The moment I heard Doom was being ported to the Nintendo switch, I was immediately excited, not just at the fact that the Nintendo Switch is becoming a jack of all trades console, but that the impossible will be possible…! Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you my review of one of the most unlikely and impressive ports to ever grace the first year of the Nintendo Switch, DOOM.
…So, why am I saying such a bold statement for a version of the game that is technically subpar and arguably inferior to the PS4, PC and Xbox One versions? Well think about it; the Nintendo Switch is such a small device (A tablet, even), and to even think about even porting what was originally a 50GB game on console and 55GB on PC, and compressing it into a 15GB title and still keeping in all the content from the original game and all the DLC? That is seriously impressive, and shows what dedication and smart optimising can do. However, in order to port this game some things must be sacrificed and these include a hit the graphics, but if you are like me and couldn’t give a damn and just wants to play a fast paced, first person shooter, badass demon killing machine, then you’ll be alright but for some, especially if you are used to playing it on PC on ultra settings at 60+FPS, or on PS4 Pro or Xbox One X then for a while, you might feel as if you are ripped off with your purchase.
It is a huge graphical difference between the different versions and you can noticeably tell the difference once you have arrived in Hell, however… You are playing DOOM on the Switch. Let that sink in. You are playing portable DOOM on the Switch! The last time that this was possible was when the original Doom was ported to the Gameboy Advance back in 2001, a whooping 16 years ago… Boy were we ahead of our time… When DOOM is docked however, if you are playing on a much bigger screen you can see the imperfections rather clearly, and where the quality had to be decreased, however personally I have been playing predominately in handheld mode; I mean, that’s why I bought it in the first place! Another small loss for the Switch version of DOOM includes the loss of the SnapMap custom map creator, however, whilst the tool was loved by some, I personally never used it on the PC version; being similar to TimeSplitters: Future Perfect’s map creator (Albeit a little less powerful), I know some would be sad to see it gone.
Now with DOOM we do have some other issues unfortunately, as much as I want to sing praises and thank Panic Button for their amazing work on DOOM, sadly when in areas surrounded by enemies or crazy effects, the framerate does stutter and can drop, but from my experience it is still playable, but you do notice it – Another point to mention is the sound; I have heard that others have had issues with the sound cutting out, but for me sometimes the audio cuts on one side, with what sounds like the speakers popping to then audio cutting from one side it really does ruin your experience; the issue is that it’s not a hardware problem by nature, as even if you plug in headphones you can only hear sound from one earpiece. I have had this issue happen to me more than I would like, and I am hoping that a simple patch can fix this but however a solution to this temporarily as of the time of writing is to quit the game and relaunch it, nothing too stressful, just an annoyance.
For me my Joycons have thumb grips on them making my aiming more accurate and making it a much more pleasant experience, that being said though, playing DOOM without any thumb grips can be a bit a of pain and can feel fiddly, which for other games isn’t a problem, but for DOOM, which requires fast pace shooting and almost perfect precision aiming at points in the game, this can ruin your experience, but this problem lies with the Switch’s design itself rather than the game, however once you get used to it you’re golden. The feeling of DOOM on the Switch feels fluent, it feels comfortable and can play for hours at a time… That is if your battery doesn’t die, whereas before the controversy with the Nintendo Switch’s battery life came from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, DOOM feels as if it drains the battery at a much faster rate which is understandable given what the game entails graphically, but really if you have a battery pack or are at home, just dock it in and carry on playing.
When it comes to multiplayer the game is pretty much the same, just a few maps needing some TLC for the framerate issues but due to the nature of the Switch this is a great opportunity to hold some LAN parties, making this, in a way, one of the best versions of DOOM for multiplayer alone, bringing your friends around the table for a good ol’ slaughter fest sounds pretty damn cool to me dont’cha think?
Overall I thoroughly enjoy playing this game on the Switch, and because of how successful this port was, hopefully this opens up more possibilities and opportunities to have more Triple-A games ported to the Nintendo Switch.
I will gladly rate this port a solid 7/10, and maybe if they could just add a few more patches and fix certain bugs, I might even raise that rating further.