What To Expect From Wolfenstein: Youngblood On Switch
Wolfenstein: Youngblood is now officially out on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. All in all, Youngblood is a pretty great time (our review is here). We played the PC version of the game for review, but I also got my dirty, Nazi-clobberin' mitts on the Switch version to see how it compares. If you've been considering playing Youngblood on Switch and are curious about the possible benefits and drawbacks of this version in particular, you've come to the right place.
I've spent three hours with the Switch version and have dabbled in pretty much every activity and the biggest spaces in both single-player and multiplayer, so while I can't speak to the whole experience, I can provide a general sense what to expect if you decide to go with the Switch version.
It's As Fun As The Other Versions
As was the case with Panic Button's port of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Youngblood's gameplay is just as satisfying on the Switch as it is on the other versions. Sure, the framerate is capped at 30, but as someone who played through the game at 60 FPS on a PC, the action doesn't feel too altered. It's still just as fun to mow down Nazis, and I noticed no slowdown whatsoever on Switch, even when embroiled in massive battles with impressive particle effects firing off in every direction. You don't have to worry about this version struggling in terms of performance.
The Visual Quality Isn't As Good
That performance comes at a cost, and it's in the visuals. To call Youngblood ugly would be unfair; the environments are still impressive, as are the gunfights. However, the brightness of the game has been turned up by default to hide the fact that the textures on both character models and environment are not anywhere near as sharp as the other versions of the game. You're going to see a lot of muddy texturing, in both docked and portable mode, if you look too closely at foes or even objects in the environment. However, considering Youngblood is constantly pushing you forward to fight and explore, I don't think that cost dramatically impacts what the game does well.
It Controls Well
Youngblood plays well in both handheld and docked mode thanks to a straightforward control scheme and good responsiveness. Aiming appears to be a tad slower, but you can remedy this by adjusting the sensitivity (or playing with a Pro Controller).
No Local Multiplayer
Bethesda and MachineGames has been adamant from the start that Youngblood has no split-screen co-op, and instead is purely online (though the Buddy Pass lets you temporarily gift the game to a friend, alleviating the need to buy two copies). Switch users might have suspected that the console's portable design might have encouraged MachineGames or Panic Button to install an ad hoc wireless mode. That is not the case. You still need an online connection, a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online, and a (free) Bethesda account to play co-op with another human being.
Online Multiplayer Works Fine
I hopped into a couple of games with strangers just to make sure the online sessions were functional and stable. They were. There weren't any connection hitches, and the game performed just as well as it does in single-player.
You Can't Transfer Progress Across Platforms
Despite having my Bethesda account hooked to both the Switch and PC version of the game, I had to start a new game on the Switch version, as there was no way to transfer my progress from the PC version. Personally speaking, it's hardly a dealbreaker, but if you're going to buy copies across platforms, you should be aware. Also, there appears to be no crossplay for the Switch version; my list of friends in the game is confined exclusively to those on Switch and no other platform associated with my Bethesda account.
The Switch Version Is A Solid Way To Play YoungBlood
Ultimately, there's no getting around the fact that the Switch version of Youngblood involves some sacrifices. But they don't significantly detract from the experience, and everything else that makes the other versions fun to play is still here. The progression system, the combat, the world itself remain enticing. As someone who likes to play his Switch on the go a lot, I find the visual trade-off more than worth the cost. In fact, this version will be the one I sink the most hours into.
For more on Wolfenstein: Youngblood, check out our tips to help you get started on taking Paris back from the Nazis.