DOOM (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Az Elias 12.11.2017 17

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.

Image for

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   


>headline is not "Rip and Tear, ANYWHERE".

Az, i am disappointed 

Insanoflex said:
>headline is not "Rip and Tear, ANYWHERE".

Az, i am disappointed 

Hmm, I saw this line used somewhere I couldn't "rip" it off Smilie

Azuardo said:

Insanoflex said:
>headline is not "Rip and Tear, ANYWHERE".

Az, i am disappointed 

Hmm, I saw this line used somewhere I couldn't "rip" it off Smilie

its such a blatant idea, i wouldnt be surprised that it has been used by now.

good read overall. pretty much covers my feelings too.
one thing i'd add is that the text is nigh unreadable in handheld mode. like you need to put the switch under a microscope to read anything.

Yeah, I mean, I mentioned how it was even hard to read it when docked because the tiny text is still blurry, but yeah, handheld is even worse. It was making me question if it was my eyes or not.

kinda reminded me of gaming HD games on the old SD tv when the ps3/360 came out.

did you notice any flickering textures?

Insanoflex said:
did you notice any flickering textures?

Yep, noticed a few. Usually warning sign texts pinned to railings or pieces of paper lying on the floor/desks.

I expected no less from a game powered by an Id Software graphic engine, which are always insanely versatile.

Not to mention that, at the end of the day, all that matters is how the game plays and feels - in fact, although a 100% PC gamer when it comes to DOOM, even I wouldn't actually mind if this version had sacrificed even more things (visually) in order to keep the gameplay as smooth as possible.

The only thing that I find annoying is how blurry it has turned out, when it could actually avoid that by decreasing the quality of something else, be it the polygon count or whatever.

Can't a fella drink in peace?

poly count does not affect performance as much as you think. certainly wouldnt be enough for Doom.

i honestly wouldnt have minded if they took a different approach to the art direction to compensate.  like a comic-bookey look that is seen in borderlands games. the simple and flat and more graphic design approach could allow some extra lee-way to pump up the rez and maybe the FPS. it would look really different, but it would still play the same.

i guess that might have meant a much longer wait for the game to be ported.

all things considered, i guess this is as good as we could have hoped.

Yeah, I mean, it's taken a hit as it is, but I would certainly welcome the option to sacrifice even more if it meant a lock at 30fps. I guess 60 is out of the question even if they really dumbed things down. I'm not even sure if the other console versions are locked 60, so it doesn't surprise me if 60 wasn't even doable on Switch.

It's still perfectly fine as it is unless you're playing this to try and beat on the hard modes, because then the extra enemies in the room really hurt the performance and could impact you dying or not.

But it's overall great to have on the system, and I just hope it will trigger other devs into doing the same. It's a shame so many have played it safe or still won't even commit to the Switch, so gotta give big props to Bethesda on this. I know Switch isn't going to get every third party game, and I don't think any Nintendo owner expects that at all, but it would be nice to see now that we know it's possible if the effort is put in.

Insanoflex said:
i honestly wouldnt have minded if they took a different approach to the art direction to compensate.  like a comic-bookey look that is seen in borderlands games. the simple and flat and more graphic design approach could allow some extra lee-way to pump up the rez and maybe the FPS. it would look really different, but it would still play the same.

i guess that might have meant a much longer wait for the game to be ported.

all things considered, i guess this is as good as we could have hoped.

Interesting idea. Think it would lose a lot of its appeal if that direction was taken tho. Might have even turned away potential buyers because the Switch ends up with a cartoon-looking version of the big bad mature version of the other platforms. But guess it could have been something to consider. Like you say, it's probably the best we could get for Switch in the end. I'm happy with it.

i think the biggest missed opportunity for the doom on switch is that there is no samus amiibo functionality that gives doomguy, samus' arm cannon.

this was such an obvious idea i wouldnt have been surprised if it was said at least once in the bethesda offices.

That woulda been cool haha.

most likely nintendo shot that idea down since they would never allow such brutal display depicting with a T-rated IP.

( Edited 13.11.2017 00:10 by Insanoflex )

No poly count does not affect performance as much as some other things, but it's one of the things I wouldn't care if it was decreased, unlike lighting effects, for instance.

( Edited 13.11.2017 00:19 by Ofisil )

Can't a fella drink in peace?

lighting is something that takes up quite a bit of resources, but it is something that defines atmosphere and can affect gameplay in subtle ways. there are ways i suppose they could have cheated like in some areas have fake or baked in lighting. this was a very common trick in ps2 games. its basically a painted on texture that looks like a shadow. problem is that it is static and does not move at all. would have to be used sparingly.

I wrote a long piece about how this game is fataly broken, but this site deleted. Can't be bothered to write it again, but I wouldn't recommend anyone to buy the game until it's (hopefully) patched. 

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