Apex Legends is a Good Battle Royale Game, But It Needs More to Survive
When Battle Royale eventually dies out, will Apex Legends survive if Respawn Entertainment introduces general multiplayer modes?
Cast your mind back to when the Battle Royale genre in video games first came about. You’ll probably first find yourself thinking back to the beginning of 2017 when PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds grew in popularity, perhaps the first game to really kickstart this whole Battle Royale craze off. Of course, you’ll also probably think about Fortnite too, which not only brought millions of players together but did so by being the first game to successfully enable full cross-platform play on consoles.
If you want to separate yourself from the usual crowd and be different, you’ll probably say you remember even further back when games such as DayZ, or mods for Arma 2 and Garry’s Mod introduced Last Man Standing modes. Heck, even I remember Crash ‘n’ Burn from the PS2 years, and even innocent little Bomberman was a Last Man Standing game.
Either way, it’s no lie that Battle Royale has been successful of late, and Apex Legends is the newest game to come out that is dedicated to the game mode. It does feature the usual elements from many other Battle Royale games, as it has microtransactions to purchase cosmetics, legendaries, or the two characters behind a paywall. Although, it’s possible to unlock these items through just earning them through non-cost methods.
As much as I’m enjoying my time with Apex Legends so far, I feel as if it needs to do more in order to survive in the long run. Specifically, I’m concerned about how long this genre is going to last despite it being popular now thanks to hits in the genre such as PUBG and Fortnite. Even EA has stated that they believe Battlefield V did so poorly because they failed to launch with a Battle Royale mode, as they said in their most recent financial call. They themselves stated that they “made the decision to prioritize other features, including a single-player experience, at launch over a Battle Royale mode.”
As popular as Battle Royale is, it can make games focusing on the genre somewhat alienating to those who don’t favor this style of multiplayer gameplay. I know many players who stay away from the genre because they don’t like the idea of constantly having to matchmake if they only survive for 2 minutes. I also know those who don’t find joy in Solo or teaming up with strangers in Duos or Squads. As it stands, Apex Legends is predominantly a Battle Royale game, and that, in itself, is fine for those who enjoy this style of gameplay.
But after spending several hours with Apex Legends, I’ve come to realize that the intuitive controls, the smooth gameplay experience, and the wonderful optimization leave it open to being so much more, bringing in a larger audience. Fortnite, as an example, has introduced various game modes to add some form of diversity outside of its standard Battle Royale modes, giving players a bit of a break from the tough-going survival theme. But what Apex Legends offers so far still doesn’t feel different enough.
With all that being said, here’s what I think Respawn Entertainment needs to do with Apex Legends to make it appealing beyond the current trend of Battle Royale games.
The first step I think is to introduce the usual slate of multiplayer modes to bring in more players that can enjoy the title. By this, I mean sectioning off parts of the map into levels and introducing standard game modes such as Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Search and Destroy. It might be adding more work onto the development team, and possibly hold back a new Titanfall game later this year, but it has the principles in place to succeed.
The gameplay of Apex Legends feels remarkably polished, and the diverse Ping feature—and Accessibility features—allows you to communicate with your team without the need to type or speak. This can all be carried over into other game modes, should they be implemented. I also think that the Legend abilities would work in other modes too, as they’re not entirely game changers, but more so for tactical purposes.
There’s no knowing how long the Battle Royale craze is going to last, as Fortnite keeps on bringing players back with events such as the Marshmello concert that took place for the Super Bowl earlier this month. Fear the Wolves brings a spin on the genre by introducing wolves and more obstacles for players to overcome, so it’s not like the Battle Royale genre is running out of ideas.
But I do feel as if we’re reaching a point where it’s going to become too oversaturated that people are just going to grow bored of playing a game that only allows you to play just Battle Royale. I’ve already removed myself from Fortnite as a player now because I just can’t seem to enjoy it anymore—I also suck at the building—and I only find myself not playing PUBG because of how long it seems to take to load into the next match, and because of its clunky controls.
Apex Legends is the first Battle Royale title to really grasp my attention since PUBG did back in 2017, and I feel like I want to continue enjoying it. Since it launched a few weeks ago, it had already hit 1 million players in under 8 hours, and then the total went up to 2.5 million players in under 48 hours.
Of course, the game is set to continue to grow according to the CEO of Respawn Entertainment. This no doubt means future characters, perhaps a new map to explore, and more weapons. Hopefully, the plans for the future will introduce new game modes, but as it stands right now, Apex Legends is certainly a good contender for becoming the next big Battle Royale game in the long run, and I’m hoping it has what it takes to survive.
If you do want to grab Apex Legends, it’s available for free on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. Now, who wants to be Jumpmaster?