Apex Legends Mobile Review
A messy control screen can be frustrating, but synchronizing a controller with Apex Legends mobile is the way to go.
The feeling is familiar. It’s almost like watching your favorite UK TV show or reading your childhood book in Hollywood. Because you love what you do, it’s a good thing to get more. You may also be nervous because the reasons you like it may not be the same as the reason other people love it. Every time I hear that a favorite game is getting a port or a remake, I feel the same uneasy joy. I get giddy and slightly anxious when I find out that a favorite franchise is getting the mobile treatment. I have learned to control my excitement – mostly through hard lessons.
Apex Legends Mobile Review
- Publisher EA
- Developer: Respawn Entertainment
- Platform: Played with iPhone 13 iPad
- Availability Available now on iOS and Android
Respawn argues that Apex Legends Mobile doesn’t have a port. Respawn was built from the ground up to be mobile-friendly. It takes everything I love about Apex Legends Mobile – its stunning style, great sound design, fantastic cast and wonderful gunplay – and wraps them up in flashy new threads specifically designed for mobile. Some of the content is not easy to find – especially its complicated progression and currency systems and cluttered interface. But there are still many things to love about Respawn, even for those who have never played shooters on mobile.
Apex Legends is a fun twist on team-based battle royale. It offers the usual scramble to find weapons, shrinking rings, and battle until the death. However, there’s a charming roster of characters called Legends that each have their own unique abilities. Depending on your gunplay preference and comfort zone, most of them are balanced and bring something to the battlefield.
The mobile version includes the standard battle royale mode, a ranked variant, Arenas and Team Deathmatch. You also get to play on smaller versions of some of the great maps that you might already know. Ten Legends – many of which hail from the original game’s OG lineup – are available for grabs: Bangalore and Bloodhound, Gibraltar, Lifeline Mirage, Octane Pathfinder, Mirage, Mirage, Mirage, Lifeline, Mirage and Wraith.
Fade is the tenth Apex exclusive and is undoubtedly the most popular. He can use his Flash Back tactical to zip back to a previous location and escape sticky situations. His Passive accelerates that crucial slide. The Ultimate, however, is especially interesting because it allows him to throw a throwable that temporarily invulnerably protects his squadmates and prevents them from taking damage.
Although the modes are pretty standard, especially if you’re a fan of shooters, I think Apex’s main draw is its battle royale mode. Mobile doesn’t change that opinion. As you progress through the ranks, they will unlock. This allows you to become more familiar with the speed and scope of each match type before you can attempt another. Crossplay is not available, but that’s okay with me. If there was, my screenshots wouldn’t be anything but death throes.
Although the controls look very similar to the console version, it is not the same game. Mirage provides a comprehensive and effective tutorial to help you get started. While it is unfair to point fingers at Mirage, I believe that my errors were not solely user-error. Although early lobbies have a lot of bots that can help you get used to the controls and gameplay, it is impossible to overcome the frustration of accidentally telling my opponents where I am.
Apex Legends Mobile’s onscreen control scheme was difficult for me to fully adapt to, even after playing several matches. Perhaps the iPhone 13’s real estate is too small – I had better luck with my older iPad. However, because so much information is packed into such a tiny space, commands that you would normally trigger using your controller or mouse/keyboard (crouch, jump and punch, for example) are competing for space along with your mini-map, special abilities statuses and kill feed.
The screen controls can be customized – that’s never a bad thing! This means you can position pretty much any object you like to make the UI more user-friendly. But even that was not enough to eliminate finger fumbles or button mis-hits.
Bluetoothing your controller, in my case a DualSense, helped to alleviate most of these problems, even though controller support is still not fully implemented. Although it did have some issues, I was able to use the controller in matches, not on my home screen. But even though this is frustrating, it was better than none.
A few mobile-only features make the game more accessible on smaller screens. This is especially important if you are switching from the original game. These include a visual indicator to let you know when you’re being shot – which is a great innovation especially if your phone is not charging. Also, a default command that automatically collects loot. This is cool because Apex Legends Mobile’s backpacks are larger than the ones in the main game, and can hold more ammo. It’s also possible to switch between third-person and first-person perspectives. This is a fascinating, if not puzzling, addition. I don’t understand why someone would not use the additional visibility of third person POV in a shooter.
Apex has never been hyper-realistic, opting instead for a cartoony, bright aesthetic. However, I am impressed by how faithfully the Legends’ world was adapted to the small screen.
Most importantly, however, is the new perk system for your Legends. I think this will be particularly useful to existing fans. Apex Legends Mobile has been my favorite mobile game for several weeks. I am still conflicted about this. Apex is not a fully level game, but players who use the Legends’ skills well often win the battle. Mobile has Mastery Points that can be used to unlock and equip new perks. For example, Lifeline will allow her to restore 25 Health for her and her fallen comrade.
Although you can do it without spending any money and can only equip three characters simultaneously, it feels like it will give more time-rich players an advantage on the battlefield. That kind of thing makes me uncomfortable. The ability to win a match is based on skill and RNG looting luck, not because you have the time to unlock all your favorite characters’ perks.
Speaking of being uncomfortable, the currency, challenges and progression menus can be overwhelming and almost off-putting. It’s impossible to find the right currency or amount.
All the rewards are cosmetic, and you won’t have an advantage in-game (except for the perk system). It’s just an ugly addition to an otherwise polished and clean experience.
Apex Legends Mobile is likely to be the Switch port in many ways. There were very few bugs or glitches that I encountered once the game was out of testing. As long as I had an internet connection and a decent signal, there were no slowdowns. Apex has always sacrificed hyper-realism in favor of a bright and cartoony aesthetic. I am impressed by how well the Legends’ world has been adapted for the small screen. While I don’t feel the need to play with buttons on the screen again, it’s not something I want to do – it’s now controllers for me – Apex Legends Mobile has surprised and rocked my world in all the right places.
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