It’s really hard these days to keep a secret. When it comes to gaming that statement is extremely true but Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind the Titanfall series, almost managed it. Almost. The result is Apex Legends, a new free-to-play entry in the battle royale genre that has dropped on us almost without notice.
And by most accounts it has been positively received. The game racked up over a million unique players in a little over eight hours, which really isn’t bad for something that was first spotted this past weekend. Featuring squad-based play, varied classes (Overwatch-style, but with a teeny bit less bombast), Respawn’s new title has a lot going for it.
Players fight in squads of three, with up to 60 players in a single battle royale match. It is, as mentioned, free-to-play, but it’ll be financed by loot boxes and cosmetics. How EA and Respawn handle that segment will be a large factor in how the game performs, popularity-wise, but the response to the gameplay has been decent. Turns out, making a free-to-play game fun nets you more than a few players.
As can be seen from the gameplay video, Apex Legends comes across as a slightly goofier version of Blackout, with a dash of Overwatch thrown in. There are set characters with specific abilities, some of which are stranger than others (how’s that portal, though?). The environment screams ‘high-end military shooter’, the gameplay says ‘pull this kill off and you’d better be recording it’. We’re very okay with that. The only pity? No giant robots stomping around but the game seems fun without ’em so far.
Apex Legends, if we’re being honest, doesn’t look like it’s going to dethrone Epic Games’ Fortnite any time soon. What it does look like is a place for the bigger kids to play while the younger set (and much of the rest of the gaming world, really) get their Floss on — without paying through the nose to access Call of Duty‘s Blackout mode. Apex Legends is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.