The ambitious port of Apex Legends landed on the Nintendo Switch earlier this month, so how does it hold up? Digital Foundry has now put Panic Button’s conversion to the test, trying out the latest version of the game based on patch 1.07.
In terms of resolution, the game runs at 720p in docked play, with “dynamic resolution scaling dropping to 1066×600 minimum” and 576p dynamic in portable, with a “960×540 minimum”.
DF highlights a number of cuts – textures lack an immense amount of detail, shadows are affected, the draw distance is pulled back and obscured by fog, effects are scaled back, and trees, bushes and ground object detail is also massively reduced. Then there’s the removal of the “vast majority” of grass and foliage, which is considered to be a “cut too far”. It results in a passable experience:
“What users effectively get is a good enough, albeit lower poly rendition of the game world. Everything is as it should be and renders properly at range. Think of it as a less complex but decent enough rendition of the world. Reflections are also retained, lens flares are kept, while cloth physics are present and correct. Enemies also render in at the same range, crucial to a fair experience for all players. Switch exclusive benefits are thin on the ground, but gyro aiming is included.”
The performance is obviously the biggest talking point of Apex Legends on the Switch – with framerates tumbling to “the low 20fps” during firefights. Outside of this, the target of 30FPS is maintained, but that’s still only half the framerate players on other console platforms, who are running the game at 60FPS.
“The main problem is that frame-rate problems intrude during confrontations with other players – exactly where performance should be at its best. On top of that, there’s the sense the frame-rate may start to buckle simply by being in proximity to other players – an unlikely early warning system of sorts?”
Digital Foundry says the cutbacks are “so severe” that its final recommendation is to turn off the crossplay functionality (which is auto-enabled) to play exclusively with other Switch users and even the playing field.
Have you tried out Apex Legends on the Nintendo Switch? What are your thoughts so far? Leave a comment down below.