Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus on Switch is One of the Best Ports of a Triple-A Game Yet

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus on Switch is One of the Best Ports of a Triple-A Game Yet

B.J. Blazcowicz isn't held back by anything on-the-go.

Last year, one of my favorite games was Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus: a game about a man, some guns, and killing Nazis. In a strange turn of events, it has officially released on Nintendo Switch, the most family friendly of consoles. And it's a pretty great port too.

That is, compared to the rough-but-passable Doom port from late last year. There are still some hefty, obvious compromises for the smaller-scale hardware. When a character's face is up close and personal, it tends to be blurred and undefined. When people and things are at an arm's length away though, everything looks better. Regardless, it is always a stark change compared to the semi-frequent pre-rendered cutscenes that are basically the same quality to its console and PC brethren. It makes the cut back to gameplay feel all the more jarring, even if in the moment-to-moment it won't dampen your experience that much.

Environments, such as Roswell, are really sharp in this Switch port.

Like Doom, Wolfenstein 2 is a game dependent on speed and momentum, even if it is to a lesser extent. During my time with Wolfenstein 2 on Switch, I knocked it down to the lowest difficulty, wanting to blow through it with relative ease. (And honestly, I'm kinda kicking myself for not playing it on the lowest difficulty before; it's a blast to just blow through foes like some sort of Nazi-killing God.) I've found that it looks fine graphically, even when the Switch is undocked—admittedly, how I play the majority of games on Switch.

Fidelity isn't my prime concern on the Switch, honestly, because I play most things in portable mode. As long as a game isn't chugging along, as Xenoblade Chronicles 2 or other games with a lot going on sometimes do (especially when the Switch is undocked), it's fine by me. In my hours so far with the Panic Button-helmed port, I haven't experienced any lag or frame rate hiccups. Everything has remained nice and steady, which is essential for a fast-paced FPS. It's capped at 30fps—which may bug some players with a discerning eye—but for a port best played portably, the 30fps never dips and makes for a pleasant, comparable to console and PC experience.

Wolfenstein 2 is also quite fun with motion control aiming turned on. As I mentioned above, I've been shooting my way through it on the easiest difficulty. With gyro-aiming on, I've been tilting the Joy Cons to whip around at a moment's notice to blast away any Nazi in my way. While it is a little bit shaky when standing stationary (unless you have the steadiest hands in the world), it does feel good to lightly jerk around the Joy Cons for aiming. There's also options to tweak sensitivity, if the default doesn't work well for you. As someone who played Doom on Switch before it got motion controls patched in, playing Wolfenstein 2 with it on is making me want to return to Doom to try it out there too.

The gyro-aiming in Wolfenstein 2 is comparable to Doom and Splatoon 2's.

Visually, it's overall a sharper port than Doom was. It might be the difference in aesthetic between the two Bethesda published games. Doom has a lot of reds and browns that easily blended together with the softer focus, making Mars' outdoor environments look muddy and blurry. Meanwhile Wolfenstein 2 definitely has moments of the latter, but overall it's a lot more industrial looking with its corridors and environments; and oftentimes, it's more varied in its color palette than Doom is too. Panic Button has defined itself as a sort of go-to developer for ports on the Switch (and elsewhere too), and Wolfenstein 2 is its most impressive feat yet.

At 21.8gb for the Nintendo Switch compared to its 44 to 55 range on console and PC, the compromises were necessary to make the game run on Switch without potentially eating up an entire microSD card for memory. The novelty of Wolfenstein 2, and other triple-A games on Switch, is that they're now playable on-the-go. You can play Wolfenstein 2 docked obviously, but if you already own it on a more-powerful platform, it's definitely still best to play it over there to get the most out of its crisp visual fidelity. But if you're commuting to work every day, or playing while someone else is using the television, or zooming across the country or world while on a plane, it's hard to beat playing a solid port of one of the best shooters of the past few years on a portable console.

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Caty McCarthy

Senior Editor

Caty McCarthy is a former freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kill Screen, VICE, The AV Club, Kotaku, Polygon, and IGN. When she's not blathering into a podcast mic, reading a book, or playing a billion video games at once, she's probably watching Terrace House or something. She is currently USgamer's Senior Editor.

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