When Doom was announced for Switch, I confess that I got carried away - and it was not little. The id Software game left me ecstatic in 2016 and I made a point of playing on a computer with ultrawide monitor and everything on ultra, with the crispness that the experience asks and almost begs to be played.
The game was not revolutionary, but revived a great oldschool game style in a majestic way. And having the chance to play this anywhere is at least very attractive. The review of the game was made in 2016 and had a good note, but this review is intended to enhance the experience in the video game Big N, and not talk about the elements we already know the game.
Nintendo chose a very good developer to do the port: the Panic Button! The company has been working with Casa do Mario for a long time and has already made versions of other games for the consoles of the company, such as Octodad for Wii U. In addition, the team has already worked with different technologies such as Wii Mote, Kinect and already made several conversions for laptops, as was the case of Injustice for PS Vita. As far as technical competence goes, the Panic Button! managed to extract the potential of Swtich and made the best use of the hardware.
Here's what it is: Doom on the Switch is the best and worst thing you can expect, it will all depend on your level of criticism and what you expect from a game like this. In the end, my experience was extremely positive and, for me, it was a matter of custom until I adapted to what the Nintendo console can offer. But it all depends on how open-minded you are with this experience and how much you are willing to give up.
Same content, same fun
Let's first comment on what matters most: Doom is practically the same as the other versions in terms of content. The singleplayer campaign is complete without any kind of cut or different targeting. The amount of memory of the Nintendo Switch did not force the team to divide the levels into smaller parts, that is, with more loadings and with break of pace.
Everything works the same way, with no obligation at all. We have the whole game filled with fun, just like 2016, and that's just great. And it's not just on the offline side that Switch's Doom delivers the trusted experience: multiplayer is also identical with the system of progression, customization and game modes that owe nothing to the original version.
The only thing that the edition of Switch does not bring is the map editor, something that we knew from the announcement of the game to the Nintendo console. Honestly, it's a very small, unqualified element that, in the end, makes no difference to the majority of users.
Having all the Doom content in the Switch is phenomenal, but the price is already clear: the game weighs in at 23 GB in digital format and required me to exclude virtually every game in my library (the Switch's internal space is about 25 GB). In physical format, only the campaign comes in the cartridge and you need to download the multiplayer. This will never be a negative point to discount note, but from the beginning it is clear that Doom in the Switch is something different.
Want to play on mobile? There is a price to pay
The chance to have Doom in the palm of your hand is spectacular. Kill demons, perform brutal executions and listen to a good dose of "Rip & Tear" and "At Doom's Gate" wherever I go. For many hours I caught myself forgetting the consoles and simply lying in bed to play on the Switch screen everything the game has to offer.
However, it takes time for this fun to catch on. The problem is that if you have already played the title on some other platform, the shock is quite large. There's no denying that, graphically, Doom in the Switch is an experiment short of the one planned and designed by the id Software team. This reflects on the gameplay as well, but I will comment more on this below. For now, let's focus on visuals.
First, let's comment on the frame rate. Initially, it is the element that most annoys veteran players, since all other versions run at 60 fps (certainly, the PC may fall short, but it depends on your hardware). This only reinforces that the game was simply designed and planned to be played that way, creating a much faster and more responsive experience, something that is lost on the Switch. However, give time to time: getting used to 30 fps will happen if you are open-minded.
Doom on the Switch turns out to be incredible, but it's clear that the cost to run is high
So what's the high cost? This brings us to our next problem: visual quality. Do not misunderstand me: there's really a big downgrade in several elements like texture quality, rendering distance, lighting effects and more, but this is barely noticeable for much of the time. To tell you the truth, many of the special effects like particle volume, reflections of lights and much more, which ends up being very impressive (there is even a chance to play in Motion Blur, which can help different types of players). What really weighs is the screen resolution.
Check out the gallery below for some of the images captured on the Switch. Note the resolution of several passages:
The price is high, but Doom on the Switch is the coolest thing you can ask for. The price is high, but Doom on the Switch is the coolest thing you can ask for. The price is high, but Doom on the Switch is the coolest thing to do. you can ask The price is high but Doom on the Switch is the coolest thing you could ask for
The price is high, but Doom on the Switch is the coolest thing you could ask for
I'm not the type of person who creates major problems for resolution below the ordinary, but here is an exception. Switch Doom runs at maximum 720p in dock mode and at a resolution well below that in portable mode (according to Digital Foundry, somewhere between 542p and 720p, but the game rarely reaches that higher resolution). Low resolution on a small screen is synonymous with visual confusion and a very blurred effect.
