September 24, 2020

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The Outer Worlds Nintendo Switch Review – Cosmic Haze

In my original review of The Outer Worlds, one of my takeaways was that it...

In my original review of The Outer Worlds, one of my takeaways was that it had strong worldbuilding which was enhanced by its audiovisual direction. That was based on dozens of hours with the PC version of the game. The game now has a port on Nintendo Switch, and being able to play a title as expansive as The Outer Worlds on the system is impressive. But naturally, the big compromise that it makes in order to run on the relatively less powerful console is in the visual splendour of its world.

As I’ve come to expect in Switch ports of graphically-intensive games, the concessions most noticeably come in the form of a very low level of detail, significantly reduced environmental objects, and the absence of many ambient and post-processing visual effects, among other things. The result is a fuzzy, watercolour-like image of a barren world, and you certainly lose a lot of the awe that comes with seeing the game’s large, lush open areas and intricately detailed cities. But more importantly, the low visual fidelity makes it more difficult to spot enemy characters–especially at mid-to-long-range, and especially using the Switch’s handheld mode; they tend to blend together, often sharing the same muted colour palettes.

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