Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 48 hours, you’ve no doubt heard of Apex Legends, the new kid on the Battle Royale block that managed an impressive 1 million players in the eight hours following its release.
Legends is being developed by Respawn Entertainment and is published by EA. Previously, this working relationship was founded on the Titanfall series, a lukewarm mech shooter with brilliant verticality. Titanfall 2 didn’t sell as well as expected, but was a wonderfully refreshing title that has since gained a cult following thanks to its experimental campaign.
So you might be wondering, where’s Titanfall 3? Well, it looks like they scrapped it in favour of taking a shot at the current hot ticket genre. A bold strategy, but it seems to be paying off so far!
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier previously reported that Titanfall 3 was in development thanks to a tip from a source within Respawn. This piece of info came to light when the studio was bought by EA back in 2017.
Now, as reported by the multitude of Apex Legends previews that have cropped up over the past 24 hours (thanks, Eurogamer) it looks like the early ideas Respawn had for Titanfall 3 became what we now know as Apex Legends. Its easy to speculate that this was an adaptation to the current gaming zeitgeist, what with 2017-2019 being dominated by battle royale titles like PUBG, Fortnite and Blackout.
Apex Legends is sadly lacking in titans, and doesn’t quite have the platforming freedom of Titanfall, but the shooting and world feels strikingly similar. It grafts some hero shooter sensibilities into the mix, taking a leaf out of the good book of Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch by giving the player a choice before the start of each round to pick a ‘Legend’, a specialised character with a unique suite of abilities.
You can definitely feel some of the Titanfall genome baked into its fresh Battle Royale DNA, and it makes for an intriguing game that offers an alternative to the top flight Battle Royale experiences players have grown accustomed to by now. Reviving your friends with their banners is a novel concept, sure, but the main problem is in whether it will stick the landing.
We’ve seen plenty of Battle Royale title attempt to take some of the market share from the big three, and the proof is in the playercount after a few months of just being something new. Can Respawn keep plugging this puppy with content to forge a loyal player base? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. You can check out Apex Legends on PS4, Xbox One and PC via Origin.