Respawn’s free-to-play shooter Apex Legends has been a big success and has drawn in a significant number of players too. It’s now my Battle Royale game of choice and won me over quite quickly thanks to a high level of polish combined with a game that feels fast and exciting. This month the game’s first battle pass arrived and though it’s not all that different from it’s nearest competitor in the genre it’s hard for me to really justify investing in it which was a similar feeling I also have with the Fortnite passes.
The basic premise of these passes is that for the length of a “season” you accrue experience points (XP) that let you level up and unlock exclusive loot which are mostly cosmetic items but credits and loot boxes are also thrown in. Only the items you unlock will you keep once the season ends and players able to complete all the levels will get the flashiest of items for bragging rights. Apex tries to encourage players to gain XP faster by providing bonuses for surviving longer and using multiple characters (Legends) but in the end it’s still a grind. Anyone who plays the game for only a few hours a week will find that this is not going to get you far. I think I’ve spent 6-8 hours so far to get to the 4th level and there’s 100 levels… that’s not very encouraging. Even with the 25 level booster option with the battle pass I’d still not go far.
I do want to show my appreciation for what has been an enjoyable game so far with a purchase but I think this may not be the best way for me to do it as I will be lucky to unlock even a fraction of that loot. It’s nice that a few skins are thrown in at the start but they’re not substantially different from what you can already get and none are the much cooler legendary skins which substantially change character appearances. Maybe if new Legends (like the just released Octane which I unlocked) were part of that bundle instead of being a separate purchase I’d feel like it was a better value proposition. The grinding would be less of a problem to me too as I’d already have something major as part of my purchase.
Perhaps I should just accept that this aspect of the game is simply not targeting a player like me and be happy with the random items that trickle my way through Apex Packs? I think I could be OK with that… I’ve already unlocked more in this game than I ever have in Fortnite…
While I appreciate that a free-to-play game has to both monetise itself and keep people playing, I can’t help but feel that asking people to pay up and THEN asking them to grind as well is a bit much! In your average mobile free-to-play game, as obnoxious as they can be at times, the choice tends to be between grinding OR paying up, and many people choose the former as a matter of pride.
I dunno. I am SO not the target audience for this game, so I’m probably out of touch with what people supposedly want, but having never really known what a “Battle Pass” involved until your description above (I’ve never played Fortnite or AL) I now know that I *definitely* want nothing to do with it! 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
I agree completely with your feeling in regards to having to pay then grind for the loot. Other games have felt players wrath for similar – for the Forza Motorsport games players would buy car packs but still have to earn in game credits to be able to drive them. Microsoft eventually fixed that but it was still shocking to think someone had thought it was a good idea in the first place!