Doom and Wofenstein II Coming to Switch, Don't Get Expect This to Spark a Trend
Like that headline? Nice and short.
Yesterday during the latest Nintendo Direct, we saw a couple or neat surprise announcements, the biggest one (for me at least) was that both Doom (2016) and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus are coming to Switch.
Now Doom is supposed to release sometime late this year, while Wolfenstein II will miss the October 27 launch date that the other consoles are getting and will release sometime in 2018. With Skyrim coming in just a few months, and the announcement of these two games, it seems like Bethesda is really throwing a lot at the Switch, but I don't believe that guarantees new AAA third-party releases on the Switch from now on. Nintendo fans know the story, we've been down this road before. I don't mean to sound like a pessimist, I just want to help keep expectations in check.
So first off, Doom is an extremely well optimized game and getting it to run on Switch shouldn't be too difficult, thanks to the Tegra X1 processor. Now I don't think anyone is expecting this game to look and run as well as it does on PS4 and Xbox One, but they can probably get it locked at 30fps with minor hits in visual fidelity. Doom is a game that's all about fast-paced action, so how well the game runs is crucial here.
Also, thanks to Nintendo Everything, we know that the Switch version of Doom will not include the SnapMap level creator, and the physical version of the game will only include the campaign. To play multiplayer, users will have to download a separate update, due to the size limitations of the cartridge. Aside from those setbacks, the game will include all the DLC and such that has released since May 2016. This doesn't seem too bad, but we will have to wait to see what else, if anything, is compromised.
Now onto Wolfenstein II. This is the one I'm more intrigued by, because unlike Doom, this game hasn't released on other platforms yet. The sooner they can get the Switch version on shelves, the more it'll feel like a day and date third-party game and less like a port of a pre-existing Xbox One/PS4 game. Wolfenstein is extremely narrative-focused so it will be important for this game to at least look decent, in my opinion. Luckily Wolfenstein II, if like the first game, should just be a story-based game, so no multiplayer or whatever to deal with here. This game looks exceptionally beautiful, I just can't really understand how they will get this thing up and running well on the Switch.
Now of course I believe both these games will come out, the question is, how much will they be compromised to be able to run on Switch? And more importantly, will Switch owners buy these games? We see it all the time, EA used to support Nintendo but people only bought their games on the other consoles, so now EA is extremely cautious with Nintendo. Ubisoft is the same. Sure, we just got Mario + Rabbids, but there was a time when the big Ubisoft titles that were on the other boxes came to Nintendo's platform as well. I just don't think we should be expecting Far Cry 5 anytime soon.
Bethesda is relatively new to the console space. Sure, they've worked with Microsoft consoles for a while, but they are traditionally PC focused. Seeing them dip their toes in Nintendo's water makes me wonder if this will be another failed attempt from another third-party to get their latest and greatest on Nintendo's hardware. The determining factor will be if Switch owners buy the games or not, but these ports have to be just as good, or at least comparable to justify picking the Switch version over the Xbox or PlayStation versions.
I definitely want to get Doom on my Switch. As for Wolfenstein II, I am really excited for this game and I want to have the most cinematic experience possible. If the Switch version can't deliver, I might have to go with my trustee Xbox One.
I'm not sure that this means we can guarantee future Bethesda games to be on Switch. It also doesn't mean that the other major third-parties will follow suit (although I'd kill for a Destiny game on Switch). Right now all we can do is wait and see what these Switch versions will look and feel like. If they are good, vote with your wallet and buy them. Let companies like Bethesda know that you'd love to play Wolfenstein and Doom on your Switch instead of your PS4. Amplify this message. If not, it'll the same old song we've seen with Nintendo and third-parties for generations.
Remember, Call of Duty: World at War was on Wii, Mass Effect 3 was on Wii U, does anyone remember these ports that were either not nearly as good as their PS3/Xbox 360 counterparts or too little, too late?
God damn, I hope that The New Colossus is good on Switch. Give me a reason to play that iPad-looking Wii Remote-Frankenstein thing more often.