The smash-hit reboot of the cult classic Doom has made it to the Nintendo Switch platform. During this review, we will take a hard look at how this game runs and “guns” on the home and hybrid console. Let’s get started.
While we know the Switch’s graphical output is never going to reach the heights of the PS4 Pro or The Xbox One X, this little box of tricks can run quality games by making some visual compromises. The company behind the Doom remake port, “Panic Button,” have certainly worked their magic to recreate Doom onto the Switch. This is shown with the amazing visuals in-game. While there are some minor blurring and texture-quality issues the game has, when you are knee-deep in hell demons and imps you will not have time to even notice these set of problems. The frame rate stays pretty stable at around 30 frames per second. Bethesda chose wisely in using the team at Panic Button for the port, these guys clearly know how to get the best out of the Switch. Panic Button has been the team behind bringing other titles to The Switch library, they did a great job with titles such as, Rocket League and Wolfenstein 2, and just announced that they are currently working on a Warframe port, we know this team is proving themselves to be valuable to many developers. Whilst it’s obvious that certain visual compromises have been made, Doom still looks and runs great on the Nintendo, whether in docked-mode or being handheld. Looking at how well the title performs, other game studios that are looking to port their games to The Switch should think about contacting the developers at Panic Button.
The story of Doom plays like that of a blockbuster film. The narrative of Doom begins when scientists that were doing research on a Mars base accidentally opened a gateway to Hell and unleashed all kinds of psychotic demons, and that’s pretty much the story. It’s a simple one and one does not have to pay much attention to the narrative if you don’t want to; as the action comes at you quickly and the fast-paced running-and-gunning mechanics will really keep you busy throughout the entire game. The title also includes some subtle nods to the past in this fantastic new entry, from collecting key cards to finding hidden classic levels with a hint of something new, and of course, the fantastic “B.F.G.” weapon you can obtain in the game! All call-backs to the classic Doom’s!
Doom on Switch does come with a separate download for the complete experience if you buy a physical version (this will set your memory back by 9 gigabytes of storage). The level of file compression on Switch is nothing short of impressive, furthermore when you consider this comes in at a whopping 60+ GB on the Playstation 4. Another nice touch on the physical release is the addition of the reversible cover art, [I know it was also on PS4 and Xbox but it was nice to see the Switch was able to stay on this trend].
The greatest asset the Switch adds to this game is its ability to take the game with you wherever you go. The fact I can be fighting a horde of Hell Knights, imps and Cacodemons on my television and then go and play in the sunshine outdoors or maybe just relax and play in bed, I can pick up the Switch and instantly battle on [this nothing short of a gaming miracle]! The graphics hold up well on the go, and what’s not to love about quality console gaming on the go? Doom is the shooter that over the years has seen many reinventions, but the core gameplay always stays the same [and thank goodness it has]. Doom at its core is a fun, dark, and blood-soaked barrel of balls to the wall fun. Anyone who enjoys first person shooter games will love this new installment, the levels are creative and fun with plenty of secrets to keep people playing over and over again. The multiplayer mode has made its way over to the Nintendo Switch version and for the most part, it’s almost exactly the same as the other console versions, while the Switch Has a bad reputation with online connectivity issues, I have been able to experience a couple of fun online matches. The sad omission of the Snapmap editor was slightly disappointing [guess you can’t have it all]. While the addition of the Arcade Mode is a fun experience, it is effectively a score-based single player campaign with all the different weapons and runes unlocked at the beginning with your objective being to run through the level as quickly and brutally possible.
As far as controls, playing with the Nintendo joy-cons took me a bit of time to get used to as I am an old school shooter kind-of-guy. I like the pro controller as it sits well in the hands for any long periods of play. Motion controls were added after the release of the game but once you get used to it, or mess with the sensitivity settings, then killing hordes of Hellspawn starts feeling more like second nature.
Doom is the perfect game for the “pick-up-and-play” generation. The levels are perfectly made, feel balanced, and are creative and atmospheric. I have played this game on all major consoles and whilst the Switch does not have the graphical horsepower that its competition does, when you’re in a massive battle you really can’t tell too much as your focus will be on the demons kicking your ass [or that you’re kicking].
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