We knew that Apex Legends, Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall-inspired free-to-play battle royale, was coming all weekend long, and today’s announcement was right on schedule. What we didn’t expect was that the game itself, and not just an announcement, was coming today, as it’s now avaialble for download on PC (Origin), Xbox One (Live Gold required), and PlayStation 4 (PS Plus not required).

Set after the events of Titanfall 2, Apex Legends is a hero-based battle royale with eight different “legends” to choose from at launch. There’s a strong focus on squad-based gameplay, with legends filling traditional roles like tank and healer and, of course, damage. Each legend has unique abilities, such as Bloodhound, who can see the footprints that characters left for up to a minute after someone’s passed through the area, and Mirage, who can send out a holographic decoy to confuse enemies. A communication system makes it easy to ping locations of interest for your teammates, and there’s even a way to bring them back to the fight — to “respawn,” naturally — if they’re killed in battle.

Other features in Apex Legends include ziplines to help you quickly move around the battlefield, a roving supply ship to provide a larger area for players to find the best loot (and confront others for it), and an “intelligent inventory” system to help you pick up what’s important and leave behind what’s not. And of course, there’s a circle of death to avoid, but in this case, it’s red, not green. Innovation!

Now, on to the loot and monetization details, which we’re pulling from the FAQ. Legends can be purchased with Legend Tokens, earnable in game. Apex Packs, the game’s equivalent of loot boxes, are earned with some level-ups — the FAQ says you’ll get 45 as you go from levels one to 100 — and they contain cosmetic items or crafting currency. You’ll get a rare item in every pack, and the odds for epic and legendary drops are 24.8% and 7.4%, respectively. As an added bonus, the packs will never give you duplicate cosmetics and “bad luck” protection guarantees that you’ll get at least one legendary every 30 packs. There’s one super-legendary customization item, the Heirloom set, which is for the character Wraith. It has a less than 1% chance of dropping, with a guarantee of getting it in 500 Apex Packs or less.

Apex Legends will also have a battle pass, which lasts for three months and offers a “mix of exclusive seasonal cosmetics and Apex Packs.” You can also purchase Apex Coins to acquire Apex Packs, items in the Rotating Shop, and new legends. The Rotating Shop offers two types of items that rotate on a seven-day basis: some that can be bought with Legend Tokens (acquired through gameplay) and some that can be bought with Apex Coins (real-money currency).

You can learn more on the game’s website or you can download Apex Legends and play today. Red vs. green circle of death jokes aside, I think it looks pretty good and might have enough to stand out from the crowded battle royale field — though it would have been nice to have actual Titans in a game based on Titanfall. What do you guys think?



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