A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While main goal is to survive and be the last squad standing, there's also a focus on teamwork, communication. Players work together as a unit, calling out items and enemies to each other, as well as healing, reviving teammates when needed.
Positive Role Models
Characters are, for the most part, given positive, upbeat personalities. Not much backstory is provided, but most characters are presented in a positive, even heroic, light.
Game does a fantastic job of including a wide range of representation. Ever growing roster includes characters from all walks of life: a spectrum of races, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, including nonbinary/gender-neutral (Bloodhound), gay/lesbian (Valkyrie), Māori (Mad Maggie), Igbo (Seer), and so on, with even more diverse characters planned for the future.
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Ease of Play
Straightforward first-person shooter with easy, intuitive controls. Each character has their own unique specializations and abilities, which can take some time and practice to learn.
Violence & Scariness
Main focus is survival, with teams hunting each other. Depending on players' luck and skill, some matches might see fast, frantic gun battles, while others might see long periods of quiet. Death in game isn't an issue due to ability to be revived by teammates and flown back into the fray. Some occasional blood splatter, but violence is never overly graphic and there's no gore. Defeated players are simply replaced with loot chests.
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No profanity or explicit language in game's dialogue, but online nature of competition opens players up to potentially offensive conversations through in-game party chat.
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Products & Purchases
Free to play but with heavy focus on microtransactions -- mainly in form of in-game currency used to buy cosmetic customizations for profiles, weapons, characters. You can also use the currency to unlock other characters or buy Apex Packs (loot boxes filled with random items). You can spend money to buy these items immediately, but you can also earn the same items through regular gameplay. Set in Titanfall universe, a popular shooter franchise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Apex Legends is a free-to-play battle royale first-person shooter available for download on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PCs. Teams of up to three compete in matches with up to 60 players to be the last team standing. Violence is persistent and more realistic/less cartoonish than what kids have experienced in Fortnite. Still, although blood's shown on-screen, it isn't overly graphic, and there's no explicit gore. The gameplay, which has a focus on teamwork and communication, will be easy to pick up for first-person shooter fans. While there isn't any profanity in the dialogue, online play could open players up to iffy language in party chat. And although the game is free to play, microtransactions allow players to unlock cosmetic items and characters immediately with real-world money, as opposed to over time through gameplay. This game is part of the Titanfall universe, which is a popular shooter franchise. The game's roster is also composed of a diverse set of characters from a wide spectrum of races, ethnicities, genders, and sexualities, with more planned for future updates.
Is It Any Good?
It's hard to decide what's most surprising: that this is a free-to-play battle royale game, that it's a new franchise installment, or that it doesn't have the giant "Titans" the series is known for. Or maybe it's that, despite all of this, Apex Legends is an absolute blast to play. The game takes many of the best elements of the battle royale genre and adds a few new twists, such as calling downed teammates back to the battlefield via dropships. There's also much more of a focus on teamwork and communication than in most battle royale games. While the free-to-play model means that players face the obligatory push to spend money on things like season passes, custom skins, etc., EA has avoided any sense of a pay-to-win mentality. In fact, all items are cosmetic in nature, and most can be earned at a fairly steady pace through regular play.
Apex Legends is a definite departure from what existing Titanfall fans might expect. But the minute you start ziplining over large expanses, teleporting quickly between two points, sending out a holographic decoy as bait, or calling down a hail of mortar fire, you immediately start to recognize the Titanfall DNA built in. It's also fun to see how effective these abilities and elements are even without the massive Titan war machines. Each person in the diverse cast of Legends stands out as a distinct character, serving a unique role without ever feeling under- or overpowered. There's a little feeling of repetition, due to the nature of the genre and the single map. Even so, this corner of the Titanfall universe has the potential to evolve and grow over time, and it makes The Outlands a great place to visit.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.