EA’s latest free-to-play release (yes, you read that right), is a Battle Royale based on the popular Titanfall franchise, Apex Legends.
Teased and then subsequently released on all three major platforms — the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One — on the same day, Apex Legends has quickly emerged as a potential rival to PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS and Fortnite.
While there was a lot of initial disappointment regarding how Respawn Entertainment released a different game other than Titanfall 3, the numbers tell a different story. Case in point, Apex Legends reached 25 million players just a week after its release, and the player count have only climbed since.
So, because of its still-increasing popularity, you have probably heard of the game by now. You might already have played it once or twice. But, if not, then don’t worry. Because, below, you’ll find everything you to know behind the game that everyone is already referring to as the “Fortnite-Killer”.
What is Apex Legends?
Apex Legends is the latest free-to-play first-person Battle Royale shooter developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts, otherwise known as EA. It’s available for download free on the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
For those not in the know, Battle Royale is a video game genre that gained mainstream popularity with the release of PUBG back in 2017. How each game works is rather simple. There’s a certain number of players dropped onto a battlefield. There, they must loot the area for weapons and ammo while fighting off other players. To constantly force skirmishes and encounters, an ever-shrinking ring closes in every couple of minutes or so until one one remains standing.
In the case of Apex Legends, 60 players are dropped onto the “Kings Canyon”. As of the moment, players will be grouped into squads of 3 players each. This means that there’ll be a total of 20 squads playing in each game at the same time.
While the game may be set 30 years after the events of Titanfall 2, it’s not a sequel. It’s not even the same game. So, don’t expect any mech suits, wall-running or double-jumping here. Although, if it’s any consolation, you can slide across floors or down slopes to get across the map much faster.
Apex Legends vs Fortnite vs PUBG
Apex Legends is different in that it takes elements of Battle Royale games and mixes it with elements from team-based FPS shooters like Overwatch.
In the game, players can choose from a variety of characters known as “Legends”. Each possesses a special ability that makes them unique and at the same time, are complementary so there’s an incentive to try and find out the right kind of compositions to create an efficient squad.
Because there’s no solo or duo play in Apex Legends, teamwork is a lot more crucial. This is especially true because of the “ping” system, that allows you to mark important objects you find on the map and makes it easier to communicate, as well as the fact that, at the start of the game, one player is assigned the role of “jumpmaster” and that designed player will choose where the team is going to land. The game does give players the option to break away from the squad and play/land on their own.
What also sets the game apart is that you can revive fallen teammates. So long as they haven’t left the game yet after dying, you can pick up their “banner” and take it to a respawn location, which is marked as green on your map. Although this is quite risky and takes time, not to revived teammates won’t have any weapons once they come back, it can be worth it if you want to keep your team at full strength.
Other noteworthy features zero fall damage from heights, ziplines that you can use to dash across the map, and hot-air balloons that you can use to go up and glide across the air.
What Kind of Gear Can You Loot in Apex Legends?
Apex Legends isn’t too different from other Battle Royale games. All sorts of loot litter the battlefield, and just like in other titles, they have varying levels of quality and rarity highlighted by their colours. Even better, because of the “ping” system, it’s a lot easier to grab the attention of your squads if you find certain types of loot that’s better suited for their style of play or than what they already have.
Apex Legends takes out the most cumbersome parts of looting as well. In the game, attachments are automatically added to a new gun you pick up. Not to mention, the game also tells you if you already have better attachments, which saves you from the trouble of picking up worse loot.
The game will also alert you if a particular area has high concentrations of loot. Also, in each match, the game will randomly designate an area with higher levels of loot compared to others, marked by a blue circle. You can check out the map for reference. Although, because of the higher concentration of quality loot, expect players to come in said areas in droves.
Finally, you’ll also notice the game assigning a specific player the title of “champion”, with that player’s image projected on screens all over the map. Killing that player will net you more experience points compared to killing others.
What Characters Are Available in Apex Legends?
As mentioned earlier, there are eight available Legends to play in the game, allowing you to choose a character that best suit your preferred experienced and style of play.
Each Legends possess three abilities. First is a passive ability, followed by a tactical move that they can only use every few seconds for balancing reasons, and finally, a devastating ultimate with a long cooldown. Six legends will be available for players to choose right from the start. Meanwhile, players can purchase an additional of two more Legends for 12,000 “”Legend Tokens” each, which you can earn simply just by playing the game.
Currently, the available Legends in the game are Bloodhound, Gibraltar, Caustic, Lifeline, Bangalore, Wraith, Pathfinder, and Mirage.
Does Apex Legends Have Microtransactions?
Apex Legends is a free-to-play Battle Royale game that does indeed have micro-transactions. However, it is unlike other free-to-play games that only masquearate themselves as free-to-play but are actually pay to win. In the game, only your skills matter 00 nothing more and nothing less.
Having said that, buying any of the gear will is only for cosmetic reasons.
You can use real money to buy “Apex Packs”, which are the game’s version of lootboxes, as well as “Apex Coins”, which are the game’s premium currency. You can also earn “Legends Tokens” simply by grinding or by buying them using real money.
What is the Battle Pass?
Apex Legends uses a season-based system that’s quite similar to Epic Games’ Fortnite.
Just like with its competition, in the game, players can purchase a “Battle Pass” and receive rewards, which are mostly in-game cosmetics and can range from anything such as seasonal items to Apex Packs. Although all players can unlock some of the items available through normal play, only those who purchase the “Battle Pass” will have access to exclusive rewards, which, according to EA, can number in the hundreds.
Apex Legends’ seasons can last from anywhere between three to four months and players can keep any cosmetics they earn.
It is unknown yet whether or not Apex Legends’ seasonal system will have challenges, or if the current progression system — where players earn progress by earning experience points by playing more games and leveling up — will remain.
As of the moment, there is a maximum level cap of 100, but players can continue earning more “Legend Tokens” after they have reached the cap.
The first Season of Apex Legends will start in March.
What do you think is the future for Apex Legends? Do you think it will have staying power? Or will the hype around it eventually fizzle out, just like in other Battle Royale games? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.