If there’s one third-party developer that has been consistently supporting the Nintendo Switch since launch, it’s Bethesda. Over the past year, they’ve released titles such as Skyrim, DOOM, and L.A. Noire on the hybrid console. Despite limitations, these ports are optimized and manage to run exceptionally well on the Nintendo Switch. With the release of yet another Bethesda game, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, fans are probably wondering just how well this title runs on the Switch.
Unlike the other aforementioned ports, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is actually a relatively new game. It released in 2017 on the other current-gen consoles, with the Nintendo Switch port finally catching up a year later. With the Switch’s hardware limitations, some fans might feel pretty worried about the game running like absolute trash on the system. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case, with Panic Button cramming yet another intensive port on Nintendo’s console.
That being said, Wolfenstein II on the Nintendo Switch does come with its own fair share of downgrades, particularly in handheld mode. The game is still playable, sure, but it suffers from bad motion blur and occasional framerate drops in both combat and cutscenes. At worst, the framerate does drop around the 20 mark, but not much lower than that. Swerving the camera when aiming brings about a really nasty blur and could possibly even trigger motion sickness for those who aren’t accustomed to such an intense first-person experience. On top of that, using the Joy-Cons feel rather finicky and clumsy, which can get annoying when facing waves of Nazi soldiers.
On the flip side of things, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus truly shines on the Switch when played in docked mode. Framerate is definitely much more stable, and while things might still seem a bit fuzzy, it isn’t as bad as the handheld mode. Despite the slight visual downgrade, the game’s textures still look stunning on the Nintendo Switch, from gameplay down to the pre-rendered cutscenes. To emphasize, enemies, levels, and weapons still look and run smoothly despite their slightly muddier appearance. And while the Joy-Cons hardly do the game any justice, the pro controller more than makes up for it with its tight controls and better input.
Another thing worth noting about the Wolfenstein II port is the short pause when bringing up the menu. While the wait isn’t excruciatingly long, you’ll be staring at a black screen for about a second or so before you can save your data or tinker around in the options bar. As far as the game’s resolution goes, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus actually relies on an adaptive resolution display feature that changes depending on load. If it worked for DOOM, it definitely works for The New Colossus.
Wolfenstein II on the Nintendo Switch comes with its own quirk – the gyro controls. If you’re big on Splatoon or enjoy motion aiming, you have the option to toggle this on in the game. Surprisingly enough, the gyro controls are actually quite helpful when you want to use them, though they lose most of their luster when you have to re-center your view after sprinting around the battlefield. Regardless, it’s a great alternative for those who love playing in handheld mode and don’t want to rely on their Joy-Cons for aiming.
Despite all of its downgrades, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is still a solid port on the Nintendo Switch. If you can get past the wonky controls and blurry visuals, the game is more than playable in handheld mode. Otherwise, you’re much better off trading the Joy-Cons for a pro controller and plopping the tablet on the dock for a true console experience.