Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is the newest example of: “Wow, they got this game running on Switch,” from the people at Panic Button. Panic Button is becoming well known for their work on Nintendo Switch ports, handling the ports of Doom and Rocket League to Nintendo’s newest console. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus steps things up even more, being ported to Switch just eight months after the game saw its initial release on other consoles. Panic Button’s work on Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is nothing short of amazing.
Originally released in October 2017 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus sees players return as B.J. Blazkowicz. Blazkowicz is an extremely damaged American soldier, quite literally as seen in the opening moments of the game, having to deal with a world where the Nazis won WWII. In our original review for Wolfenstein II back in October, we said, “Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is a thrilling single-player adventure with a hard hitting narrative and adaptable core mechanics that cater to both the sneaky and the Rambo types, and it’s worth every bit of your time, whether you’re a fan of shooters or not.” To read our full review on Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, feel free to check it out here. For this review, we’re focusing in on the Nintendo Switch version.
The fact that Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is running on Nintendo Switch is something amazing in itself. This game is very much “next-gen”, meaning this game was completely built from the ground up to run on more powerful hardware, like PS4 and Xbox One. Yet, the work Panic Button has done to bring Wolfenstein II to Switch is extremely impressive. In short, Wolfenstein II on Switch plays amazingly. In my time with Wolfenstein II, it ran at a fairly steady 30fps. There are some moments where it dips slightly below that number, but for the most part, it’s a relatively steady, smooth experience. The game also looks really great when playing undocked. I spent quite a bit of time playing undocked, and it kept surprising me that this big of a game was playing on my Nintendo Switch. That may seem like a small detail, but it’s one that made playing Doom on Switch so much fun. It should also be noted that motion controls are available in this game, a much requested feature that was added into Doom a few months later. Motion controls for both the Joy-Cons and Pro Controllers feel really good and work really well in this game. Being able to fine-tune your aiming while playing is really awesome, regardless of which play-style I tried on Switch. Some may choose never to use that feature, but it’s one I have to suggest people to try out.
With all that said, Panic Button did have to make some compromises to make this game work on Switch. The resolution and texture detail took a hit on Switch, nothing surprising considering the Doom port we received last year. If you never played Wolfenstein II on any other platform besides Switch, then you probably won’t notice anything off. For those that did play previously on other platforms, the details are fairly easy to notice. Character faces and guns have had their detail reduced a bit, and it’s fairly easy to tell between a pre-rendered cutscene and the normal Switch gameplay. The game also uses a dynamic resolution system, like they did on Doom. In short, this technique is used to fluctuate the number of pixels on-screen depending on how much action is happening. For those of us who played Doom on Switch, this is something we are familiar with. Despite these visual cutbacks needed to run on Switch, the game looks really nice in docked mode and holds up well in undocked mode.
In short, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus on Nintendo Switch is something people should not miss out on. To me, it’s one of the best single-player FPS games this console generation, and it’s easily the Switch’s greatest. It really can’t be stated enough how amazing the people at Panic Button are, delivering an experience on Nintendo Switch that seems impossible, yet they made it possible. Their work on Doom and now Wolfenstein II are the bar when it comes to Switch ports. They make the impossible work so perfectly on Switch. If you’re a Nintendo Switch owner, go out and get Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. It’s an experience you won’t regret.
Developer: Machine Games
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 29th June 2018