Bo Bozart unpacks what games are worth buying.
I was sold on the Nintendo Switch as soon as I saw Skyrim in handheld mode. Bethesda not only promised players The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but critically acclaimed games like FPS Doom (2016) and the highly anticipated FPS Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus would be making their way to the Switch as well. After a great year for Nintendo’s new hybrid console and their first party games, how do the AAA 3rd party ports run? In short, pretty well.
While I’m looking forward to Wolfenstein on the PS4, I wanted to see if Doom was a worthy port. I played a bit of it when it initially released and I was blown away by the smooth yet aggressive gameplay coupled with the stunning visuals. While the Switch version is fun, it’s nowhere near as pretty as it is on PS4. While the console versions of Doom run at a glorious 1080p/60fps, the Switch runs at 720p/30fps handheld AND docked, with the docked mode running a tad bit smoother. The game in handheld can feel a bit cramped control wise, and the textures can be rough, especially while trying to find enemies from a distance. Other than that, it’s Doom on the Switch. If you have a PS4, I would recommend you play it there if you want the best Doom experience. If you want an intense shooter on the go, Doom is a great buy.
Skyrim on the Switch blows my mind everytime I boot it up. While the resolution is also capped at 720p/30fps in handheld, it runs at 900p/30fps while docked. Skyrim: Special Edition on PS4 runs at 1080p/30fps with 4K support on the Pro, so this is not the prettiest version for consoles. That said, it is the most polished with far fewer bugs and framerate drops. The added motion control assist when aiming is a much welcome feature, while the lockpicking minigame has become more interesting with the addition of the Joy-Con motion control lockpicking mechanic. If you want the prettiest, most customized experience possible, you’re probably already playing on PC. If you want to play a great version of one of the best games of 2011 in the palms of your hands, then pick it up. It’s been great exploring the giant open world and getting lost in side quests, crafting gear and items and meeting NPCs while (generally) trying to save the world from the apocalypse. These ports are promising examples of the potential future of 3rd party AAA games on the Switch and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Segaro “Bo” Bozart, staff writer, is a third-year IMC major who has been playing Skyrim since 2011. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.