Paladins on Switch is a current-gen port that offers a genuine surprise: it’s a true 60fps rendition of a title that – perhaps unfairly – has been overshadowed by Overwatch. But with Blizzard’s own shooter missing from Switch’s library, Paladins has a great chance to shine here, and shine it does: developer Hi-Rez Studios squeezes almost all of the full console experience onto Nintendo’s hybrid. It comes fully featured with all characters and maps and as a result, cross-play with Xbox One works brilliantly. 60fps support for a current-gen port is far from the norm on Switch, so what are the trades and do they have any impact on the quality of the gameplay?
With the docked Switch hooked up to your HDTV, gameplay is as tight and responsive as you could possibly hope for – a 60fps game with v-sync that tackles even the busiest scenes without too much trouble. Yes, there are some blips and hiccups along the way – a state of affairs that doesn’t really trouble the PS4 or Xbox One versions – but in general, performance is comparable. The small stutters are curious though. They don’t manifest in offline practice matches, suggesting that the Switch’s background processing of network code may be the cause.
While a complete 60fps lock might be off the table, the smooth performance level delivered to Switch users for an online shooter is clearly a boon. True, it dispenses with visual quality to maintain that frame-rate, but the pay-off is clear: Switch players actually have close to level footing with Xbox One users in cross-play, who populate the same online servers. It’s ideal for anyone picking Paladins up hoping for a fair chance in deathmatch or siege games. By comparison, it’s the opposite situation for Fortnite, which leaves Switch users running at half the frame-rate of cross-play rivals.
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