image by Respawn Entertainment
Competition between games has always been very heated from way back in the day with the likes of Command and Conquer versus Starcraft and World of Warcraft versus Runescape to more recent times with Diablo versus Path of Exile and Dota 2 versus League of Legends. But now we’re seeing the rise of a new battle – a battle of battles as Battle Royales take stage-front-and-center.
(Did I say battle too many times? Well, now you know just how epic this is!)
The Battle Royale scene has been growing exponentially over the last few years with many games flooding the market; Call of Duty Blackout, Fortnite, H1Z1, PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Realm Royale, to name but a mere few which have gained popularity. The games all have different playstyles – some with building aspects others set in a more real-time location. All of the games have their own pros and cons and each has its own player base.
But now there is a new contender on the market which has already created a massive stir amongst gamers everywhere. Apex Legends is a brand-new Battle Royale game from EA which puts 20 squads of 3-players each into a battlefield set in the Titanfall universe. With similarity to Overwatch, Apex lets you choose from a small roster of champions: some tanks, some dps, others support and each of the “heroes” have their own loadout with different abilities and “ultimates”. As you play the game you find yourself finding more and more from other games, linked together brilliantly to make this game awesome.
- Much like all Battle Royale games Apex features a circle which closes in as the game goes on, making the map smaller and ensuring that there is always action going on. With 60 players on the field, there is only so many places to hide before inevitable combat finds you.
- Your team can revive you after you’ve been knocked down, as always, but you can get a rather nifty shield that you can utilize to protect yourself when you’re down too. And more importantly, if you’ve been killed, it is possible to be revived as long as your team can get your ‘banner’ to a respawn(pun not intended) beacon. Interestingly enough, there also exists a legendary knockdown shield which has the ability to self-revive ONCE. But good luck finding it before your enemies.
- The game is fast paced where if you blink you can quickly miss your enemy sneak by in front of you. Squads need to work together to reach the finish line; there’s no solo play here but heroes do exist.
All Battle Royale games require a bit of finesse but Fortnite requires that little extra as you try to build walls or structures in general to try protect yourself from the storm of bullets heading your way. Apex functions a bit more like Overwatch where your character is more likely to have an ability or skill that can be used to block some of the incoming fire. You’re also less likely to be picked off from across the map by a sniper in Apex while in Fortnite I find myself often being killed in ways that I’ve never expected (including falling from very far up). Although this could happen:
— AndyPyro 🛫 Unibet Open Sinaia (@4ndypyro) February 7, 2019
As you can see above, Apex also has a slackline system. Across all the maps you’ll find golden ropes that you can attach yourself to and fly across the battlefield to assault your enemies – that said, the gliding function of Fortnite still seems a lot more fun to mess around with as well as the hundreds of other ways Fortnite has to bounce around the arena.
So, what makes people call the game a “Fortnite Killer”?
That’s fairly simple to explain. 2.5 million players on its opening night and a concurrent player base of 1,000,000 is what caused that title to be given to Apex but is it worthy of the title? As someone who shy’s away from Battle Royale games, I don’t even think it can be just yet or ever. Much like the games mentioned before which have been in competition with each other, both exist in their own domain and keep people entertained in different ways. You’ll find cross-over players, those who love one or the other and those who love neither, while still enjoying the genre.
“The simple reality is that modern gaming isn’t like the old western cowboy towns. The scene is big enough for more than one game to exist and thrive.”
Suggested Article: No, Apex Legends hasn’t “beaten” Fortnite
However, I must admit that the way in which Apex seamlessly allows for little-to-no verbal communication makes for a much less… toxic experience. I’m sure we’ve all been privy to someone screaming down the mic in countless games – while mute functions are always available, at least now my anti-social self can focus on trying to hit the stationary target 2 steps ahead of me rather than telling my team how terrible they are.
For now, in my humble opinion at least, it feels as though Apex Legends needs to grow a bit. The game is fantastic but 6 heroes to choose from with 2 that can be purchased through microtransactions (Thanks EA) seems a bit low especially considering that there may actually be a perfect team composition. Could the game go on to rule the Battle Royale scene? Yes, it definitely could, but right now it feels like a shell of something that is waiting for its time to strike. When it comes to microtransactions, at least these are mainly cosmetic – while you can buy 2 characters, they are unlockable via playing the game and aren’t really much stronger than the available few. Again, from someone who is not a fan of the Battle Royale genre, Fortnite just has a lot more – but Apex has a plethora of time and room to grow.
It will be interesting to see just how long Apex lasts before everyone forgets the game or if it will actually stand the test of time and take its place at the top of its genre. But for now it would seem that a lot of the Fortnite, PUBG and Blackout famed streamers are trying out this new game and getting a lot of enjoyment out of it too.