Digital Foundry analyzes Red Dead Redemption on Switch

How does the Switch handle this decade+ classic?

20 August 2023
by rawmeatcowboy 1

Rockstar’s wild west classic comes to Nintendo Switch in what’s a surprisingly robust release all round. We get a native 1080p rendition of the game at 30 frames per second while docked. Which, as it turns out, puts it in league with the base PS4 version - though with a few cutbacks in its visuals elsewhere.

The Switch version 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.

LOD settings for geometry and plants are identical - meaning buildings pop in at the exact same range as on 360. And beyond this, even the core texture work is identical to that 2010 release, right down to character faces in close-up. This isn’t unexpected given the turnout on PS4, but deploying more modern features could have elevated the presentation. Even adding ambient occlusion under grass would have gone a long way to give the scene some depth.

A huge bulk of play runs at this 30fps line, too, though there are some notably exceptions. Firstly, just arriving at the Armadillo saloon at night drags the performance to below 30fps. And more noticeably, I spotted a farm battle on Switch drop into the high-20s. High levels of NPCs congested in one spot appears to be the recurring culprit here. There’s also a very occasional sign of uneven frame-pacing at 30fps, prompting frame-time spikes to 16ms. It’s not perfect, but it’s mostly stable.

Add Comment

Comments (1)


9M ago

Seems like a good port that makes it worth picking up.