Many of us love the Nintendo Switch, and on a technical level the hardware is capable of producing some handsome, impressive gaming experiences. Yet, even with that in mind, there are examples of game ports that are passable at best, as the relevant engine / codebase / game style simply isn't a good fit for the hybrid system and its capabilities. For many these iffy ports are the only way to play certain games, so it's worth the downgrade to experience them in some form as opposed to not at all.
Apex Legends definitely falls into this category. If you don't have a capable PC or console to play it, then the Switch version is a means to jump in - ideally with crossplay turned off. If you end up in a lobby with gamers on other systems you're in for a hard time due to blurry visuals and choppy performance, but when battling other Switch players it's a fair fight. We're not sure it's a good version of the game, but it's nice that it gives Nintendo gamers access to what is an excellent multiplayer shooter.
So, let's get to the point, we were rather surprised by an Apex Legends: Legacy overview trailer shared by Nintendo UK today, mainly because it's not actually using Switch footage. It uses a couple of very simple tricks to try and give that impression, but the assets don't lie.
The trailer in question is a re-upload / share of an official overview trailer from a week ago, promoting the new Legacy update content. First, below is the original, which you can watch at 60fps from 1080p up to 4k.
Now, below is the Nintendo UK upload, but there are two key changes. Resolution is capped at 1080p in the upload and it is 30fps only, so it halves the framerate. There is a disclaimer in tiny text at the end of the original upload, and there is another Switch-specific message that appears for 4 seconds, see if you can spot it.
The title for the Nintendo upload is 'Apex Legends: Legacy – Gameplay Trailer (Nintendo Switch)', but even with the brief and easily missed disclaimer in mind, that's a title that is best described as 'cheeky'; it also took us quite a few views before we even noticed the disclaimer, initially we simply thought it was outright false messaging.
As an indicator of what Switch gameplay actually looks like, below is a video from TrueAsianGamer of the arena mode, which seems very much like our impressions of the game on the system.
Also of note, the official reveal trailer for Apex Legends on Switch, back in early March, showed actual footage from the hardware. Carefully captured, edited and stylised with maybe a few sneaky higher-resolution shots, yes, but it is footage from the game we all got to play.
Which brings us to the big question, is it wrong of Nintendo to re-upload generic trailers to promote Switch content? On the one hand, the mode is fully featured in the Switch version, and this is also a free-to-play title, though there are options to buy the game in a bundle or through microtransactions. Yet footage like that overview trailer also give a false impression, despite a brief and easily missed disclaimer, leading you to expect a certain visual sheen at a solid 30fps in the game when the reality is different.
The wider issue is that this can be quite common when games come to Switch following PC / other console releases. New gameplay footage isn't always used, which can lead Switch gamers to watch a video and then expect a certain level of performance. It is, in the worst cases, false advertising.
Does it matter that much? We think it shouldn't happen, as it could lead to sales based on incorrect footage, but let us know what you think in the comments.