When I reviewed Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus late last year, I enjoyed the game immensely. I’ve always loved a run-and-gun with enough plot to keep you caring about the characters, and that’s precisely what Wolfenstein 2 had to offer. Aside from a few glitches, I ran into the game looked and felt terrific on both PS4 Pro and PC and was a great showcase of just how buttery-smooth id Tech 6’s gunplay can be.
Nine months later we’ve finally got the Nintendo Switch port of Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, and I was eager to see how the game translates. The Switch has significantly less powerful hardware than its contemporaries, so I had my doubts as to whether it could power Wolfenstein 2 at a pace that was anything close to playable. However, last year’s Doom port showed that Bethesda’s shooters could scale well for Switch, even if it meant some sacrifices.
Wolfenstein 2 Switch Review: Switch into Lower Gear
The core of Wolfenstein 2 is the gunplay, which the Switch version brings over with hardly any compromises. The controls are still smooth, and it’s still very satisfying to take down hordes of Nazi soldiers. Even effects that might have been deleted to allow the game run a bit faster were retained like gibs and melting metal.
There is a bit of slowdown in particularly busy scenes, and if you manage to get a bunch of enemies on screen at once, you’ll notice a difference. However, it very rarely dips too far below the 30fps target. However, if you’re looking for more framerate than that, you’re not going to find it here.
Unfortunately, 60fps is where this game really feels best and as such the Switch version just can’t compare to other platforms in that regard. Unsurprisingly, to even get to the point where a 30-fps target is feasible, textures and resolution have taken a big hit. Wolfenstein 2 for the Switch uses the same dynamic resolution system that Doom did, and things can go from “OK” to blurry and distorted really quick.
The resolution cap is 720p, but it can dip down to 480p at times. Between this and the texture downgrade, the whole thing can get very mushy and soft looking. For a game that looked so good on other platforms, it’s a bit of a let down that it can look so poor on the Switch.
Wolfenstein 2 Switch Review: Good for Playing on the Go (and Not Much Else)
The real draw of the Switch version of Wolfenstein 2 is the portability. If you’re going to play it on a television or monitor, there’s no reason to choose the Switch over other platforms. Technically-speaking this is the worst version of the game, and that’s an objective fact.
However, being able to play this game on the go does a lot towards making the Switch version more tolerable. No other portable system can come close to running Wolfenstein 2, and with its monopoly on “high-end” current gen titles in mobile form, the Switch gets a lot of credit by default.
If you’re a person who travels a lot, or if you’re more comfortable playing games on the small-screen, this version of The New Colossus is a godsend. For others, though, it may not be worth the price of admission.
Wolfenstein 2 Switch Review: The Rent is too Damn High
There are two other (current) aspects of the Nintendo Switch version of Wolfenstein 2 that make it a hard sell for me, and both have to do with price.
The New Colossus for Switch retails at $59.99, which would be outrageous on any other platform. Considering you can get the PC and console versions of the game at around half that on sale, I can’t think of any reason that the high price could be justified.
Tying in with the high price is the fact that $60 doesn’t even get you all the DLC. Wolfenstein 2 for Switch offers the same content that other platforms got on launch day. Whether or not the Switch will get the DLC later isn’t known, and if Bethesda does end up releasing it, who knows if it’ll cost more or be available for free.
Wolfenstein 2 Switch Review: A Release for a Niche Audience
On the one hand, it’s really cool that Panic Button was able to port Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus to Nintendo Switch. The studio did an admirable job working within the limitations of the hardware and making the best compromise between gameplay and visuals that it could. On the other hand, the only thing the Switch version has going for it is that it’s portable. In every other regard, Wolfenstein 2 is better on other platforms.
If Wolfenstein 2 for Switch were released at a budget price, I would be much more enthused about it. However, $60 for a game that’s approaching a year old is a bit much, especially given that it doesn’t include the DLC. If all you have is a Switch or portability is a significant concern to you, this version might be worth it. Otherwise, you’ll likely be happier grabbing Wolfenstein 2 on PC, PS4, or Xbox One.