Nintendo Nintendo Switch

World War Z On The Switch Is Fairly ‘Meh’

world-war-z-switch
Courtesy of Saber Interactive

World War Z Switch Version

Platforms:
Release Date: November 2, 2021
Available as: Physical and Digital

World War Z’s Switch Port Is The Spare Bits Zombies Don’t Want

Historically with 1UP Infinite’s First Takes, we look at new games, compilations, or older games released on newer consoles. The intent of these “First Takes,” is to share our thoughts about the games as well as the liberties the developers took to creating them. While all opinions are subjective, we try to be as objective as we can. When it comes to viewing a First Take of a game we’ve looked at a month ago, only to play an inferior Switch downgrade, we’re known for bending the rules from time. It is here that we take World War Z to the cutting edge.

My thoughts on World War Z: Aftermath, and by extension World War Z as a whole, are unchanged at the time of this writing. In fact, it’s best to go read for a full analysis because this First Take will be more of a rant piece. I was going to let this game off the hook and chalk it up as the “Switch being inferior” by hardware specs. However, when the developer makes a bold claim stating that they “push the Switch to their absolute limits” you expect a lot more than average. When the menus upon startup begin to lag as the characters cycle through idle animations, before you begin to play, that’s already not a good sign.

World War Z Gameplay
World War Z – Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

It’s Hard To Tell What Resolution The Game Runs Best On

For most Switch titles, especially when viewed docked from a TV, there are noticeable grainy effects and other nuances that aren’t featured in other consoles. For certain ports of games that we looked at in the past, such as Dying Light, it’s not that big of a deal. At least Dying Light looked consistently good for the most part. At first glance, aside from initial slowdowns, the same can be said for World War Z. While the graphical fidelity is nowhere near as sharp and clear as the PS4 counterpart, it looks and feels like WWZ. Storming through the New York mall and offices as the player fend off hordes of zombies feel accurate.

The experience felt almost as accurate as when I plowed through the creates through the Russian Sea. The honeymoon phase quickly ends as World War Z‘s crowning feature is stumbly introduced on the Switch. What set the game apart from others like it was the body count of zombies that could appear at once. Literally, hundreds of zombies could appear at once as the player is forced to hold a location down. Such an event is introduced to the player early in Act 1 of the New York episode as survivors are pinned down in the atrium of the mall. How does the Switch hold out? Well…

world war z gameplay
World War Z – Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

World War Z’s Zombies Are Mutated Blobs Of Mass

Individually and up close, the zombies are as decently textured as the survivors, at least as much as the Switch version can allow. As seen from the screenshots, the graphical quality of World War Z is far below average. This was done to compensate for the massive hordes of zombies incoming, I’m sure. It’s funny to see a cluster of them appear as mutated blobs of mass, oozing over gates and across traps. It becomes troublesome when trying to discern friend from foe and often than not the player will accidentally friendly fire.

From a distance, the zombies appear a pixelated mess and as they fill the area the game will begin to slow down considerably. This becomes a ticking timebomb of killing enough zombies before the game slows to a crawl, trapping the player between a “zeke” and a hard place. While this wasn’t the type of “survival horror” I expected, it’s hilarious writing my account on it. I’ll give credit to Saber Interactive for managing to fit such a game on a cartridge, much less on the Switch. Looking at the file size, World War Z takes a little over 3 GB of space and even THIS manages to get more mileage than PJ Masks. PJ Masks is THE SAME SIZE in comparison, which is a real hoot.

wwz filesize
…And Peppa Pig is also a gig of space, for some reason or another

World War Z’s (lack of) Content Is An Absolute Ripoff On The Switch

Okay, so maybe I’m not giving the devs their just due. After all, everything I described about World War Z makes the Switch port an impressive feat. From a technical standpoint, it is and I’ll give Saber Interactive their roses. However, perhaps the biggest offense World War Z has done is its terms of content on the Nintendo Switch.

Remember, Aftermath was released on all other major platforms a little over a month ago. Aftermath not only included two new campaigns in Rome and the Kamchatka sea, but also all previous DLC. What does the Switch version include? Absolutely. Nothing. You could buy the deluxe content which is a bunch of skins and such for $20 more, however!

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World War Z – Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

This is a slap to the face and a bite on the neck, pun intended, to Switch owners considering how close Aftermath and WWZ‘s Switch releases are. Everyone else can enjoy new and fresh content, but the Switch players are subjected to vanilla content? If the Switch is a machine that “doesn’t need powerful specs” to thrive, surely Saber Interactive could have given Switch players Aftermath content right?

Especially when the developers are asking for the same price on the Switch as the base game + Aftermath is on other consoles, right!? Both are $40 by the way, oh, but if you get the Deluxe Edition content that bumps it to $60! Can’t forget about that! For this alone, don’t buy this game on the Switch. Absolutely not. It’s a ripoff.

World War Z is available on the Switch. World War Z: Aftermath (which once again includes the base game + DLC) is on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Same price. (I even have to adjust the release blurb because of this…)

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