Apex Legends was just a rumor until Respawn Entertainment CEO Vince Zampella confirmed it was real less than 24 hours before its release. Respawn was the development company responsible for the award-winning online, multi-player shooter, Titanfall and when rumors circulated they may have a battle royale game in the works, fans were excited. The evolution of Apex Legends from Internet gossip to reality was somewhat clumsy. While many fans of Respawn speculated the possibility of a Super Bowl ad for the new game, they instead got a breif tweet from Zampella confirming it was real and that a live stream announcing details would begin Monday at 12PST. Everything known about the game prior to that stream was hearsay, but after the stream showed a Borderlands-esque story trailer, it announced that the game was available for download and free to play.
While having many Overwatch-like elements (developers themselves made this comparison in interviews), the game follows Fornite’s free-to-play model which has made billions of dollars off of micro-transactions. The game is also like Fortnite in the sense that it will have seasons where new items are made available for purchase and maps change.
Like Overwatch, Apex Legends has a cast of characters to play from, each with a special power. Like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, the goal of each round is to be the last team standing. The difference is that unlike most battle royal games, rounds in Apex Legends can occur pretty rapidly. There a few places to hide and weapons are easy to find so you won’t be spending too much time prancing across empty fields or savaging for weapons.
The communication system also keeps things moving. It allows players to “ping” or mark weapons and locations at the hit of a button, meaning that there’ll be no more lengthy discussions about the “the chest by the big tree between the red house and the boulder.”
But honestly, isn’t that what we love about Fortnite anyway? The free-to-play model may have gotten Fortnite famous but the social aspect is how it maintained that fame. Can Apex Legends foster a community as big as its competitor this late in the battle royale game?