Apex Legends - Review

Author: Francesco "Checco" Destri
Date: 2020-07-30 22:00:27
Even if we talk about battle royale, free to play and microtransactions, we can expect a bad first person shooter from people who created Call of Duty and who with Titanfall has given a lot to the multiplayer FPS sector (but Titanfall 2 is it also a great title to be enjoyed in blissful solitude)? For me, the answer is no and in fact Apex Legends, Respawn Entertainment's FPS battle royale arrived on the market in the last few days like a lightning bolt, it is not a bad game as you will have understood by reading under the final mark and how it is proving its success (at the time of writing it is the first game on Twitch with almost 100,000 more spectators than Fortnite).

Of course, the validity of a game is not measured with Twitch, with the revenues deriving from the microtransactions or with surges in the stock market of the publisher (in this case Electronic Arts), but that Apex Legends is a solid, well-made and fun little game it rains and this also applies to those who, hearing the word battle royale, begin to show signs of urticaria. The first thing I liked about this shooter, tried on a PlayStation 4 Pro with its almost unshakeable 60 fps (30 fps on PS4 "smooth"), is its mix of inspirations.

There is inevitably a bit of Fortnite (without the constructions though), but there are also bits and pieces of Overwatch (the characters like Heroes, or in this case Legends), there is the wisdom of the gunplay typical of Respawn and c 'is also a little bit of Blackout (the battle royale of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4). On the other hand, in a genre like this it is not that we can invent who knows what and therefore taking the best from all these great successes is already a good starting point.

We do not stop here, however, since Respawn, while not betraying the dictates of any real battle (a large map, the initial launch from above, the importance of looting), has included several intelligent ideas and opted for interesting variations . The 60 players of each match are in fact divided into 20 teams of three Legends each and already this cooperative component makes a lot of difference, considering the tactical implications that entails the presence of two companions to play with. In addition, each Legend, although devoid of the charisma and narrative background of the Heroes of Overwatch, is well characterized. Of course, initially there are only six (plus two to unlock) against the 21 Heroes of the Blizzard game at launch, but we are sure that Respawn (if the game continues to have this success) will add more and in any case you can already be satisfied. Each character has a classic role and offers three abilities, one of which is always available, one regulated by a cooldown and one that is particularly powerful to be used only when "fully loaded".

Also this setting, which includes abilities such as escape portals, air attacks, super speed, drone drop to heal friends, look-alike to distract enemies and so on, allows to set rather deep tactics in the absence of Fortnite-style constructions. But there are also others found that work perfectly. For example, if an ally is put out of play, we can retrieve its identification plate from the loot and use it to resurrect it at a specific point on the map (but be careful not to be too exposed while doing it).

The Ping mechanic is also very successful and, in fact, can also replace the classic voice communication between the team members. It is basically a warning that comes to our friends when, with a special button, we indicate the position of an enemy, a loot or a place where we are going. This immediacy (always important in approaching a battle royale) is also found in the management of the inventory, made very immediate both by a color system, which makes it immediately clear whether it is worth collecting something or not, and by the combination instant between upgrades and their weapons to mount them on. All very streamlined (as they would say overseas) and fast and the step forward compared to a much more pachydermic approach such as PUBG is remarkable.

The gunplay is then very pleasant and more classic (and less "pyrotechnic") than that of a Blackout or a Fortnite and will appeal to those who prefer a traditional shooter very marked by precision and reflections than anything else. I also appreciated the higher time-to-kill than usual, since between armor, shields and helmets it takes a while to kill an enemy (and the same of course also applies to your alter ego). Respawn has also included a respectable arsenal of assault rifles, shotguns, pistols, sniper rifles, submachine guns and grenades (so far I have counted at least twenty different weapons), not forgetting, however, even the upgrades (sights, stabilizers, magazines), which in certain cases radically change the behavior of a weapon.

Then counting the consumables and the twenty sections in which the game map is divided (it rarely happens in bare or anonymous areas), Apex Legends has been a sufficiently complete, varied and articulated battle royale experience since day one, although the space for further additions it is still huge. And if you are worried about microtransactions, know that real money is only needed to buy items and loot-boxes for aesthetic embellishments and the two additional characters.

However, these can also be unlocked simply by playing and earning the coin in-game, with a time-to-unlock slightly above the average but not so much (in about 13 hours of play I unlocked the first one and, after another nine hours, I am well advanced to unlock the second). In short, no pay-to-win and further confirmation of how Respawn suddenly came out with a battle royale which (almost certainly) we will hear about for a long time.

I downloaded Apex Legends from the PlayStation Store (where it is available for free) and played it for over 20 hours on a PlayStation 4 Pro. The game, also released on PC and Xbox One, requires around 25 GB of free space and is also subtitled in Italian.