A Short Introduction to the BattleRoyale Scene
We are currently in an era where developers are straying away from their usual paths and are focusing on implementing the ever-popular game-mode of Battleroyale into their games. However, one could argue that this approach has already been exhausted due to the amount of Battleroyale inspired games released in the past year or so. PLAYERUNKNOWN’SBATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG) and Fortnite are definitely the pioneers of this genre. Both games followed the core dynamics of battleroyale but brought something unique which piqued the interest of the players. PUBG focused on a more realistic approach on a huge map with a plethora of vehicles. The gameplay was slow-paced and tactical while on the contrary, Fortnite attracted people with its wacky gameplay that included the ability to build. After seeing the success of these two games, giants in the gaming industry such as EA and Activation decided to cash into the BattleRoyale trend with Call of Duty’s Blackout mode and the upcoming Firestorm mode of Battlefield V.
What is Apex Legends?
However, the game under scrutiny today isn’t among these. Respawn, the developers behind the TitanFall series abruptly launched their take on the Battleroyale franchise in the form of Apex Legends last week and since then it has taken the gaming scene with a storm, racking in 25 million players with 2 million concurrent ones. The game is also dominating the scene on Twitch currently, beating Fortnite on the viewer count for a consecutive week, which is pretty impressive. In a single match there are 60 players that are divided into a group of 3.
How Does it Play?
If you have played TitanFall before you would notice how similar the gameplay is, after all, it is made by the same people. Unlike other games, Apex Legends has special characters with 3 unique abilities (With 1 being a passive). Each Legend brings a new set of skills to the field, and you can choose your own main which caters to your own play style. Currently, the game has only 8 Legends, but Respawn has already confirmed that more legends are one their way in the upcoming seasons.
Furthermore, the game allows you to bring back your fallen teammates through respawn points, this is certainly a new aspect in the Battleroyale genre. The aspect is implemented flawlessly which doesn’t hinder the battleroyale experience, as you have to go to your teammates body and retrieve their banner which you can then take to a respawn point and bring your ally back, but they won’t have any weapon or anything.
The movement in this game is immeasurably fluid. You can dodge the enemy fire by sliding on your knees after catching some speed, this mechanic is also important while you’re just moving about as it increases your speed.
The loot in this game is ample, in most cases you’re equipped with a decent weapon and armor within 10 seconds of landing. Scarcity of loot was one of the deterrents for many people when it came to BattleRoyale titles.
So, who are these legends and what do they do?
She indeed becomes your lifeline in a tense situation with her heals. Her passive allows her to revive fallen teammates 25% faster, while her secondary calls in a drone which slowly heals you up like Baymax (It can also heal the enemy). Lastly, with her ultimate you can call in a care package which will contain scopes, shields, healing, armor, among other items of different levels. However, be careful when you do call in the carepackage as the enemy players can also see and come to contest it. Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for ultimate accelerators, as you can call in more packages with it. Beware though, your team might start to force feed you those.
If you enjoy being on the offense, Wraith is a perfect fit. Her passive alerts her if she has been marked or is being shot at. Her secondary allows her to become invulnerable to all damage for a short amount of time, this allows her to engage and disengage with easy. Lastly, she can put down portals which stay up for 60 seconds, these can be used both offensively and defensively.
There is no one else as elusive yet deadly in the game. With her passive, she gains a speed boost whenever she is shot at. Her secondary is a smoke launcher, which you can use to either lay down cover while pushing someone or just use it defensively. Lastly, with her ultimate she can call down an artillery strike on a huge AOE, but keep it mind it does damage your allies.
In the right hands, Bloodhound can be a deadly tracker. His passive allows him to see tracks left behind by the enemy. While his secondary highlights the position of the enemy if they’re in the range, if not, it still shows the clues and tracks left behind. Lastly, his ultimate increases your movement speed and allows you to see the enemies in range (In a way like wallhacks). Pro Tip: He works tremendously well with Bangalore, as he can see through her smoke while the enemy team will still be blinded.
If you like taking it hard and giving it back just as hard, then Gibraltar is your man, Brother. With his passive, you get a shield on your gun that protects your upper half, similar to Blackbeard from R6. His secondary is a deployable shield that you can toss at a small distance, it creates a dome which is bulletproof but keep it mind you can not shot out of it either. Lastly, his ultimate is similar to Bangalore’s; he calls in a mortar strike in an AOE.
