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this town, becoming like a ghost town

Apex Legends

Disclaimer: The following is written by an opinionated oaf and should not be taken particularly seriously. If you get offended, it's your own fault for reading it and taking shit seriously. No facts were considered, opinions withheld, spelling checked, and certainly no proof reading occured. Read at your own risk.

Battle Royale. The current Big Thing that once upon a time may have grabbed the Pacmen by the balls. 

I played a bit of PUBG back in the day. I didn't like it. It's addictive, that "maybe next time I won't suck arse" but it was too serious for me, too buggy (I'm sure it's better these days), and I sucked at it.

I tried Fortnite, which is basically PUBG Minecraft with a kid friendly look. Fortnite was better, but I sucked at it.

Last week Apex Legends launched out of nowhere (if you ignore the few days of leaks leading up to the surprise reveal and immediate launch). Respawn made it, and I've been playing a bit of Titanfall 2 on PS4 since the Xmas sale (£4 or so, absolute bargain) and it's great. Although I suck at it. Apex is free, so I grabbed it for PS4. A few games later I decided to give the PC version a try, realising I'd suck even worse.

And I did. And still do. But somehow I've played 31 hours in the last week. That's rather astonishing. I'd have put that figure at 10 hours. Maybe I left it on overnight once? Because 31 hours is a lot for me.

Obviously I've spent time playing it because I enjoy it. A lot.

60 players, split into 20 squads of 3. You all launch as a team, a big improvement over the typical Rambo scenarios I found myself in playing PUBG and Fortnite with Randoms. This setup is great, it encourages teamplay and keeping your team together. There's a nice "ping" system to communicate in game without having to, you know, talk (though I do text chat a lot and many players have mics, which works well, and I've met some really nice gamers).

Gunplay is different to similar games I've played. You don't do an awful lot of damage per bullet, and close combat is encouraged as sniper take downs usually result in someone reviving the player. However this close range combat doesn't degenerate into the typical Fornite shotgun battles; if anything the shotguns feel underpowered and really only good up close. But that could just be because I suck.

There are 8 heroes / playable characters to choose from (6 in the base game, other 2 get unlocked or purchased - and I've yet to get enough in game cash to unlock either of them) who have different skills. They're all the same health, damage, speed; their abilities set them apart. Classes are assault, healer, defender, tracker. I've found myself doing better as a healer or defender, I can support the team then without my awful gun aim dragging everyone down.

See, once upon a time, I was rather good at first person games. Now, apparently, I suck. I'm not entirely sure why that is. Certainly age is a factor in reflexes and general ability to see what's going on around me. I'm also increasingly stubborn and not actually playing tactically when I should, situational awareness which I used to be good at, I just don't have. I'm find when I spectate, I can place enemies via sounds and what not, but in the mix of a game, I don't know, I just suck. But my aim, I was good at point and click. Honest. I suspect mainly playing console games over the last decade has taken a toll, as I now aim "close enough" that I think I should hit, but there's no auto-aim in PC land so I'm just missing Smile

Regardless, it's a whole lot of fun. I've knocked up 4 or 5 wins now, usually only getting a kill or two myself while being carried by a team of much better players. Just had a good game now though, where I got 5 kills! That's my equal best tally. That also includes the last kill of the game, when one of my teammates was knocked. I'm pretty proud of that Smile Sure I was lowest scoring in my team, but I'm a support player so, yeah, that's fine I'm sure. I kept them alive with shield drops Smile We also got 20 kills in the squad, which in a 60 player game, is pretty good going.

Great game, it's free, glad I'm playing it.

Just a shame it's cost me 31 hours I could have spent programming my game....