Respawn Announce & Release Apex Legends
Respawn, most famous for Titanfall and Titanfall 2, have (pretty much out of nowhere) released a free to play battle royale game called Apex Legends.
Set in the Titanfall universe about 30 years after TF2, Respawn are keen to let players know that this is not a sequel but another game entirely and set in an area called the Outlands which features a bunch of characters following the usual Royale premise.
The game is based around a 3 player squad with a total of 20 teams (60 player total) so… there’s 40 dead over Blackout straight away lol. It’s available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One (no word on Switch or mobile as of yet) with 8 ‘legends’ in the game, each with different passive, tactical and ultimate abilities which Respawn assure gamers – are balanced.
Cross-play is not currently available but it will be heading that way at some point, although cross-progress and cross-purchases will not take place at all ever, due to the way the systems were initially set up.
Eurogamer spoke to Respawn’s Lead Producer Drew McCoy (not affiliated with Star Trek) who had this to say:-
“Our desire is to be completely open and transparent with our player base, and part of that expands to how we talk about problems, and we understand this game is gonna have a sceptical audience,”
“There are some people who think there are too many battle royale games or it’s a fad, the world thinks we’re making Titanfall 3 and we’re not – this is what we’re making.”
“To try and convince a sceptical audience for months with trailers and hands-on articles, we’re just like ‘let the game speak for itself’ – it’s the most powerful antidote to potential problems.”
“We’re doing a free to play game, with essentially loot boxes, after we were bought by EA, and it’s not Titanfall 3. It’s the perfect recipe for a marketing plan to go awry, so why have that – let’s just ship the game and let players play.”
As you can see from the response, they clearly didn’t want another EA marketing disaster like Star Wars: Battlefront 2 dealt. It also means that Titanfall 3 is not in development and was likely back-roomed for now due to the dated Valve engine used on previous games.
“When we started [Apex Legends] we were building off Titanfall 2, and we didn’t know we weren’t going to have double jump or wall running or titans,” he says. “The choice to not have those came about because of play-testing against our goals: to have a strategic, learn-able, master-able, deep game.
“[We had] things like wall running and double jumping for a long time, we had triple jump for a while, they make combat really hard to beat and comprehend. You can’t predict where players come from or you’re pushing them to, and things would happen to you more than you would predict and respond against. So it’s really fun to do, but it’s really bad for combat legibility.”
He then goes on to talk about why it was impossible to add battle royale into an actual Titanfall game:-
“The titans in Titanfall 1 and 2 were meant to be a power fantasy – you’re supposed to think ‘alright, I can call it in, I can power it up and feel like a bad-ass for a little while’, then it’ll probably blow up and you have a chance to do it again.
“So we were prototyping that and they were a power-up, and that was really detrimental to a battle royale. Battle royale’s are supposed to be like Poker – everyone comes to the table with the same possibilities.”
“If we ever balanced a titan down to where they were not a destructive force on the match – it was like betraying that power fantasy, like they were made out of paper, a wet cardboard bag – it was not worth it.”
One feature, is Apex Legends’ communication (PING) system. With a simple click on your mouse wheel or controller bumper, you can easily flag up points of interest on the map: be it enemies, weapons or locations – and communicate these to your teammates. Along with audio cues, items are displayed with a small image to show what they are. You can even thank a team-mate if you pick up an item they flagged for the team. It’s an intelligently-designed system to aid closer squad cooperation.
Another feature is that everyone in your team jumps via a ‘jump-master’ that decides when the team jump, giving a slightly more equalled landing system to stop team-mates wandering off on their own.
So they are the key-points. Our advice is to go and download the game for free and give it a try for yourself (Xbox, PC and PS4 remember).
Before you disappear, check out the trailers recently released and see what you think. Above is the launch trailer and below is an insight to how the characters operate and their skills in action.