“No Paul, don’t push!” There was only one other team left in the match. We had watched them get out of a fight, so we knew that they couldn’t have much health. We had a height advantage on the other team, so I didn’t want to move. As the seconds ticked on, my excitement grew. I realized my first win was within reach. Suddenly, I noticed one of the opposing players come out from hiding, so I shot. Confused, I noticed the opposing player wasn’t at all interested in me. Despite telling him not to push, my teammate slid down the mountain and was instantly knocked down. I rushed to help, but I was too late. I was caught off guard and was shot from two sides. What seemed to be a first win turned into nothing at all.
The new video game Apex Legends has been taking the gaming community by storm. The game is a free-to-play battle royale made by Respawn Entertainment consisting of up to twenty teams with three players on each team. Each player selects one of the eight characters. Players land around the map and search for weapons. As the game continues, the safe zone shrinks, forcing players toward each other. The last team alive wins. Within three days, the game had reached ten million players. On Twitch, a website where players can stream themselves playing, Apex Legends consistently has the most viewers, averaging around two hundred thousand viewers. So what makes this game stand out?
A useful tool in Apex Legends is the ping system. In other battle royales, communication is always an issue. Trying to accurately describe to your teammates where the enemies are coming from is a pain. To solve this problem, Respawn Entertainment added a system that allows players to ‘ping’ enemies, weapons, heals, and locations. Rather than saying “he’s over there, by the tree,” simply pressing a button marks the enemy’s location. Additionally, every player has two teammates, regardless if they are wanted or not. Since not everyone has a headset or is comfortable talking to random people, the ping system can solve this problem.
An important aspect of every game is the movement system, which can make or break a game. Sr Jevic DeVries agrees completely with this statement. “I played Call of Duty for money,” said DeVries, “and games such as Advanced Warfare would have been much more enjoyable with a different movement system.” The Apex Legends movement system has several new features to improve movement. Sliding isn’t anything new to shooter video games, but a key change made by Respawn Entertainment made all the difference. When heading down a long downslope, sliding can take players down the entire hill. This allows the player to get to places faster. Additionally, placed around the map are ropes that can be climbed up. Once players reach the top, he or she can glide the same as the start of the game. Small additions like these make a big difference when players need to move to the new zone quickly. Another addition found in other games is vehicles. They can be beneficial, but often make fighting impossible. Getting killed by impact from a vehicle is incredibly frustrating. Thankfully, Respawn Entertainment avoided this problem all together.
Probably the most welcomed addition to Apex Legends was their unique respawn system. In all battle royales, when a player gets knocked down, teammates must revive him in time in order to stay alive. However, one of the most frustrating aspects of these games is when players instantly “finish” you. When you get knocked down, players can continue to shoot you, which eliminates any chance of revival. To fix this, Respawn Entertainment added an item that players can find around the map: shields. When players get knocked down, they can activate their shield, which makes it harder for the opponents to fully eliminate them. However, if the players still manage to get fully killed, they aren’t out of luck; if the team is able to recover the player’s banner and deliver it to one of the beacons on the map, the player can respawn. This feature allows everyone to jump back into the action, and pick up where he or she left off.
All new games have growing pains, and Apex Legends is no different. Although the game has amassed an enormous following in less than a month, there are still many complaints that the community has. There are the obvious ones that most games have, less glitch and lag, more compatibility, and better graphics. Then there are the less obvious ones, the ones that only true members of the gaming community would know.
Sr. Mac Strobel, an avid gamer, hopes that the game will add a battle pass soon. “It’s a great game as is, but a battle pass just gives people a little something extra to work towards.” A battle pass for battle royale games provides weekly challenges and rewards the players that complete those challenges. They force players to go places they usually wouldn’t and do activities that wouldn’t usually happen in normal gameplay. Battle passes break up the monotony of the game and allow players to have new experiences.
The skill level in Apex Legends is largely based on the number of kills per game. When playing with friends, if one player gets a high number he is going to brag and let everyone else know. This is a problem in Apex, however. During a game, there is no way to see how many kills your teammates have. This is the top improvement on Sr Jake Holstege’s mind. “It is really annoying not knowing how many kills your teammates have, I wanna know if someone has a lot so we can keep him focused.”
Most battle royale games now have cross-platform, when PS4 players are allowed to play with Xbox. Apex does not yet have that feature, but many players are calling for the update. Jr. Blake Racelis wishes he could play with all of his friends, “I am one of the few people in the school with an Xbox. I really wish that I could play with all of my friends instead of the select few that have an Xbox.” This is the biggest complaint from the gaming community; once this feature is added, the game will gain even more popularity.
Apex has already gotten an abundance of players in a short time, mainly because of the pinging system, the unique movement system, and the respawn system. If Respawn Entertainment can incorporate the ideas of loyal players, this game could be one to reckon with for years to come.