Resident Evil 5 and 6 are not as fondly remembered as other games in the series, but I’ve always been a bit of an apologist for them. I was intrigued when Capcom announced they were coming to the Switch. Would the console be a good place to play these less loved Resident Evil games? The answer is kind of, if you don’t mind some graphical downgrades and performance issues.
Both games target 30fps on Switch and, outside of intense scenes filled with enemies or lots of effects, they mostly hit this target. Things get choppy when you start fighting larger crowds or enter big areas filled with lots of detailed objects. In the few hours I played of 5 and 6, it never got unplayable, but it wasn’t always as enjoyable as it is on my PS4 Pro or PC. When docked, the games look blurry, and the textures on some walls, props and enemies ’t don’t hold up on my big 1080p TV.
However, one advantage RE5 and 6 on Switch have over the PC and console versions is the ability to play the games on the go. A nice bonus of playing in handheld mode is that the smaller screen hides the Switch ports’ lower resolution textures and shadows. The performance issues also felt less noticeable in handheld mode, though the framerate still had some occasional hiccups.
Personally, I don’t like playing shooters that demand precision or accuracy with the Joy-Cons, though the controls feel solid. You can also play RE5 and 6 using motion controls, pointing the controllers at your Switch or TV to aim. Many players swear the best way to play RE4 was on the Wii, because it used motion controls, allowing for more precise aiming. So far, I can’t say the same for RE5 and RE6; the motion aiming felt floaty when I’d try to hit enemies in the legs or head, and I often overshot my targets. The games feel best to me when using my pro controller, which limits the places I can take the game to.
You can play co-op online or via split-screen, though I wasn’t able to try this. Side modes like The Mercenaries or versus mode are included with each game too. These are, for better or for worse, Resident Evil 5 and 6 in their entirety.
Resident Evil 5 is still a game that has some arguably racist depictions of African people and which has a storyline that feels like four bad action movies stitched together. Resident Evil 6 is still too action-focused for a Resident Evil game, with bad cover shooting mechanics and too many quick-time events. If you didn’t like these games before, you won’t like them now on the Switch, even if you can play them on the toilet. If you want some Resident Evil action on the Switch, you have a lot of other choices, including RE4 and Resident Evil Revelations.
Visually, these games don’t hold up so well on a big TV, especially compared to the PS4 or Xbox One ports released a few years back. Some performance issues might be too annoying for some players. But if you don’t mind some framerate dips and some ugly textures, or if you primarily use the Switch as a portable console, these are good enough ports of two games a lot of people don’t like.