Oh, don’t give me that look, you know I’m right.
It’s been a year since Fortnite blew up, two years since PUBG did the same, and three years since I last felt happiness, and in that time, we’ve seen pale imitators merely grasp the prize of being “The Game A Majority Pays Attention To For A Week Or So”. Last Tide, Rings of Elysium, Totally Accurate Battlegrounds, so on and so forth, and now it’s Apex Legends’ turn to grab the cup for a little while.
This is what Respawn have been working on since both Titanfall titles crashed and burned, which seemed impossible since the entire journalism circuit was ready to give it a thumbs up and a happy ending. Nevertheless, both games tanked, and with more Titanfall implied to be on the way, Respawn has a busy year ahead of them with both this and Jedi: Fallen Order confirmed to release.
Right, the gist is that instead of 100, or 88, or 69, or 420 people dropping into a small island, instead it’s 60, with it being sectioned into 20 squads of 3. The island is a claustrophobic mish-mash of jungles, swamps and deserts, and you all fight to the death with Titanfall weaponry, but with the face value gameplay of Titanfall, sans the wall-running, actual titans, and an interesting aesthetic.
Instead of having you control some faceless berk, it instead takes a page from Overwatch‘s book, and lets you choose from 8 characters, with 2 of them being locked away by optional micro-transaction nonsense. All of them exhibit different skills and talents you can use to gain the advantage in battle, including ultimate abilities that range from passive to kinda-passive-but-they-can-kill-if-you’re-really-lucky.
Balancing-wise, I’d say the heroes of Apex Legends play well off of each others abilities, and the only one who could even be remotely considered OP is Gibraltar. Aside from having two different shield abilities– one that’s temporary but invincible, and a breakable one that you gain from simply aiming down sights– His ultimate is a straight-up mortar strike bombardment on one small part of the map, which can practically win matches in the final circles. No other soldier has this kind of benefit with their ultimate, with the character Caustic possibly having an equal advantage with his wide-reaching Gas Grenade. It’s tough to gauge.
Combat is Titanfall without wings. You can’t wall-run, you can’t double-jump, you can’t manipulate the towering environments to your advantage– Y’know, all the things that gave Titanfall that life and brevity the FPS industry so desperately needed? The best you can do is slide down hills at extravagant speeds, which is only advantageous in rare occasions. Zip-lining also plays a heavy part, although it suffers from the same problems mentioned above.
All of the weapons are fan-favorites from Titanfall, but if there’s anything that needs a fat nerf or removal, it’s the Peacekeeper. There is genuinely nothing else in the game that compares to the sheer amount of tactical opportunities this shotgun can grant you. It’s the highest damaging weapon in the game, the range is better than most SMGs, and the “Hop-Up” you can apply …