Hey, so I don’t know if you guys heard the news, but there’s a new battle royale game that’s out today, published by some small company called EA and developed by these up and coming kids over at Respawn Entertainment. I do hope that things work out for them…
Jokes aside, it looks like Apex Legends might be off to a great start. Respawn’s free to play shooter managed to notch a million unique downloads within eight hours of its launch, and video streaming sites are filed with nothing but channels broadcasting the hottest new chicken dinner on the block. Currently available on PC, Xbox One and PS4, here’s the quick breakdown on the game and its current contents:
Let me give you the bad news first: There ain’t no wall-running and there ain’t no Titans to call in. Instead, Apex Legends functions as a squad-based battle royale shooter where teams work to be the last group standing while utilising their core abilities to survive. Here’s the flavour text from EA:
Apex Legends is a free-to-play Battle Royale shooter where legendary characters with powerful abilities team up to battle for fame & fortune on the fringes of the Frontier. Master an ever-growing roster of diverse Legends, deep tactical squad play and bold new innovations that level up the Battle Royale experience—all within a rugged world where anything goes. Welcome to the next evolution of Battle Royale.
You’ll have a choice of eight unique characters to use in battle (Who are known as Legends), giving the Respawn title a feel that fans describe as Overwatch meets Call of Duty’s Blackout mode. So far, the roster includes:
Here’s a breakdown on what each character brings to the table:
Born into a military family where she, her parents, and her four older brothers all served in the IMC Armed Forces, Bangalore has been an exceptional soldier since she was young. She was top of her class at the IMC Military Academy and the only cadet who could take apart a Peacekeeper, equip it with a Precision Choke hop-up, and put it back together in under twenty seconds – blindfolded.
- Tactical Ability: Smoke Launcher – Fire a high-velocity smoke canister that explodes into a smoke wall on impact.
- Passive Ability: Double Time – Taking fire while sprinting makes you move faster for a brief time.
- Ultimate Ability: Rolling Thunder – Call in an artillery strike that slowly creeps across the landscape.
Bloodhound is known across the Outlands as one of the greatest game hunters the Frontier has ever seen – and that’s about all anyone knows. Their identity is a mystery wrapped in layers of rumors: they are fabulously wealthy, a bloodthirsty murderer, a Goliath whisperer, a former slave, half bat, and a dozen other things depending on who’s doing the whispering.
- Tactical Ability: Eye of the Allfather – Briefly reveal hidden enemies, traps, and clues throughout structures in front of you.
- Passive Ability: Tracker – See tracks left behind by your foes.
- Ultimate Ability: Beast of the Hunt – Enhances your senses, allowing you move faster and highlighting your prey.
Before there was Caustic, a scientist named Alexander Nox worked at Humbert Labs, the Frontier’s leading manufacturer of pesticide gases. With a glut of pesticides needed to protect the growing Frontier colonies’ crops, Humbert Labs was constantly on the hunt for better and stronger formulas. Nox was one of their brightest scientists and worked day and night developing new gases. But to make sure they worked, he needed to test them on more than just inert tissue: he needed something living.
- Tactical Ability: Nox Gas Trap – Drop canisters that release deadly Nox gas when shot or triggered by enemies.
- Passive Ability: Nox Vision – Allows you to see enemies through your gas.
- Ultimate Ability: Not Gas Grenade – Blankets a large area in Nox Gas.
Gibraltar is a gentle giant with a wild side. The son of two SARAS (Search and Rescue Association of Solace) volunteers, he has always been skilled at getting others out of dangerous situations that are common in the Outlands. However, he only began to understand the value of protecting others when he and his boyfriend stole his father’s motorcycle, took it on a joyride, and got trapped by a deadly mudslide. His parents saved them, and his father lost an arm in the process. Gibraltar has never forgotten that sacrifice and has devoted his life to helping those in need.
- Tactical Ability: Dome of Protection – Throw down a dome-shield that blocks attacks for 15 seconds.
- Passive Ability: Gun Shield – Aiming down sights deploys a gun shield that blocks incoming fire.
- Ultimate Ability: Defensive Bombardment – Call in a concentrated mortar strike on a marked position.
Ajay Che, aka Lifeline, isn’t someone you would expect to find in the Apex Games. Once the child of wealthy war profiteers, she left home when she learned of the damage her family had caused and enlisted in the Frontier Corps, a humanitarian organization that aids Frontier communities in need. She’s since devoted her life to helping others and joined the Apex Games to fund the Frontier Corps with her winnings.
- Tactical Ability: D.O.C. Heal Drone – Call your Drone of Compassion to automatically heal nearby teammates over time.
- Passive Ability: Combat Medic – Revive knocked down teammates faster while protected by a shield wall. Healing items are used 25% faster.
