Hands-On Preview: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Switch)

Bethesda and Panic Button have accomplished another miracle!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 06/26/2018 09:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

It’s no secret that Switch is a relatively underpowered console. As a result, developers have difficulty trying to port over games that perform easily from a technical standpoint on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For all the technical hurdles, however, there are plenty of third party developers striving to bring their wares to Switch and ride its wave of success. Bethesda has been one of those developers, supporting the console from the outset with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. While that was an impressive release, the developer’s efforts with Doom were even more so.

With Doom, Bethesda and Panic Button took a risk not just in bringing the title to Switch 18 months after it had launched on other platforms, but just making the game run on the system itself was risky. A lot of technical wizardry went into getting Doom working on Switch and, amazingly, id Software was able to bring a version of the game that made sacrifices without losing the core, amazingly fun experience at its heart. This dedication paid off, and as a result fans are now able to look forward to Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus coming to Switch.

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way: yes, the visuals aren’t quite on the same level as PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. That’s not to say it doesn’t look good. The same fantastic art direction is on full display here and it looks great. In order to make things work on the platform, the resolution has been brought down a notch or two. Now, to be clear, my only exposure to the game was in handheld mode: I don’t know if the game will look better when docked or not. Still, on Switch’s diminutive screen, I thought Wolfenstein II was more than acceptable.

What’s even more important is the gameplay, and on that front I was equally impressed. The build I got to play was astoundingly polished. I started off in New Orleans and made the familiar dive down to the polluted waters below. Enemy attacks were fierce, the gunplay on my part equally so, and as I darted to and from cover mowing down my opponents, there was nary a stutter. Everything was running rock solid and smooth, completely belying the fact that I was playing a game as technically potent as Wolfenstein II in the palms of my hands.

Which, really, is a huge part of the draw here. It’s Wolfenstein II… portable! That’s crazy! It’s also working exactly how one would want it to. The smaller screen of Switch didn’t pose any issues with visibility or being able to read the user interface. It’s an element of the development process that was definitely on the minds of the design team, but thankfully whether on a TV or the Switch touch screen, everything is readable and viewable. It’s also worth noting that the motion controls that were brought to Doom will be making a return here. Apparently, Nintendo fans were quite vocal about their addition when Doom launched and were also very receptive towards them once they arrived.

While some folks might be on the fence about getting Wolfenstein II for Switch, I can assure you that at this point, the game is looking like another solid addition to the console’s already robust library. For those curious, there aren’t currently plans to bring the DLC for Wolfenstein II to Switch… for now. I was told that fan reception to the game will be paramount in making the decision down the line to bring the DLC to Nintendo fans. So if you’re a fan of this series, or if you enjoyed the Nintendo-specific tweaks that were brought to Doom, do yourself a favor and pick-up a copy later this week. It’ll help ensure that Bethesda has incentive to keep bringing its games to Switch and the Nintendo faithful.

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