Every so often and due to the current fashion trend that has been established in the world of video games, the following question should be asked: Do we need another Battle Royale? An issue that is given by the high saturation of titles that seek to put the slipstream of mastodons such as Fortnite or PUBG and, above all, take advantage of the inertia of the two proposals that have had the most impact in the middle in recent years.
The logic behind is everyone wants a piece of the pie, and it is not strange that more and more studios that present their proposal with respect to genre. On this occasion, it has been Respawn Entertainment, the studio of EA founded by Vince Zampella and Jason West (both former of Infinity Ward and minds behind the first Call of Duty), which has wanted to offer us a new Battle Royale set in the world of Titanfall , giving a twist to the genre to bring us some interesting developments that have enough personality to make a difference with respect to the competition.
A similar wrap with a different candy inside
The “wrap” of this Apex Legends, that is, the playable base, is the same as other Battle Royale. We are in a map of generous dimensions in which our only objective is to fall on the area we want, collect weapons and utilities, face our enemies, flee from a toxic zone and try to be the last survivors of the game.
The differences start from when we start looking for a game since we are looking for a game that wants to seek, at all times, the cooperation between players, having, at least for now, only games of 20 teams of three players, bringing together a total of 60 Souls per server that should collaborate with their peers and fight each other to win these particular Hunger Games.
Once the “matchmaking” system is looking for two teammates and after choosing our Legend (the character that we will control during the game and which, or rather, those we will talk about later) we will proceed to jump from one ship with a very particular mechanics since it will be the leader of the team that will decide at the moment in which all the members of the same jump over the chosen zone.
In the world of Titanfall, but without Wicks or Parkour
As soon as you arrive at the game stage do not despair, do not try to call the Mechas (here known as Titans) or try your luck doing parkour or trying to run along the sides of the walls because Apex Legends does not have any of that.
According to those responsible for the development of the game, one of the reasons is to provide Apex Legends a more strategic aspect in which the skills of the Legends, as well as the tactical approach of the meetings, have a greater importance than a great mobility or the Titans that they would offer more direct and, probably, fast matches.
Of course, this does not mean that the game renounces the excellent mechanics of shooting of the Titanfall, which are preserved to perfection, or agile movements of our character as the possibility of traveling at full speed thanks to the zip lines or to slide by the ground to try to dodge enemy shots.
The Legends, wrestlers with powers to give an extra playable wealth
Before going further into other very specific mechanics of Apex Legends, we believe it is time to stop and focus on one of the main novelties at the playable level of this title with respect to other Battle Royale: the Legends. These Legends are the characters that we can choose to play each game, and each of them has a different role in the game, being able to have functions of tank, healing, support or damage, in the purest role-playing style or “hero shooter” it is important to form a balanced team to face all the dangers that we will have to face in the field.
As you can imagine at this point, each Legend has a total of three different abilities that are closely related to the role of each of them. We will find a passive skill (that is, an automatic power that will always be active) and two active skills that will be divided into tactics (which we can use with enough assiduity) and Definitive (which, as in the MOBA or other hero shooter, will have a great “cooling” time or recharge).
To give you a better idea of these legends, we will offer you a couple of clear examples, such as Lifeline, a combat doctor who can recover teammates quickly while protecting herself with a shield (passive), calling a Drone of Healing. To heal our allies (tactical) and request a survival pack full of high-quality defensive equipment for our allies (definitive).
Another clear example is that of Gibraltar, a Legend with the tank role that displays a shield when aiming with the weapon’s aim (passive), which can create a protective dome that blocks enemy attacks for 15 seconds (tactical) and that It has the ability to command a defensive bombardment to smoke a marked area and hide from our enemies (Definitive).
At the time of forming our team of three players, as we have said before, it is important to try to choose three balanced Legends that allow us to have a wide range of survival skills looking for synergy among all the Legends. Also, the teams can not repeat the character, so it will be essential to master several of these characters to be really useful during games.
A particular system of resurrection
Another aspect that has caught the attention of this Apex Legends is its particular system of resurrection for our teammates, having two different mechanics that we will proceed to explain below. The first is very classic in the Battle Royale. When one of our allies loses all their life points, they are “knocked out” slowly crawling on the ground, needing the help of a partner to resurrect them in the same way as other games of the style.
The second and more interesting is that, if the enemy finishes us and ends our life or our companions are not able to cure us of the previous state, we will still have a few seconds in which they will be able to rescue us and return us to the game.
Each Legend has a “flag” that he drops when he dies and remains on the field for a few seconds. If one of our colleagues picks it up, it can resuscitate us taking it to special points called reappearance beacons that are distributed throughout the map, and that will allow us to resuscitate although, this time, without any of the objects that we had previously.
It is a novel mechanism that we believe is very interesting and that can make the difference between winning or losing a game. Also, our teammates must assess the risk involved in deviating from the road to go to those reappearance beacons that could be saved by an enemy team willing to end the life of a team with some other low.
A complete marking system, hot zones, and jump towers
To close the playable section we want to mention other striking mechanics such as a complete marking system that allows us to put points on the map to which we can direct as well as mark weapons, ammunition, useful objects, the current position of the enemy or the place where he has passed some of our rivals, handy information for our teammates.
Another interesting twist is the hot zones, the equivalent to the red boxes with PUBG equipment (for example). In APEX Legends, instead of a box, what we will have is a gigantic ship full of first level equipment that will land in a random place on the map. Going to assault it can give us many rewards but, being such a large structure, it also favors the combats between teams within it, making the fight for its objects a very fun battle.
Finally, we find the jump towers, platforms that allow us to jump over the map as in the initial part of the game, giving a lot of mobility and speed to our team. These towers are located at strategic points on the map and can be really useful to change areas quickly.
A free game with micropayments for legends and skins
Apex Legends is a completely free title with certain micropayments focused mainly on skins, that is, in aspects for weapons or characters, as well as gestures or icons to decorate our games. Also, at the beginning we have a total of eight legends, of which two are blocked, being able to access them either by paying money for the Apex coins or by using the Legend Tokens that we can obtain by raising levels as we play games.
As far as the skins are concerned, we can also use a material called “Manufacturing metals” that we will find inside the “Apex boxes” that the game will give us when we raise a character level, similar to the boxes we obtain in Overwatch to level up. At the moment it is too early to talk about the balance of the game’s micropayments. The first feeling is quite good, since most of what we can get are simple aspects and, also, if we invest enough hours we can get all of them.
However, the most prudent thing to do is to wait and see how Apex Legends’ economy evolves in the future as the Season Passes (already announced by Respawn) are integrated in order to verify the economic equilibrium of the game.
Source, an engine that does not give much more
In the technical section, we find the Source engine, which obviously begins to show signs of old age in full 2019, something completely normal in a 2004 engine that Valve has stopped updating after dump with Source 2. Although at a graphic level the game is not a portent, the truth is that it visually fulfills without any and that, as a whole, if we do not stop to look at objects too closely, the visual finish is even quite beautiful.
Besides, the positive part of an engine as chewed as this Source is that it does not give almost any performance problem and that the minimum requirements as recommended by Apex are really low, something that will please players with less powerful equipment.
A Battle Royale that can mark its own path
After playing Apex Legends a few hours and having enjoyed the experience we propose this game, it would be convenient to return to the question that we launched at the beginning of this article by which we considered if we really need another Battle Royale. And being aware that the title of Respawn Entertainment has a long way to go, the most sensible answer we can think about is that the future will decide.
We have made these impressions playing the PS4 version by downloading the game for free from PlayStation Store.