Read our review of Apex Legends Mobile, the hit Battle Royale’s port to mobile devices
There are plenty of games on mobile devices that are or feature Battle Royale. Games from PUBG, to Garena Free Fire, and even Fortnite again with its addition to xCloud. However, porting a well-known and popular game onto mobile isn’t as easy as it may seem. It requires effort to tune the graphics down to meet worse specs, changing controls to be easily played on touch screens, and there are plenty of different things that casual audiences on iOS and Android prefer to console and PC gamers.
However, that’s a chance that Respawn Entertainment took when they decided to port the beloved Battle Royale game Apex Legends from the varied player base of gamers to the more casual-based audience on mobile. And while some of the original experience in Apex Legends has been downgraded or cut to be playable on touch devices, much of what makes Apex Legends great remains true in Apex Legends Mobile.
Apex Legends Mobile feels like a reset.
It’s safe to say that Apex Legends’ standard version has a bit of a problem. While it’s consistently updated and remains fun to play, the stacked amount of Legends makes it difficult for newcomers. This isn’t an Apex Legends problem, but a hero shooter problem. Any game which adds new characters, with new abilities and more over time, will find it becoming too daunting for players who are only experiencing the game for the first time.
With that, Apex Legends Mobile feels like a reset. Almost every Legend that appears in the Mobile port are the few that Apex Legends began with. There are currently 10 playable Legends at launch, nine of which are returning characters, with only a new and exclusive Legend called Fade making up the tenth spot. It allows players, both old and new, to re-learn Apex Legends for the Mobile port, and is a lot less overbearing for newcomers and casual players to learn the game for the first time.
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Similar to the standard Apex Legends, the Mobile port places you in a team of three, where you’re up against 19 other squads with the chance of becoming the winning team. Once you drop in, you’re required to loot up, get stronger, and use your Legend’s abilities as well as work well with your team to reach the top spot. Straight away, you can tell that the graphics and visuals remain faithful to the original experience, despite needing a downgrade for obvious reasons. In fact, it still looks pretty impressive even with the downgrade.
Playing with the Razer Kishi on my iPhone turned Apex Legends Mobile from a solid port to an incredibly fun and competitive experience.
Movement, shooting, and general gameplay feel amazing in Apex Legends Mobile. While the touch screen controls are no match to a controller or keyboard and mouse, it’s fairly simple and responsive. For many casual players, it may take some getting used to as there are a fair few buttons on the screen which may seem daunting at first, but many are used sparingly, in moments where you’re free from the firefights of the Apex Games.
Of course, Apex Legends is better with controllers, as mentioned previously, which makes it incredible that Apex Legends Mobile comes out the gate with controller support enabled. Playing with the Razer Kishi on my iPhone turned Apex Legends Mobile from a solid port to an incredibly fun and competitive experience. Both standard and the competitive Ranked mode felt 10 times better with the use of a controller, bringing the mobile port up to scratch with the original version.
The addition of the Legends Perks makes for a great switch up on the standard version, allowing for more customizability, despite how simple it is. Allowing you to get a small but appreciated advantage for Legends that you tend to use more is a great way to add some fluidity to the already-great core of Apex Legends. It may be a bit shallow compared to other skills and perks systems in games with hero characters, but it adds another layer to what Apex Legends does great already.
The mobile port has launched brimming with content, both fresh and content seen in the standard version after years of updates.
I previously mentioned that Apex Legends Mobile feels like a reset, which it does. But that doesn’t mean it’s in a similar state to how Apex Legends was at launch. The mobile port has launched brimming with content, both fresh and content seen in the standard version after years of updates. Game modes like Team Deathmatch and Arenas allow players to learn their abilities and gunplay in a tighter and quicker environment. There’s also Fade, who is fresh for Mobile, as well as new currency types and more.
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Apex Legends Mobile offers all of the Legends aside from Fade as part of the leveling up system, giving you nine of the cast of fun heroes almost instantly. While there are some elements of Apex Legends Mobile which feels more monetized compared to the original version, it’s nowhere near as bad as many other mobile games, and you can have a lot of fun without paying a single penny.
The mobile version brings that high-energy, hero shooter-like fun to a new audience, allowing you to play one of the best Battle Royales on the go.
Of course, Apex Legends Mobile isn’t without issues. While it works wonders on a phone, it does suffer from performance issues, with lag and stuttering happening, albeit rarely. There’s also still a clear power dynamic, with some of the Legends simply being better than others. Characters like Mirage are simply not as good as other Legends like Bloodhound or Wraith. It’s an issue that remains prevalent within Apex Legends, with some of the cast standing out more than others. I hope that, as time goes on, Apex Legends Mobile tries to forge a path of its own, continuing to release mobile-exclusive Legends as opposed to bringing over any new ones from Apex Legends.
It also seems like the Battle Pass is strenuous to get through, with leveling up taking a while. Purchasing the premium version may require a lot of attention to be given to Apex Legends Mobile, which may take some of the fun out of it. I’d recommend to Respawn Entertainment that they increase XP from challenges as well as standard gameplay, as it takes a while to earn tiers. Even after plenty of hours within the Apex Games, I feel like my time wasn’t valued enough when it came to Battle Pass progression.
Overall, Apex Legends Mobile is a faithful, and brilliant port of the original game. In fact, it’s not fair to call it a port as it’s almost an entirely fresh remake of the experience from the ground up, built extremely well for mobile devices. The mobile version brings that high-energy, hero shooter-like fun to a new audience, allowing you to play one of the best Battle Royales on the go. The controls, while on the touch screen, don’t match up to the original experience, but thankfully there’s decent controller support at launch. It’s one of the best experiences on mobile, and a must-download for both newcomers and returning players.