Apex Legends: Heroes Take Flight

   “Apex Legends” is the newest Battle Royale developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts, or EA. The game is set in the same universe as the “Titanfall” series and was recently launched on Feb. 4, 2019.

   Within three days of launch, according to an article on CNBC.com, “Apex Legends” had garnered over 10 million players, and by the 12th of February, it had 25 million.

   “Apex Legends” compiles some of the best elements from the most popular Battle Royale and first-person shooter games, such as a similar weapon and gear level system to that of “PUBG,” with the Apex Packs giving the feeling of an “Overwatch” loot crate.

   The game follows the typical Battle Royale set up, launching players in teams from a drop ship, where they land and begin collecting gear. Depending on where you land, you may not find a gun right away.

   This can lead to a rather hilarious situation of your character running around carrying a frag grenade or thermite grenade for the first few minutes of the match while you silently pray nobody hunts you down.

   After three minutes, a new round begins and a ring begins to close in around you, tightening and closing off sections of the map. You can choose to still explore, but when the ring touches you, it hurts your character and takes roughly 10 health per zap, so to speak. Loot ranges from low tier to high tier, and each time you wander into an area, it tells you what level of loot to expect.

   Sometimes, through a miraculous stroke of luck, you may stumble upon gold level gear, the highest you can get, in an area that you wouldn’t typically expect.

   The guns use four main types of ammo – heavy, light, energy or shotgun shells. Shotgun shells and energy ammo seem to be rarer, meaning you may not come across it as often as the others. Characters can carry two weapons at a time along with throwables, such as arc stars and grenades.

   A fan-favorite seems to be the Mastiff, a gold tier shotgun that can essentially destroy you in only two hits. However, the Mastiff runs a special ammo type, meaning once it’s out, it’s out. Another devastating fan-favorite is Devotion, a Long Machine Gun, which, despite its slow spin up time, is able to stop enemies in a single clip.

   Currently, there are eight legends or characters available in game, with six unlocked at the start and two available for purchase either through microtransactions or by saving up points gathered by playing rounds.

   Bloodhound is a tracker, with the ultimate ability to see things such as where an enemy has been, if there’s been a kill nearby recently and the ability to highlight enemies. Gibraltar is the only tank character of the base six, with the ultimate ability to drop rockets on his opponents.

   Lifeline is the medic, able to spawn a healing drone as well as drop in a care package, which can supply teammates with much-needed equipment upgrades.

   Pathfinder is the only robot, able to launch a grappling hook to get out of enemy fire and track the location of the next ring.

   Wraith, a skirmisher or fighter character, hears voices in her head, and sometimes those voices are helpful. She can move using the void, allowing her to get to a new location while avoiding all damage. She can also open two void portals to allow herself and teammates to move swiftly to a new location.

   Bangalore is another skirmisher, able to distract enemies with smoke, sprint while taking damage, and can also call in an artillery strike, much like Gibraltar’s. Caustic is the first of the characters that has to be unlocked in the game, with the abilities to launch a gas trap and gas grenades, while being able to see enemies through the gas. The traps activate when shot or when an enemy gets too close.

   The last of these is Mirage, a witty trickster able to send out a decoy of himself to confuse the enemy. He can also deploy one of these when knocked down and cloak himself. As his ultimate, he deploys a team of five decoys to distract his enemies.

   “Apex Legends” has already surpassed “Fortnite” in many aspects, and considering the game is still in its infancy, with lots of time for improvements to be made, it could go on to become the single greatest Battle Royale in existence.

   From launch, the game has had minimal bugs, smooth controls and a rapidly growing fanbase. Launching in a genre of game that had a massive player base to begin with only stood to pad the numbers at the beginning, but “Apex Legends” is beginning to draw in new players who might’ve never touched a Battle Royale before.

Jeri Hensley
Graphic Designer

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