Apex Legends is striking a perfect balance between friction and flow. Can this Battle Royale hit just be the perfect shooter to play? To answer this for you, we took a nosedive in the world of Apex Legends. Our findings have been very surprising, to say the least.
To a casual observer, there might be nothing remarkable about Apex Legends. A universe set in science fiction, close ties to Respawn’s Titanfall series, and another battle royale setting. None of these things hold a candle to goliaths like Fortnite and Call Of Duty: Warzone. Yet, Apex Legends has found massive success regardless.
Rather than dumping tons of content, Apex Legends follows a quality over quantity approach. Its fluid controls, unique and exciting characters, and design incentives to make the player constantly move are the reasons why Apex Legends has gained so much popularity.
But the thing is, Respawn Entertainment isn’t the only one following such trends. Many games have tried to follow this model to no success. Yet only Apex Legends has managed to retain its popularity. Why has everyone but this particular developer failed? To answer this question for you, we will be taking a deep dive into factors that make Apex Legends such a good shooter.
What is Apex Legends?
Before we answer everything for you, it would be a good idea to familiarise yourself with how Apex Legends fundamentally works. The way a basic battle royale or Apex Legends in this case works is by dropping players in an enclosed region. The players have to face each other, often till death to decide a final victor.
Apex Legends builds on this concept by introducing different characters and abilities to the mix. The fundamental goal is to be the last one to survive. You get to choose between a wide assortment of weapons and consumables.
What Makes Apex Legends So Popular?
Apex Legends indeed deserves the positive buzz it’s been receiving. It’s no secret why the game has been attracting more and more players. The success for Apex Legends isn’t surprising or sudden. The title has constantly remained popular since it was released back in 2019, and that is mainly because of how good of a game it is.
With that said, if you want to gain an in-depth look at the factors that make Apex Legends so good then you are at the right place. While Apex Legends did indeed struggle to find its footing after a hot launch, it has continued to improve since then. Let’s expand on it more to see what makes it so popular.
One of the vital elements of game design that Apex Legends has explored to perfection has been the balance between flow and friction. The smooth dashes and jumps make the game feel frictionless most of the time. Passing through the terrain feels free; your slide mechanics allow you to slide your way through the slopes without it feeling out of place.
The break between a dash and a jump feels haptic yet natural. Many game developers don’t focus much on how the character movements should feel to the player. Meanwhile, Apex Legends grabs this concept and embraces it to the point where it begins to show in its gameplay. Many of the maps in Apex Legends we’ve seen so far are designed to facilitate and encourage this form of movement.
Battle Royales can feel stale for a constant fraction of their game time. In PUBG, you get to have brief moments where there is nothing to do but wait. You might go and try to loot some more or try to find enemies with your Kar98k but it is not much you can try otherwise.
Apex Legends, however, doesn’t give you that leisure. The game is designed to make you move constantly. Whenever you approach a tall object, there is almost a handy grip point. When you jump at a vertical surface, you scramble up a little adding extra weight to steer yourself to that point.
This makes you feel as though you’ve actively worked for it, providing you with a sense of achievement. Whenever you work for something within Apex, the game in response, works with you. This not only encourages you to move but also makes you feel one with the game.
Related: The Best Weapons in Apex Legends
Three Person Squads
Another aspect that differentiates Apex Legends from other Battle Royales is their decision to go three-man squads instead of four. This makes every player fend for themselves and gives them a chance to improve with others. You cannot be the weak link in a squad and expect to get carried. The players are given what they deserve, the luck factor in Apex is little to none.
Having one less member also clarifies the team roles by a lot. One member can be focused on traversal while another is filling in for aggression and the last one is a medic or defender. This reduces a lot of surprise elements from the game but in a good way. There are no ‘broken’ team strategies. Just do what you are good at and you will find success with it.
This in turn, also means that lesser players have more potential to be outplayed. Meaning that is you are really in the zone, you could probably wipe out an entire team. So the fight is never truly over until every last member of the team is dead.
Well-Crafted Map Topography
Each and every map in Apex Legends is beautifully crafted to aid the players in the form of terrain advantages. Whether you are playing King’s Canyon of the World’s Edge, you would inevitably notice the functional architecture and topography of these maps. The map elements in Apex Legends work with each other to form little playgrounds, choke points, and risky centers.
Almost the entire terrain of the game can be used to your advantage. You can use different elements to flank your enemies or you can safely run away at a moment’s notice. Some even let you relocate quickly against the incoming storm circle. In a game with such abundant choices, it can be very hard to get bored.
Tremendously Detailed for a Free For All Title
Everything happening in Apex Legends is for a reason. Despite having multiple characters with their own set of unique abilities, it has managed to remain extremely straightforward. The flexibility the game offers despite being completely free to play is almost astonishing. The terrains and maps feel realistic due to the detail and care put within by the Respawn designing team.
Each and every action is there for a reason. For example, the hip-fire in many battle royales is only added to fill in the gaps. However, Apex Legends actually makes use of this mechanic. You, as a player, are able to blend in your spray between aimed shots due to the relatively accurate spread of fire that hip firing provides. It is the bread and butter to many close-quarter fights.
It is one of the many carefully thought out aspects of the game. Many people don’t focus on the minor details that much and rightfully so. The reason for this is the fact that everything is so fine tuned that it fits just right in without prompting you to think about it.
What the players really love about Apex Legends are the simple, unimpeded pleasures you get by moving around the world. It feels so surreal yet it sparks your curiosity like none other. Assisting flow was one of the most underrated elements of game design.
Yet, Apex Legends has come forth and proven the impact a good flow can make in a game. While a lot of titles like Warzone and Fortnite will continue to stay and live, there are none such as Apex Legends. The impeccable design, the outstanding graphics, a fully immersive world, the list goes on and on.
It seems like the main reason why Apex Legends has found so much success, even among the players who usually do not play battle royales; it’s because it is very easy for players to get overwhelmed by a game and its environment.
However, Apex Legends manages to cater to them beautifully. This not only boosts the confidence players have in their skills but also prompts them to get better. The brand new update has added even more content to the world of Apex Legends.