Alex Birlo on April 13, 2019

“Apex Legends – A Success or Disappointment”

The big deal

Let us talk this time about the elephant that has been in the room for two months now. Let us talk about “Apex Legends”, what it is, what it means and what it brought to the table. I consider it to be important to bring this up because you do not have to be very involved with the industry to notice that the “Battle Royale” genre is everywhere these days and that anyone who is not too lazy jumps at the idea to at least add it as a mode to their game. The market is saturated with games that all have absolutely the same ‘rules’, just with different esthetics.

Right off the bat I have to clarify that I disliked the idea, but when I played it, I instantly fell in love with the game – though I am not a “Battle Royale” person and never really dug into “Fortnite” and everything that came after it, except for information purposes to just know what it is and that ‘it is there’.

What is Apex Legends?

So what is it? “Apex Legends” is a “Battle Royale” game set in the “Titanfall” universe and developed by “Respawn Entertainment”. Be warned that I am a huge fan of the “Titanfall” games so you can take all I say with a grain of salt, it is understandable.

Now, what is important when you try to carve out a niche for yourself in a genre that is already saturated with games that all do pretty much the same thing? It is important to set your game apart from the competition in any and as many ways as possible!

How is it unique?

“Apex Legends” sets itself apart by bringing to the table several new to the genre game-play mechanics, uses the lore of an already existing and known universe – that was developed and elaborated on by the “Titanfall” games – to instantly create context for its characters, form fitting and believably motivated playable characters that are called ‘legends’ and set up the scene and tone of the game. This is something that other games in the genre either do not have at all or spend a lot of time – they do not have – on developing it. Thus we receive a game that fits into our minds as though it existed there for much longer than the two months it was out. A game we know what we want from and what we can expect from.
The bullet drop physics, the dropships that carry high-level loot, the randomized ‘hot-spots’ on the map that also contain superior loot spawn-rates, the ability to revive teammates, the rule it has to be played in groups of three people as a sport and the unique ‘Passive, Active and Ultimate’ abilities of each ‘legend’ creates a very tactical, skill-based game-play loop that plays vastly different from the other “Battle Royale” games.

A small problem for a big fan

The problem of this game, for a “Titanfall” fan, is the fact that there are no Titans there! When these majestic, mechanical giants are so deeply integrated into the universe, to the point that almost every farm in the frontier supposed to have some sort of titan – if it was not outfitted to fight against the IMC – doing the heavy lifting. But this is addressed to all us the “lore-junkies” in the opening cutscene when they explain it is set after the events of “Titanfall 2” and that it is an old ‘arena-based blood sport’ that was revived by the mercenaries of “Apex”. “Apex Predators” where a group of mercenaries working for the highest bidder in the previous games. So it is a sport, it is sort of semi-legal in the frontier and these are not pilots, they are just soldiers of different sorts, all with their written out motivations to participate in the games

Yes, it is not an excuses not to have a cool individualized Titan for each of the ‘legends’ and have the battlefield transform from ‘soldier to soldier’ combat to ‘Titan on Titan’ action. But that would require a lot bigger areas and major design changes to make this work within the rules of “Battle Royale”.


The game brings a lot of fresh things into the genre, it has its identity and here is hoping that this game is going to bring enough profits to the studio to one day develop a great “Titanfall 3”.

Currently “Respawn Entertainment” for me is a beacon of hope under the dark umbrella of Electronic Arts’ marketing and management practices and consecutive failures. With their next big, story-focused game “Star Wars: The Fallen Order” they have all the chances to treat the fans right.

Because hey… what Titanfall fan’s heart didn’t melt when in the opening cutscene for Apex Legends we heard it – “They say it is a sport of survival. But if you ask me, it’s simple ey…”

“They kill you – they’re better, you kill them – you’re better”.