I played 2016’s Doom on the Xbox One and enjoyed it, however, I stopped playing after the first four levels. It was no fault of the game itself, but I had purchased it on that console to give me a reason to turn it on. Fast forward to a few months ago and Bethesda announced that Doom (along with Skyrim and Wolfenstein 2) would be coming to the Switch . . . somehow. It was a technically pretty game when it was first released, so how would it fare on a weaker console? There are some definite dips, but the answer is surprisingly well.
Let’s get the technical downgrades out of the way right now. Unlike its console and PC brethren which run the game at 1080P and 60 frames per second, the Switch version runs at 720P and 30 FPS. Even with this downgrade, there are some decent frame rate dips that happen when many enemies are on screen or there are lots of lighting and particle effects. Luckily, that doesn’t happen too often.
While the framerate has been cut in half, the game still feels fast and fluid which has a lot to say about the core gameplay design of a faster base movement speed than most first-person games and not needing to reload your weapons. Running through levels feels good and, while I had to fiddle with the look sensitivity, I got it to a place to where it feels solid, even with the Joycons.
I’m about two-thirds of the way through the game and have been loving it. The gameplay is still satisfying, the levels are full of secrets to find and the music sets the mood. I have stumbled upon an audio glitch a couple of times where the sound completely cuts out but is fixed if you just reload the checkpoint.
And while the visuals are definitely impressive and developer Panic Button should be commended and be looked upon as the gold standard when it comes to porting over multiplatform titles to Switch, there are times when the game doesn’t look great. After looking into it, apparently it looks like they are using dynamic resolution so, while it is 720P, if there is a lot going on or, even if there is not, pieces of the level and enemies who are a little ways away will dip lower than that 720P max resulting in some very blurry and fuzzy gameplay every once in awhile.
But most of my time has been playing in handheld mode on my commute where, on a smaller screen it isn’t as much of an issue. I’ll put some more time into the game while docked shortly to see if there is much, if any, difference, but it is still 720P and 30FPS docked with dynamic resolution as well. I also haven’t touched the multiplayer yet but will mess around with it before The Final Say goes up.
Speaking of the multiplayer, the Switch version of Doom comes with all DLC that was released over the course of the game’s life over the past year including Arcade Mode for the campaign which is a rush. The only feature that the Switch version is missing is the Snapmap map maker which, in my opinion, isn’t a huge issue.
The Final Say will be going up shortly, but I’m happy with my experience so far. It turned out far better than I expected with Chris even saying the same thing when watching me play in docked mode (for those who don’t know, Chris is loaded with a 4K TV, very nice sound bar and a PC that can run most games on max settings). If this is what the first pass at a port of a graphically intense multiplatform game is for Switch, I have high hopes for the future and will likely pick up Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus when it is released sometime next year on Nintendo’s hybrid.