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When the most recent Nintendo Direct aired last week, I for one did not expect the announcement that DOOM is coming to Switch. DOOM Switch is a modified port of the 2016 FPS that released initially on PC, Xbox One, and PS4.
This re-imagining of the demon-slaying series is making its first appearance on a Nintendo console since the 2002 port of DOOM II on Game Boy Advance and – the not developed by id Software – DOOM 64. Considering the scope and graphical fidelity, it is a surprise to see that it is coming to Switch.
Though you might think that this would result in the downgrade of the port, I am excited and glad to say that is not so. My demo with DOOM Switch began right at the start when you wake up, all the way through to a small portion of the second mission.
While I didn’t have the chance to play through DOOM Switch on a TV, the handheld mode was certainly enough to get a solid idea of how the game will run when it releases later this year. Very few sacrifices seem to have been made to make it run well even in portable mode.
I had to look closely to notice that there seemed to be slightly less detail in terms of lighting and textures, as there is almost no difference in the graphics department whatsoever. Demons still look as disgusting and sinister as ever, outdoor environments feature roughly the same visual effects, and gore is just as plentiful as ever.
This is all without compromising the frame rate of my preview build. Even in the outdoor areas, strafing around numerous enemies while keeping aim was the buttery smooth experience you know and love from the original game. I never experienced any hiccups or bugs. DOOM Switch feels right at home alongside the other console versions.
Shooting and traversing the various arenas felt perfect with the Pro Controller that I demoed with. It only cemented the fact that it is one of my favorite controllers of all-time. The only issue with my preview was something similar to my problems with Skyrim Switch.
Hooked up to the Switch tablet, the screen was definitely wide enough to accurately see and play the game. However, the fonts for the UI, menu, and HUD were way too shrunk to be able to read without almost needing a magnifying glass. Attempting to change the settings and figure out controls were difficult with the ant-sized letters.
Like Skyrim, I hope that Bethesda enlarges the words on the screen for handheld mode between now and its release this holiday. Having only briefly tried the original DOOM on PS4, I’ll be honest that I was saddened to be pulled away from DOOM Switch.
Though it lacks the map editor of the other versions, it will contain all DLC and multiplayer – additional download for physical version – content that has been released since last year. I am absolutely eager to jump back in and play through the entire game for the first time.
Hopefully, it makes a nice splash on Switch so that the multiplayer element doesn’t die off too quickly and that Bethesda continues to support the Switch with future releases, including the potential DOOM Switch sequel. What do you think of DOOM coming to Switch? Will you be picking it up, and what other third-party games do you hope to see?