Apex Legends is the newest free-to-play battle royale game on the scene and already it is on pace to surpass that of Epic Games' Fortnite, a title that smashed through records left and right and paved the way for this particular brand of PvP play.
Graphically, many would liken Apex Legends to that of Call of Duty's Blackout or PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, but with Fortnite still as reigning champ of this genre a breakdown on how they are alike and different seemed appropriate.
The Most Obvious: Graphics
Part of Fortnite's charm is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. It's cartoonish nature and flamboyant stylization makes running around with a sniper in a dinosaur onesie the total norm - which, to be fair, is kind of awesome. That being said, Apex Legends goes for a much more realistic style, more in-tune with that of PUBG than Epic Games' take on the genre.
For those that crave realism, especially with this generation's graphics, Apex Legends would be the best battle royale game to pick. Both are free to play, but Apex relies on that realistic feel whereas Fortnite a much more whimsical take on dealing out some major damage.prevnext
Building and Environmental Damage
What sets Fortnite apart from others in this genre is the ability to build. Say what you want about this mechanic, the things some players can do with this feature is beyond incredible. Fast-acting, resourceful -- building takes skill that I think a lot of people overlook.
That being said, games like PUBG have proven that it's not necessary in order to enjoy battle royale. Fortnite allows players the ability to giveth and to taketh away, which means whatever they build they can tear down just as fast. Not only that, but other aspects of the environment can be destroyed as well - especially for those tricky chests that lay hidden beneath a floorboard.
Apex doesn't allow for building or destroying, though doors can be kicked down, so the focus mainly remains on surviving and helping out your teammates.prevnext
Ah, respawning. Though Apex Legends definitely doesn't hold your hand, it does encourage team dynamics by allowing for a respawn mechanic. You see your teammate downed? Scoop up their banner and get them to a respawn point. It's definitely better than Fortnite where if you die, you're down for the count no matter what.
Both battle royale titles allow for a small period where a teammate can revive you, though with Fortnite if you remain "knocked out" for too long - you're out for good. It makes the team reliance much more apparent in Apex, which in turn could facilitate a healthier online community in the longrun.prevnext
First Person vs. Third Person
Apex Legends is a first-person shooter through and through, whereas Fortnite relies upon a third-person perspective. Both come down to personal player preference, each has its own drawbacks and their perks. For those wanting a more realistic experience as discussed with the graphics comparison, the first-person model is definitely the way to go. That being said, the third-person usage is a bit more user-friendly for all age types.
Again, comes down to personal preference.prevnext
The Characters In-Game
Apex Legends offers characters with their own backstories, their own relationships, their own personalities. These are characters we get to become with witty one-liners and all. They also communicate with each other in-game, which adds to the team dynamic.
Though Fortnite has different looking avatars, they don't have their own personalities or personal histories, they just look different. Though fun and cookie, it doesn't add that layer of depth that Apex seems to offer. They are also the same no matter what across skills, whereas Apex "Legends" have their own skill sets that make them a beneficial part of the unit.prevnext
Other Changes You'll See
Apex Legends forces a team dynamic, which may sound bad but it actually works perfectly. In Fortnite, players can choose to play solo, in pairs, or in a squad. In Apex, players will land in a group of three whether it be friendlies or randoms. There is an option to drop off solo before you hit the ground running, but in every match I've been in - no one was rude enough to do that. We had each other's backs, and that's only awesome in an online environment.
Though Apex Legends offers the uniqueness of character variety, Fortnite does make up for it with some insane events. Mysterious cubes, alien portals, Ice Kings, Fire Prisoners, Thanos ... it gets weird. So Fortnite definitely has a unique sub-experience, just not in the same way Respawn's battle royale does.
Another difference: No Battle Pass mechanics for Apex Legends like Fortnite has. Though both have microtransactions, Apex is still in its infancy which means no need for an added incentive for the grind. Since so many battle royale games offer this choice, it wouldn't be surprising if Respawn offered it sometime in the future.
At the end of the day, these two - though in the same genre - are two very different titles. Even better, they are both free-to-play so even though we say "vs." there's absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying both. Both have something unique to offer, both games have a lot of developers that work hard to make sure the experience is a rewarding one.
Fortnite is now available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Switch, and mobile devices while Apex Legends is on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. No cross-play yet for the latter, though the team is looking into it!
Also huge hat tip to our sister site over at GameSpot!prev