All aboard the battle royale bandwagon!
Respawn Entertainment, the legends behind the fantastic Titanfall and Titanfall 2, have launched their very own take on the battle royale genre, Apex Legends. The game, which is set within the Titanfall universe, is available for Xbox One, PC, and PS4. It’s free-to-play (expect plenty of microtransactions – EA are involved), so it can be downloaded from the PS Store, the Xbox Games Store, or Origin right now for nothing.
Although the game is set in the world of Titanfall, don’t expect to be battle royale’ing it up in big mechs or with any of the wall running or double jumping mechanics that the sci-fi shooter series is famous for; Apex Legends will feature human and robotic playable characters known as Legends (funnily enough) that have their own unique set of weapons and abilities, similiar in fashion to class-based team shooters like Overwatch or Rainbow Six: Siege. There are 8 Legends in the game at launch, and Respawn has said that they will be adding new Legends into the game over time. Check out the trailer below:
As always, players will drop into the map from the sky, scavenge for loot, and try to survive to become the last man standing as the map closes in on them blah blah blah. You know the drill. Apex Legends will support up to 60 players, and to make things slightly different matches will always be played in teams of three. That means that a full game will feature 20 teams of 3 players per team – quick maths.
Apex Legends has been strongly rumoured all weekend following a couple of leaks, so this news doesn’t come as any kind of surprise, although it is a game that has seemingly come out of nowhere with no marketing whatsoever. That seems a strange thing to do but it appears to be a deliberate ploy from Respawn who are well aware of the level of skepticism that is likely to come with the launch of another free-to-play, microtransaction-fuelled battle royale game. Speaking to Eurogamer, Respawn’s Drew McCoy said:
“Our desire is to be completely open and transparent with our player base, and part of that expands to how we talk about problems, and we understand this game is gonna have a sceptical audience. There are some people who think there are too many battle royale games or it’s a fad, the world thinks we’re making Titanfall 3 and we’re not – this is what we’re making. To try and convince a sceptical audience for months with trailers and hands-on articles, we’re just like ‘let the game speak for itself’ – it’s the most powerful antidote to potential problems. We’re doing a free to play game, with essentially loot boxes, after we were bought by EA, and it’s not Titanfall 3. It’s the perfect recipe for a marketing plan to go awry, so why have that – let’s just ship the game and let players play.”
I appreciate his honesty, and I have to admit that I am one of the sceptical people that he’s talking about; I’m not a big fan of either the battle royale genre or EA’s business models, but I’ll approach Apex Legends with an open mind and see what I think. Either way, I am a bit a disappointed that Titanfall 3 isn’t currently being worked on, and will now likely be a long way off, with Apex Legends and the upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order at the forefront of Respawn’s minds.
Apex Legends is available to download now on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.