Mortal Kombat 1 released on a multitude of platforms a few days back, Switch included. While Mortal Kombat 11 did a serviceable job capturing the feeling and gameplay of the PS4/XB1 experience on Switch, Mortal Kombat 1 leaves a lot to be desired when compared to the PS5/XB1 versions. In a new video, Digital Foundry dives into the Switch version of MK1 to see just how much it misses the mark compared to the next-gen versions.

Right off the bat, things don’t look great for Mortal Kombat 1 on Switch. The game suffers from lengthy load times and unresponsive menus, and those start right from the character select screen and continue right up to the actual fights. In terms of resolution, docked play on Switch runs at a dynamic 756p - that’s 1344x756 max, while the lower bounds come in at 576p during more GPU-intensive stages. Interestingly, Switch runs at its peak 756p in intros and fatalities, where the frame-rate caps at 30fps.

In terms of graphics, every facet of Switch’s visual make-up is a lesser experience. There are lower grade textures, while texture filtering takes a hit. The polygon count on models, plus the geometry in the background, are visibly dropped in complexity. Foliage is stripped out, or otherwise lowered to a simplified plant or tree model. Effects are removed, or culled in resolution - often dulling the impact of special moves. Screen-space reflections are axed from the Switch release across the floors.

While many expect a Switch port of a PS5/XSX game to be a lower-quality experience in terms of visuals, Mortal Kombat 1 is unfortunately extremely rough in just about every other area. Can the game be updated to a point where it’s visually modest, yet fully playable? Only time will tell, but for now it seems this port might be one to stay away from.

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8M ago

This Switch port obviously never should have been made. Clearly it was ported as a directive not to miss out on the lucrative Switch market. Still, it at least provides an interesting case study in porting to lesser hardware, in perhaps the most extreme example we’ve had in decades.