Practical with Apex Legends: Terrible controls, but pleasant gameplay

Practical with Apex Legends: Terrible controls, but pleasant gameplay

Now that Apex Legends Mobile is ready for Android, it’s time to go into the details to discover how this mobile adaptation compares. This is why I made a 30-minute gameplay video to show what I’ve been up to while also describing mechanics and features in today’s hands-on, ensuring that everyone understands what the mobile game has to offer. Tencent’s Lightspeed & Quantum Studios had its work cut out for it in reimagining Respawn Entertainment’s highly polished battle royale as a mobile release from the ground up. So let’s get started and see how things compare to the original.

Practical with Apex Legends: Terrible controls, but pleasant gameplay

Of course, Apex Legends Mobile is a mobile adaptation of the console and PC battle royale, created from the ground up by Lightspeed & Quantum Studios (I.E., Tencent). This is the same studio behind PUBG Mobile, and there are plenty of similarities, not only because these are both games within the same battle royale genre, both offer similar cluttered UIs that are often part and parcel with mobile shooters. Still, Apex Legends Mobile is more than a skin slapped on top of PUBG, with gameplay that should feel familiar to any fan of the original. That’s to say; Apex Legends Mobile is just as complicated as the console/PC game, which may or may not appeal to potential fans.

Directly above, you can watch my gameplay video of Apex Legends Mobile, which shows the game’s settings, monetization, and of course, gameplay. It’s about a half-hour long, recorded at 1080p 60FPS on a ROG 5 using the default UltraHD graphical setting (paired with Ultra for the separate framerate setting). Performance on the ROG 5 is pretty stable, and while the phone does get warm, dropped frames aren’t too common, with things holding stable at the settings listed above.

For the most part, the gameplay is centered around battle royale play, with ranked matches that open up once you hit level 8. There are also a few extra multiplayer modes, such as Base Respawn and Arenas. You can also dip into the tutorial at any time, and there’s a practice mode for those that need to get to grips with the game’s weapons and general controls (highly recommended if it’s your first time playing).

The controls are where things take a bad turn. The touch controls aren’t great. Anyone that’s played Apex Legends on PC or consoles will know full well the game is somewhat complicated, where situational awareness (and heavy memorization) is key, along with the ability to quickly spot pickups and enemies. There’s a fluidity to the controls that develops with time in Respawn’s version, but even if you’re familiar with the game, this all goes out the window with 15 buttons spread across a tiny screen, half of which are covered by your hands as you hold your phone. This is a game originally designed around twitch-like shooting, and touch controls hardly do the gameplay justice.

Keep in mind Apex Legends Mobile is a standalone release separate from the core game, so there’s no cross-play with consoles and PC, mobile players are stuck playing between Android and iOS, which will limit the player count; hence the bots that make it easier to quickly match. While the initial launch was a little rough, with tons of bugs abound, things appear to have evened out in the last 24-hours, as matches are now kicking off without a hitch. So it would seem release day server-side issues may have offered a poor impression of a game that now behaves as one would expect, which is great to see.

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