Reviews - Updated on May 24, 2022

Relevant for the platform: iOS

Popular multiplayer games sooner or later acquire mobile versions – either similar to computer ones, or cut down. There is already PUBG Mobile, and League of Legends: Wild Rift, mobile Valorant will arrive soon. So Apex Legends Mobile broke into the pocket entertainment market, designed to take away all your free time.

You can’t download the game in the Russian App Store and Google Play, and even if you download it from a store in another country, they won’t let you on the servers: a message will appear stating that testing has not yet been launched in your region, although there is no testing anymore – this is a release version. I have to connect a VPN – the delay in this case becomes more than 100 ms, but I’m not used to it, I play Overwatch with the same ping without any VPN. Occasionally there are lags that disappear after a couple of seconds – in general, it’s okay.

Same but not the same

First of all, it is proposed to go through training, from which players in the usual Apex Legends will not learn anything new. You can run, you can jump, slide, open supply containers, carry two guns and attach body kits to them, aim and shoot from the hip, and so on. One of the main differences of the mobile version is the third-person view mode, which should probably appeal to fans of PUBG Mobile and its clones. To avoid imbalance, first and third person players do not get into matches with each other – the choice must be made before searching for a lobby.

Why is this still not in the console versions?

Why is this still not in the console versions?

In terms of content, the mobile Apex is somewhat inferior to the original, but in some ways it turns out to be richer. Characters, for example, are noticeably smaller – only a starting roster of eight heroes plus Octane and Fade, exclusive to mobile phones, are available. There is only one card in the royal battle – “World’s End”. But the modes are more diverse: in addition to the standard (and rating) there are two types of team deathmatch, arenas and a shooting range with weekly challenges. In the future, they plan to add not only new modes, but also exclusive maps.

The essence of the royal battle when transferred to phones and tablets has not changed. Teams of three jump out of the plane, search the surroundings and destroy each other, escaping inside the narrowing ring. The main change, of course, has to do with touch controls. I don’t play mobile shooters very often, but somehow I was able to get used to it relatively quickly, even though the screen is strewn with a huge number of buttons that you sometimes accidentally press. Aiming, shooting, jumping, crouching, sliding, reloading, abilities… Fortunately, the scheme can be changed.

The map has not changed from the original game.

The map has not changed from the original game.

Another good news is full support for gamepads. I connected the DualSense controller to the iPad via Bluetooth, and it became easier to play because I have more experience with the controller. The controls are not ideal – for example, when a character is picked up after being wounded, he starts shooting non-stop, and this can be fixed only by tapping the screen. But in general, there are no serious inconveniences. Another option for those who have not learned how to aim on the sensor is the gyroscope, which is turned on in the settings here and also works well. There are a lot of settings related to sensitivity.

Something new

Regardless of the control chosen, players can enjoy exclusive features that are not available in the console Apex Legends. In particular, there are visual cues for the hearing impaired – you can determine where the shooting is taking place or someone is walking loudly. As well as automatic loot pickup – both from the floor and from boxes left by dead match participants. Just interact with the crate and all the high quality body kits that match your weapon will automatically attach. Because of this, sometimes you equip sights that you would not want to use, but this is the only negative. And, if it’s annoying, auto-selection can be turned off with one click, without going into the menu.

Another interesting feature of Apex Legends Mobile is the presence of a leveling tree for each character. The more you play as a hero, the higher the skill becomes, and at the same time, points are issued for purchasing improvements. Lifeline will regenerate more health when picking up an injured person, or start gaining 100 shield points when performing an execution. Bangalore will see enemies through smoke when aiming. Getting used to such bonuses is dangerous – then you will return to the usual Apex Legends, but there is nothing like that. But the idea is fun and encourages newcomers to play as different characters.

Probably Apex Legends lacked this.

Probably Apex Legends lacked this.

The game is more or less stable. My iPad 8th generation (released in 2020) defaulted to medium graphics settings, but they were allowed to increase them, including increasing the frame rate. The maximum settings on such a device cannot be selected for obvious reasons.

