Bethesda makes good games and it’s great to know that it is starting to port games to the Nintendo Switch. Ever since the company announced that it will port several of its blockbuster titles for the Switch, many got excited, especially with the release of DOOM. With the game now available for the Switch, I must say that the port is done pretty well and who could’ve thought that a PS4/Xbox One game could be possible on the Switch?
DOOM for Switch is a direct port of the PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions that Bethesda released a couple of years ago. All of its meaty content like the single player campaign and the multiplayer modes will be available on the Switch version except for the user-generated SnapMap mode, which I think is fine to miss out on as the core content of the game alone is worth the $60. For those who have already played the game before, they might not see anything new in this Switch version except for the fact that you can play it on-the-go.
For newcomers who have not played DOOM, it’s pretty much a first-person shooter game that puts you in the shoes of the doom slayer who are tasked to kill demons arising from hell on the Planet Mars. With the demons moving at a faster rate, players are to rely to the quick reflexes of the doom slayer as they uncover the secrets of Mars and find a way to shut it down. That’s pretty much the story of DOOM – it may not win any awards because the main focus of the game is really the gameplay.
In the singleplayer campaign of DOOM, most players will take roughly 10-15 hours to beat it and that really depends on how much you really explore the map and uncover secrets like collectibles, upgrades, and keys. Aside from being a first-person shooter game, exploring every nook and cranny is something I will recommend in doing as the level design of each area are done pretty good. Also, note that the DLC that Bethesda released on PS4 and Xbox One are also available in the Switch version, offering more hours to enjoy the game.
Aside from the single-player content, there’s also the multiplayer mode that is up for grabs for anyone who wants to play with friends. Nothing has changed when it comes to the multiplayer mode on the Switch version. The same modes found in the console version remains intact like Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch. In my playthrough, I have experienced no lag at all which is good. As far as the amount of people that are available for play, I had no problems finding people to play with post-launch.
Similar to most Switch games already available, DOOM can be played in both handheld and docked mode. In playing the game for over a week now, I must say that it’s quite enjoyable playing the game on docked mode as I get to play the game at full 720p. In handheld mode, there are compromises that I have noticed such as the graphics aren’t that pretty due to visual downgrade and there is blurriness everywhere. It’s still playable but it’s better to play it on docked mode as you get to play it in its maximum resolution.
Performance wise, the game is capped at 30 frames per second instead of its original 60 FPS. It’s a big drop in smoothness but it didn’t really affect the experience at all as I have yet to encounter a moment the game freezes or the frame rate drops. If there’s one thing that the Switch version lacks, it would be that it suffers from draw distance and occasional pop-in issues for textures, which is expected for a port like this one. For those who are worried about frame rates dropping, I must say that Bethesda did a pretty good job in optimizing the game to run for the Nintendo Switch.
With DOOM being able to play in handheld mode, many are curious as to how it will play using the Joy-Cons. Unfortunately, playing with Joy-Cons can be annoying as the little analog sticks can be quite hard to use when aiming or maneuvering. If possible, using a Switch Pro Controller is recommended to fully experience the fast-paced action that DOOM offers. While it’s possible to put the game on table-top mode and use a Switch Pro controller, just remember that the game has tiny texts that can be hard to read – which in turn makes playing on docked mode the preferred way to play the game.
Porting the game on the Nintendo Switch is a good sign that it’s really possible to put a blockbuster AAA game on the device except visual compromises have to be made. As for the Switch version of DOOM, it doesn’t look as pretty compared to its console counterparts but it’s good enough being able to play it on the go and being the first hardcore game to arrive on the Nintendo Switch. Hopefully more developers will follow this. Luckily for Bethesda, there’s still The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim coming later this month and Wolfenstein II sometime in 2018.
DOOM for the Nintendo Switch is no way a perfect port but it’s good enough for Switch owners looking for a real hardcore first-person shooter game. The game might not look as pretty as its console counterparts as there are visual sacrifices that need to be made, but the content packed for the Switch version is more than enough for fans to enjoy the game. Right now, DOOM takes the crown as the best looking shooter on a portable console.
[Editor’s Note: DOOM was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]