Several Resident Evil games are available now on the Nintendo Switch, and on the whole it's a great experience playing some of the best Resident Evil games on the go. Unfortunately, there are some technical issues you should be aware of should you decide to jump into the real survival horror on the Switch.
Resident Evil 4, 1, and 0 are all available now on the Nintendo Switch. All three games are based on the HD remastered versions, instead of the original GameCube games. So you'll be playing the Resident Evil titles with updated resolutions and frame rates. While Resident Evil 4 largely holds up technically, Resident Evil 1 and 0 suffer some glaring loading issues.
Starting with Resident Evil 4, the game plays pretty much exactly as you remember it, just on the Switch. Our colleagues at Digital Foundry have discovered something interesting in their testing, however, in that Resident Evil 4 actually has better framerate in portable mode than in docked mode.
Resident Evil 4 shoots for 60fps on the Switch, and surprisingly hits the target more while in handheld mode than in docked mode. In handheld, Resident Evil 4 suffers some framerate dips, especially during large boss fights, but for the most part his 60fps. In docked, the framerate dips into the 50s more often to the point where it feels like there should be a 30fps mode.
Resident Evil 1 and 0 suffer similar framerate issues, which are more apparent in the Resident Evil 1 Remake than in 0. Framerate has notable stutter issues and dips below its 30fps target during cutscenes and general gameplay. What's more, both Resident Evil 1 and 0 feature incredibly high loading times, much longer than in the original GameCube version and later remasters.
In Resident Evil 1 and 0 loading times are cleverly hidden by door opening animations. But on the Switch, these animations aren't long enough to cover the full loading time, so the screen remains black for an extra few seconds in order to fully load the next room or train compartment. As you know, Resident Evil games require a lot of backtracking, so waiting for the loading screen to finish ends up eating a good chunk of your time.
We reached out to Capcom asking if they're aware of some of these performance issues, and whether we can expect a post-launch fix. We have not heard back, but will update this story if that changes.
That's a shame too since these games are some of the best in the Resident Evil series. And while they're still playable and enjoyable, there are some caveats holding back the ports from their full potential.