Apex Legends has been touted as a Titanfall battle royale game, the experience lacks some of the series' core features like wall running and mech battles. But apparently, that wasn't always the case, as producer Drew McCoy reveals that the game once featured everything Titanfall fans have some to expect from the series.
In order to keep the development team free of restrictions, Respawn Entertainment decided to name its title Apex Legends and drop the Titanfall moniker. Without being tied down or beholden to the themes of a prior series, the developers were free to look at their new battle royale game in a different light. And eventually, the team decided that things like wall running and double jumping did not have a place in this game.
In Titanfall 1 and 2, some deaths didn't teach players anything about how best to counter an attack or flank an opponent. Getting sniped from 300 feet in the air, while impressive, is not going to help the defeated player get better. Because Respawn wanted Apex Legends to be more learnable and strategic, features like titans, wall-running, and triple jumping had to go.
"A lot of the stuff [from Titanfall] that was brought over was brought over purposefully. Our goals are really to make a masterable, learnable, deep game with a lot of strategy. When we first started making it, to be completely honest, we had double-jumping and wall running. We had triple-jumping for awhile. We had Titans in tons of different forms. For us, we don't restrict ourselves when we're early on in a project about what 'has' to be there. So even though we were like, yeah, this is probably going to be the Titanfall universe, we didn't put any hard requirements on what had to be there. While prototyping and playing and iterating, things stay or they go as a result of whether or not they're achieving our goals. Things like wall running and double-jumping, they actually really hurt the strategic and learnable aspects of combat. Because a player can get anywhere almost immediately. So there's no thought process like 'okay, I saw someone run around that building, now I know they're going to be in one of two places.' No—with double-jumping and wall running, they can be anywhere."
It was also this design for a highly learned and strategic game that led to the decision to make Apex Legends a 3-player squad game. Larger modes were deemed fun but too chaotic to allow for a player to learn and adapt to the game mode. Of course, since it's free-to-play, plenty of players are already trying out Apex Legends and seeing for themselves.
Sadly, it's worth noting that many thought the release of Apex Legends was a stop-gap and Titanfall 3 wasn't far behind. But according to Respawn Entertainment, Titanfall 3 is not in development. Apex Legends may have a lot of the DNA of Titanfall, though; it just doesn't have the giant mechs.
Apex Legends is out now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.