Apex Legends: will it overtake Fortnite as Battle Royale king?
The two free-to-play games are hugely popular - here’s how they compare
Apex Legends has caused quite a stir in the multiplayer video game world since its launch in early February.
The game, which has been developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA), is another take on the Battle Royale-style multiplayer genre, where players fight against each other until only one remains.
The genre, named after Japanese cult novel Battle Royale, became hugely popular through Epic Games’ Fortnite, which has amassed more than 200 million players over its two-year lifespan, according to Business Insider.
But with Apex Legends gaining more players every day, fans and critics are beginning to wonder whether Respawn’s new arrival can overtake Fortnite as the new king of Battle Royale games.
What is Apex Legends?
Apex Legends is a free-to-play multiplayer game that pits 20 teams of three players against each other in a vast open world, where the last squad standing is named the winner, says tech news site Tom’s Guide.
The game is heavily focused on teamwork; players have to work together to hunt down enemy squads and find new weapons, the website says. There are even a number of tools available to players so that they can communicate with their teammates, even if they don’t have a microphone on hand.
Players can choose between eight “legends” to take into battle, each with their own style and abilities, says IGN.
For instance, the gaming site says some of the characters are better suited to “more offensive tactics with abilities like smoke grenades or orbital bombardments, while others can be used defensively with shields or invisibility”.
As with all free-to-play titles, players can spend real-world money to unlock new outfits for the game’s heroes. These designs are purely aesthetic and do not provide players with an advantage in the battlefield.
How is it different to Fortnite?
The most obvious difference can be seen in the visual style of each game. Apex Legends has a more realistic-looking design; its open world is brimming with life and weapons are intricately modelled.
Fortnite, on the other hand, has a cartoon-like style. The game’s open world design is more colourful than its rival’s and characters can be dressed in outrageous outfits. This gives the game a more relaxed feel compared to the grittier look of Apex Legends.
Another major difference is that Apex Legends is a first-person game, whereas Fortnite is a third-person title - where the game’s camera is positioned behind the character.
In addition, Apex Legends is a purely squad-based experience, meaning players cannot compete against others by themselves, says Gamespot. Though Fortnite supports team gameplay, it does let gamers compete against as many as 99 other people as a single player.
Lastly, Fortnite lets players gather resources and build structures in the open world to help defend themselves against enemies, the gaming news site says. By contrast, Apex Legends only features permanent structures, none of which can be destroyed by opposing players.
Will it become bigger than Fortnite?
At the end of 2018, it seemed as though no game could ever come close to matching the colossal player base of Fortnite.
However, Apex Legends certainly has the momentum to give its Battle Royale rival a run for its money.
According to gaming site PCGamesN, Apex Legends clocked up 2.5 million players within the first 24 hours of its release, before reaching ten million registered users 48 hours later.
The game currently has around 50 million registered players, the website says. While that’s roughly a quarter of Fortnite’s total player count, Apex Legends has only been on sale for a little over a month.
One of the reasons why both Fortnite and Apex Legends are so popular is because they’re free to download and can be played on multiple gaming platforms. The games are also popular with major streaming personalities, such as Ninja, who attract hundreds of thousands of viewers.
Provided Apex Legends gets the same level of exposure Fortnite had over the past two years, there’s a good chance it could overtake Epic Games’ multiplayer shooter as the Battle Royale king.