Apex Legends is a dark horse in the genre of the “Royal Battle” from Respawn Entertainment, which was released on February 4, 2019. The release of the game was not just successful but became a real sensation both in its niche and in the entire industry. In just three days after the release of Apex Legends attracted more than 10 million players on the PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, a week later, this number increased to 25 million. In this article, we will try to figure out what exactly made Apex Legends so popular and whether it brought at least something new to the seemingly beaten genre.
Pondering over the advertising campaign, Respawn Entertainment rightly reasoned that when your publisher Electronic Arts are better not to talk, but to do. And indeed, if we were told that instead of the expected Titanfall 3, the studio is engaged in the next free royal battle with the Lutboxes – the game would have been stillborn. The effect of surprise fueled the interest not only of potential players but also of popular streamers. Since the release, Apex Legends has not left the leading position in Twitch, overtaking direct competitors – Fortnite and PUBG. The main goal of any marketing campaign was achieved: the players, instead of pouring mud on the developer and the publisher, still downloaded the game.
The finished product of Apex Legends
Apex Legends is developed on a modified Source engine called Titanfall Engine. For personal convenience, the craftsmen from Respawn turned it into something similar to the IW Engine, used in the Call of Duty series. What is not surprising, because the company was founded by immigrants from Infinity Ward?
A well-run engine and Electronic Arts money allowed Respawn Entertainment to create a beautiful and, importantly, well-optimized game. The royal battles like to call the loading simulator: first, the player waits a long time for the end of the selection of players, then loading the map, then the moment of disembarkation. And it often happens that as a reward for his patience, because of the slightest mistake, he goes to the main menu and the infernal circulation begins in a new way. Apex Legends works a little differently: the match is chosen almost instantly, a relatively small card loads quickly, and cases, where a player dies due to the clumsiness of the code, are minimized.
Even on release day, the free Apex Legends did without critical bugs on the PC. It is important to say that we have a ready-made product, without being fed up with early access, and this happens quite rarely within the framework of the genre.
A true team game
The command component in Apex Legends is worked out much deeper than that of other representatives of the genre. So it is not surprising that there is no solo mode. Surviving one is extremely difficult and the developers in every way push the players to the interaction between members of the squad. If your comrades do not use the microphone – it does not matter, they can always mark the loot or the enemy in one click. And the hint is not only textual but also with voiced commentary of the character. Playing in Apex does not feel lonely, even if the whole team is silent.
Speaking of characters or how they are called here “Legends”. In Apex there is a class system in the manner of CoD or Overwatch. Each hero is assigned a specific class: damage dealer, scout or support. All have equal characteristics and three abilities: one is passive, the second is active, and the third is an ultimatum. All skills are well balanced and useful not only for the player but also for the team, which opens the way for a variety of bundles.
The game does not end when the character is mortally wounded. A defeated player can crawl to the allies or activate an energy shield to avoid death. If the enemy still managed to finish off the wounded, the teammates could still resurrect him, pulling out his “card” to the resurrection module. A great idea that perfectly underlines one of the main ideas of the royal battles – survival, as the key to victory.
Royal battle on steroids
Matches at the overwhelming majority of representatives of the genre are reduced to a slow positional game and camping. In Apex Legends, such a number is hardly a ride. Here everything works for the sake of dynamic gameplay. Characters can quickly climb buildings and rocks, and health cannot be removed from falling from them. Almost full-fledged vertical gameplay, you never know where the enemy will attack, and therefore you need to move.
Run, loot, shoot – all this needs to be done constantly, and sometimes at the same time. Apex Legends is easy to learn and casual, where it is necessary, for example, in the shooting. Weapon physics will be familiar to everyone who played Titanfall or CoD. The weight of the barrels here is not felt at all, there is practically no difference between firing a pistol and a machine gun. And the entire effect of hitting the enemy is realized by departing numbers and the hitmaker. Destruction of weapons here does not fall with the distance, well at least the bullets are flying along a parabola. But if you think about it, then a more complex shooting system, like in PUBG or Ring of Elysium, would look inappropriate here, because the speed of the gameplay Apex is very different.
The dynamics are also facilitated by a clear and convenient interface. There is little time to work with the inventory so that all body kits for weapons are put at once, and weaker equipment is not selected at all. Ammunition in Apex has a gradation of efficiency: white, blue, purple and gold. Items of the latter can only be found in the drops. In addition to the best characteristics, they have special passive effects: golden sights illuminate the enemy, the backpack allows you to use consumables faster, the helmet reduces the ability to recharge, and the shield will help to survive a fatal injury. So there is always a point in getting lost in Apex, in contrast to the same RoE, where you can easily fight to the bitter end with the equipment obtained at the beginning of the match.
In the dry residue
When developing Apex Legends, Respawn Entertainment Studio took into account the problems of not only its main competitors but also of the genre itself. The game successfully balances between rabid dynamics and tactics. The diversity of classes, the mechanics of rebirth and “notifications” make this royal battle as command and replayable as possible. A user-friendly interface, stability and cartoon graphics allows Apex Legends to cover the largest possible audience. The game professes the golden rule of game design: “Easy to learn, hard to master” and fully deserves the attention that is attached to it. We hope that in future the project will not bury the imbalance updates and microtransactions, which the publisher is famous for.
Who exactly will like the game
- Lovers of team gameplay
- Lovers of fast gameplay
- Fans of Titanfall and CoD
- Those who want to play the “Battle of the King”, but the games on the market scared off with their dampness
Who will not like the game
- Fans of realistic games
- Those who appreciate the shooters for the shooting process itself (he is not here any)
- Haters cartoon stylistics