Apex Legends Review (Switch)
The good thing about Apex Legends’ recent Nintendo Switch release is that it’s Apex Legends. On the Switch.
It’s the same game that you can find on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox, with the same content and gameplay. And Apex Legends is a great game — I’ve played since launch day across PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, the Series X, and now the Switch. I love the game. My interest has waxed and waned depending on the season content, but I’ve faithfully played Apex for more than two years. Honestly, my only complaint about the game at a macro level is the lack of cross-progression — though crossplay has largely negated that.
This brings me to the Switch experience. The feel of a Respawn shooter on the handheld device is wonderful. The game is plenty sharp on the small screen; a little less so on the TV, but it still looks fine. It can be difficult to see opponents who are far away, but that’s the same whatever shooter I’m playing on the Switch.
Framerate is the biggest difference between other console versions and the Switch. The 30FPS for Switch is really noticeable — though I wonder what I would think if I wasn’t so familiar with the game on other platforms.
Other concessions on the Switch, especially in handheld mode, lie in the controllers. The Joy-Cons just isn’t a great controller, especially for first-person shooters. However, I have been playing with a Split Pad Pro from Hori, and have had a fine experience.
With the lack of a chat function native to the console, the game also lacks that feature. However, one of my favorite parts of Apex is the ability to mute random players and use the intuitive ping system.
If you’re jumping in on Switch from day one, you will get immediately bumped up to level 30 of the current battle pass. Combined with the Champion’s Edition at $40, this gives you all of the characters up until Fuse, plus a variety of fun skins to start with. If you’ve never played before and want to experience Apex at its fullest from the start, the $40 is an easy recommendation. But if you’ve already poured hundreds of hours into the game elsewhere, it’s hard to justify $40 just to have immediate access to all of the characters.
In the long run, Apex Legends on Switch is a great experience. You are definitely hampered a little by the frame rate, but the game is otherwise a great port of one of my favorite games of the past couple of years. At the very least, if you haven’t played yet, give the game a download and play through a few matches. I hope it grabs you as it grabbed me.
A code for the Champion’s Edition of Apex Legends was provided for this review.