Apex actually based on Java, however, it's syntax and a few classes aside the style of programming is considerably different in nature as it's more like web development than standalone application development.
Moreover, even though Eclipse is the SDK of variety, you don't really use it as anything more than a praised text editor, and one where auto-complete, etc. typically fail at that. It will actually help you to prepare to code. It will also help with regards to general application development the amount of help it will provide is limited.