It first came up as a rumor, but Apex Legends didn’t take long to uncover itself as the game that the Respawn guys were going to release immediately. Apex Legends has been released on Xbox One, PS4 and PC as a free-to-play title. And we, as soon as we have been able to, have already been spending a few hours on the new game from the developers of Titanfall, and we take this chance to tell you how this first contact has been with a game that aims to become a big one within the genre.
Respawn knows how to make first-person action games very well, although the high quality of Titanfall 2, both in its campaign and multiplayer, wasn’t enough to make the game a success. Perhaps the key was found in what Drew McCoy said: “I love Titanfall and Titanfall 2. In fact, I’m very proud of Titanfall 2, but you always had that feeling of being the same as the other multiplayer games”. The trend in recent years has been to approach a type of multiplayer (talking about shooters) more strategic and not so reliant on the pace of the action, as are the cases of Rainbow Six Siege, Overwatch or PUBG.
What these games have in common is a much deeper learning curve than what other more fast-paced shooters offer, focusing almost entirely on skill and reflexes. These are games that offer us a new kind of satisfaction, by the need to learn a series of mechanics and then be able to apply them correctly in the matches. Maybe that was also Blackout’s missing point. Unlike Call of Duty’s battle royale, which despite having this tactical element of the genre, has made a much stronger commitment to a fast-paced approach, Respawn wanted to give Apex Legends a more strategic component, without losing sight of Titanfall’s identity, with a very agile gameplay.
And I think that feeling is very well achieved. How was this possible? First of all, by eliminating from the equation that great freedom of movement of Titanfall, which allowed us to run on walls or make bigger jumps. And also adding some special skills to the legends (the characters we can play as in Apex Legends).
In other words, Apex Legends is designed to work with all the elements of any battle royale. There is a playable area that is closing more and more, and the goal is to reach the end being the only team standing. For this, obviously, getting the best possible loot is a fundamental part. In this sense Respawn has done a pretty good job, and after a few games and getting ourselves into types of weapons, ammunition, accessories and other items, the looting is done quite intuitively. While gunplay is precise and is, along with the aesthetics of the game, what brings us most memories of Titanfall.
But the key of Apex Legends, which really differentiates it from other battle royale, and where Respawn has found that space to create a very dynamic and yet measured game, we find it in their approach to hero-shooter. There are currently 8 different heroes in the game (two of them unlockable), each with different roles and skills. Each team can only have one of these heroes at a time, so it is not possible to overuse a specific skill. The combination of the heroes and their skills within the team is very useful. And while your fate in the matches still relies on your aim, loot and skill to play, the use of those skills helps to create a team fight as spectacular as successful, once we learn to make good use of each character.
That’s precisely why the teams are composed of three players, because Respawn has understood that this is the appropriate number to combine and coordinate the use of different characters. That’s also why we found another very interesting factor: the possibility of recovering comrades killed in combat in structures that are distributed around the map, assuming, of course, the risk that this whole process implies. Because those team fights lose some sense when playing in numerical inferiority. In spite of everything, Apex Legends games are very fast and dynamic. The map is not very big, and there are 60 players (20 teams of 3) in each game, which is almost half the number we are used to in other battle royale.
We are delighted with Apex Legends because it is everything we expected from another Battle Royalye, Blackout. With which I still have mixed feelings despite its latest updates. Now it’s time to continue playing the new Respawn game, wait a bit to see how the game will be received over the next few weeks (at the moment it couldn’t be better) and end up confirming whether or not it finally rises as one of the greats in the genre. With a lot of freshness and identity, the feeling for now is that it has everything it needs, and more, for that to happen. There are many more things to say about Apex Legends, but we’ll do it over the next few days as we continue to discover and enjoy the game.