Back in March, I spent quite a bit of time with the super-fun destruction derby racing game Wreckfest. I played it on Xbox Series S thanks to Game Pass, but Wreckfest has finally made it’s way onto Nintendo Switch, which means I can play it all over again — this time on the go. Publisher THQ Nordic graciously gifted me a review code for the Switch version, so here are my thoughts!

The first difference I noticed between the Switch and Xbox versions is that the Switch version has longer loading times. This, along with most of the other issues I’ll discuss, isn’t the worst thing in the world. Load times can be pretty lengthy though — I timed one pre-race loading screen at 21 seconds — and that extra time does really drag if you’re used to more powerful hardware.

Once entering the game, I could sense a downgrade in visual quality. It’s almost as if they took Photoshop’s blur tool and smoothed out a lot of the sharper, cleaner edges. It gives it more of a cartoony look as opposed to looking like real-world vehicles.

If you want to see what I mean, here’s what the game looks like on Switch:

Wreckfest - Nintendo Switch

And here’s what it looks like on Xbox Series S:

Wreckfest - Xbox Series S

Even though it is smoothed and less detailed, the game still looks fantastic on the Switch, at least when docked. Because this is a derby racing game, awareness of the upcoming track line and obstacles can be really important, and that makes playing in handheld mode a bit difficult.

And I really put this one through its paces. I had a four-hour car ride this week, and I brought my Switch and Wreckfest along for the ride (I am lucky enough to not suffer from motion sickness when reading or gaming in cars). While I was playing, I realized that any movement of the Switch would shift the glare all over the small screen, making it very difficult to see where to go. Plus, the joysticks are not the most comfortable things to play it with. I very much recommend playing Wreckfest on a TV with a Pro Controller if you can.

And finally, my biggest issue with Wreckfest on Switch: framerate dips and frame skips. On Xbox Series S, this game runs lard smooth, with no jolts or jitters or jumps — this version was updated about a year ago to ensure a stable 60 frames per second. However, on the Switch, you will notice framerate drops when large amount of opponents are on screen, and with that comes some rubber-banding when the game lags and then speeds up to compensate for the lag. I noticed framerate drops probably every other race, and full-on frame skips or lag in maybe ten percent of races.


With this comparison in mind, I find that the Xbox Series S does give a slightly more satisfactory Wreckfest experience. Then again, for the price of $40 on the Nintendo Switch eShop, Wreckfest is still worth picking up — especially if you want to play it on the go. The Switch port does have some issues, but I honestly believe it’s not nearly enough to ruin the enjoyment you’ll have smashing buses into each other, or trying to drive a couch car through the Deathloop.

Disclaimer: I was given a review code for Wreckfest on Nintendo Switch, but the version I played on Xbox Series S was acquired through Game Pass. The opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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