Apex Legends is a free-to-play battle royale game where players will find themselves taking on the roles of “Legends,” mighty fighters who seek fame and fortune by entering into combat to-the-death on various maps in an attempt to become the last person or team standing.
As a battle royale, Apex Legends is similar to Player Unknown Battlegrounds and Fortnite in that players are dropped into a map where they must scavenge weapons and equipment featuring a slowly constricting “safe zone” designed to force enemy teams to meet up and duke it out. Unlike many other battle royale shooters, Apex Legends is also a “hero shooter,” where players are asked to choose a specific character with a particular set of skills called a “Legend.”
Published by Electronic Arts and developed by Respawn Entertainment, Apex Legends launched as a title without any marketing or prior announcement. It merely shipped for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One without any ado – but, in spite of that, it has still become popular enough to announce that the game has reached 70 million players worldwide.
The game currently features eleven Legends: Bangalore, a professional soldier; Bloodhound, a technological tracker; Caustic, a toxic trapper; Crypto, a surveillance expert; Gibraltar, a shielded fortress; Lifeline, a combat medic; Mirage, a holographic trickster; Octane, an adrenaline junkie; Pathfinder, a robotic forward scout; Wattson, a static defender; and Wraith, an interdimensional skirmisher.
As mentioned above, every Legend has their own unique set of abilities. For example, Wraith is capable of vanishing into the “void” and moving quickly without being seen or injured, can form portals between two locations and has a tell that warns her when a threat is nearby. Crypto has a surveillance drone that can allow him to see the area from above and marks enemies within 30 meters and his ultimate allows him to use an EMP blast that disables enemy shields and traps.
Much of the game focuses on teamwork, so it includes a “ping” mechanic that allows players to mark areas for their teams that can include commands. Most commands suggest a “go” such as heading to a region or it is possible to use specific markers to suggest a reason such as a weapon or a piece of equipment.
In combat, players may also be knocked down and revived in place by teammates. However, if a player is killed completely, they must be resurrected by carrying a flag left at their death location to one of the beacons around the battlefield. As a result, the gameplay is focused around keeping teammates alive and bringing them back when possible – otherwise attrition would whittle down a team until they are totally defeated.
Apex Legends is a free-to-play game, which means that it costs nothing to buy and has no subscription fee. Instead, the game includes microtransactions in a digital item store and loot boxes for players to open that contain cosmetic items such as outfits for the Legends and new colors for weapons.
The game launched on February 4 and is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One – although it has been discussed, there is no cross-platform play for Apex Legends.