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For a while it seemed like the battle royale genre had cemented around Fortnite and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, and that no newcomer could break through. Then Respawn surprise-released Apex Legends in February of 2019 and it became an overnight success.

At its core this is easily Fortnite‘s stiffest competition, introducing a respawn mechanic (heh) to the battle royale genre, as well as a “ping” system that let players call out weapons and enemies without actually using a microphone—both quickly “borrowed” by Fortnite. Apex also integrated elements of the hero-shooter genre, with healers, tanks, ultra-mobile robots, and so on, which gave it more personality than the bevy of PUBG clones.

The narrative’s cooled a bit in the time since the game’s launch, with Respawn suffering from uh…not pulling Epic-like crunch hours. Apex hasn’t been as quick to evolve its game as Fortnite, and there’s been some controversy around the (exorbitant) price of cosmetics. I like the characters though, and Apex still has the best movement in any battle royale game. 

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