A little behind on the times, I was finally convinced by a friend to pick up Overwatch for my PC. I had been intrigued by the game since it’s release, but I’d lost interest in online multiplayer a while back. The exception being Splatoon, but since the first Call of Duty Black Ops, I had begin to lose interest in online multiplayer. The onslaught of downloadable content and micro-transactions were making it increasingly difficult for games to hold my attention. Like Splatoon, Overwatch gets rid of most of that making it one of the most enjoyable and easy to pick up online shooters I’ve played in a long time. With the Nintendo Switch potentially boasting a more impressive third party line-up, it has the potential to finally be up to par with other home consoles and PC’s when it comes to online multiplayer.
This all happened last week, surrounding the excitement of the Splatoon 2 Global Testifier, and the announcement of Quake Champions. I was itching for a shooter with no pretense. One that I could just pick up and play without feeling like I needed to put hours upon hours into it have even the smallest bit of success. Splatoon 2 seems as though it will scratch this itch, but is that going to be enough? The Nintendo Switch is promising strong support from third party developers that could provide the Switch with many different multiplayer experiences.
As I’ve stated in previous pieces on Splatoon 2 specifically the game must be a success in order to make the Nintendo Switch’s online services worth paying for. However it must go beyond Splatoon 2. The Switch isn’t the most powerful console on the market, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t compete with other consoles in delivering similar multiplayer experiences across multiple platforms.
To use Call of Duty as an example: well it may not be as technically impressive on the Switch as it would be on the Playstation 4 or Xbox One, the foundation of the multiplayer gameplay needs to be the same to compete. Regardless of your opinion on downloadable content versus games like Splatoon where levels were added regularly at no additional cost, if a game is going to be on the Switch and it has DLC, the DLC needs to be made available. If a game gets DLC updates for every edition but the Switch, than the Switch version is also then the least technically impressive edition but gives fans of the game a definite reason to not play it on the Switch.
We are still very early in the Nintendo Switch’s lifecycle, but it’s never too early for Nintendo to start showing owners that they won’t be getting dumbed down ports of titles available on other consoles. As we saw with the Wii U, offering game of the year editions of titles that had already been on the market for a while didn’t pan out. To be as successful as it can be, Nintendo must demand the same respect as it’s home console competitors.