Here is the video version of this review which I made on Commonwealth Realm:
I love Doom like a fat kid loves chocolate cake. I bought it on PC last year and since then it has been my Game of the Year for 2016. So you can imagine the excitement I felt when I found it was coming to the Nintendo Switch! Playing a hardcore, fast-paced shooter like Doom on the portable Nintendo Switch was the stuff of my dreams. With that in mind, is this a competent port, or a botched job?
I want to start off this review by saying one thing: Doom on the Nintendo Switch is more important than most people realize. For as long as I can remember, Nintendo consoles have been scorned for either having little to no third-party support or having games that are “too childish.” Doom could be the beginning of the end for these problems if it reaches good sales numbers, and there is no reason for it not to.
Chances are that if you’re reading this review, you’re really wondering what makes the Switch version different, or in this case, inferior to the other consoles and PC version. The major compromise the Switch version had to make wass its framerate, which runs at 30 fps instead of 60. This also leads to game slowing down when the action gets a little too crazy, though it doesn’t happen too often. Coming from the PC version of this game, the lower framerate was jarring at first, but after about 10 minutes, I completely forgot it existed. Visually, it also looks damn close to the console versions. These are no longer the days where a game like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 would look incredibly worse on the Wii than a 360 or PS3, Doom maintains most of the graphical fidelity at the cost of framerate. However, there are rather apparent sound glitches, like the audio completely going out. The only way to fix that is to restart the game or reload the checkpoint. I do hope a patch is in the works.
From start to finish, Doom is nothing but run and gun excellence. Sure there is a story that is mildly interesting, but you’ll have a hard time paying attention to it when you’re ripping and tearing the flesh of Demons from Hell on planet Mars. In a sense, this was a perfect game for the Switch. I LOVE that Doom can easily be picked up and played from anywhere between 10 minutes to 3 hours, making my commutes by bus all the more tolerable. It certainly helps that the game is fun and easy to play.
Doom also offers a ton of replayability in its single-player alone. It’ll take the average player about 12 hours to beat on the regular difficulty, but missions can be replayed to discover all the secrets, upgrades, and hidden collectibles. If you look hard enough, you may even find a weapon sooner than originally intended. If that’s not enough, there is also the Arcade Mode, which is flashy, competitive, and tough to master.
Again, there is just enough fun in this package for fans of single-player, but there is still the fully-fleshed out multiplayer mode including all the DLC released for it. A good compromise considering this port came out a year and a half later at full price. Regardless, I barely touched the multiplayer mode on PC, so I ironically played more of it on Switch. Despite how poorly I play, it’s pretty good. Granted, there isn’t much to differentiate itself from other popular shooters like Halo and Call of Duty. There have been criticisms from the Doom community that it isn’t the multiplayer they wanted, seeing as it’s less of an arena shooter like they wanted. If you can put all that beside you, Doom still has a solid multiplayer mode offering tons of customization to your avatar, weapons, and matchmaking. With game modes like Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch, Soul Harvest, etc. Considering the Switch doesn’t have a whole lot to offer in the online shooter realm (save for Splatoon 2), Doom brings that here easily. Now can we have a real voice chat system, Nintendo? Please?
The one thing that is missing from this Switch port is the SnapMap feature, where you can create your own stages and share them. While this is undoubtedly a bummer, I don’t know one person that thinks SnapMap was a huge selling point for Doom to begin with. I won’t deny that there are people out there who enjoy SnapMap, but personally, I never touched it on PC. Not once. So I don’t see this as too much of a loss for Switch owners. Who knows though? Maybe they’re working on making it available later on. Arcade mode certainly wasn’t there on release day.
Doom on the Nintendo Switch is not a perfect port. Compromises certainly had to be made to run on the underpowered hardware, meaning a framerate capped at 30 and the SnapMap mode gone. That being said, if you missed out on Doom and you own a Switch, this game should be at the top of your list! Doom is a first-person shooter experience like no other, and is now a Switch game like no other. However, if you also own a PS4, Xbox One, or PC and you never leave your house like…ever, I do recommend maybe buying the game on one of those platforms to see if you’re willing to get it on Switch later down the line. I know for sure that if I’m at home and want to play Doom, I’ll play it on my PC, but I can NOT take the PC version with me on long road trips or in the middle of class. The Switch version of DOOM will be played solely in portable mode for me. Still, Doom is a must-play game, regardless of platform, and the Switch has the advantage of being able to play the game on the go, and for that, it is worth every penny.