I don't talk about them very often here, but I've put a fair amount of time into both Player Unknown's Battle Grounds (aka PUBG), and Fortnite. When I heard that Respawn has come out with their own version of a battle royale game, set in the Titanfall universe, and that it was free, I simply had to try it out.
But more than that, I had to get some friends of mine together and do it on stream. Here is the result.
As I said in the stream, the developers at Respawn have clearly taken notes on the battle royale games that came before Apex. So many features seem tailor made to deal with the biggest problems in the genre.
The biggest one of those is the ping system, which allows one to play entirely without voice chat, while still facilitating vital communication with their teammates. At the press of a button, you can inform the other players on your team that you saw an item they may wish to pick up, spotted an enemy, or wish to travel in a particular direction. For this type of game, that is 95% of what one would want to tell people.
In addition, the game also helpfully informs the player whenever the item they're looking at is inferior to one they already have equipped, letting them make smart decisions on the fly rather than spend a bunch of time in inventory menus. And when they find another weapon, the UI will point out which mods equipped to the current gun will transfer over to the new one. (Also, the fact that mods auto-equip and don't stick onto one gun is another huge boon for players.)
The result is a very streamlined experience which tows the line between the more casual approach of Fortnite and the simulated experience of PUBG. There was always a massive audience for something like this (of which I was a part of), and I'm glad they're finally getting serviced.
If I do another one of these streams, I want to try to talk more about the incredible job Apex Legends does in terms of representation. There's a lot to unpack there, and it's worth talking about how important it all is. Respawn has quite a hit on their hands. If they treat it right, they're certainly going to go places.