Bugbear’s Wreckfest scratches an itch that’s existed since the Burnout series ended. A racer that not only incentivises, but rewards chaotic and aggressive behavior on the road, it’s one of our favorites here at Shacknews. The game has now made its way to Switch, allowing us to experience that mayhem in a brand new way. I spent some time with Wreckfest’s Switch port, and was pleased with the new ways I was able to experience the game.
One of the greatest novelties of the Nintendo Switch is how easy it is to pick up and play in short bursts. In under a minute, I can wake my system up, load Wreckfest, and be at the starting line for a race. There were plenty of instances where I hopped into a game just to do a single race, and then bounced out. It’s a convenience that’s unique to Nintendo’s hybrid console.
It’s also nice being able to take Wreckfest with me wherever I go. Whether that be just laying on my living room couch while a random TV show plays in the background, or while hanging out at a relative’s house. For a game that was designed for traditional consoles and PC, it works surprisingly well when taken on the go.
As for performance, I was impressed with Wreckfest’s Switch port. With how chaotic things can get on-screen, I was almost certain that there would be some pretty intense frame drops, but that wasn’t the case. With the game being eight years old at this point, it’s not doing much to stress the Switch hardware, which is honestly a good thing.
The developers take advantage of some of the Switch’s unique functionalities, such as HD Rumble. When you're bumping into other players or slamming hard on the breaks, you can feel the Joy-Cons vibrating dynamically depending on where the action is taking place. It’s a nice touch that adds to the immersion, especially when playing in first-person.
While it definitely plays well, there’s a noticeable step down in quality when compared to Wreckfest’s PlayStation/Xbox or PC counterparts, though that was expected. Personally, I look at this as a trade-off for the exclusive convenience that comes with playing the game on Switch.
Wreckfest on Switch is a solid option for those looking to squeeze in some games here and there as they move around the home or venture out into the world. Although there’s a hard-to-ignore decrease in quality when playing in handheld mode, that’s when it feels most convenient. With how starved we are for solid demolition racers these days. Wreckfest still holds the crown as one of the most consistently enjoyable out there, and it’s a welcome addition on a new platform.
These impressions are based on a digital Switch code provided by the publisher. Wreckfest is available now on the Nintendo Switch for $39.99 USD.