A smiling Spiderman Robot that is here for your service. Unlike other Legends, he doesn’t have a passive ability instead you have to head towards a survey beacon which you can scan to reveal the location of the never circle. His secondary is a grapple that you can use to be a Great Value Spiderman or you can also use it to latch onto enemies. Lastly, with his ultimate he can drop a long zip-line which your entire team can use to rotate.
Locked Legends That You Can Unlock By Playing
The amount of times I have followed my own Mirage’s decoy to a point should already tell you he does a great job in tricking people. His passive allows him to deploy a decoy when he is downed, he also vanishes for a brief period during it. His secondary, allows you to send out a running decoy to a given point. Lastly, with his ultimate you can deploy numerous decoys at once, all while going invisible yourself.
Gas man is here to gas the enemy and your own teammates. His passive allows him to see through his toxic gas. His secondary ability allows him to drop gas traps which start blowing gas if an enemy is in proximity or he can simply shoot them to set them off. Lastly, with his ultimate he can throw a gas grenade which spreads the toxic gas around a huge AOE. Enemies can’t see through it and they will keep receive damage if they decide to stay in it. Pro Tip: You can use your gas traps to block off doors. Similarly, if you’re caught in this situation you can just kick the door down by punching it.
How is the Gunplay?
The gameplay is fast-paced and the damage and gun mechanics resemble to Blackout quite a lot. The recoil is minimal, and given the fact it moves on a set pattern makes it even easier to control unlike other games with random spray patterns. Furthermore, you will have to lead your shots when firing at a distance as there is bullet drop and the bullet speed varies depending on the weapon.
Currently there are 20 guns in the game, and you can find the stats and spray patterns for each gun below:
Credits to IGN
Credits to Rogue-9
Furthermore, few guns have special mod attachments which change their damage/firerate/spread and such. The mods include:
Precision Choke: It applies to the Peacekeeper (If you ADS for 2 seconds it charges up a shot which does more damage) and Triple Take.
Turbocharger: Applies only to the Devotion LMG, which reduces the spinup time, ultimately increasing your DPS.
Selectfire Receiver: Applies to the Prowler which makes it an automatic weapon.
Skullpiercer Rifling: Applies to the Longbow and Wingman, which increases the headshot damage.
I mostly prefer carrying around the Peacekeeper with the Precision Choke and the R-99 SMG.
The intuitive pinging system
The game relies heavily on teamwork, with that in mind Respawn developed the amazing ping system of Apex Legends which allows you to relay numerous callouts such as when you find a weapon, spot an enemy, see a open door/crate, suggest where to go. You can also click an various things in your inventory and consumable menu which will let your teammates know what you need per say, ammo.
Optimal Dropping Method
The dropping mechanics are similar to PUBG. As such, you can utilize the wave motion to reach a further distance at a faster pace.
Special Armor Items
While the common to epic armor items are pretty similar to comprehend as they just increase the stats, the exceptionally rare Legendary items have special traits that can be specially useful.
Legendary Helmet (Gold): It recharges your secondary and ultimate abilities at a faster pace.
Legendary Body Shield (Gold): Allows you to fully regenerate your shield after performing a successful finisher.
Legendary Knockdown Shield (Gold): Allows you to self-revive yourself once (Beware of the long animation time though).
Look out for the Apex Bots within the game: The small robot that comes and explodes whenever you open an Apex pack is also present in the game and contains decent look. So be on a lookout for these critters in the world. They have an audible tone which can be heard from outside the building.
Always pop open the supply bins: The cylindrical crates scattered around the map contain weapons, armor, ammo, healing and stuff. So keep an eye out for those.
Look out for high-tier loot zones: When you’re in the drop ship, open the map and spot the blue circle. It contains high-tier loot and a golden item.
Use the balloons to move around the map: You’ll find balloons attached to a rope across the map, use these to reactivate your jetpack to travel further.
Apex legends is a new take on the already established battleroyale genre. Given its free-to-play nature it has already attained a huge fanbase even if it has micro-transactions (Which don’t affect the game). The game also addresses the issues people had with other games in the genre such as the slow pace, scarcity of loot, and poor optimization. The game revolves around team play and coordination and the Legends complement this aspect wonderfully with their diverse abilities. If the developers continue to listen to the community, the game has the potential of cementing its lead.