We went hands-on with Panic Button's latest Switch port.
Panic Button is at it again; the team that ported Doom to Switch was showing off another Bethesda shooter that they've brought to Switch - Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. It's shaping up to be another good port.
A couple notes: I've not played Wolfenstein II on another platform, and the demo was running on a Switch in portable mode.
I played an unguided demo, that I started part-way into a level. The mission was to escape a facility on-board a rocket-powered train. Right away, the game feels quick. B.J. Blazkowicz, the series infamous Nazi-slaying hero, moved smooth and inputs felt really tight. Even as enemies on screen piled up, the game didn't seem to perceptibly slowdown or become less responsive.
Of course, as Adam Creighton of Panic Button Games noted in our interview, Wolfenstein isn't Doom. It's not meant to be a run-and-gun shooter. B.J. isn't able to just run head-long into fire and shoot everything. The game demands some degree of stealth and tactics. Unfortunately for me, I had no experience with the series, he demo started in-game, and I hadn't had my interview yet. So, I tried to run-and-gun, and the game told me resoundingly that this was not the way. A few deaths later, I was able to execute a more tactical approach to navigating the stage and eliminating enemies.
It's still tempting to go all-out; it just feels good to shoot, and B.J.'s close-up hatchet attack is especially satisfying. So, I still probably played a little recklessly, but if you can't be reckless against a Nazi cybernetic doberman, than when can you be? It took me a while to get a handle on the game's cover mechanics, but that's likely because I missed the tutorial for it. Once I had a handle on finding cover and leaning out to fire, I found my groove.
When Wolfenstein II was released on other platforms last year, it was an impressive looking title. Moving it to the Switch, especially in portable mode, poses obvious challenges. Panic Button seems to have lived up to it. Obviously, it doesn't look as good as it would on an Xbox One, let-alone a high-end PC, but it still looks really impressive on Switch. The stage in the demo is fairly dark, so it isn't the best judge, but it still stood out in the many games I saw this week.
The demo did have some oddly-long loading times, however this is an E3 demo and that might improve by the time the game releases.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus looks like it's move to Switch is going to be smooth. Panic Button seems like they're going to add one more success to their resume when it releases June 29.