Apex Legends bursts onto gaming scene

Apex Legends gives players the option to choose from eight different characters. The eight characters or legends have their own two unique abilities. Mirage and Caustic are two legends that you have to unlock with Apex credits, while Bloodhound, Pathfinder and the others are free to play. Photo from gear nuke.com.

Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds have been at the center of the battle royale game scene for some time. Battle royale games feature survival gameplay where players scavenge the map for items to use in a last-man standing game mode. EA Sports and video game developer Respawn released their own version entitled Apex Legends on Feb. 4.

Apex Legends is a free-to-play battle royale game set in the same universe as the Titanfall franchise. The game is available to play for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

In the first 24 hours of the games launch, EA confirmed they hit 2.5 million players and 10 million within 72 hours. Within a week of the game’s release, Apex Legends amassed a total of 25 million players according to ign.com.

A huge following might raise questions as to why Apex Legends has become such a hit. The game which is free to play brings a whole new style as opposed to other games where building is necessary to have an advantage over your opponent. Apex Legends offers a new title which expands on the Titanfall universe, not a sequel, which has been a smash hit in the past.

There has been a current trend and demand for battle royale games, so it is no question as to why players have been so eager to play.

The game is free-to-play, but just like Fortnite, charges real currency for Vbucks. Apex Legends also has its own version of microtransactions. This offers players the chance to buy character cosmetics, additional characters, weapon skins and more loot boxes.

If you are the type of player that doesn’t like to spend “real” money on in-game items, then you can simply grind your way to earn crafting materials and credit through leveling up and opening Apex loot boxes.

Each time you level up in Apex, you earn a loot box. The loot boxes consist of three items that are random, which could contain a kill equip (character voice), character banner, weapon skin, character skin or credits/crafting material.

When the game first loads up, you are taken through a training course which teaches you the basic controls and functions of EA’s competitive game.

While most games rely on heavy teamwork as does Apex Legends, the training course enables the player to get a feel for the ping system. The ping system is an alternative way to communicate to other team members which is a team of three, in case players do not have a mic to talk back with.
The ping system lets players notify each other of ammo, weapons, enemies, supply crates and locations.

Once you complete the training course, players will ready up and be paired with two other teammates unless you invite your friends, which you would load up with a party or squad.

From here, players are given the chance to choose from eight different characters. Two of the eight characters, Caustic and Mirage, are locked until players either pay for them or grind and earn credits to unlock them. The list of characters is similar to Overwatch’s list of heroes.

Players have the chance to try soldier-like characters, scouts, tank-types and a healer. Each character of Apex Legends has two abilities, one that charges anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute, and an ultimate ability, which charges anywhere between three to five minutes.

After all three teammates have chosen a character, the game will show your squad and stats, which players can equip through banners before readying-up to play. Before the match starts, teams will also be shown the champion squad, which consists of the player(s) that placed the highest in the last match.

When Apex Legends loads at the start of the game, players will drop in teams of three in the King’s Canyon Map. Unlike other games, Apex Legends allows players to jump together rather than individually. Photo by S.Dumnich/Setonian.

Soon after, 20 teams are loaded into the King Canyon’s map. After a short five seconds, players are given the chance to jump from one of 17 locations scattered across the map. Before you jump, it is important to understand each team has one jumpmaster. This is the player that controls your team’s jump and when you jump, meaning you do not have to worry about timing with one another.

Other players can suggest locations with the ping system. If the jumpmaster does not want to be the one who controls the team, then the player can simply hit the relinquish button to pass it on to another player. It is important to stay as a squad because there is an option to jump solo.

When you land with your team, it important to scavenge the area for shields, helmets, ammo, health and backpacks. Some weapons are better than others as there are a variety of guns: pistols, shotguns, snipers, assault rifles, submachine guns and light machine guns. Finding supply crates offers the players a chance to find chokes, barrel stabilizers and scopes that attach to certain guns, which the item will say when you look at it.

Depending on where you land and how many players are near, you need to keep aware of your surroundings and also the circle. The circle is similar to the storm in Fortnite and the circle in PUBG. In Apex, each round gets a time limit and when the timer is up for the round, the circle gets smaller.

As you move closer to the circle, keep in mind of opposing teams who could down you if you do not have enough resources. Once you are downed by an enemy, you are given a chance to be revived. If you are not revived, you could be shot and killed or bleed out. If this happens, your character will drop a death box which contains your character banner.

From here, your team can grab your banner from your death box and take it to a spawn beacon, which can be seen with a green icon on the map. Keep in mind, other players will try to take you out while in the process of re-spawning or reviving your teammate.

With the different character and ability options while amidst a fast-paced competitive gameplay, Apex Legends is worth a try. For a free-to-play game, there are some bugs and lag issues, but it offers a brand new twist on battle royale-type games.

Published By: Stephen Dumnich

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