We analyze the latest Obsidian for Nintendo Switch and we clear the doubts about the port that Virtuos has made. Is the result worth it?
The Outer Worlds, the celebrated Obsidian game on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 released in the last quarter of 2019, reached international media for its review on Switch days before its release. The perception of the port was disastrous, with a technical Reviews by Digital Foundry that made the hair stand on end. Here we have arranged the game with the integration of the patch of day 1. There was talk of six gigabytes that would fix the precarious framerate, the battered portable functionality and the textures at a very low resolution. Has the patch worked well? Have the promises been kept? Can you play on Switch without your eyes bleeding or just without fps collapsing the screen for seconds? We answer these and other questions in our review of The Outer Worlds for Switch.
A Fallout with ships
Obsidian is a studio adored for its role-playing games. They belong to New Vegas, one of the most beloved installments in the Fallout franchise. When Bethesda was already in other duties they were in charge of continuing the success of Fallout 3 with a game where the biggest difference was in the color palette. Or rather, the color. It went from grayish to brownish. The rest delved right into the findings of the third installment. The particular humor of the Obsidian writers did the rest.
If Fallout 3 was once said to be an Elder Scroll with pistols, we could equally say that The Outer Worlds is a Fallout with ships. The formula is transferred to space with great similarities. We have the long conversations that are enjoyed by well written; the difficult decisions that, we know, will disable hours and hours of branches of history in pursuit of the chosen path; a huge number of absorbing side missions that, in addition to the reward of enjoyment, embulse us in the world around us. Even the frames of the characters and their own appearance in the conversations are very similar to those we saw in the wilderness. It would seem that much work has already been done here.
We don’t have the fantastic V.A.T.S. from Fallout. According to Bethesda statements in interviews about the development of Fallout 3, they wanted to develop a combat system that players would never tire of using. And what if they succeeded. That authorship is not reproduced in The Outer Worlds, which changes it for a more hackneyed Bullet Time. For example, the minigame does not appear to hit the lockpicks to open chests, here you just have to press and hold a button. They are minimal but very significant differences in terms of, we suppose, moving away from the total tracing and avoiding plagiarism. Otherwise, the new Obsidian title feels, as we say, very Fallout. And that’s a good thing, at least in the gaming experience. Because there is also a technical section without boasts that moves in the past intergenerational limits more than in the always brilliant death rattles of a generation, and we are talking about the versions for desktop platforms right now. We highlight this because we see a direct relationship with the criticisms we can make of the Switch port.
What happened to the Switch port?
We’ve already delved into the playable goodness of The Outer Worlds in our review for PC, Xbox One, and PS4. You can calmly review it to make sure it is a good game and then come back here again to see to what extent what has already been compromised in a less powerful machine. Here we will therefore focus on what most interests the user of the Nintendo console. And if you have not been in a cave in the last weeks, you can already intuit that there are more shadows than lights.
There were high hopes for this port. Our expectations did not come out of nowhere, the official data had made us dream. Virtuos, the experienced company in charge of the work, had amply demonstrated its solvency with excellent versions of Bioshock and Borderlands for Switch. You will think, well, but those are games of the past generation. And yes, they are responsible for the port of the old Dark Souls, but also for the newest Starlink, and the statements from the studio were not silly in that regard. They claimed that they could port any game from this generation to Switch. What’s more, in a shot of self-confidence they declared they were ready to do the same with the upcoming titles of PS5 and Xbox Series X. Bigger words, so much that they seem to have been too big.
Did Virtuos sin of excessive confidence? Do the fair results with The Outer Worlds have to do with overwork, having released three Bioshocks, three Borderlands and X-Com 2 on the same dates? How is it possible that they delivered the game with such marked deficiencies to the specialized press? They are questions about past events that are not in our hands to answer. But we would like to make others about future possibilities: Will we continue working on the game to achieve greater optimization? Is it actually possible to improve the game after the patch on day 1? It depends on the studio and what their reputation matters to them. If The Witcher 3 did not exist in the Nintendo hybrid, everything would be doubts. But it does exist. The massive CDProjekt game ported to Switch by Saber Interactive, after hard and dedicated work after the game was released, is a very enjoyable title on laptop. The effort has been commendable, and the latest patch has ended up strengthening the miracle with a series of adjustments in the menu of graphic options until now exclusive to PC games. The Outer Worlds, as we mentioned at the beginning, is not a leading title in the current generation. Optimization is, more than desirable, absolutely necessary. It is possible that the future of Virtuos depends on what they do about it, in the sense that they demonstrate that they can confidently face their more than optimistic statements and, therefore, their next jobs.
