Wolfenstein: The New Colossus (Switch): Panic Button has the Reich touch
Think about this for a minute: I can now play a current-generation first person shooter while sitting on the toilet. Not that I did for this review but, you know, if I can if I want to.
Or in bed while my wife reads on her iPad. Or during my lunch break at work. What a world we live in, eh?
I have to say I’m impressed with what Panic Button have done with Wolfenstein on the Switch.
Sure, if you want the most graphical superior version of the game then the Switch version isn’t for you and if you’re the type of gamer that will balk at lower resolutions then, again, the Switch version isn’t for you.It’s for gamers like me who haven’t played the game on another platform and it’s for gamers who want to play Bethesda’s latest Nazi-killing simulator on the go, filling the well-worn combat boots of BJ Blazkowicz in a story of what the world would be like if Nazi’s had won WW2 and invaded the US of A.
Wolfenstein 2 is the second Bethesda shooter from Panic Button that has appeared on the Switch and right off the bat, the port seems a much smoother experience right off the bat than the port of Doom, which took a few patches to sort its frame rates out.
Make no mistake, this version is the real deal in terms of content: It’s the same game that appeared on the PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 last year but, as is to be expected for a portable machine that has a fraction of the processing power of its rivals, Panic Button has made compromises to get the game working on the Switch.
As you’d expect, textures are much lower in resolution (mostly noticeable on faces and clothing), it uses a dynamic resolution to adjust the pixel count on the fly and the game is locked at 30 frames a second.To my old man eyes, I thought the game ran smoothly in both docked and portable mode (looking slightly better in portable mode given the smaller screen) and I had a blast.
One thing I did notice due to the lower resolution and blurrier textures, was every now and then textures would pop in a few moments later, and at times, picking out enemies and power ups in some locations was much, much harder than it should have been, especially when in portable mode.
I found the text size of subtitles was too small for my old man eyes. Even with my reading glasses on, I struggled to read them. Dear Panic Button, perhaps an upcoming patch might address that issue?
The latest adventures of BJ Blazkowicz is a battery hog, though. I started the game with 79% battery & by the time I’d completed the first mission and a few minutes of the second mission, my Switch’s battery was down to 42% – and the wee thing’s internal fan was working overdrive. Wolfenstein is working the Nintendo Switch to within an inch of its life but, frankly, I can see why.
Look, Wolfenstein: The New Colossus is going to have its detractors but I tip my hat to Panic Button: The developer has knocked it out of the park with this portable version and I’m glad I waited until now to play it, to be honest.
It’s just an added bonus that I can also now play Wolfenstein The New Colossus on the toilet, if I’m that way inclined, of course. I’ll keep you posted.
Thanks to Bethesda in Australia for the review copy of the game.