More than five years after the release of Nintendo Switch we have seen the release of titles that we never imagined could arrive on the hardware of the Great N. We are not talking about masterpieces of the caliber of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey, but all those third party titles that have made millions of players fall in love on other platforms. Over time we have seen Doom (2016), The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and now also No Man's Sky. We are talking about all productions that, we know very well, require rather high-performance hardware and we thought that they could hardly have run - natively - on Nintendo Switch. Among the many we have been able to try and analyze in reviews too NieR: Automata in its The End of YoRHa Edition dedicated to Switch, released a few days ago and which it represents one of the most incredible ports seen on it so far.
Let's get our hands on immediately: compared to the aforementioned titles, the game of Square Enix e Platinum Games undergoes all that series of downgrades that could not be missing in such an ambitious port.
However, compared to the original release of the work, dated 2017, the compromises reached are decidedly less than those seen with other games such as The Witcher 3. We will tell you more, we were surprised to see how some improvements have even been made, albeit minor. So let's make a small introduction before starting with the entire technical analysis of NieR: Automata The End of YoRHa Edition for Nintendo Switch.
First of all, as the title suggests, the one arrived on the hybrid console is obviously the definitive edition which includes all previously released content. We will then find the DLC “3C3C1D119440927”, the costumes by NieR: Replicant and all the other introductions that have come over the years. A thumbs up for all those who had not yet been able to discover this great pearl from Square Enix and Platinum Games, and who can now do it in style.
So let's move on to the fateful question, which most of those reading this review have been waiting for for a long time: how does NieR: Automata run on the Switch? This time, answering is very simple and immediate, because we can confirm that Square Enix's title performs very well on the Nintendo platform. We do not have a port in front of us that clearly suffers from the technical limitations of the Japanese hybrid but, on the contrary, what we found in our hands is a product refined in every possible way.
The secret to successful porting
The porting process was carried out by the development team Virtuos, which in the past had already shown to have great knowledge and skills with the Nintendo Switch hardware, bringing to it titles such as Dark Souls Remastered or Dying Light: Platinum Edition. These two titles managed to shine in technical terms despite the limitations and at the same time demonstrated that the platform could give its best, if the porting work was done with care and in the right time.
NieR: Automata adds to Virtuos' list of successes and probably represents its spearhead. This because in TV mode it was possible reach 1080p, while in portability reaches 720p, and then touching the limits of the console in terms of resolution. On screen, the world created by Yoko Taro has almost no gaps and can still boast of the unique artistic direction that characterized the title five years ago.
This is thanks to the thoughtful addition of an anti-aliasing technique, which significantly improves image quality, especially over long distances. The most obvious problem however, it remains there texture quality and accuracy of their positioning. In some situations it can be seen a lot that the biggest compromise has been related to this aspect and we have not been able to turn a blind eye as their resolution is low.
1 of 2 - +
1. Portable mode
2. TV mode
We also didn't like the terrible pop-up effect that is created when we approach very large structures. In some cases, especially when we were in the open world, we could see how some buildings get details before our eyes. This clearly happens due to the hardware limitations of the console and we do not believe that much could have been done, quite the contrary.
We weren't happy with the development team's reduction in ambient occlusion either, although we recognize it's a small flaw that only those who have played long hours of NieR: Automata in the past might notice. It is even less positive though a rather frequent problem of rarefaction of the shadows, where they are loaded incorrectly in some specific places. On this point we are hoping for an update that solves this problem, as it is really hard not to notice, and we guarantee you that it is also quite annoying.
We reiterate how flawless the work done by Virtuos was by opening the bracket of the framerate. Your Nintendo Switch NieR:Automata spins at 30fps, and if you think the result is unsatisfactory, remember that the resolution remains almost completely anchored to 1080p in TV mode and 720p in laptop mode. Moreover, we emphasize that also on the other platforms the work showed some uncertainty in the frame rate, hitting the peak of 60 fps with many difficulties.
In this case, the development team preferred to set the bar on 30 fps, also considerably limiting possible jolts. We cannot say that we have not noticed reductions in the frame rate: it is obvious that on some occasions, such as in scenes with many effects or polygons on the screen, there will be drops. What we can guarantee you is that the instability of the framerate is not a problem so pronounced as to consider it a real flaw del porting.
Small parenthesis that we open, to pay homage even more to the work done by Virtuos, and to make you understand how meticulous it was, it is a novelty that we would not have expected. In the Nintendo Switch version of NieR: Automata there is the possibility of dodge using the gyro of the controllers. It is clearly about an addition which takes second place compared to the port itself, but it is an element that we believe to specify in the review phase, although it is something that we have deactivated after the first hour of play, so much so inaccurate.Review
- NieR: Automata The End of YoRHa Edition (Tested on Switch) 8.8 Final grade
NieR: Automata The End of YoRHa Edition is a port of great depth, which comes to inevitable compromises, but always with your head held high. The time needed by the development team meant that the adaptation operation on Nintendo Switch could be smooth in every single element. In fact, we do not feel like saying that the limitations of the console weigh on the experience but, on the contrary, Virtuos has managed to pay homage to a work of enormous value despite the difficulties. Needless to say: if you were unsure whether or not to try NieR: Automata on Switch, we can guarantee you that it is absolutely worth it.