Game news Hogwarts Legacy: what changes with the Nintendo Switch version? We played there!
The Nintendo Switch version of Hogwarts Legacy was released recently. Intrigued, we immediately jumped on the latter to find out what changes. And there are quite a few things to say!
The same content?
Let’s start with the simplest: the Nintendo Switch version offers the same content as previous versions. There are no quests or other exclusive content. You can therefore follow the same adventure on Nintendo Switch as on PC, PS5, Xbox Series, Xbox One and PS4, i.e. around twenty hours for the main story and around fifty to unearth the smallest secrets of the title. The only new thing to note: the possibility of having access to old Twitch drops won by a few lucky people in the past. To celebrate the release of the Switch version, Avalanche has decided to offer all Hogwarts Legacy: Hogwarts Legacy players the cosmetics presented below. This means that they are available on the Nintendo Switch version upon release, but also on other versions of the game from now on.
Graphically below but to what extent?
Now, let’s move on to what interests (and worries) everyone: the visual rendering of the game. Because one of the advantages of Hogwarts Legacy on PC, PS5, Xbox Series and even Xbox One and PS4, is you take you on a journey into the wonderful world of wizards. Attention to detail, breathtaking landscapes, pretty plays of light… Everything was there to amaze you and it was quite successful. Unfortunately, we don’t find all of this in the Nintendo Switch version. If this port is far from scandalous, the stay at Hogwarts on Switch does not have this magical flavor. We find some flashes here and there (especially in enclosed spaces or in certain landscapes), but overall the game is not really beautiful. The aliasing and lack of detail made the world of Hogwarts Legacy very dull on the Nintendo console. And this is even more true when docked.
Worse still, the Nintendo Switch has a hard time providing consistent rendering of the game. As a result, we often find ourselves with textures which become clear very late, plays of light which blind us for a moment, visible effects which taint the clarity of the title, clipping which is too present and certain characters which clearly deserve a good month of rest. And of course, the deeper you delve into the open world, the more reasons there are to cringe. If you were hoping to rediscover the captivating magic of Hogwarts, you should not turn to the Nintendo Switch version. But to tell the truth, we suspected that. The real question is, is the gaming experience spoiled for those who only have the Nintendo Switch as a reference? Overall, is the gameplay convincing?
On Nintendo Switch, the game plays well. The controls are quite similar to previous console versions. Besides the tactile side for the menus, there are in fact no specifics on the gameplay of this Nintendo Switch version. We could have expected motion gaming, especially for learning spells for example, but this is not the case. This version therefore does not take full advantage of the advantages of the console.
On the other hand, the game offers a somewhat different experience in certain aspects. The technical limitations of the Nintendo Switch have forced developers to make concessions. As a result, we have visibly fewer enemies present during a single fight. This makes everything a little less dynamic, especially since we are not immune to one or two bugs on the enemy side, which we generally found less aggressive as well. And then, with all the information present on the screen, the fights very quickly give the impression of being more confusing. For the rest (broomstick flying, puzzles, etc.), we have not noticed any significant changes. Thus, the gaming experience is slightly tainted but not enough for it to be prohibitive. Most Nintendo Switch-only players will probably be disappointed.
Is it smooth?
Hogwarts Legacy on Nintendo Switch is 30 FPS and not always very consistent. Movements are sometimes jerky, whether yours or those of the characters around you. The developers have also reduced the framerate of NPCs who are far from you in order to give the machine a little breathing room. It’s a fairly common little arrangement but it’s still quite disturbing on this version. This is indeed visible a lot and you really have to be very close to the NPCs for their gait to return to normal.
But where the Nintendo Switch version really stands out (and not in a good way) is with its loading times. The latter are obviously longer (between 15 and 30 seconds on average, or even sometimes a minute) but above all more numerous. They divide the game into different zones (Hogsmeade, shop, Highlands, etc.) and this completely breaks the rhythm and the immersion. For example, to go from the castle to a shop, you need a first loading time to leave Hogwarts, a second to enter Hogsmeade, a third to enter a shop and a fourth to leave it. Suffice it to say that your shopping sessions will not have the same flavor at all and even Nintendo Switch players may feel them passing by.
Gn Fr tech