Apex Legends (opens in new tab) doesn't have Fortnite (opens in new tab)'s big-name collabs, multimillion-dollar streaming contracts or the black hole that broke the internet. You won't get a Pennywise skin for the character Caustic (although there is a clown skin available during the Fight or Fright Halloween event (opens in new tab), so, close enough). There's not a corner of Hot Topic dedicated to Apex Legends, and the microtransactions leave something to be desired. But none of these truths affect the ultimate truth: Apex Legends is the best battle royale game out there, thanks to its diverse cast of characters with abilities that actually matter in the end game.
Your Choice Matters
In Fortnite, the avatar you choose is just that - an avatar. Sure, they might be Batman or an anthropomorphized tube man, but whatever avatar you pick has no bearing on the actual gameplay. It's just a pretty (or ugly) package, a body you temporarily inhabit while you pickaxe and shoot and shoot while pickaxing.
Apex Legends shuns the idea that your avatar is merely for show. It melds the hero shooter with the battle royale to create a game that values your choice. As of now, there are currently 11 playable Legends: Banglore the 'Professional Solider', Bloodhound the 'Technological Tracker', Caustic the 'Toxic Trapper',Crypto the 'Surveillance Expert', Gibraltar the 'Shielded Fortress', Lifeline the 'Combat Medic', Mirage the 'Holographic Trickster', Octane the 'Adrenaline Junkie', Pathfinder the 'Forward Scout', Wattson the 'Static Defender' and Wraith the 'Interdimensional Skirmisher.' Each Legend has a unique personality and skill set that dramatically change your gameplay style and the makeup of your three-person squad.
Plus, Apex Legends regularly adds new characters - the game started with eight heroes in February 2019 and have added three since - adrenaline junkie Octane joined in March, French electricity fiend Wattson was added back in July, and the hacker Crypto just joined in October.
Play to your Strengths
When I first started playing, I was drawn to Lifeline, a healer who can revive teammates faster, drop a healing drone, and bring in a care package. At the time, Lifeline seemed indispensable, the only squadmate who could provide healing when there was nary a loot crate in sight. As a common side effect of my stubbornness, I refused to play as anyone else. If someone chose Lifeline before me, I would fall back on Bangalore, as she felt the most like playing a Call of Duty character. I wouldn't enjoy playing her, however, because I always wanted Lifeline.
It wasn't until my first Battle Pass, obtained during Season 3, that I started to flex. With daily challenges that require you to reach goals as different Legends, I began playing as a different character nearly every game. It was like I was playing the game for the first time (or, just properly), as I was approaching it with an open mind and exploring a map that was foreign to me (Season 3 debuted the new map World's Edge).
I learned that the new character, Crypto, has abilities that are crucial when approaching a choke point: I can tuck away in a corner, enter his unmanned drone, and fly through the point, scanning for enemies waiting to ambush us fleeing the ring's spicy orange light. Wraith's portal became an ideal way to escape the dangerous tunnels that house the high-tier loot vaults. I dropped Gibraltar's shield on top of every respawn point. I sent Mirage's decoy through the high-traffic Train Yard. I fell in love with Bloodhound's tracking abilities.
I also realized that stubbornly picking my favorite character was not helping my team's chances of becoming Apex Champions - choosing Bloodhound when we already have a Crypto is recon redundant. It's all about being flexible and choosing the right Legend for each team.
Diverse People and Personalities
Apex Legends is set in the Titanfall universe, and tells the story of a group of fighters duking it out in the Apex Games for money, fame, and glory. The planets on which they battle are set in the Outlands, a place virtually untouched by the Frontier War. The Legends we play as are all involved in the Games for different reasons, and have different backgrounds that have meaning in game lore and outside of it.
Bloodhound is a virtual mystery, a masked character that often references Viking or Nordic themes, who is also non-binary. They might be a former Titan pilot, as the emblem can be found on their helmet, but we don't know much else. Gibraltar is cannoically gay and voiced by Brandscome Richmond, an actor of Native Hawaiian and French Polynesian descent. Crypto frequently speaks Korean, Octane's last name (Silva) is traditionally of Brazilian or Porteguese descent, Lifeline is a black woman with what appears to be a Jamaican accent, and Bangalore is clearly a woman of color.
Each Legend has personalities so well-written, with voice actors that are so damn good, you'll ultimately fall in love (and hate) with some of them. For instance, I'm obsessed with jovial Gibraltar and know he'd be the best Legend to get drunk with, but I can't stand Caustic because he reminds me of a guy who would sit in the corner of my elementary school classroom and warn us that we were all going to die someday. Mirage (voiced by the brilliant Roger Craig Smith) once wondered aloud "I wonder what my ex is doing these days" as we were falling from the drop ship and I almost choked on my tea.
The Apex Legends are colorful, bold, and believable, with wildly different abilities that can make or break a match - and there's more Legends on the horizon. There's no other battle royale game out there that does that.
It looks like a new character may be joining the ranks very soon, as Revanant was leaked in behind-the-scenes screenshots (opens in new tab).