Doom for the Nintendo Switch brings last year’s award winning, fast-paced, first person to Nintendo’s hybrid console. Bethesda has shown they are determined to support the platform and having a high-profile FPS come to the Switch is a very welcomed addition. Especially in a genre that has been historically lacking on Nintendo platforms. Having played the PC version of Doom last year I was excited to see how the Switch version would stack up.
You awaken from an eternal slumber, chained to an altar. Demons surround you, ready to end your life. What do you do? Break the chains and smash the demons face in of course! You are the Doom Slayer; the bane of Hell’s demons, and it is up to you to once again stop a demonic invasion on the Planet Mars.
Doom is a fast-paced first-person shooter. Unlike most other contemporary shooters that rely on taking cover to heal, Doom encourages you to get close and personal. As enemies take damage they become susceptible to a special melee “Glory Kill’ that awards players health and ammo. Numerous weapons become available to players as they progress through the game, including longtime series icons like the Shotgun or BFG9000. The chainsaw is also found early in the game, but due to it requiring fuel it really needs to be used more thoughtfully than past entries.
Levels are split between the planet Mars and the surface of Hell. Each level consists of multiple pathways to try and find the levels exit. To progress through a level, players will often have to find key cards or kill all the demons in a room to unlock doors. Secrets rooms are also hidden throughout each level that will provide extra resources and occasionally upgrade points to use in your fight against the demons. Upgrade points can be used to level up special attacks on weapons or grant bonuses for players armor.
Doom for the Switch had to suffer numerous visual downgrades to accommodate running on the lower powered hardware. Base resolution has been dialed down to 720P with a dynamic scaler to keep the framerate in place when action gets to intense. Framerate has also been cut from 60 fps to 30 fps to provide a more consistent visual look. Most textures and shadowing have also been flattened out resulting in a smoother, almost plastic, look on the game world.
Doom for the Nintendo Switch includes all the post-game released downloadable content right from the start. This grants players access to the wonderful arcade mode, where you’re only objective is to slay demons as fast and stylishly as possible. The full multiplayer suite is also included with dedicated servers to really round out the package.
What Could It Have Done Better?
While the lower resolution graphics don’t really bother me, I would have liked to see a way that in game text and subtitles could have been sharpened for easier reading.
Doom for the Switch is a game that I think many will judge on its graphics. Sure, it is running at a lower resolution than last year’s versions on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Sure, it has severely less detailed textures. Yes, it does run at a lower framerate as well. you know what, judging it would be a mistake. In all the time I spent playing it I never felt like I was playing an “Inferior” port. Slaying demons and executing glory kills felt as natural as it did when I played on PC last year. The best part, its Doom on a handheld! I could play it anywhere I wanted! If you love Doom or happened to miss its original release, the Switch version and its portability are worth checking out!