When DOOM first returned to the gaming scene back in 2016 it was met with a ton of praise from both critics and fans. It’s initial run on the Xbox One, PS4, and PC was successful if little short thanks to the quickly dying multiplayer component. Now, developer id Software aims to give this title one more shot of adrenaline via a port of the entire game to the Nintendo Switch. Acting as one of the first major third-party titles to come to this system there is a lot of pressure placed on DOOM’s success. Thankfully, despite some obvious technical issues, DOOM is still a blast to play both off and online.
For the unfamiliar, DOOM is set on a Mars mining colony that has accidentally opened a portal to Hell. With the entire location now flooded with demons, it’s up to one soldier to send these beasts back where they came. However, this leads to the protagonist, affectionately known only as Doom Guy, getting wrapped up in a conspiracy revolving around the harvesting of Hell for its energy. The story itself is simplistic, but Doom Guy offers enough cheesy moments that gives you an idea of who the person is under the mask. Though the story is hardly DOOM’s focus, as it simply acts as a way for players to visit various locations and shoot demons with an arsenal of weapons.
Much of what defined the DOOM series is still present here, with quick, often chaotic firefights making up the majority of your time. There are some light exploration elements, but this is mainly for those who are looking for collectibles. Players will get to fight the forces of hell across an 8-10 hour campaign that takes users through various sections of the Mars facility and even Hell itself. Levels are typically comprised of multi-level structures filled with twisting corridors, hidden vents, and giant open spaces. Despite their labyrinthian design it’s fairly easy to know how or where to go next thanks to a detailed map you can acquire in each level.
You’ll need it because danger is around every corner with almost every creature posing a significant threat. Every type of demon requires their own strategy and DOOM consistently adds new variants to keep the gameplay feeling fresh. All of the demons sport unique visual designs and move sets, allowing for them to be instantly recognizable in the heat of combat. However, your enjoyment of DOOM will heavily depend on how much you enjoy just going into rooms and shooting things. This title doesn’t deviate beyond “Go here and kill demons until the door unlocks” which can get a bit old after killing your hundredth room full of angry monsters.
Arcade Mode also makes a return with it revolving around players replaying sections of the campaign in order to obtain the highest score. This is done by chaining kills, building multipliers, collecting extra lives, and slaying enemies in stylish, unique ways. It’s a fun distraction that will help even the most novice of demon killers hone their skills. Yet, this mode is largely forgettable since the only real drive to finishing this is topping the online leaderboards.
If you really want to test your skills there is a robust multiplayer component that homages the genre that DOOM helped spawn. Thanks to the 6.66 update all of the previous DLC is free and users will unlock new gear and weapons via a level progression system. In the matches I played all of the gameplay was smooth, however, my experience was with a small number of competitors. There are a lot of different game modes that range from classics such as Team Deathmatch to more unique ones like Warpath. All of this creates an exhilarating multiplayer experience that pushes a players timing and dexterity to the limits.
It should be noted that the wildly popular SnapMap level editor is completely gone in this version. Given that DOOM is already clocking in at 22GB, it’s understandable why this mode was scrapped. However, SnapMap was a crucial part of DOOM’s replayability and the Arcade Mode doesn’t fill the void that this mode’s disappearance created.
Of course, the big question from fans will be how does this title perform on the Nintendo Switch? Visually this iteration is obviously the least impressive, as the edges aren’t as sharp and there is a fuzziness to the interior environments. That being said, it still looks great for the system in both docked and handheld mode. Glitches were minor with the game suffering from the occasional screen tearing, texture pop-ins, and some wonky AI. There were no major crashes or failures in both DOOM’s offline and online components. DOOM runs as a usually consistent 30 FPS (frames per second) however this would dip during some of the more intense and demanding moments.
DOOM for the Nintendo Switch is a solid FPS that doesn’t compromise the core gameplay during the transition. Both the campaign and online multiplayer are a blast to play, however, the absence of Snap Map doesn’t go unnoticed. The game’s performance is generally solid, even if it does have the occasional frame rate dip and texture issues. If you are looking to try this game for the first time or simply want something more mature for your Switch then DOOM will certainly deliver. As for returning fans, there isn’t enough to justify a return unless you really want to rip apart some demons on your way to work.
- Engaging Gameplay
- Fantastic Level and Creature Design
- Strong Multiplayer Component
- Generally Performs Well
- Framerate Occasionally Dips
- Some Screen Tearing and Visual Bugs
- Lack of SnapMap