Apex Legends revitalizes the enjoyment of Battle Royale games

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Tyler Fedor, Co-Writing Editor

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If you’re someone who plays video games, you know what the Battle Royale genre is. You start off with a large group of people and you have to fight to be the last man standing. The idea was seen as strong innovation within the games industry with the success of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, and launched even further with Fortnite.

After these two, though, many people became tired of the genre. Battle Royale games multiplied like rabbits, and the genre became saturated. People simply got bored with it.

Soon, these Battle Royale modes found their way to AAA titles and to mixed reception. It seemed Battle Royale had lost its appeal, and that gamers had moved on from the genre.

That was, until Respawn Entertainment, made up of the same developers behind the critically acclaimed Modern Warfare 2 and who made the brilliant Titanfall games, announced that they were creating a Battle Royale pit in the Titanfall universe.

The internet raised a skeptical brow. It wasn’t rocket science to see that Respawn just made good shooters, and their track records shows.

But more details came out. For me, at least, it started to look bad. No wallrunning? No titans? None of the mobility and gameplay options that made Titanfall special would be in the game? Is this really just going to be a Battle Royale game with a Titanfall coat of paint? Did EA gut the spirit of Respawn for a cheap cash grab to hold them over until Battlefield Vs (a game that already has been deemed a huge commercial failure) battle royale mode comes out?

How wrong I was. Seriously, if I told my previous self from the weekend before the official announcement I’d play this game for hours, I’m pretty sure he’d laugh at me and call me a slew of insults.

Apex Legends is a free to play Battle Royale game set in the Titanfall universe, developed by Respawn Entertainment. It’s the classic Battle Royale experience, with some twists of its own and some general quality of life improvements to the Battle Royale genre, and it starts with the characters, or legends.

Instead of just playing as an anonymous soldier like usual, you get to choose from eight legends, unique characters with unique abilities. Each one is interesting in its own way gameplay wise and character wise. Not only does this give the game character, but it also gives the game replayability.

Most Battle Royales follow the same formula: land, get guns, fight and there isn’t much else to it. Now, each character drops in with his abilities and the weapons he finds, creating an ever changing possible meta that’ll result in fun and interesting combat scenarios. Each legend has a passive ability, special ability that has a cooldown period after each use and super powerful ultimate ability that charges over time. Learning to combine these skills with the smooth and perfect gunplay makes the game even more fun.

Going back to some of these original twists are just fixes and some spirit that made Titanfall a unique game. In many Battle Royales, if one of your buddies dies, you’ll be left with the option to keep playing and make him watch, or leave and look for another game.

Not in this game. When a squadmate dies, he drops a banner card, and when you pick that up, you can take that card to one use respawn stations to bring him back into the fight with no equipment he had previously. This and other general quality of life improvements make this game a standout title amongst other heavy hitters like Fortnite and PUBG, and it’s making the revenue to prove it too.

At launch, two of these legends, Caustic and Mirage, are locked behind a paywall and can be bought with in-game currency earned through playing or bought with real world money. Now this may seem like a turn off for many, but Respawn seems to know what its doing, and in the shadow of EA, I’m surprised it came out this good.

Microtransactions are out for all now, and Respawn has confirmed a battle pass-like system to be introduced in March, as well as new content along the way. Microtransactions in free to plays are almost guaranteed, but still catch the ire of many gamers, and for good reason. Star Wars Battlefront II (An EA property) practically fell off the map due to the controversy that surrounded it from it’s predatory loot boxes, and never mind the fact that it was a just a low-quality game at launch, and arguably still is now.

Instead of paying into the gamble that is loot boxes totally blind, Respawn was smart. On the menu where you can buy these Apex Packs (the games’ loot boxes), it shows you the chances of gaining a certain quality of item. There are also no duplicates, so you won’t feel scammed when you get a cool skin or voice line you already have. These are a much safer form of loot box compared to other games, and because of it, has many gamers okay with the presence of loot boxes.

The game technically runs very well. Game-breaking bugs are practically non-existent, and the only maybe major issue is on some games when I start, I’ll feel like I’m getting these mini rubberbanding instances, where I keep getting put back a foot from where I was initially.
There’s a few smaller bugs, but none of them break the game or make it a chore to play sometimes.

I’m glad Respawn came out like this. For a reputable company, it knew if it messed up that it would never hear the end of it. The game truly does speak for itself, it’s fun, works on launch and has a non-predatory system to support itself with if consumers wish to buy into.

While many Titanfall fans were probably hoping for Titanfall 3 (and so was I), I have to say I’m impressed (and hooked) by not only the game itself, but also how much attention it’s gained in the first week of launch. It managed to break peak player records, and still managed to hold up technically no crashes or anything.

This game looks like it’s here for good, and I am totally fine with that. It’s a great game with a great team behind it, and the best part? It’s all free. If you haven’t already, go pick up this game, you don’t really have a reason not to try it at least.

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