Reviews - Updated on April 8, 2022

Overwatch players will surely remember the early days of this shooter. When every team had Bastion, because he is “the most unbalanced character” and destroys everyone in an instant; when the defending team does not stand somewhere in the distance, but runs right up to the gate, from which the attackers will soon come out. Then everything began to change, a “meta” developed, “vantricks” appeared, who, in spite of everyone, sit on the same character all their lives, and now not only Reinhardt has shields, but also a pack of new heroes. In the Switch version, you can return to those good old days – there are a lot of newcomers there, and after the words “Hour of Reckoning” McCree does not die from a headshot, but kills four.

Everything is lost

Overwatch on Nintendo Switch will be either your first introduction to the shooter or a new page – earned costumes, victory poses and lines from other platforms cannot be transferred. When you link your Battle.net account, you will only receive the skins for Winston, Bastion, and Sombra that were given away with the purchase of BlizzCon Virtual Tickets. Or you won’t get anything at all if you didn’t purchase tickets. All the statistics earned from PC, PS4 and XB1 also does not matter – everything is clean and pretty here, no one will know that you once “mained” Angel.

In an age where games increasingly offer cross-progress as well as full-fledged play, Blizzard’s approach is disappointing. In the case of Fortnite, you can remember in the evening that you didn’t complete today’s day on PS4, and lazily launch the game on a portable console without getting up from the couch, but in Overwatch everything works the old fashioned way. Although they tried to add as many bonus costumes as possible to the Switch version, which didn’t even exist on other platforms on the day of release, this was still not enough – when opening Halloween loot boxes on Switch, I received skins that were unlocked on PS4 a long time ago.

Of course, all these skins, replicas and emotions do not play such a big role – the process itself is much more important. And when ported to a hybrid console, it has not changed in any way. It’s still one of the best team shooters on the market, constantly generating exciting situations and offering an impressive roster of completely different heroes. Over the years, it has received several major innovations, including a reputation system and role-playing. The first allows you to praise good teammates, and with the second he is calm, and everyone else plays whoever they want. All this is also on the Switch.

Something must be sacrificed

What the Switch does not have is the usual frame rate for team shooters. In stationary and portable modes, the game is played at 30 frames / s, and it’s even hard to remember where we last saw this in such games. Unless in Destiny 2, but there it is the least serious multiplayer problem. If it’s not so pleasant to play the Switch version of Overwatch on TV after PS4, what can we say about those who will launch the match there after PC. It’s doubly a shame that Paladins – a direct competitor to Overwatch, although not so successful – offers 60 frames / s on the Switch. Comparing them is incorrect if you don’t understand a damn thing about optimization and porting difficulties, but still.Overwatch on Switch - tried to nerf

D.Va, Junkrat and McCree are killing people in batches – no one knows how to hide yet.

In the vast majority of cases, the game maintains a stable frame rate, but there are periodic drawdowns. If there are too many effects on the screen, like beams from Orisa’s “ulti”, Junkrat’s explosions and infinite shields, you start to notice that the console can hardly cope, but very soon everything falls into place. At the same time, on some maps, the frame rate is not ideal in any situation – attacking the point on Hollywood and defending the first point on Paris immediately come to mind. Not a slideshow, you can endure it, and patches will probably fix it.

Cases when character models do not have time to load, which have been reported by Western journalists more than once, do occur. However, this usually happens at the very beginning of the round, when there is no need to see someone, and during skirmishes such situations do not arise. Problems happen with demonstrating the best moment in the final of each match – either it starts later than expected, then opponents are not shown in it and the player seems to be shooting at invisible targets. Perhaps that is why it is not yet possible to save recordings to the console, which is a pity – the Overwatch community loves to share impressive videos.

Graphically, the shooter has become worse, but not much – some textures are a little less clear, the lighting is not as voluminous and the shadows are not always as smooth as on other platforms. But the visual style, preserved in its original form, successfully hides these shortcomings, and when both teams start to fight for the point, you stop thinking about it at all. At the same time, in portable mode, the game still looks prettier – between 900p on a TV and 720p on a small screen, there is a noticeable difference in favor of the latter.

And in general, buying Overwatch for Switch to play on a TV is a so-so idea, given the not very high resolution and depressing frame rate. But in the “portable” – that’s it. Get weekly containers in the Arcade, farm loot boxes during seasonal events, or sit in the evenings in the rating mode, which is not yet available.

Overwatch on Switch - tried to nerf

Even beginners have already understood that shields are almost the most important element of the game.

But it should be repeated once again – there is no transfer of progress here, everything received and unlocked on the Switch will remain there and only there. If the version for this console is the only one you’re interested in, it has everything you’d expect from it. The rest of you have already been able to try the shooter a hundred times on the free weekend and buy it at a discount on other platforms.

Bonuses are not for everyone

One of the main features of the portable Overwatch was the gyroscope control, enabled by default. There are a lot of settings here: you can invert the axes, change their sensitivity, disable the gyroscope when using the stick, and activate or deactivate aim assistance. As in the case of regular controls, you can set separate settings for different heroes – for example, for D.Va you will use a gyroscope, and when shooting for McCree, you will prefer regular sticks.

Perhaps those who spent countless days and weeks in Splatoon 2 and aimed there with the help of a gyroscope will quickly get used to this type of control in Overwatch. For me, after a thousand plus hours on PS4, it turned out to be very difficult to do this – I prefer to twirl the stick and move the sight with it, and it is almost impossible to refuse this in my case. But we have to admit that when the sensitivity is reduced to 5 or 10 (initially it is around 30), it becomes more convenient with some characters like Sigma – the screen does not shake so much and the projectiles fly at the target. But with McCree and the Widowmaker, you will have to train – for sure, in the rating mode, first of all, those who use all the available opportunities will get to the rank of grandmaster.

You can’t help but praise Blizzard and Iron Galaxy, who were involved in porting the game to the Switch, for using the touch screen. You can click on sections in the main menu, select heroes in the character list, scroll through the list of skins and other cosmetic items. But if you need to choose something (for example, put on a dedicated costume or take a certain hero during preparation for a match), you can’t do without a button on the joycon. It’s still more convenient and faster than using a stick, but the idea seems to have not been fully implemented – they could have done confirmation by double-tapping with a finger, for example.

Overwatch on Switch - tried to nerf

A complete list of settings for controlling the gyroscope.

***

When Paladins came out on the Switch, it felt like somewhere in the depths of Blizzard, a version of Overwatch was being prepared for a hybrid console. The wait ended up being much longer than we thought, and many have already either left the shooter or are too used to the PC or console version, having collected an impressive collection of cosmetic items there. If there was cross-progression here, Overwatch would be recommended for Switch without hesitation. But there is nothing like that in the game, so this port is suitable only for those who cannot part with their favorite shooter even without access to its 60 fps version. Although looking for Wi-Fi points for this, where the connection quality often leaves much to be desired, even they are unlikely to become.

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