Reviews - Updated on April 2, 2022

A year after the release, SnowRunner began a second life. One day it was released on Steam, arrived in the Game Pass subscription and appeared on the Nintendo Switch. On the Nintendo hybrid console, multi-platform releases are often delayed, but it’s usually worth the wait. It remains to be seen whether this port is not the easiest in terms of the scale of the game.

Favorite roads

Although, was there any reason to doubt if Saber Interactive studio was involved in the transfer? The team that successfully ported the huge The Witcher 3 to Switch did not disappoint as expected – SnowRunner plays almost flawlessly both in portable and stationary modes. The game remained exactly the same – the gameplay in it did not change anything for the sake of frame rate or graphics.

I already talked in detail about what SnowRunner is in my review (and Vasily Galperov in the video). We have to visit three regions, divided into several large areas, where we will be engaged in the delivery of materials from one point to another. Somewhere we need to repair the bridge and bring metal beams, some farmer asks to deliver a tank to him, someone drowned a car in a swamp, and we need to pull it out.

SnowRunner on Switch: not hit in the face in the dirt

Beautiful shots are obtained on the Switch.

To complicate matters, the environment is very unfriendly to the player. There are practically no normal roads – everywhere there is either dirt, or stones, or flooded areas. And the cars behave realistically – if the truck gets bogged down in the mud, you just won’t move further. You will either have to hook a winch to neighboring trees, hoping that their trunks are strong, or evacuate and lose all the cargo. When you unsuccessfully go around a hill and roll over along with the tank, it is absolutely normal – you return to the garage, drive back, save the trailer and carefully drive on.

The last time I played SnowRunner was exactly a year ago, and in the Switch version I faced exactly the same obstacles as then. The same area with a huge puddle in which my trailer once got stuck. The same climb uphill, where there are practically no trees, and the wheels run into stones. The same swampy area where the life pole stands in the same place. It did not turn out that the developers had to remove some elements.

SnowRunner on Switch: not hit in the face in the dirt

Tire marks remain on the snow and mud, just like on other platforms.

No extra loading screens appeared – you can evacuate to the garage from the other end of the map, wait just a couple of seconds and immediately leave it. Downloads are visible only in two cases: at the very beginning (about 30 seconds) and when teleporting from one region to another (plus or minus 20 seconds). You can explore maps without pauses and restrictions.

Scales

Of course, the graphics aren’t perfect. In addition to the reduced texture resolution, objects appearing from the air are striking: grass, bushes, small fences, and so on. This does not affect the gameplay – there are no situations when you suddenly crash into a tree that did not have time to load. But the fact remains that the so-called pop-in is here in every region. In stationary mode, it is especially noticeable. However, when playing on TV, this is the only feature that reminds you that you are playing on the Switch.

If this appearance of objects is not to your liking, you will have to put up with it.

In portable mode, there are even more disadvantages. Firstly, the game looks “soapy” – the resolution is low, which is why the picture is sometimes covered with “ladders”. Not much worse than many other multi-platform releases, but you should not expect quality at the level of exclusives. Secondly, the font is small – and in the menu, and on the map, and in the truck store, you have to peer into the text. This is an expected problem, since in order to fix it, the entire interface would have to be redone, but still.

But in any situation, SnowRunner is played at 30 frames / s – not only does it not turn into a slide show – there are not even minor slowdowns here. The developers preferred a stable frame rate to a high resolution, and after a few hours it seemed to me that they made the right choice. This is a game that can already ruffle your nerves, and with the “brakes” it would be even more annoying.

SnowRunner on Switch: not hit in the face in the dirt

It’s hard to read on a small screen, and I suspect that they won’t change the font.

Is SnowRunner even appropriate on the Switch? More than. This is a great game to periodically return to it for a few minutes and do something: go to the warehouse with materials, overcome difficult sections, explore the map. It will seem too demanding to a “casual” player, but even she is able to captivate him – there is some kind of attractive romance in the game.

Saber Interactive did a great job porting SnowRunner to the hybrid console. The graphics had to be cut for the sake of good performance, but this does not interfere with the gameplay in any way, and externally the game has not become much worse. To be honest, knowing about the size of the locations and the lack of downloads, I did not expect something digestible from this port. The developers were able to surprise – this is the same large-scale, difficult and terribly exciting thing, and now you can swear loudly because of an overturned truck even outside the apartment.

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