- Ultimate Ability: Care Package – Call in a drop pod full of high-quality defensive gear.
Mirage is the kind of guy who likes to stand out. The youngest of four brothers, he perfected the art of fooling around to get attention. The one thing he took seriously was Holo-Pilot technology: introduced to the illusion-creating tech by his engineer mother, he poured over the mechanisms and learned all he could about them. Even when his brothers went MIA during the Frontier War, Mirage and his mother continued to develop holo devices, and the work brought them closer.
- Tactical Ability: Psyche Out – Send out a holographic decoy to confuse the enemy.
- Passive Ability: Encore! – Automatically drop a decoy and cloak for five seconds when knocked down.
- Ultimate Ability: Vanishing Act – Deploy a team of Decoys to distract enemies while you cloak.
Pathfinder is the picture of optimism, despite his circumstances. A MRVN (Mobile Robotic Versatile eNtity) modified to specialize in location scouting and surveying, he booted up decades ago in an abandoned laboratory with no idea who created him or why. With only his MRVN designation to hint at his identity, Pathfinder set off in search of his creator.
- Tactical Ability: Grappling Hook – Grapple to get to out-of-reach places quickly.
- Passive Ability: Insider Knowledge – Scan a survey beacon to reveal the ring’s next location.
- Ultimate Ability: Zipline Gun – Create a zipline for everyone to use.
Wraith is a whirlwind fighter, able to execute swift and deadly attacks and manipulate spacetime by opening rifts in the fabric of reality — but she has no idea how she got that way. Years ago, she woke up in an IMC Detention Facility for the Mentally Ill with no memory of her life before. She also began hearing a distant voice whispering in her mind that would keep her awake for days on end. Despite nearly driving her insane, once she started to listen and trust it, the voice helped her harness her newfound power of void manipulation and escape the facility.
- Tactical Ability: Into the Void – Reposition quickly through the safety of void space, avoiding all damage.
- Passive Ability: Voices from the Void – A voice warns you when danger approaches. As far as you can tell, it’s on your side.
- Ultimate Ability: Dimensional Rift – Link two locations with portals for 60 seconds, allowing your entire team to use them.
Right, just because Apex Legends is free, doesn’t mean that there isn’t some money to be made! Within the game there exists Apex Packs, which offer cosmetic and crafting currencies. Purely visual in nature, players will be able to earn up to 45 of them as they level their character up from 1 to 100. As for the odds of finding rare goodies in them? Here’s the breakdown on the percentages for drop rates:
- Rare or better item: 100%
- Epic or better item: 24.8%
- Legendary item: 7.4%
Respawn says that there will be no duplicate cosmetics of anything that you already own, as well as bad luck protection that rewards you with something of legendary quality if you open 30 packs in a row. There’s also an intriguing idea, called Bonus Heirlooms:
Apex Legends currently has one bonus Heirloom Set available, which contains three items for Wraith. When a player opens an Apex Pack, there is a <1% probability of an Heirloom Set dropping. Heirloom Set drops do not deduct an Apex Pack from your inventory. Heirloom Sets cannot be crafted with Crafting Metals.
A player cannot open more than 500 Apex Packs without receiving an Heirloom set (assuming the player does not own all of the available Heirloom Sets). Once a player owns all of the Heirloom Sets, the player will not be eligible for this bonus until more Heirloom Sets are added to the game.
Much like Fortnite, Apex Legends will have a Battle Pass that works on seasonal rewards and challenges, offering exclusive items to dedicated players and bonus Apex Packs. Respawn provided a few more details on the purchasable Battle Pass:
Do I keep everything I’ve earned with Battle Pass once the Season ends?
Yes, everything you earn with the Battle Pass is yours to keep, even after the Season is over.
Do I get Legends by purchasing a Battle Pass?
No, Legends will not be included in the Battle Pass. The Battle Pass gives players exclusive cosmetic items and Apex Packs.
How long are Seasons?
Each season will run for approximately three months.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MONEY?
Right, so how is Apex Legends going to support itself beyond the Battle Pass? While the game won’t sell any gameplay advantages, it will look to turn a profit by offering Apex Coins, the in-game currency that allows you to purchase Apex Packs, new Legends for the roster, crafting metals to create specific cosmetics and more vanity items. Think Overwatch’s loot crates, but actually not a pain in the arse that rewards you with the disappointment of a duplicate spray tag that you weren’t going to use anyway.
And there you go! That’s a quick breakdown on Apex Legends and what you can expect in the first few weeks from this game that arrived like an RKO: From outta nowhere! Will it be able to hang with the big three in the Battle Royale genre? Only time will tell, but it looks like Respawn has a winner on their hands.
Last Updated: February 5, 2019