Apex Legends – State of the game (August 2019)
Apex Legends – State of the game (August 2019) ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!
It’s been six months since Apex Legends unexpectedly released. The majority of us were clearly taken by surprise, although the gaming community later learned that the newest Battle Royale was actually leaked back in 2018. But – it’s not the point. Since Apex Legends is a vivid example of a “Game as service” as well as a BR title on the highly competitive market, we’re here today to see how’s the game doing after a half a year in the wild. Spoilers ahead – it’s doing fairly okay.
A surprise, but a welcome one
Even though Apex Legends is an original project, it still had a foundation to be built upon. The game followed the roots of the Titanfall franchise, and it is worth mentioning that the dilogy of the original shooters by Respawn was great since the people in the studio were the ones who stood behind legendary Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The multiplayer component of Titanfall 2, for instance, was impressive and exciting, but the game never received the amount of support from EA it deserved. You might still remember that shameful story when the release date of Titanfall 2 was put directly between the newest entries of Call of Duty and Battlefield. The poor game was literally eaten by those behemoths of the shooter genre. The release of Apex Legends was also somewhat unorthodox so to say – the game came out silently without any preparatory announcements. It just appeared – and the Battle Royale fans went mad. All of a sudden, everyone started playing Apex Legends – and such a welcoming reception is easy to explain. The game took the best features out of the Battle Royale genre – and introduced a generous amount of new ones in an attempt to become the best on the market.
Apex Legends introduced a variety of enhancements to the formula of the Battle Royale genre, many of which were quickly copied by Fortnite and PUBG.
Perhaps, the most delightful feature of the game is the fluid and fast-paced movement and navigating across the environment. All those ziplines, sliding mechanics, charged jumps – although they do not necessarily copy any of the games of the past, the overall impression is that you are suddenly back to the glorious days of Quake 3 Arena with its famous rapid movement and constant shooting. At the same time, the game is extremely welcoming – it is focused on the core gameplay, on the sole experience of a skilful fight. Apex Legends doesn’t torture you with unnecessary complications – the inventory system is, by far, the best one among the games of the genre. You don’t need to think about allocating attachments – everything is helpfully highlighted so that you always know, which module works with your gun – and which doesn’t. Also, after quite some time invested in Apex Legends, you start to appreciate its excellent visual and audio feedback – and we are not necessarily talking about pinging system. You always know when the characters are using their ults, you can hear the respawn beacons, you can visually distinguish the shots of a Longbow with and without a Skullpircer equipped, etc.
Fighting to survive
There’re many small features on top of that like shooting the handles of the doors to open them with heavy guns for instance. In conclusion, easy to learn, hard to master – this is exactly what Apex Legends is about, and perhaps this is the key reason the get back to it each time. But how’s that all working six months later? It is pretty obvious that an online game in 2019 desperately needs a lot of support, new content, new features, regular updates, etc. Respawn made a mistake with Season 1 – it wasn’t a complete disaster, although it was nowhere close to the level of support everyone was hoping for. The online figures started to drop after the initial blast, and perhaps it was then when the developers started reevaluating their initial approach of making less content, but a quality one. The introduction of Season 2 helped Apex Legends a lot. It was still far from perfect – but we finally saw the actual development of the core idea. The map has changed, the lore has been enriched, and a ton of new features has been added. Even the original map of the game was redesigned to reflect the new development course – but it feels like there’s more to be done in that direction.
Apex Legends has to evolve faster if the developers want to keep their player base engaged; otherwise, the game risks to lose its audience.
It is still questionable whether the Fortnite’s approach towards seasonal map changes is the best solution for Apex Legends, but judging by the fact that the social overlay tells your friends that you are playing on a specific map, it is quite possible that Kings Canyon won’t stay the only available one in the roster. Respawn learned a lot with Season 1; Season 2 is even more valuable in terms of feedback, and now it is clear that the community desires more. Expanding the map pool should be the next logical step after adding ranked leagues and new Legends along with fixing the balance. Speaking of which, the introduced changes greatly enhanced the initial meta and made the number of working strategies a lot more versatile – you can now actually use all of the guns along with all of the characters. Each time you play, you tend to go for a different layout, and even though you might have some kind of favourite all-purpose tactics – there’s always a possibility to try something else. And what’s even more important, other strategies often turn out at least as much effective. With that in mind, we still face the problem of a content shortage – but this is likely to change for the best soon.
The developers of BR games are themselves fighting in a Battle Royale of sorts – only the best few ones attract enough attention from the gaming community to survive and prosper. Apex Legends has already proven that it is an excellent gaming concept and a huge step forwards in the well-established genre. Now, Respawn desperately needs to keep its confident march. The developers indisputably know how to fix the balance and deal with the issues of unpopular guns/Legends, which generally means that the core of the game is pretty much stable. And what should come next is the introduction of a lot more expansive flow of new engaging content. This is, probably, the only way Apex Legends can keep its player base – and we do hope that the developers understand that.