Doom (Switch) Review

Justin Celani

Hell-to-go.

Doom was a huge hit when it came out on the Xbox, PS4, and PC last year. It returned the franchise to an intense shooter, filled with gore, hell, and more demons than players could shoot at. With the Nintendo Switch out and being a weaker platform overall, it was a huge surprise to hear about Doom making its way to the system. Yet here we are, Doom has arrived, and it’s the ultimate hell experience on the go, even with some caveats.

Resolution Hellgate

For those that missed out on Doom originally, it brings back the adrenaline fueled gameplay of the originals, peppered with a new story, new graphics, and obviously updates to the core gameplay to bring it up to current gaming standards. Doom 3 went more for a scary and intense shooter experience. This Doom goes for far more shooter with horror elements. The intensity comes from managing the horde of enemies coming towards the player. Players will debate on which Doom they prefer, but it’s hard not to see how much this Doom just feels like kicking ass.

MSRP: $59.99
Price I’d Pay: $49.99
Multiplayer: Online multiplayer
How long to beat: 10+ hours

The big elephant in the room concerning this version is resolution and framerate. Doom on the Switch has a much smaller resolution on portable mode and around 720p in docked mode. I refreshed my memory a bit by jumping into the Xbox One version and then immediately going to the Switch. Doing so caused a bit of a rough transition. This was the biggest noticeable change, and it took a few minutes of playing but ultimately the fact is I was playing Doom in the palm of my hands, and a version that is completely faithful to the original.

The framerate was the other difference, which is mostly a steady 30fps with dips here and there depending on how many enemies are on screen. Otherwise it feels good to play and even with the framerate only being 30fps it still feels deceptively smooth and fast, which is crucial for a game of this type. Moving around, jumping, and shooting never felt better on the go. Putting the game on the dock increases the visual fidelity, and turning off chromatic effect and toning down the motion blur makes the game pop more.

Control wise, using the joy cons feels fine enough though I noticed after an hour or so my right hand would cramp. Nothing horrible, but just enough to get a bit fatigued playing. Moving to a pro controller helped immensely, and as the first FPS games I’ve played on the Switch and with the pro, it felt wonderful and found myself enjoying this controller even more.

Multiplayer is something I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I do, but the lower resolution does seem to feel a bit intrusive in trying to kill other players. Sessions seemed to work well enough, but with the chaos and franticness going on screen and being a competitive state, it led to frustration a bit more than I’d like. Still, it’s a great option to have, and I’m glad they didn’t remove it completely. Arcade mode is also unlocked from the start, and playing for the highest combo score in any game is a fun time, especially in a game as fun to play as Doom is.

To Doom or not to Doom

It’s hard to recommend Doom to those that have played it unless they fit certain criteria. If playing Doom on the go is a huge factor, it gets no better than this. It doesn’t look the clearest or run the smoothest, but 90% of the time players can still enjoy one hell of a game. Folks that never played this and are looking for their Doom experience, playing this first and then the other systems could be the way to go to see the differences. Lastly, if players just want to see how the little Switch that could performs and how much Doom pushes their console from a purely tech perspective, look no further. It’s super impressive, a technical marvel, and the port team Panic Buttons should be proud of what they accomplished. It’s just nuts!

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Good

  • Portability
  • This is DOOM ported
  • The soundtrack

Bad

  • Lower resolution in handheld
  • 30 fps versus 60 fps
  • Framerate dips
8.5

Great

Justin Celani

Justin is a long time passionate fan of games, not gaming drama. He loves anything horror related, archaeology inspired adventures, RPG goodness, Dr Pepper, and of course his family. When it comes to crunch time, he is a beast, yet rabies free we promise.

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