The game does not download extra data without permission – voice acting in any language other than English must be downloaded separately (Russian is also available), as well as maps for additional modes. So, if you are only interested in the royal battle, you can save space.

Not without bugs – a character, for example, can utter lines for no reason. It happened that Lifeline reported calling a healing drone five times per match, although I did not press the corresponding button at all.

On budget devices, the game looks quite good.

On budget devices, the game looks quite good.

Well, it’s impossible not to mention that the authors of Apex Legends Mobile use the same technique as the creators of other mobile shooters – in the first matches, only bots play against you. For ignorant beginners, this is a holiday – thinking that they are fighting real people, they will brag to their friends how they destroyed dozens of opponents in a match. Those who understand what is happening will be bored, and they will have to play with bots for a dozen matches. The rating mode does not save from this despondency – even there, at first, you will have to meet with them. But sooner or later, real players will start to come across, and then it will become much more fun.

Listen, pay

In general, it turned out to be a good portable version of the shooter with its own features, and it remains only to talk about monetization. And she’s in trouble here. More precisely, nothing affects the gameplay here – if you just want to run and shoot, no one puts a spoke in the wheel. But fans of dressing up characters and completing challenges for the sake of cosmetic items will not be very comfortable.

Too many buttons.

Too many buttons.

First, there are confusing menus. To simply open the dropped loot boxes, you need to make several times more clicks than you would like – they are buried in the most inconspicuous place. All sorts of “challenges” are scattered in different corners – after the next match, a bunch of notifications hang and you spend a lot of time collecting rewards. There were also many currencies: Novice Points, Season Points, Activity Points, Liquid Metals, Fade Tokens, Points, Syndicate Gold… When you get something, you have no idea what you can spend it on or even if you can at all.

The main trick awaits those who buy the battle pass. From the outside, everything is fine and even ordinary: there is a free version of the pass, and there is a paid one, with cooler rewards; earn experience, collect prizes, even return the spent currency! But you start counting, and something doesn’t add up: for buying a pass you give 799 gold coins of the Syndicate (paid currency), and only 750 are returned. And there are no other ways to earn gold. Perhaps this is just a mistake, but it looks more like the antics of monetization specialists.

Buying only 799 coins, of course, is impossible.

Buying only 799 coins, of course, is impossible.

With events, the situation is not much better, although their implementation in the console version of the shooter is so-so. Now two events are taking place in the mobile phone at once, and it is impossible to buy the desired things directly in any of them. You need to spend money on loot boxes and hope that they will contain not a stupid frame or avatar, but something of high quality, and even your favorite character. Probably, such a monetization model will be successful for developers, but all this mess does not cause me the slightest desire to deposit money with them.

And the looks are good.

And the looks are good.

But the new character can be unlocked for free, as well as everyone else. Fade is a funny hero, and it’s even a pity that he isn’t in regular Apex Legends yet. It is able to rewind time a few seconds back, like Tracer in Overwatch (Titanfall 2 also had a similar skill), and there are many uses for such a skill. You manage to escape from grenades, you can return to cover, you can quickly react to shooting in the back – a very useful skill. And the “ult” turns opponents into invisible, which can neither receive nor deal damage – also a great way to interrupt the enemy advance.

The transfer of Apex Legends to mobile platforms turned out to be quite painless – the game lost almost nothing, but gained a lot. The idea of ​​leveling up characters doesn’t seem very appropriate, but the third-person view, bonus modes and audio-visual clues that the original developers have been asking for for several years fit in great. It’s a pity that monetization causes only negative emotions, but such is the mobile games industry. We’ll have to punish the developers and give them a lower score than the regular version!

Pros: gameplay is the same game as the original; support for gamepads and gyroscope control, as well as numerous settings, including the ability to change the touch control scheme; a third-person view will attract the attention of those who are more comfortable with this mode; interesting exclusive character; the rating mode is available from the release.

Cons: minor bugs; bots in the first matches are tiring; a nasty monetization model that pumps money out of those who want to dress up characters (even those who bought a battle pass).

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