The Outer Worlds after Day 1 patch
The initial goal of the port was to reach 1080p resolution in dock and 720 in laptop, and all at stable 30 fps. In short, move on the technical stops of the console. The preparche Reviews of Digital Foundry already showed us that the result was far from those figures, also seriously compromising the gameplay at times. It was no longer that it looked very deteriorated, it is that the image could be frozen directly in the moments of greatest graphic stress. The fact that the study sent to the specialized press a product in these conditions does not go out of our minds. It was evident that the analyzes were going to be devastating (right now, with an average of 68 by the press and, beware, 4.6 by users). Well, in Spain we have already tested the game with the famous patch from day 1. To what extent have things been fixed?
The Outer Worlds is today on Switch a title with technical deficiencies but playable. We have noticed jerks in our games, the framerate is still somewhat erratic and we have even suffered a brief hiatus from the action outdoors so that the screen loads the environment, but it is not as dramatic as before the patch. It is playable, and above all it is enjoyed indoors, where the dynamic load is relaxed and is able to offer us more detailed graphics. We were surprised for good on notebook, where the bugs are more disguised than we thought, and we think it is due to a specific performance optimization by the patch. It is also appreciated that we can modify the font size in the texts. There is a lot to read in this type of game, and we can enjoy the great script by setting the font size to the maximum. Switch Lite users will have enough trouble reading the advice that appears on loading screens, for example, but otherwise this endemic evil that is the tiny texts in these last two generations of consoles is solved. And speaking of loading screens, moving from one area to another takes periods of between 30 and 40 seconds. As you advance in the adventure, it is evident that it is more and more difficult to endure such long stops.
The Switch version benefits from the use of the Joycon gyros. We can play with them uncoupled, but manual pointing is equally effective when playing on a laptop. Those who have used this method since the days of Wii and its implementation in Switch games will already know its benefits when it comes to sharpening the shot.
So is The Outer Worlds worth playing on Switch?
It is a decision of each one according to several variables. The game looks feote outdoors, and is far from the resolution and fluidity of versions for desktop platforms. If you have a PC, PS4 or Xbox One, where it is also cheaper, it would be the most optimal purchase option there. If it is not like this or if you just want to be able to play it on a laptop, it is a great title that will give you many hours of adventure, so calibrate pros and cons. Its own nature of hyphenated treetop RPG makes it immensely replayable. It is a game that you can return to several times after finishing it with the security of finding a new experience. You can explore different routes, you can associate with other factions, manage your time differently with your crew, explore the weapons and your attributes in a radically different way … And who knows, after returning to it after a while, you find yourself a more beautiful and efficient game because it has been working in the shadows for its improvement. If it turns out to be like this, easily add a point to the note.
* The images that accompany this Reviews are captures of our game with the console in the dock.
The Outer Worlds is a remarkable game on desktop platforms that turns out to be a good game on Switch. The day 1 patch prevents it from being a scratch pass or even suspending in several sections. Be careful with the analyzes that came out before this update, because they will not be fair with what has come in its release. At the expense of future patches, which we hope will arrive and further increase their value, the Obsidian game moves with an irregular framerate in exteriors that are tarnished by its low graphic load. Indoors it shines a little more, also on a laptop, where its performance has been partially solved. The possibility of playing it anywhere and using the aim of movement control can make a difference if you are able to obviate its shortcomings, which also reach somewhat excessive loading times between phases.
The game offers you a solar system to explore with your ship and well-defined travel companions with which to interact far superior to Fallout. And it is that The Outer Worlds owes a lot to the post apocalyptic saga, in which Obsidian developed the excellent New Vegas delivery. Even so, there is personality in the artistic direction and in an argument that takes us out of this world. Its level design shines especially indoors, and its low-budget sci-fi movie lore finishes adorning itself with effective humor.
If you do not have a desktop platform where you can play it for a more adjusted price and higher technical and visual levels, The Outer Worlds on Switch is a good option within Western-style RPGs. Knowing the good work of Virtuos with other ports for the hybrid console and the existence on Switch of highly optimized titles like The Witcher 3 (much more technically demanding than the game in question), we hope for future patches that will return The Outer Worlds its remarkable game character already present in other machines.
- Obsidian continues to fit in character and situation writing as well as level design.
- Very customizable in attributes and weapons.
- Its very nature makes it a very replayable title.
- Aiming adjustment by motion control.
- To be able to play anywhere. In a portable format it hides more its shortcomings.
- A port that does not do justice to the game nor does it measure up to what we have already seen on Switch.
- The fps fluency is compromised, to the point that stops can occur.
- In dock, the technical downturn is too noticeable, which translates into lackluster scenarios with blurred textures and popping.
- Charging times between phases of more than 30 seconds.
It is not the latest or most original, nor does it have the best execution, but it can be fun if you like the genre. Good, but upgradeable.