APEX Legends drops into the Battle Royale scene

A new game hit the market recently that you may have heard of. It’s a new battle royale game called “Apex Legends,” and it’s completely free to play. Launching on Feb. 4, “Apex Legends” is set in the same universe as the other popular EA franchise “Titanfall.” Initially, it was supposed to be another sequel to the first two, but after the massive success of games like “Fortnite” and the rise of the battle royale genre, “Apex Legends” was an attempt to capitalize on the trend.

Like any battle royale game, “Apex Legends” has a simple premise. In squads of three people, you drop from a ship over any point on the map, where your main goal is to be the last squad left standing. While working together, you loot items like body armor and weapons, moving through an ever-shrinking circle as other squads fight and die, until only one squad remains. Teamwork, as well as an understanding of the map and game mechanics, are necessary to achieve victory.

The map for this game, Kings Canyon, covers a wide variety of biodomes to explore. For example, there’s a vast desert in the southwest, a swamp in the northeast and a river running through the middle of the map, accompanied by various villages. Within the map there are several sub-areas to land in. These are pre-set with different tiers of loot quality, which can influence how many people land there, but realistically, most places are viable landing spots. There are various other useful locations around the map as well. Supply bins are located randomly throughout the map, respawn beacons are marked on the map to bring a slain teammate back into the fight and ziplines provide meaningful modes of transportation across varying distances.

What makes “Apex Legends” truly unique is the character system. There are eight legends currently in the game, each with a set of abilities unique to them. There can only be one occurrence of each legend per team.

Caustic and Gibraltar are the two defense legends in the game. Caustic is set with an array of toxic-gas-themed abilities to hinder enemies and control space for the benefit of his team. Gibraltar comes with shields to protect his teammates, as well as a mortar strike ultimate ability.

Pathfinder and Lifeline are the two support legends. Pathfinder is an optimistic robot who has a grappling hook and zipline on his abilities, allowing him to better scout his surroundings and emphasize mobility for him and his team. Lifeline acts as a healer, with a healing drone as her primary ability. She can also call in a care package to deliver high quality gear to her teammates.

Bloodhound and Mirage both serve as recon legends. Bloodhound has multiple abilities to help track his enemies easily, and Mirage can summon holograms of himself to draw enemy fire and reveal their positions. The final heroes, Wraith and Bangalore, are offensive legends. Wraith can open a portal between two positions, allowing her and her team quick passage through open spaces. Bangalore is the purest definition of a soldier, equipped with smoke bombs and an artillery strike.

When all is said and done, I really enjoy this game. It reached 25 million downloads in its first week, and it definitely lives up to the hype. The expansive map may look daunting, but it’s easily traversable, which I consider to be a great aspect of the game. All of the characters feel unique and have personality. There’s a diverse supply of weapons across four different types of ammunition, and there’s always room to improve. I’ve had many fun marathon days with my brother playing “Apex Legends,” and I highly recommend it to anybody who likes shooters or other battle royale games.