EA's battle royale juggernaut Apex Legends has finally made it onto Nintendo Switch, albeit after a little delay at the end of 2020. The Apex Legends Switch version has been masterfully handled by Panic Button, who are no strangers to porting huge games onto Switch, with DOOM and Warframe prime examples of their expertise.
Apex Legends' fast paced combat and detailed graphics have always amazed me throughout my time playing on PC and PlayStation. So when the Switch port was announced back in June 2020 I was extremely eager to see how it'd stack up against other versions, especially with the introduction of cross-platform play.
Within minutes of booting up the F2P battle royale it's clear to see there are some clear hardware limitations which Panic Button have had to work with when porting to Switch. Graphically, it does look like Apex has had a little bit of a downgrade, especially when it comes to the finer details and textures you'd see around Kings Canyon, and most notably when in handheld mode. However, in the heat of the battle these are very hard to notice.
You can play Apex Legends at 576p in handheld mode, or if you fancy playing it on the big screen, it'll display at 720p when docked, and both modes run relatively smoothly at 30fps with only an occasional frame drop. Although the Nintendo Switch port frame rate is a far cry from the 144fps PC version and 60fps console versions, it's still very much playable for what it is. I personally found the experience to be a lot better playing docked with a Switch Pro controller, as it felt more natural to me having recently been playing the PlayStation version.
In my first few games, I definitely felt a bit of a struggle when coming up against console players - but with that said I still managed to bag myself a couple of Top 5 finishes, which goes to show that playing on Switch doesn't put you at too much of a disadvantage. And if you want a more level playing field, Nintendo Switch players can opt out of crossplay features, and search only for Switch lobbies. It's worth noting that the time of writing, cross-platform progression isn't something that has been enabled.
The fact that Apex is even playable on Switch is an incredible feat on its own. Panic Button haven't messed around with this port, and have managed to deliver a full version without dropping any features whatsoever. Yes, there are some minor graphical changes between versions, but these are few and far between in terms of actively altering the experience. Hardware limitations aside, Apex on Switch is a great way to continue the fun if you are on the go, or perhaps if you're desperate to become an Apex Champion while spending a penny.
The Nintendo Switch port of Apex Legends is available now.
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