Apex Legends was announced and dropped into the wilderness yesterday. Whilst many early naysayers were saying that Respawn/EA were trying to quickly get in on the battle royale genre, by creating a clone, it’s clear that a lot of thought was put into the tinier details within the game.
Apex Legends has a bunch of great mechanics that we haven’t seen in other battle royale games, and it’ll make going back to them that little bit harder. Here’s seven things that I’d think other battle royale games could learn from Apex Legends.
THE AMAZING PING SYSTEM
The ping system in Apex Legends is an absolutely brilliant mechanic. It’s a fantastic piece of game design that’s implemented almost flawlessly. It almost cuts out the need to chat to your other team mates using a headset (which is a massive barrier of entry for a lot of players with these types of game).
The ping mechanic allows you to tell other team mates where you’re heading, lets you mark enemies in sight, lets you tag houses as cleared and you can also easily let your squad know that you’re after certain ammo or armour. It also lets you tag weapons for your squad to pickup, which is a huge advantage over other games.
The best part about it though is how easy it is to use. You can quickly mark things by single tapping or double tapping R1 (whilst hovering over the respective item) or you can access the ping wheel, which works fantastically.
This is something that I never would knew I needed, but now would find it hard to live without. The one thing that all battle royale games have in common is essentially jumping from the sky and landing anywhere on the map. This can be hard when you’re playing a squad game, as you and your team mates could easily be separated, but it’s not the case with Apex Legends.
Apex Legends introduces squad jumping, which essentially places one of the team members as jumpmaster and they’ll be in charge of controlling the whole squad from choosing when to jump and where to float to. If this isn’t something you want to take responsibility of, you can relinquish the responsibility or your team mates can simply split apart.
You can also still use your own markers on the map to let you know where you want to drop, so it’s not as if the jumpmaster is the only one that has a say and the other two squad members are left helpless.
POST DEATH RESPAWNS
This is one that I was unsure of when I first learned about the game, but I’m now a massive fan of it. Basically, like other games, you can revive your squad members if they fall, but if they die, you can collect their banner and deliver it to one of the respawn beacons. They’re often hard to get to and they’ll respawn with nothing, but it’s a great way to get players back in the game. Obviously, as the circle shortens, the respawn beacons become harder (or impossible to get to).
It’s a great little mechanic because rescuing your team mate obviously relies on your defeating the other players that eliminated your team mate (or waiting until they leave) so it’s a massive risk/reward play.
THE VERBAL REMINDERS
This is a small one, but I really appreciate the constant verbal cues that are spoken at you throughout each match. Like constant reminders that you’re far away from the circle, or letting you know that a new kill leader has taken charge. Similarly, your characters will mutter words to your team mates letting you know that you’re safe in the ring. It’s a tiny little thing that makes the world of difference in a game like this.
I don’t know if we’ll ever see this kind of thing in Call Of Duty or Fortnite, but it’s my favourite thing about Apex Legends. Each Legend has a power up, a passive ability and a finisher. Some are defensive and some are offensive, but each completely change the way you attack the game and provide you with a way to get out of intense situations or unleash offensive havoc on your opponents.
My favourite Legend so far is Mirage. He’s able to send out decoys that completely confuse the opposition. His finisher sends out 5-10 decoys and also cloaks your player, allowing you to get the jump on your opponents.
THE LOOT IDENTIFIERS
I like the fact that certain areas on the map are immediately identified as having mid-tier or high-tier loot. It means that you know whether to spend longer in a specific area and also lets you know if you should be on the look out for trouble with other enemies.
Another small but well-balanced little game mechanic. You’ll find ropes scattered throughout the map, which will let you quickly redeploy away from a storm or out of a firefight. They’re not too close together that they feel cheap, and you only get a certain distance away to the point that if you’re too deep in the storm, it’s not really going to help you all the much.