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Remarkable stories do not come from the best ideas, but from those best suited to tell them.

One of the things that most notably sets Apex Legends apart from other Battle Royale games is that its character roster boasts a cast of incredibly diverse legends, each of which comes with a unique and colorful personality. At the core of this quirky group of death-dealers is a framework of intentional diversity, covering a broad spectrum of ethnicity, gender, age, and sexual orientation. While this framework uses voice acting, character design and gameplay to help set each legend apart, its foundation is built on something far more important: storytelling.

Rich and complex characters are not born from entertaining gameplay…


One of the most defining characteristics of modern RPG’s is the addition of side quests; optional missions or activities that and allow players to deviate from the linear storyline and explore the open-world setting at their leisure. Sometimes these endeavors simply exist to offer players freedom to explore a world without the hand-holding guidance of a linear story. Often, they serve as an excuse to utilize the game’s core mechanics (climbing, stabbing, shooting), in exchange for some sort of reward (experience, gear, skills). At their worst, they are time-filling errands which are isolated from the larger world, and which often…


One of the more polarizing debates in the gaming world today concerns the increasingly popular business model of Live Service Entertainment: games in which content is released or added periodically, rather than all at once during launch. Critics of this model assert that many game companies use a serialized approach as an excuse to squeeze cash out of consumers, selling a game at full-price which feels unfinished, with the promise of future updates (often with bonus content stashed behind a pay-wall). …


When it comes to skill trees, Valhalla adopts a philosophy of quantity over quality, but it’s only a few steps away from something worthy of Asgard. For starters, there are two separate trees, one for “Abilities” and one for “Skills.” Admittedly, the design choice of using constellations as the backdrop for the hub-and-spoke Skills section fits well visually, but it lacks any real substance when it comes to true character progression. Instead, Ubisoft falls into a design trap that is increasingly common among modern RPG’s: character progression through arbitrary stats.

Skills

The three prongs of the Skills tree start with the…

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