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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

‘Apex Legends’: A battle royale game with impact

Todd Haselton | CNBC
Playing Apex Legends.
Todd Haselton | CNBC Playing Apex Legends.

The battle royale genre could be shifting from the third-person, brightly colored year-long domination of “Fortnite” to a possible rising star from Electronic Arts. “Apex Legends” has been racking up downloads and players since its launch on Feb. 4, and has received well-deserved praise from all over the community.

With so many battle royale games available, how do developers make their game unique? If you ask Activision and Treyarch, you do nothing. Just throw “Call of Duty” on an island and call it a day. Epic Games made “Fortnite” visually unique, even though the gameplay mechanics are just average. With “Apex Legends,” EA has managed to create something stunning-both visually and mechanically; the player stays entertained each game even with limited extra features that more established games may have.

The game takes place in the same universe as the “Titanfall” series, however, it (somewhat disappointingly) lacks giant war robots crashing down to wreak havoc. There are currently eight usable characters, or legends, all with different abilities that allow each player to choose between whichever fits their playstyle or squad. 20 teams of three jump from the dropship and try to be the last ones standing by using the loot found across the map, their abilities and just a bit of skill. The respawn feature offers some forgiveness for some of the weaker players in the group.

Two of the characters must be unlocked through in-game currency or purchasing them with real money in typical EA fashion. Cosmetics can be bought or earned through loot boxes, which is annoying, however, we can at least appreciate the absence of EA’s pay-to-win tendencies.

The gameplay mechanics are also impressive. From the simple control scheme to the smooth and easy transitions when swapping weapons and items, the game is extremely simple to pick up. While other battle royale games require experience building or learning the map and bullet mechanics, this game manages to keep the learning process short. The learning is focused on different abilities and items. Even people with low skill levels can find themselves winning games from time to time.

Overall, “Apex Legends” has fantastic gameplay with very few bugs for something so recently released. This should be expected considering the developers, but it is impressive nonetheless. I think if/when the game becomes multi-platform compatible it could be the most popular game of the battle royale genre, in spite of the fact that it’s made by EA.

My rating: 4/5

Mitchell Kret can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.

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