DOOM (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Az Elias 12.11.2017

Review for DOOM on Nintendo Switch

With third parties scrambling to jump on the Nintendo Switch bandwagon after its fantastic first year on the market, there is bound to be concern when one of the first high profile ports has made it to shelves a mere eight months after the console's release. Bethesda and id Software's 2016 DOOM reboot could easily have turned sour on Switch, but the results may surprise you.

For the full lowdown on this fantastic game, check out Cubed3's review of the PC version. For all intents and purposes, the Switch edition remains largely unchanged from the original title of last year, albeit with a few differences. The good news is that the campaign is fully intact, with all levels, weapons and classic unlockable Doom maps present, along with the arcade mode that allows players to jump into any stage and go for the highest score, leaderboards included. Multiplayer is also in, featuring all modes and DLC that released over time for previous versions.

The biggest omission is Snapmap, which was a custom level builder that let players create and play others' maps, even in an online co-op format. Whilst this is missing here, it isn't a huge loss, as there were still limitations on the depth that could go into these maps given the focus on keeping them console friendly. The core experience is what matters, and it's all available on Switch.

Screenshot for DOOM on Nintendo Switch

A meaty campaign with plenty of levels, DOOM is a constant euphoria of what has always made the series so appealing since the very first title. There is a lot of praise to be sent id Software's way in how the developers managed to recreate the overpowered feeling of being the Doom Marine, gratifyingly and literally crushing the skulls and breaking the limbs of demonic creatures from Hell - oh, and blasting them to pieces with a hefty selection of firearms for the true arcade FPS experience.

Levels are quite clearly designed to allow for open arena bloodbaths, where it is obvious when a gunfight will take place on the map. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but the predictable nature of what is about to go down can limit the element of surprise, especially when enemies in the vicinity can be heard teleporting and trying to attack you before you've even made yourself known. The intense and gory battles don't seem to get old, though, so entering into a man-versus-demon game of death is always a horrific pleasure.

Screenshot for DOOM on Nintendo Switch

It should go without saying, however, that the Nintendo Switch version sees considerable setbacks when compared to its PS4, Xbox One and PC variants. To be honest, DOOM is designed first and foremost for powerful PCs, which is clearly how it is intended to be played, but the PS4 and Xbox One console ports run and look exceptionally good, too. Could anyone have ever imagined that this would have ran on Nintendo's portable system, though? The fact that developer Panic Button, who worked with id Software to bring the impossible to Switch, has managed to port this at all in a fully-functioning state is commendable.

The biggest and most obvious drawback is the Switch running this at 30fps instead of the 60fps of other versions. Naturally, anyone that has had extensive time with DOOM on any other platform will immediately feel the difference. For the type of game this is, though, it isn't actually a huge problem and can be quickly gotten used to. Where it does become a problem, however, is in the higher difficulties. Once more monsters spawn and start filling up the screen, the frame rate takes hits, dropping into its twenties. This might put off anyone looking at tackling Ultra-Nightmare, and understandably so. With any luck, this could be addressed in a patch, perhaps knocking visuals down a notch to attempt to lock things at 30fps, at least as an option for the user.

Screenshot for DOOM on Nintendo Switch

The graphics have already taken a beating as it is in this Switch port, though. This is a much blurrier-looking game running on Nintendo's console, and the resolution is even worse in handheld mode. Since the majority of battles with Hell's demons take place up close and personal, the difficulty in attempting to take out enemies from a distance, such as with a long-range gun, isn't something that needs to be worried about often. Even in docked mode, though, on-screen text can be hard to read, particularly the multiplayer match type descriptions, or the story backgrounds of characters, environments and such.

It is recommended to turn off motion blur and chromatic aberration completely, as this will go a way to offering the sharpest possible picture, although at least one level of motion blur can be a way to mask the lower frame rate or any further drops that occur in more intense situations. Sacrifices have had to be made to get DOOM functioning, and whilst this does result in the worst-looking version of the game, it is still almost definitely the best-looking portable first-person shooter to date. Even at 30fps and lower resolution, DOOM's art style does it all sorts of favours, retaining its foreign worlds atmosphere seeped in death and gore.

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Handheld is not the preferred way to play this, with that being the Pro Controller, as the Joy-Con sticks are a little too small to offer the precision required at times, but again, anyone merely looking to blast through the campaign or mess around in arcade mode will find it more than possible. Just be prepared for that hit in picture quality.

As mentioned, multiplayer does carry over into the Switch edition, and it's surprisingly fun. There are some modes that don't quite hit the mark, such as Warpath and Infernal Run, but the Deathmatches can be solid Quake-like shootouts that provide some entertainment outside of the campaign and arcade. Oh, and yes, friend invites are in. Don't let other publishers tell you it's not possible. As it stands, the online mode is active, but it is unfortunate that local multiplayer of any kind is absent, especially given the nature of the Switch. Some bugs are present, including one that sometimes shuts down the game completely and painful audio glitches, but hopefully a patch can fix these up, possibly addressing some of the frame rate problems, as well.

Screenshot for DOOM on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

A purchase of DOOM on Switch is going to come down to what exactly the individual is looking for. If you own another system capable of playing it, it is recommended to do so on there - more so if you own a high-end PC rig. Those whose only means of experiencing this is the Switch, or if you're just looking for DOOM in portable format, by all means, go for it. Of course, the lower frame rate and picture quality is unfortunate - especially on the higher difficulties - but this is still the same great game that miraculously runs better than most could ever have imagined on what is essentially a mobile console.


Panic Button


Bethesda Softworks


First Person Shooter



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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