DOOM was my Game of the Year in 2016. The fast-paced, non-stop instinctual action never misses a beat, and I’d recommend it to virtually anyone who enjoys shooters. It reinvigorated the style of Single Player FPS experiences and has since inspired a swathe of interest in the scene. So, one could argue, if you tied one of my favourite games of all-time, with my favourite console of all time, it would be the perfect fit? Well… Not so much. Here’s some gameplay of DOOM on Switch, courtesy of Gamespot:
During PAX Australia this year, I got my hands on the Switch version of DOOM, and the best way to can describe it — functional. My hands-on began with the console being docked, which I can confidently state would be the worst way to play DOOM. This version is — unsurprisingly — capped at 30 FPS, and has suffered significant graphical downgrades, which is particularly noticeable hooked up to a TV. The resolution appears quite blurry, and the textures are relatively non-existent. I’d recommend playing with a Pro Controller for the most comfort and precision, but then you’d likely be playing on a TV/Monitor which is not a ‘looker’ to say the least.
In handheld mode the game looks more at home; the blur remains but at least the resolution can scale with a more appropriate screen size. Unfortunately, despite the significant downgrade on both the handheld and docked mode, there were very noticeable framerate drops in the opening area. The game often struggled when faced with multiple enemies and explosions, which doesn’t bode well for its latter stages which are more densely populated and feature a lot more particles. DOOM‘s best moments are when the player enters a frenetic trance, relying solely on reflexes, peripheral vision and tight controls. In this sense, the significant decrease in performance on the Switch means that I can’t recommend it to many people.
That being said, from what I’ve played, it IS functional. Aside from the game adopting Nintendo’s version of button layout (to use Playstation as an example O = Jump instead of X) which just feels awkward and unnecessary, the controls are responsive and work. Though, if playing for a long period of time in handheld, the frequent and fast use of the controls may become straining. The gimmick of an actually well made FPS on the Switch is alluring for sure, and if you have the disposable income to get it, go crazy! It does work.
However, if you don’t plan to use the game almost entirely in handheld mode, I cannot state how much better off you’d be playing it on another platform. If the Switch is your only console, or you travel a lot, it’ll definitely still be a whole ‘lotta fun. If you’re anyone else, I can’t recommend enough how good the game is, and it deserves to be played in all its glorious splendour on Playstation 4, Xbox One, or PC. Also, if you were wondering, the Switch version doesn’t possess any weird motion control gimmicks.
DOOM arrives on Switch on the 10th of November.