I’m a very big Apex Legends fan, all. Some of you who know me might be surprised because I rarely play competitive games, and I even more rarely play first-person shooters, but Apex Legends? I love it. Absolutely love it. It scratches the same sort of itch that Overwatch did, but I didn’t like it nearly as much from the start — in fact, I was convinced it wasn’t for me until I tried it again maybe six or so months ago!
What changed my mind? Well, I was watching a streamer play it solo, and I wondered why I wasn’t having as much fun as they were, and that encouraged me to try it solo, too, and it’s a blast! I enjoy playing with friends a lot more now too, but being able to learn the game in my own time has been very rewarding and I’ve been able to better improve on my own skills as a player because of it, and I still very much enjoy playing alone now — gotta grind those ranks, y’know?
Outside of Respawn Entertainment’s fantastic gunplay, there are a few big pulls for me, and a big one is the characters and lore. I enjoy character-driven stuff, and although you can play Apex Legends and not care about that at all, there’s a lot to unpack if you wish to get into it. Respawn Entertainment and Dark Horse Comics recently released a lore book (Pathfinder’s Quest) and it’s an incredible read, with a lot of information, character interactions, and laughs to take from it.
Each character is fleshed out with comics and in-game conversations, and they’re further expanded on outside of the game. Did you know a large portion of playable characters in Apex Legends fall under the LGBTQ+ umbrella? How cool is that? For an online-only competitive shooter, it’s one of the best AAA games for positive representation. Tom Casiello, a writer at Respawn Entertainment, once said in an interview that if you have a problem with any of the above then “we don’t want you playing our game”, and too right, honestly! If you’d like to know more about the characters, this article by GaymingMag is a great read.
The gameplay loop is satisfying too. I know some people don’t like how slow some games can be, that you can spend a good 15 or so minutes wandering around before finding a firefight, but I’m happy with this. It’s relaxing, which isn’t a word I assume most would associate with the game, but for me, it really is. Apex Legends is one of my favourite games to relax with, and it’s also one of the most rewarding. I’ve gotten into the habit of jogging in the morning then playing some Apex Legends for an hour or so before work, and it’s just been super chill.
I got into it properly around the start of Season 8 (and we’ve just gone past the mid-way point of Season 9) with each Season lasting around three months. I’ve been maxing out the Battle Pass, clearing all of the weekly and event challenges, and just generally maximising my time with it. I’m certainly not addicted to it, but I never thought that this would be my “I want to chill” game.
The two Battle Royale maps are well-designed and feel very different to each other, although I do prefer Olympus’ aesthetic to World’s Edge, and Respawn Entertainment does a great job in re-using assets whilst ensuring that they feel fresh. Some areas may feel very familiar, but they way they’re spread out and how you get to them is different. They’re fun to explore, and it’s exciting to see how each game will play out.
A new mode, Arenas, was introduced recently too, allowing you to play smaller, generally shorter games, with two 3v3 teams. I enjoy these, and they make f or a nice change of pace from the game’s main Battle Royale mode, although I still prefer the good ol’ 60 player mayhem more. I believe that Respawn Entertainment listens to the community, and although they don’t always get it right, I think they do a great job in their efforts.
I’ve not enjoyed a competitive FPS game this much since Overwatch, and whilst they’re vastly different games, they both excel at bringing their characters and world to live, and have some of the most engaging gunplay in the genre.
Whatever you’re doing over there, Respawn Entertainment and EA, keep on doing it.