It was refreshing to see a game ditch the marketing hype cycle we are all so used to. There were rumblings of a Battle Royale (BR) game set in the Titanfall universe late last week.
Yesterday, the folks at Respawn revealed, then released, Apex Legends in a live stream. Sponsored streams with the biggest Twitch stars made sure there were plenty of eyeballs on the newest game to enter the Battle Royale genre.
And yesterday’s launch proved there’s still a huge appetite for new BR games. In less than eight hours, more than one million unique players played Apex Legends.
The gaming community kept pouring in as the workday wrapped up.
I was one of the million-strong that jumped on yesterday. Ring of Elysium and Black Ops 4 have been my go-to BR games lately, but Apex Legends might be pushing them to the side permanently. There are just so many smart features Respawn is implementing here.
The ping system, in particular, is outstanding. It’s contextual meaning you can ping enemies, weapons, ammo, locations, equipment and it’ll give you in-game prompts about what is being pinged. It makes playing with random folks a much more pleasant experience.
Respawn manages to push teamwork without forcing voice communication. There are even accessibility options that turn voice speech into text — a fantastic option for gamers with hearing disabilities.
From dropping into the map together, to the ping system, to heroes with unique abilities, Respawn is making a big bet on teamwork. But they do it in such a smart way that it feels natural to stick with your teammates.
I won’t lie, I went into Apex Legends thinking it wouldn’t be that good. A BR game set in the Titanfall universe without Titans and wallrunning? But after playing it, Respawn has something special. The gameplay is fantastic, the new features are sublime, and it stands with Fortnite as one of the most polished BR games out there.
It’s not perfect (ammo can be scarce, and the base movement feels a little too slow ), but it gave me that ‘just one more game’ feeling I haven’t had since Rocket League. And that was me playing solo. I’ll be pestering all my friends to download Apex Legends until they tell me to shut up.