Review – Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Switch)

Well folks, Bethesda said it was going to publish a competent version of Wolfenstein II for the Switch, and here we are: Bethesda published a competent version of Wolfenstein II for the Switch. Thanks to the magical developers from Panic Button (the same guys behind the amazing port of Doom), we can finally turn Nazis into mush whenever and wherever we want to, all while listening to Mick Gordon’s majestic tunes. I couldn’t be happier.


Hey Fallout, get out of my Wolfenstein game!

My colleague Jason Palazini reviewed the PC version of Wolfenstein II when it first came out a year ago, so I highly suggest you to take a peek at his review before reading the rest of what I have to say. Everything he wrote in that article is 100% endorsed by myself as well. I’m here to discuss the technical aspects of this port, and not its story and cultural relevance. It’s the same Wolfenstein II as before, and that’s one heck of a praise.

The first thing you might be asking yourself is if the game runs well on the Switch’s extremely inferior hardware. Wolfenstein II was a technically-demanding game even on the PS4 and Xbox One, therefore making the game run on what’s essentially mobile hardware would require a lot of tinkering. The answer is yes it runs well, but with a lot of caveats.


The wheelchair level is still annoying

The game runs, for the most part, at a somewhat steady 30 frames per second, even when on portable mode. Rest assured, you can easily play the game with the framerate provided to you. The action isn’t exactly as fast-paced as Doom, but it’s a lot more hectic than your average Battlefield or Call of Duty. The main issue with the visual aspect of the game lies on the port’s resolution.

The game features a technique called “dynamic resolution,” meaning that it will constantly change resolutions depending on the amount of elements and action happening onscreen in order to accommodate the desired framerate. The game never manages to reach a decent resolution in this case, sometimes dropping to below 480p (the target framerate for games released during the PS2 era). When you’re playing on portable mode, that issue can be somewhat overlooked, even though you’ll constantly notice the game will look as blurry as that one Puddle of Mudd song from the beginning of the century. Playing the game on docked mode isn’t recommended. If you want to play the game on a TV, you’re better choosing any other previously released port.


Amazing Grace

That’s my main gripe with this port of Wolfenstein II. Unlike Doom, which offered tons of fast-paced action and replayability with its arcade modes, The New Colossus is more focused on storytelling and being cinematic, something that would be better experienced on a big TV screen. This version isn’t exactly suited for that. It does what it can with the limited resources provided by the Switch’s hardware, but it can’t perform as well as other console counterparts. It shines as a portable version of the game you’ve already experienced, though. I’m playing the game for the second time (my first experience was on an Xbox One), and I’m enjoying the experience on-the-go. Even though the joycons aren’t the best controllers for a precise FPS (you can take advantage of aiming assists, though), being able to mow down tons of Nazis on a small screen is amazing.


And you thought YOUR family was a mess

More than just an impressive port of an excellent game, the Switch version of Wolfenstein II is a statement that anything is possible in that little console if you put enough effort and care into your project. Despite its impressive performance and despite how fun it is blowing up nazi brains on-the-go, I wouldn’t recommend making this port your main version of Wolfenstein II, however. If you’ve never played the game before, check out the PC or console versions instead. The Switch version is great but it’s clearly inferior to the others: grab it if you really want to have an extra copy of this excellent shooter on-the-go.


Graphics: 8.0

The game had to suffer some visual compromises in order to run on the Switch, but all things considered, it still looks pretty impressive.

Gameplay: 7.5

A midway between the fast-paced action from Doom and the more tactical approach from other shooters, but the joycons aren’t the best controllers for this type of gameplay.

Sound: 10

Phenomenal voice acting and Mick Gordon’s soundtrack to top it off. I have no complaints.

Fun Factor: 8.0

Killing Nazis is always fun, and playing Wolfenstein II on the go is an excellent treat, even though the game isn’t as fast-paced or arcade-friendly as Doom was.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossues is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.