The release of Red Dead Redemption on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch opens the gates for more people to enjoy Rockstar’s wild west classic and the good news is that the Switch version is an excellent fit for the hardware. Expectations were higher for the PS4 version, but the bottom line is that aside from some more minor disappointments, what you’re getting here is essentially a game that looks and plays like the Xbox 360 720p original in handheld mode, which rises to a native 1080p mode when docked.
First the basics. Ported by Double Eleven Studios with support from Rebellion North, this release has content parity with the PS4 version. The 11.4GB install crams in the main Red Dead Redemption adventure, plus the Undead Nightmare expansion – though sadly, the multiplayer mode of the original release is chopped out here. The 1080p docked presentation is the highlight though. In direct comparison with the Xbox 360 and PS3 originals, Red Dead’s huge landscapes benefit from a huge boost in clarity on Switch. Distant detail is more defined, and the higher pixel count in general reduces the flickering artefacts – the noise – on fine details like fences.
Immediately then we’re off to a good start with the Switch release. In fact, at 1080p we’re in essence matching the base PS4 version’s native resolution already. But native resolution isn’t the only factor for image quality. After all, anti-aliasing type plays a big role in tidying up the shimmering, the noise, and other visual artefacts too. Sadly – but perhaps inevitably – the Switch game uses FXAA post-process anti-aliasing, whereas the PS4 version can tap into temporal super-sampling via AMD’s FSR2. In truth, FXAA doesn’t look quite as good as the 2x MSAA found in the Xbox 360 original, but the burden on the GPU will be much lower.