DOOM recently came out for the Nintendo Switch. Contrary to what many naysayers expected, it’s the exact same DOOM experience as on the PS4/XB1/PC; the bloody violence, the exaggerated gore, the brutal glory kills and the trigger happy action – everything that the popular 2016 shooter was praised for, it’s all here. Not just that but it’s been met with a largely positive reception from fans. So let’s look at why DOOM on Switch is a huge deal in our opinion –
1. Portable DOOM:
One of the biggest advantages the Switch has over it’s competition is taking your games wherever you want: be it on the toilet, a road trip, when waiting in line, or just relaxing in bed. And that’s true of DOOM as well. But you may be wondering right now – “How the hell did they manage to bring the full fledged console game to the Switch?”; well, you’re in luck:
YouTube channel Digital Foundry recently released an in-depth technical analysis for the game on Nintendo’s little hybrid system.
No surprises here though: Compromises have been made to get the game running on Switch, from it’s 610p-720p docked resolution scaling (570p when handheld), reduced graphical fidelity (lower than PCs lowest settings) and lower frame rate (a somewhat stable 30 FPS, vs 60 FPS on other systems).
Ultimately, it’s clear that the portable mode is where the game shines the brightest as that’s where these issues do little to hamper the overall experience. So for those looking to rip and tear on the go, this is definitely worth a purchase (if you don’t mind 30 FPS for a fast paced shooter, that is); but if you’re more into the tethered, big screen experience, you may want to consider getting the other versions instead.
2. It’s A Technical Achievement:
Developer Panic Button have achieved the seemingly impossible by bringing the full DOOM 2016 game to what’s basically a portable Nvidia Shield TV, while still keeping the core soul of the experience intact.
Despite all the aforementioned issues, DOOM on Switch is the same ID Tech 6 game as on other systems, with the same amount of content (minus the SnapMap mode) all crammed into a file size of just 30 GB (including the 9 GB optional multiplayer download) – pretty small compared to 76 GB on PS4.
People may still complain that it’s sub-HD at just 30 FPS, but at the end of the day it still feels like DOOM, looks like DOOM, and plays like DOOM – all in the palm of your hand, no less; taking into consideration that the Switch has pretty much half the memory amount and bandwidth compared to the PS4, it’s even more impressive.
This is definitely no small feat to achieve; the team deserves a big cookie and a pat on the back for this massive undertaking. Which brings me to my next point…
3. Encouraging Other Third Parties To Port Their Games To The System:
Panic Button’s gargantuan effort is nothing to scoff at and it’s already grabbed many gamers’ attention. By bringing DOOM (and Wolfenstien II) to the Switch, the porting studio and Bethesda (acting as publisher) are challenging other third parties to step up their game and bring their best to the system. After, all third parties are not really in a position to complain about the lack of power to make their games run.
Now that’s not to say it’s possible to get every current gen game running on the hybrid console (especially considering the limited cartridge storage capacity at the moment – just 32 GB) but most of them with some effort should; this also does tell us that third parties (western ones, no less) are starting to pretty serious about supporting the Switch.
While sales are the major deciding factor for third party support, I think it’s very likely that people will end up buying these games (hence shunning the stigma that “Nintendo fans don’t buy it third party games”) and provide satisfying sales number to publishers – I mean, who is foolish enough turn down a portable AAA gaming experience?
4. Nintendo Promoting M-Rated Titles On Switch:
I wrote a piece earlier about Nintendo’s efforts to change their “kiddy” perception by gamers. Like I mentioned in the conclusion of that article, by mingling with devs and hearing them out, Nintendo is doing their best to ensure that the Switch is seen as a comfortable home for mature third party titles (especially third party ones) by promoting and hyping up big profile releases. With big third party Switch games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, DOOM, LA Noire, Payday 2 and Wolfenstien II: The New Collossus, as well as Travis Strikes Back: No More Heroes, Gal Gun 2, Shinobi Refle: Senran Kagura and Hollow from the indie side – it’s a step in the right direction. Fans are of course, appreciative of the gesture as well, as it’s a relief to know publsihers are starting to realize the system’s potential.
5. It Marks The Return Of DOOM On Nintendo & Introduces The Game To A New Audience As Well:
Back then, DOOM was pretty popular on Nintendo systems; the OG game released for the Super NES and later also for the Gameboy Advance and while both were flawed ports, they were still technical achievements for their time, especially on the GBA. Even the Nintendo 64 got it’s own version of DOOM (called DOOM 64, also available on PC) which is loved by many DOOM purists for taking the popular fast paced run-and-gun formula, a step further.
Now the series is back on Nintendo with yet another impressive port. Not just that, but it also opens up the franchise to a new demographic. The Switch is popular among lots of people, ranging from teens to adults, including both newcomers, who’ve never had a Nintendo system before as well as longtime fans, who will get to experience this glorious shooter in it’s very first handheld outing.
Are you impressed by DOOM on Switch? Sound off in the comments below.