APEX LEGENDS is a free-to-play battle royale fight-for-survival game set amid the backdrop of the Titanfall universe at the end of the Frontier War. While the war between the IMC and Militia forces may have ended, peace didn’t come without a price. The Frontier has been left in disarray and chaos, with many settlers relocating even further to The Outlands, a remote cluster of planets teeming with new resources and opportunities. But with these new opportunities comes a new breed of outlaws and explorers, heroes and villains.

This has given rise to a new bloodsport, the Apex Games, in which teams fight for survival in last-person-standing matches where death is only an inconvenience. Some fight for fame and fortune, while others have more personal reasons to compete. Whatever their motivations, it’s only the best who live long enough to earn the title of “Legend.”

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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. 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.

Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Apex Legends affected by the amount of blood shown in the game? The intensity of the violence? How do a game’s setting and style affect the impact of the violence?