Skyrim on the Switch is an impressively smooth port

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Since we officially knew that Nintendo’s Switch was a real thing, we’ve been shown that Bethesda’s expansive open-world dragon-shouty RPG was headed to the hybrid console. Six months since launch and we’ve finally not just seen it in action, but also played it.

We got to go hands on with the game in a behind-closed door session, away from the hustle and bustle of the Gamescom showfloor. While just about every gamer and his dog has played Skyrim on one of the systems it’s available on, the Switch’s big advantage is that it’s portable – and not just that, but it’s impressive.

Running at what seems to be a native 720p on the Switch’s screen, the undocked version of the game we played was consistently smooth throughout, running at what appears to be a mostly locked 30 fps. While that may not seem impressive to those of you sporting undeniably more powerful PC hardware, it’s an impressive feat for such a small handheld machine. Moving between areas, using swords and sorcery during combat and traversing the world was all buttery smooth.

Seen on the smaller screen, which may hide visual compromises, it appears to be based on the Special Edition of the game found on the newer consoles. Interestingly, Bethesda has included specific Joy-Con motion support for those who like a bit of waggle in their games, though we played it with the connectors attached to a Joy-Con grip.

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Beyond portability, the Switch version also throws in system-level sleep and resume, offering the boundless Nordic adventure at the tap of a button. You may think that sprawling adventures of this sort don’t work as portable games, but The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has managed to prove otherwise.

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Last Updated: August 24, 2017

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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