Rumours of Overwatch coming to Nintendo Switch have been around for ages. Blizzard constantly swatted these rumours away and played them down until Amazon leaked that Overwatch Switch case. Not long after, the game was officially announced during a Nintendo Direct and Switch/Overwatch fans celebrated.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I wish every game would release on Switch. I love the freedom of it and the ability to play my games wherever I am.
I already own Overwatch on PC, PS4 and Xbox One but not one of those versions allows me to play the game while I’m on the train. Now, I can finally do that.
Overwatch Switch Review
If for some insane reason you don’t know what Overwatch, here’s a quick rundown. Teams of six heroes face-off across a variety of maps with teams trying to capture areas or push payloads.
The heroes are diverse and all have different abilities, playstyles, weapons and stats.
By playing together as a team, working as a unit and co-ordinating, players are able to get an advantage over the opposition and win the match. Much of Overwatch’s gameplay comes down to aiming ability and momentum of abilities and ultimates. Players who find it difficult to progress in the game make use of the sr boost in Overwatch.
Using a hero’s ability will usually put it into a cooldown state, with some time having to elapse before using that ability again. Good players use abilities tactically and in concert with their team. Doing so usually gives an advantage and helps keep the enemy team on the back foot.
Playing well, getting kills, capturing points and dealing damage will fill up your hero’s ultimate gauge. When full, you can unleash their ultimate ability which can be devastating to the enemy team. It can also be a real fizzer if not used correctly.
Basically, Overwatch is all about teamwork, coordination and the ability/ultimate economy. If you’re still confused, go watch some gameplay videos.
Overwatch has been available since May 2016 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. It’s also developed into a hugely successful esport with the Overwatch League and Contenders. Players and fans know how Overwatch looks and how it feels.
Thankfully, on Switch, it ‘pretty much’ looks and feels the same.
If you’ve spent a lot of time playing Overwatch, when you pick it up on Switch for the first time you’ll probably notice that it feels slower. I play as Tracer and moving around the maps for the first few games I felt like she was running through mud.
This is due to the game running at 30fps on Switch and 60fps on other platforms. This was always going to impact the way Overwatch looks and feels on Switch. Especially for those who’ve pumped hundreds of hours into the game already.
However, if you play for a little while, you’ll adjust and you won’t notice that it feels a little slower. And once you do adjust, it’s pretty great to be able to play Overwatch on Switch in handheld mode.
I mean, come on, that’s just cool.
Visually, Overwatch has never really been a powerhouse of graphics so, while the Switch version does look to have a little less detail, it still looks great. The cartoony, colourful style of the game, suits the power of the Switch and honestly, you’ll barely notice the downgrades.
New to the Switch version is the ability to use gyro controls to aim.
My advice? Immediately turn them off. I played one match with motion controls enabled and it was terrible. The gyro is so sensitive that the slightest movements meant my reticule was running wild all over the screen. Sure, you can lower the sensitivity and fiddle with the settings but for my money, you’re much better off without it.
One disappointment is that despite connecting my Blizzard account, my customised control schemes for the characters didn’t transfer over from the PS4. I wasn’t expecting my skins or progress to carry over — gotta sell those loot boxes — but it would have been nice to not have to reconfigure every character all over again.
Controlling Overwatch on Switch, in TV mode at least, feels identical to the PS4 or Xbox One versions. Whether you use the Joy-Con Grip or Pro Controller (my recommendation) you’re going to have a blast.
Playing in handheld mode is the obvious benefit to having Overwatch on Switch, though, if you’re hands are adult-sized you might suffer from some cramping. At least I did.
It wasn’t too bad and certainly didn’t limit my ability to play, but the buttons on the Switch, especially the Ls and Rs, are close together and small. This means that I had to hold my hands in a slightly uncomfortable position to hit them.
Other than that, Overwatch on Switch is the same game you know and love. A little slower, slightly uglier and portable. Which, let’s face it, is THE reason to get this game on Switch.
If you only own a Switch then this is easily a must-buy. If you own it on another platform and love it, you’ll have a great time on Switch too. Overwatch on Switch, what a time to be alive.
Overwatch was reviewed on Switch using a digital version provided by Blizzard.