Just shy from a year after its initial launch on other platforms, Outlast II has made it to Nintendo’s hybrid console. You might be curious how this somewhat graphically demanding game runs on Switch. I got you covered.
Let me immediately tell you that Outlast II is a huge technical achievement on Switch. We have a game that was developed in Unreal Engine 3 for machines that are quite a bit more powerful than the Switch. As you might already know, unlike Unreal Engine 4, Unreal Engine 3 isn’t natively supported on Switch. I don’t fully understand what that entails, I’m no tech guy by any stretch. However, the most impressive part about this port is that it makes very few graphical sacrifices on Switch. In other words, it’s pretty much on par with the Xbox One and PS4 versions, aside from the frames-per-second, which are locked at 30fps. (PS4 and Xbox One run at 60fps)
Much to my surprise, Outlast II runs just fine on Switch. I only experienced a few heavy frame drops during my time with the game. Which mainly happened when I was walking into new areas that were (obviously) loading. Other than that, it seems like the Switch version increases the fog and dust density a bit, probably in order to drown out some of the poorer textures. Keep in mind that’s purely speculation. Overall, I would place Outlast II close to the top of the ‘best looking games on Switch’ list. In terms of a realistic art style, not a stylized one, of course.
The graphics do take a small hit when playing in portable mode. Nothing too serious and maybe not even noticeable to some people. However, one thing I noticed in portable mode is that there is a lot more pop-in. Mainly rocks on the ground and distant trees. Luckily, it never tarnished the overall gaming experience.
Now, when it comes to the game itself, it’s a terrifying, daunting, and completely messed up experience. In other words, if you’re a fan of horror games, it’s a must play. Outlast II ups the ante in pretty much every category over the first game. While a majority of the original Outlast took place in an insane asylum, Outlast II has you scouring across a sprawling cult infested wooded town. The setting is very reminiscent of Resident Evil 7 and the early areas of Resident Evil 4 (which I’m a huge fan of). It’s not an open world game by any stretch, but the ‘open-town’ is well-crafted and full of unrelenting and completely brutal environmental storytelling. I was impressed by the game’s keen sense of attention to detail put in by developer Red Barrels.
I won’t enter any serious spoiler territory, but the game’s story set-up involves your character and his girlfriend investigating a missing person and things go awry whenever their helicopter is shot down. You’re separated and it’s up to you to find your girlfriend and escape the sick and twisted town run by a leader named of Val. More characters are introduced, more plotlines are involved, and the main plot gets bonkers crazy. Luckily, this game’s story has little to no connection to Outlast 1, so you can go into this game never having touched the original.
As for the combat, there is none. Which might be a turn off for some people. You simply ‘hide-and-seek’ your way throughout the whole game. The hiding and running are done well, but I wish there was some inclusion of melee or gun combat — even if those moments were extremely scarce — the gameplay can start to feel a bit ‘samey’ after a while due to the game’s pacing. Luckily, Outlast II doesn’t overstay its welcome as I clocked out at around seven hours.
Outlast II is one of the best looking games on Switch that uses a realistic art style. It’s a showcase of what the hardware is capable of. The game’s story is a wild ride, its setting is terrifying, and there are tons of intense moments as you try to escape from murderous cult members and gut-wrenchingly scary humanoid enemies that are around every corner. I would consider it a must play if you’re a fan of horror games.