“Legendary” Game Pulls New Twist on Genre

Apex Legends, the new “leader” in the Battle Royale genre

Cody Bennett, Assistant Striv Producer

Respawn Entertainment, a team of former Call of Duty and Infinity Ward developers have banded together once again to create another title under the “Battle-Royale” genre.

Respawn developers, even with a very short time in existence (2010), have a short but very impressive line of gaming titles under their belt with this new release. Title masterpieces like Titanfall and Titanfall 2, the ex-developers of the infamous Call of Duty series have kick started the success like that of Fortnite at release.

That success under the name of Apex Legends.

Some may even say the release was better than Fortnite Battle Royale, in 72 hours, yes, in three days time, Apex Legends surpassed 10 million registered players since its release on Feb. 4. In a real population example, every single citizen of South Korea’s capital city, Seoul, would have played in those three days. A mind-blowing number regarding that Fortnite took two weeks to surpass 10 million in players.

The cherry on top for Respawn, the game was announced a literal 30 seconds before its release and launch.

This game evaded the media, leakers and armchair soldiers for this bombshell of an announcement. Players were automatically allowed to download the game right as Respawn’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer), Vince Zampella, announced that the game was free to play on all major platforms.

I went online immediately, downloaded the client that Apex is launched from and instantly launched the game.

The game launches with a cutscene giving a sneak peek at all of the eight diverse and interesting “legends.” These legends are the playable characters in-game, all with different passive, tactical and ultimate abilities. Different subclasses are available, characters like Lifeline and Pathfinder, different in operations and have different strengths and weaknesses, but both work to help their teammates survive.

Even with the secret and reveal of a free-to-play game developed under the nose of the community, the player base already had their concerns at launch.

Although people were upset about the lack of evasive movement such as double jumping and wallrunning present in the Titanfall series, the lack of evasive movement turned to a positive as the gunplay and engagement techniques seem to be minorly flawed, adding the extra jumping and wallrunning would make it hard for enemies to shoot, but easy for allies to get away.

Besides hearing about the instant negatives of the stream chat, I decided to hop on and play for myself.

With every battle royale game, Black Ops 4: Blackout, Fortnite, PUBG and DAYZ, it all starts with the drop.

The actual jumping and landing at the start of every match still gets me excited and pumped. Over the 150+ matches I’ve played and 145+ matches my squadmates and I have lost, I’ve never been more ironically excited to die, queue up for another game and drop again. The legend selection is loud and bombastic, it makes me feel like these legends are the best around and not to be messed with.

The music for the drop is easily the best part, for Respawn to distance themselves from other battle royale titles, they’ve innovated a unique feature that no other battle royale has implemented. The last person to pick their legend, gets to command when the player and squad drops. Once dropped, an amazing score plays by the talented Stephen Barton. The music that follows the player as the player drops makes me feel like I’m entering the most intense battle, and the only way to walk out alive is to be the champion. Barton didn’t just ace the squad drop score, the main lobby music and title sound both are perfect pieces, really makes the player visualize a dystopian and lost future that the setting falls in.

Even with the intense part of dropping, that intensity is quickly dropped on occasion. Opponents usually like to drop out right as they get the chance, dropping in named locations enables the opportunity for multiple kills. With that opportunity, a significant flaw appears, almost the entire other side of the map is free for looting since 10-15 of the opposing squads drop out right as the horn sounds. It makes the game very bland in some areas if no other squad lands in the surrounding areas.

Regardless, the success of the game even caught wind to PLAYERUNKNOWN, the creator of PUBG, he had encouraging words for the game.

Really great job by the team @Respawn. A fantastic launch with a great new take on the battle royale game mode! GG WP <3”

This statement was such breath of fresh air and touching to the Respawn team they responded with words kind words of their own,

“We stand on the shoulders of giants, thanks for paving the way!”

With inspiring words from competitors, some instant concerns among the community politically happened, the “lore” of two characters come into question.

“Lore” is another word for history or past of a character of a game, snippets of two legends were dropped, and weren’t well received by all. The technological tracker, Bloodhound and defensive oriented, Gibraltar are both confirmed to be LGBT+.  Bloodhound is “Non-Binary” currently, a masked killer voiced by Allegra Clark, a female that the production team configured it to sound like a dehumanized, cold blooded killer. Gibraltar is confirmed to be homosexual and both sides of the issue are arguing.

One side believes it’s a great thing that these characters are being placed in the game at launch and immediately confirmed LGBT, it allows the game community to open up to tolerance of homosexuality and non-binary ideology. The other side isn’t as happy, some people like The Amazing Lucas on YouTube voices his opinion,

“99.9% of gamers don’t care…it feels like you are checking off a list for the LGBT+ community.” Lucas said. “If the past or gameplay is affected on if the character is gay…but it’s not, they’re marking off the checklist.”

With all of this new information and a new “Fortnite” type of success story, Respawn has already announced their entire plan for the coming seasons.

A couple minutes into the reveal stream, developers at Respawn announced a “roadmap” of all of the upcoming updates, a battle pass was announced and even the two new playable legends were leaked from the game files. Octane and Wattson, the two new upcoming legends, is set to release on either the eighth week of the game on release or the eighth week of the battle pass.

This game took the gaming scene by storm, a complete secret from everyone except for the developers working around the clock to polish and complete this masterpiece of a game. With one of the most successful day one launches in any game in history, Respawn still has to keep up with the demand of more content and bug fixes, which already seem on the way.