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Apex Legends is great, but not really

On February 4th 2019, gamers worldwide were surprised with a new battle royale game published by EA, Apex Legends.

Apex Legends borrows and develops on other team-based shooters, such as the critically acclaimed Overwatch and other battle royale games such as Epic Game’s Fortnite. Coupled in with the distinctive Titanfall 2 art style, the new title has been an overnight success, gathering over one million unique players in the first eight hours of release.

With that being said, the game is far from perfect and as more players download the game, the flaws are becoming more obvious. While thoroughly enjoying all nine forty fifty hours of gameplay at the time of writing (how’s that for a no-life?), my opinion on the game has swayed, for better and for worse.

So, the Good Stuff

Let’s talk about the graphics

Apex Legends stances itself between the realm of reality and the realm of imagination – both of which are preferred by the gaming community. Unlike its rivals Fortnite and PUBG which are heavily confined to one setting (one almost too unreal while the other the complete opposite), Apex Legends grabs the appeal of sci-fi and fuses it successfully with a realistic environment. The graphical quality itself is nothing special in comparison to other games, such as Horizon Zero Dawn, although the art style nods in the direction of the Halo franchise as well as Titanfall.

Apex Legends in-game graphics
In-game graphics – A rocky wasteland biome filled with technological waste and abandoned bases
Hop, sprint and… slide?!

Paying homage to its predecessor, Apex Legends allows players to parkour across the vast environment. From atop a large sand dune, or simply down a stairwell, players may slide at a given momentum using the crouch command. To add to this, Apex Legends allows players to climb up the terrain, allowing for varying vantage points that provide different opportunities.

It’s like Overwatch, but different
The character roster in Apex Legends
The character roster in Apex Legends – Choose from eight legends with different abilities.

Introducing a quirky cast of mysterious champions, Apex Legends currently supports eight different choices for characters. With each character having one main ability, one passive ability and an ultimate ability, team compositions are ever-changing. Currently, there are six characters are unlocked at the start with an extra two purchasable with in-game currency (earned with each level up, might I add!).

Not-so-much a standard ‘battle royale’

For those who dislike battle royale games, Apex Legends camouflages its gameplay as an elimination-esque FPS game mode and not a battle royale like Fortnite. The game allows players to fully explore the biome, while not worrying about someone building a house on top of them. Downed teammates can be revived and are not out for the count, given their respawn timer has not ticked out. Don’t believe me? Try it – it’s free, after all.

The Extras

In Apex Legends, players need to constantly move to get better loot and objectives (i.e. supply drops) which inherently counters defensive play styles such as camping. To add to this, the environment is partially destructible via the use of explosives and melee attacks, making forcing fights easier. The weapons in the game are customisable with different modules which can even determine the outcome of the game for a squad.

A selection of the modules available in Apex Legends
A selection of the weapon attachments available in Apex Legends
Team-based goodness, the right way

In a game where enemies can’t become fed (looking at you, League) and text chat is hard to use, Apex Legends supports team play all-around. Downed teammates are rescued by courageous allies, using skills and ploys unique to their characters. Reviving teammates counts towards an individual stat, and respawn beacons take little time to use, posing no disadvantage to the reviver.

The not-so-good stuff

It ain’t over ’til it’s over!

Despite the fact the game has a unique respawn system, players oftentimes leave after being knocked down. This provides an unfair disadvantage to the rest of the squad as they are forced to play two versus three. A player will receive no penalty for leaving early.

Dibs– Sike?

When an item is pinged by a fellow teammate, you can call dibs on that item by pressing the mouse wheel button on the item’s icon. This communicates to your comrades that you will be claiming that item. In spite of this, however, these marked items can still be swiped by greedy allies, leaving you disappointed and mildly salty.

In it to skin it

Crafting metals, the game’s currency for skins, are incredibly hard to come across. With over fifty hours of gameplay, I have acquired as few as 750 which still leaves more to be obtained for a legendary skin (1200 base). As they are solely attainable via loot crates, it is difficult to swag-out your main character.

Skins for the many weapons in Apex Legends
Skins for the many weapons in Apex Legends
Where’re we landing? Nowhere…

No game is without its bugs. Unfortunately, Apex Legends has a tendency to crash on all platforms at the start and even in the most heated parts of the game. Twenty days after release, there is still no fix to this.

And so we reach the end of this review of Apex Legends so far! Overall, it takes a fresh twist on the battle royale genre, providing enough entertainment for hours on end. How long Apex Legends will remain the apex of new games is unknown, however its popularity cannot be dismissed.

What Apex Legends does well in, it excels greatly, however, what it doesn’t do well leaves much to be coveted.

Enjoyed the review? Disagreed? Have any thoughts or suggestions that would make the game better? Let us know in the comments below!

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Rice Miso

Rice is a young, indie developer and an avid solo queue competitor in Overwatch. After working on multiple projects, including Dragon Ball Online Global, Rice decided to work on some more of his own, including and more recently, Nichibotsu.
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