Xbox version tested
For those of you who read my Titanfall 2 review will know I am a massive fan of the games made by Vince Zampella, so a new game being announced and released, never mind for free! Really got my spider senses tingling
Apex Legends is a battle royale set in the Titanfall universe. But importantly without Titans. Being from a first-person perspective, that would place the game among the likes of COD Blackout mode rather than a Fortnite or PUBG (I am fully aware you can change your view on PUBG, but to this day I am yet to find anyone who actually prefers it). So far Apex has done some impressive numbers, 1 million players in the first 8 hours, 2 million in the first 24 hours, 10 million in 72 hours.
As for mentioned, the game does not feature Titans. For those who have played Titanfall many seem to love them, those who have not played seem put off the Titanfall series by these huge mech behemoths. There is no such concern here. Your character plays in a similar vein to how the pilot controlled in Titanfall with the customary tight controls that have featured in the series, but you are certainly less powered. Gone is the wall running and the double jump. The action is not all grounded though. There are a number of zip lines scattered around the map that reach up to higher levels, or once at a certain height, re-enable your jet pack so you can traverse the map quicker, avoiding the ever shrinking circle. Graphically the game does look aesthetically very similar to Titanfall, and you can tell as soon as you start playing Apex is in the same universe as Titanfall, which for me is a good thing. The engine runs perfectly for this type of game.
After a brief and informative tutorial on the basics of Apex, you can start a game. Currently, there is only the single game mode which pitches you and two other players as a team of three versus fifty-seven other players. If you do not have any friends, the game will set you in a team with some random teammates. You then get to choose your character, you cannot duplicate characters with your teammates. This can encourage some clever teamwork using each other’s characters special abilities.
First go at the game, it the game came up with the beautiful idea of letting me choose where to land our newly formed squad. I dropped the marker down and low and behold two other squads were dropping in the same area. Looks like we are going in hot! I scrabble around looking for a gun, within 5 seconds I can hear gunfire behind me. I ran towards my team whilst taking a couple of shots in the back and my team try and help, firing back at the opposition. I ran around the outside of the building, one of my teammates is already dead. I ran up on the player firing at us, and punch him on the back of the head, my second teammate dies. I am left trying to put this guy armed with a gun down by using my fists. I failed miserably (not quite as miserably as my first teammate who did not land a single shot!).
That was probably my worst moment since playing and five games deep, I already have a win under my belt and it is great fun. Respawn have managed to factor in an elaborate marking system into Apex, to mark areas of interest, pickups, ammo and enemies so you should no longer be prohibited by teammates without a mic, this feature works really well. The most similar game I have seen with this feature must be Battlefield where you can mark enemies and any objective you are wanting to prioritise, Apex’s version seems as simple but doubly as effective.
I guess one qualm with the game is the amount of content available. Currently it feels a little light with only one map, but it is expansive and I guess you cannot complain too much about something that is free. Apex does not feature too many characters, but they all have there own abilities to help you and your team on the battlefield. There are skins to unlock or purchase to add a bit more variety and personalisation for those interested. The number of guns also seems quite low, but there does seem to be a plethora of attachments to find during your excursions, again there are plenty of skins to play for.
Another difference within Apex Legends compared to other battle royale games is you do not just have the option of helping a player up whilst they bleed out. If you recover their chip you can resurrect them using revive points placed around the map which may result in your team gaming a much-needed boost required to win a game. It also halts that dreaded feeling of “why did I even bother” when your team die early on, you still have a chance. Working as a team and blending the skills your team have really is the key to success, do not underestimate it if you are looking to win games.
As a retail game this is a little content light, but as a free-to-play game it is absolutely amazing and I would encourage anyone to give it a go, as it is free – what do you have to lose? The action is a lot more frantic than that of PUBG, so if you’re looking for a battle royale that is action-packed (and without building! – guess the game) this may well be it. A really highly recommended 8/10 for me, Hopefully Respawn will get the plaudits they deserve after Titanfall 2 did not get the sales numbers it deserved. From the internet buzz and numbers around Apex, it looks like those numbers are now coming in.
Beard Score: 8/10
Xbox One Essentials:
Players: Team-based multiplayer
Publisher: EA / Respawn
Format: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Download link: Microsoft Store