This runs throughout the game. There is a brilliant non-verbal communication system that allows you to ‘ping’ locations, enemies and equipment with a quick stab of R1. Press the button while looking at a lovely piece of loot or chunky shotgun, and it will be flagged to teammates on their HUD and mini-map. You can communicate a great deal through the simple system: your own movement intentions, suggested hideouts, where the bad guys might be lurking. I have found an immediate connection with teammates sorely lacking in games played with the headset-phobic. Who knew?
It also encourages teamwork by allowing you to revive ‘downed’ members. Or in the event of a buddy being killed outright, you have a limited amount of time to retrieve their banner from their dropped death box and return it to a respawn point to get them back in the game. It significantly changes the dynamic of a game, with players given the opportunity to hang on in there after an early death in the chance of rejoining the fight.
Apex Legends forges its own spin on battle royale within the game itself, but it also combines ideas from ‘hero shooters’ like Overwatch. At the start of each match you get to choose one of the eight available ‘Legends’ that have their own passive and active skills, as well as a super ability to turn the tide. There is Gibraltar; a slower tank type character that can enable a shield while aiming and bring down a mortar strike for a super. Wraith can disappear into a ‘void’ to escape danger or, for her super, create portals between two points for teammates to pass through. Lifeline is your medic. Pathfinder can scout an area and place ziplines to reach high places.