Digital Foundry investigates if WRC 10 ‘impossible port’ will stay on track when switching
The Switch is home to a number of interesting ports, including some that are considered “impossible” but still work well on the system – high-quality examples include DOOM (2016) and The Witcher 3. There are some games that are hard to decide whether the port is worth the sacrifice, one example is perhaps WRC 10.
The officially licensed rally game is impressive in some ways, such as the complexity of a rally simulator that converts well on Switch. In our own review, we were pleased with the driving mechanics and sheer content depth, but in terms of visuals, we said “the WRC 10 looks noticeably worse than its already ugly predecessor” and in handheld mode it had frame rates at times” . rougher than a sandpaper cheese grater.” That said, despite that, if you can live with the downsides, it’s impressive, it’s on the Switch. generally.
Good, Digital foundry watched (video at the top of this page), probably due to viewers contacting them to say “watched this game, ouch.” It specifies how low the resolution can be on a switch port.
In the base PS4 version, the WRC 10 runs at 1080p at 30fps, with TAA removing any remaining rough edges. On the Switch, to fit into the system’s much smaller power budget, picture quality is downgraded to dynamic 1600×900 for TV playback on a docking station. Full resolution is rarely achieved, even the auto show mode initially runs at 720p, and at some stages the resolution drops to 1152×648. And at 648p, upscaling to Full HDTV isn’t very flattering. For a handheld game, the resolution is even lower to match the drop in GPU clock speed, with a typical resolution of 480p, though native 720p is also possible. The low resolution in either mode is exacerbated by the Switch’s lack of effective anti-aliasing to address those jagged edges, on top of additional menu motion blur.
In terms of performance, the outlook is generally positive, with a solid 30fps on most tracks, with a few bottlenecks where it drops below. The question, ultimately, is whether you can live with the degraded look of the game.
Is it as bad as people say? Visually speaking, absolutely. WRC 10 is very rough in places. More so than many Switch ports, the end result is highly uneven, with rough textures, prominent pop-ups, low-quality meshes, and block-shadows. Some tracks look acceptable next to PS4, but others are unrecognizable. In any case, there’s also a general mismatch between the car’s high detail and the grim accuracy of the terrain itself. Especially on the big screen, it’s hard to accept the simple look of most tracks. Overall, I would be hard-pressed to recommend playing WRC10 with a Switch connected to a TV – it’s a far cry from baseline quality on a console.
However, playing in handheld mode has its value. The resolution is low, around 480p, the frame rate drops at times, but you still get a great rally experience on the go. With a default setting of frankly almost unusable controls, there’s a game here that’s worth playing. Mechanically, the WRC10 sounds good on the Switch, but its visuals need some serious tweaking.
It’s interesting to see how Digital Foundry tackled what was clearly a difficult switch port. Let us know what you think, as always, in the comments.