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Dusk on Switch: a beautifully nightmarish modern retro shooter

Dusk is a dark, pixelated, nightmarish boomer shooter – and it left a strong impact when it first shipped on PC back in 2018. In fact, it’s one of my top ten games of that year, and it’s still brilliant even today. On the surface, the game looks like it stepped right out of 1997, doing a remarkable job of capturing the Quake aesthetic, but beneath the hood, you may be surprised to learn that this is actually a Unity engine project. That’s no problem for a modern PC, but what about Nintendo Switch? Dusk is coming soon to the console hybrid and I’m happy to report that the Switch conversion is excellent.

Now, in theory that shouldn’t be too difficult, right? After all, Dusk is a retro-stylised shooter, built to approximate the look and feel of a mid-90s, software-rasterised polygonal first-person action game. Dusk does a commendable job of mimicking this very specific Quake-like look. Its hand-painted textures, designed to seamlessly tile across large planes, lack any sort of bilinear interpolation. These textures proudly flaunt raw, pixelated texels, boldly eschewing mip-maps as they’re slathered across every map. The maps and the denizens populating them are made up of precious few polygons lending the game an abstract appearance – the silhouette of its jagged architecture and low colour assets strengthen the nightmarish aesthetic Dusk so beautifully delivers.

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