It is noticeable that the resolution increases in certain segments, but they are rare, as in times when you face a door or something. In more open environments, it is very difficult to distinguish enemies from a distance and the image quality really drops a lot and requires a lot of custom and open mind from whoever is playing, which brings us to the next topic.
It's all a matter of custom and open-mindedness
It's no use: if you're going to start playing Doom on the Switch with the fixed idea that it's a worse game, you'd better not try. Even I, who was open-minded and expecting something really cool, had a quality shock at first. Without a doubt, the game is not a fast food dish ready to delight in flavors, it is something more crude, difficult to please the palate. However, the right portion and the insistence help to sweeten the palate, but this requires insistence.
Incredible as it may seem, singleplayer and arcade were the hardest to digest. In higher difficulties, enemies appear in greater numbers and this can knock down the frame rate and make the experience even more problematic. Overall, the game is stable and offers the best possible experience on a console like the Switch, but there are its lows.
What surprised me was the multiplayer mode. I was one of the only ones who liked the modality at the launch (it received a barrage of criticism at the time) and in Switch I ended up playing even more than on Xbox One or PC (platforms I played Doom on). It simply works and may even be printing, but perhaps the image quality is better.
If you have played Doom before or are satisfied with the portable mode, do not even bother to try dock mode
If you followed the text so far, you may have noticed that the dock mode was barely quoted. Here's Doom's biggest problem with the Switch: his biggest plus is playing anywhere. It's simply not worth connecting the game on TV to have a 720p image, quality shot and 30 fps. The biggest asset of the game is portability and it is lost when the Switch clicks into the Dock. What remains is only the bad points highlighted on your television. Each one chooses the way they think best, of course, but the great advantage of this version of the game is well defined from the beginning.
Doom in Joycons is not the best thing in the world
Finally, there is one last problem that has bothered me a little. I had the chance to play Doom on the Xbox One (which has great control) and on the PC (which has a mouse and keyboard) at 60 fps and both versions offer the ideal experience. On the Switch, we already have the 30 fps "problem" which reduces the response and response time of the commands, but to make matters worse, the Joycons simply are not as good as a conventional control.
Doom is a much faster FPS and requires a lot more precision. In Splatoon 2, for example, I never had any problems with the controls, since there is support for the motion sensor and there is no need for millimeter precision. But the small analogues certainly mess up at times during the killing of demons.
The Pro Controller certainly helps, but there are two drawbacks: the first is that you need to have the Pro Controller and the second is that you will have to play with the Switch supported on a surface close to you, since the image quality is not of the best. There is a mention of movement support, but during the tests, I only realized the possibility of swinging the right Joycon to execute enemies.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Switch's Doom is a quirky at best experience. For me, the insistence and the custom helped to take some of the initial negative impression, making the game almost as fun as the original. But we have to consider that we have a more playful game. Is this necessarily bad? Particularly not.
If other elements were missing, such as multiplayer mode or parts of the campaign, the story would be different. But with the limitations of the Switch, it's almost a miracle to see the game running. Apart from that, surely playing anywhere is an attraction that some console manages to beat head on.
The whole Doom experience is here: brutal songs, splendid plays, frantic action, fun campaign, cool exploration, gun modifications, satisfying multiplayer and more. Except for the graphics, this is the same Doom as the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. If you want to play in tablet mode wherever you want, go without fear. If you plan to play in TV mode, it is better to play some other version.
* This game was kindly provided by Bethesda for this review.
"Yes, Doom runs on the Switch, even if the price is quite high, but with the custom, playing in portable mode is simply extremely fun"
The version leaves nothing to be desired in terms of content
The campaign remained intact and identical to the original
Playing Doom in portable mode is extremely fun
The port is very good and maintains several visual elements of the original version
Visual capping can be an impediment, especially in resolution that leaves everything much blurred
Joycons are not very good at playing Doom, a more accurate and fast FPS
TV mode is simply bad, since the biggest plus point is portability