The media had a little bit of time before the doors opened for the public at PAX East today, and one of the first things I did was make a beeline for the Nintendo booth. My reward was a chance to briefly try Wolfenstein 2, Dark Souls Remastered, and DK Tropical Freeze.
I'll have more to say on the others in due course, but I wanted to take a quick moment to highlight Wolfenstein 2. This is the first proper look we've gotten at the port of last year's critically acclaimed shooter, and it's interesting to see how it compares to Doom.
From my admittedly limited vantage point, it's looking pretty good. Playing it docked, it was able to mantain a steady 30fps framerate without losing too much of the detail. I took some quick offscreen video to demonstrate.
And some Wolfenstein 2 gameplay on Switch. Obviously want to know how this one looks in handheld mode. pic.twitter.com/0krWKkIfAo— USgamer (@USgamernet) April 5, 2018
Last year's Doom port for Switch used a "blur" effect to maintain framerate, and while it still appears to be present in Wolfenstein 2, it felt less pronounced. The gunplay was smooth and handled well, and the engine was easily able to handle multiple enemies at once. Even the explosions looked pretty good.
Naturally, Nintendo was coy about the handheld experience, so I wasn't able to try it undocked. Undocked games have been known to have issues with framerates in the past, so that's one thing to keep in mind. However, Bethesda's Switch ports have tended to emphasis steady framerates above all else, and it's largely paid off.
Another thing that's unclear is whether Wolfenstein 2 will have motion controls like the ones that were added to Doom back in February. The addition of motion controls was lauded by fans and is another way to differentiate the different versions.
Assuming its strong first impression holds up, Wolfenstein should be a good fit for the Switch. Caty lauded Wolfenstein 2's single-player campaign in her review last year, and it seems like just the sort of game to keep you busy on a plane. Well, assuming you're not shy about neighboring passengers glimpsing Wolfenstein 2's strong violence.
The Wolfenstein 2 port is being handled by Panic Button, the same studio that translated Doom to Switch, so it appears to be in good hands. Indeed, based on the graphical improvements, Panic Buttons appears to be acclimating nicely to the Switch's hardware. In that light, Wolfenstein 2 certainly seems to be a game worth watching when it launchees later this year.
I'll be getting an even closer look at Wolfenstein 2 on the Switch in a couple days, and I will use that opportunity to inquire further. In the meantime, keep an eye on USgamer for more thoughts on the games of PAX East.