Jude Binkley staff writer
With its surprise release coming just over a month ago, “Apex Legends” has quickly taken the gaming community by storm and challenged “Fortnite” for the top battle royale game. Developed by Respawn and published by EA, “Apex” has some huge names behind it. These big backers have given the game the distinct style and feel that no other game in the genre can rival. The way the game handles, looks and runs makes it easy to see why it is quickly catching up to the popularity of “Fortnite”.
Set in the world of “Titanfall”, a previous series by Respawn, “Apex” features 20 squads of three players dropping into a map that progressively gets smaller due to rounds that are designed to bring players together. “Apex” has also taken the free-to-play route, with the options to purchase weapon skins and characters, as well as implementing a Battle Pass last week that has become more common thanks to games like “Fortnite”.
“Apex” features many traits similar to Titanfall, such as first-person gameplay, the ability to scale walls, ziplines and no fall damage. There is no building mechanic in “Apex”, which many players enjoy as it keeps the game more gunplay-focused, and showdowns come down to skill instead of which player can turn themself into a tower. Itemization in “Apex” is also more in depth with gun customization, where you can collect and add multiple attachments to the 20 guns in the game as well as equip shields and grenades.
Another major difference that impacts gameplay is that “Apex” is a hero shooter. There are nine different characters that a player can choose to be that can heavily impact the way the play. Each character has three abilities, including a passive and an ultimate that changes up gameplay and makes the game suffer less from the repetitive gameplay that can fatigue players of other battle royales.
“Apex” is becoming king of the battle royale genre due to its polish. It’s by far the best feeling game that has come out, and it will soon have the accessibility of “Fortnite” with iOS and Nintendo Switch ports coming soon. Gamers have been flocking to “Apex” due to its incredible gameplay. Where “Fortnite” has quirky dances, “Apex” has meaningful gameplay and offers a more complete experience.
Sam Bernstein managing editor
Since its release in the summer of 2017, “Fortnite” has dominated the casual gaming market, absolutely destroying downloading and streaming records and headlining the perennially middling free-to-play market. Fornite’s authenticity as a truly free game (the only purchasable upgrades are stylistic and do not make it unfair to those who have not purchased any DLCs) as well as the game’s cartoonish fun have both made the game incredibly popular among the casual, family friendly market, and it’s adaptability to trends and ability to be strategic and advanced has made it a hit to the more mature gaming market. The beauty of “Fortnite” is that it can be whatever one wants it to be. If a 12-year-old kid wants flossing and to explore an open world, that kid can do so. If a pro gamer wants to make a career out of the strategy involved with the game and wants to treat the game as seriously as they would treat a game like “Call of Duty” or “Halo”, they can. It is possibly the most wide-ranging, flexible game the gaming world has ever seen, and the hype has rewarded it.
“Fortnite’s” wide-range appeal has made it possible for it to take off on social media in multiple different content formats. Streamers like Ninja can thrive with G-rated content because the game has a huge market in the 13-and-under demographic, and streamers like Dr. Disrespect can thrive with more mature content because a more focused market for “Fortnite” exists. The possibilities for different types of content greatly helps the game because it only furthers “Fortnite”’s reach to potential users of all backgrounds. The wide range of successful content also makes the game flashier, drawing celebrities like Drake and Travis Scott to stream the game with Ninja, only adding the hype that the game has drawn.
“Apex Legends” simply can’t do that. The gaming world has seen games like “Apex” before, and it will see games like “Apex” again. While it is incredible at what it’s supposed to be, a multiplayer first-person shooter game, it truly isn’t much more than that at its current state. It doesn’t have the wide ranging appeal that “Fortnite” has, nor does it have the unique characteristics that make “Fortnite” so special to so many. It doesn’t have wildly popular dance moves, uber-famous endorsements or nearly as many possibilities for content creation. Some would question if “Apex” has to have all that, and for the more mature demographic they’re going for, they likely don’t have to be trendy like “Fortnite” does. However, if the game wants to compete with “Fortnite”, and it may not want to, “Apex” has to improve in its ability to be more than a made-for-2019 first-person shooter.
“Fortnite”, as previously stated, can truly be whatever one wants it to be. It has that luxury, because it simply is the kind of game that has the freedom to adapt to what their base wants. With “Apex”, not so much. That’s why “Fortnite” has, and will continue to, be king of the free to play world.