of fame (infamy?)

0
Rep
386
Offline
admin approved badge
17:29 Feb-05-2019

Infamy it is. :D

0
Rep
386
Offline
admin approved badge
17:19 Feb-05-2019

Thanks, if its gameplay is the same titanfall, but without the titans and jetpacks, I will, even if it's got fewer mechanics. I love titanfall's gameplay. I still don't like the Battle Royale game mode, but I don't particularly dislike it very much either. I just wish there was an alternative version of Battle Royale with objectives and points, rather than a death circle.

0

Can They Run... |

| 30FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-4670 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti EVGA Gaming 4GB 8GB
| 60FPS, High, 1440p
Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2080 EVGA XC Ultra Gaming 8GB 32GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 7 4800H 8-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB 8GB
| High,
Ryzen 7 2700 8-Core 3.2GHz Radeon RX 5600 XT Gigabyte Gaming OC 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1440p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1070 Palit Super JetStream 16GB
50% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-11700K 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1060 Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 6GB Edition 32GB
75% Yes [4 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i7-4770 4-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1060 Inno3D Compact 6GB 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-9300H 4-Core 2.4GHz GeForce GTX 1650 8GB
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600 6-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 16GB
Ryzen 5 5600 6-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600 6-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600 6-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 16GB
| Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600 6-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10700 8-Core 2.90GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II 2GB OC Edition 16GB
57.1429% Yes [7 votes]