This is pretty obvious, as even a cursory glance at promotional artwork for Apex Legends does not include anything remotely resembling a Titan. Just because something takes place in a certain universe, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be seeing what the series is known for. Now, that doesn’t mean that Titans won’t make an appearance sometime in the future (and Respawn Entertainment has made no statements to indicate this is even planned), but Apex Legends is going for a different gameplay experience that doesn't involve the hulking machines decimating players once they're dropped in.
Titanfall 2 dropped in with an impressive, if average-length, single-player campaign. It was even patched to support private matches, which meant that some modes could be effectively played against bots. Apex Legends is an online-only affair, unless you include running through the lightweight tutorial. There is no real practice mode, as players learn simply by playing. As this is a battle-royale game, there is of course no single-player campaign to speak of, though you can find lore(and stuffed dinosaurs).
Titanfall 2 was a regularly-priced console and PC game released in 2016. Although published by EA, Respawn was able to launch their game without any sort of season pass, instead opting to feed players a stream of new expansions at no additional cost. The only things for sale were cosmetic items. Apex Legends, on the other hand, is a completely free-to-play game. Whereas Titanfall 2 requires a PlayStation Plus subscription to play online, Apex Legends, being a free game, has no such requirement.
All matches in Apex Legends begin by pairing you with one or more random players, if you’re not already in a three-person squad when you enter, that is. There are currently no options for solo or duo squads. However, if someone leaves your squad once the match begins, the squad is reduced in size until the next match. Titanfall 2 features plenty of modes with smaller teams and 1-vs-1 matches in the Coliseum mode, which is a blast to play.
Titanfall 2 made swinging fun again. A tactical ability could be equipped, whereby players could launch a grappling hook, and rush across a level in no time flat. It could even be used to tactically take down a Titan, reel in enemies, and more. Again, though, with Apex Legends’ battle royale focus, this is one feature that had to be pared down quite a bit. It is now the tactical ability of only one character, Pathfinder. This robotic character’s ultimate power spawns a grappling hook that teammates can use, as well. But the cooldown period on these tactical abilities is a bit longer than what Titanfall 2 players may be used to. The use of this ability as the core focus of a single character hammers home the fact that the grappling hook’s ubiquity is not destined for Apex Legends.
At launch, Apex Legends only sports one level named Kings Canyon. It is a large, island-like arena with many different biomes to explore. You can’t blame Respawn for starting out with just the one map. The company had no idea just how popular their battle royale shooter would become, literally overnight. So it’s safe to assume that more maps will release down the line. But for now? Time to get really familiar with Kings Canyon.
Plenty of traditional online modes in Titanfall 2 gave players multiple lives, using a ticketing system or timing the match out. Apex Legends gives each player a single life. This is nothing new in battle royale games, and was expected. Squadmates can bring the back dead to life, however, if they manage to pick up the death box of a downed teammate within a certain amount of time, and bring it to a respawn beacon. But for the most part, once you’re out, you’re out for the duration and can leave the match as soon as your squad is wiped out, to try again in a new match.
Technically, mics aren’t required in Titanfall 2, either. But the general consensus is that the squad that communicates effectively, wins more often. Apex Legends features an ingenious smart comm system, whereby players can communicate what’s going on, where they see enemies or signs of enemies, where to land from the drop point, any good loot they have found, and more, just by pressing or holding the R1 button. It’s such a robust, intelligent system, that many are reporting victory only by utilizing this smart comm system.
Titanfall 2 supported up to 16 players. Apex Legends pits 20 squads of three players each against each other, every time. While that may sound like a lot, the Kings Canyon map is large enough that encounters are somewhat rare in the beginning of a match, unless, of course, you or another squad purposefully land near another in an attempt to get first blood. There are no small matches—it’s either go hard or go home in terms of players per match in Apex Legends.
Titanfall 2 featured a ton of freedom of movement. Players could sprint, double-jump, wall-run (jetpack-assisted, even), slide, and string it all together with the aforementioned grappling hook. Apex Legends removes most of this capability: players are much more rooted to the ground than before, as movement options are limited to sprinting, jumping, and sliding. Yet, it’s still one of the fastest-moving battle royale shooters on the market today.