Gamers are almost fed up with battle royale. In the age of social media and instant-always-in-your-face-news, it's easy to become jaded at the genre. It's widly popular for a reason, but too much popularity turns some gamers off. It's a weird hipster thing we do. Thankfully, companies like Respawn Entertainment don't let that prevent innovation in the shooter arena.
Apex Legends is the new kid on the block and let me tell you, that kid is popular. In just a few days, Apex Legends has taken over Twitch and is widly trending on Youtube. Why? Well, I have a few theories on this:
- Lack of marketing - How is this a good thing? Expectations. Gamers had zero expecations on this surprise launch of a new BR game. There was no big campaign, or anything of the like. It was just, BOOM, here it is. No early access, no beta, no alpha, no buy in founder packs, just a good old fashioned release. Gamers were taken off guard in a good way.
- Movement - Apex Legends mimicks a lot of movement from its cousin, Titanfall. Although many of the movement abilities have been removed for balance purposes, it's one of the reasons why Titanfall was so popular. (Also those giant robots helped, and are not present in Apex Legends)
- Looting - The PUBG-like looting system is one of the easiest I've ever used in the genre. Easy to read fonts, bright color coded objects, and simple PC-centric controls make it a joy.
- Communication - Probably the biggest reason why this game has taken off. Apex Legends features an innovative take on contextual "pings". These simple to use actions provide meaningful information to teammates with a simple click. This shining feature has removed a large percentage of toxicity in online gameplay. Given the game only supports 3 man squad make ups, it's imperative the ping system work and prevent rage. I think it has.
Overall, the battle royale genre has received a refreshing shot in the arm to make gamers continue to play it. It has brought BR naysayers on board and has sparked the inevitable "Is this a Fortnite killer" discussion. We'll save that for another post. :)