DOOM 3 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 10.03.2020 4

Review for DOOM 3 on Nintendo Switch

If yours truly, a long-time Doom fanatic, was forced to pick the one title in the main line of games that disappointed him the most, Doom 3 would certainly be it. While in no way a bad, or even mediocre first-person shooter, it was a heavy deviation from form, and one that wasn't exactly well thought out. The good news for those who did actually enjoy this more than this critic, is that, unlike the Switch ports of Doom and Doom II, this one is almost flawless, and like the rest of the trilogy, very cheap, especially at the time of writing.

Upon starting DOOM 3 on the Switch, this nerd was reminded of the things he loved about the first time he experienced it, but also of what eventually led to it being his least favourite mainline Doom entry. The first issue is that this broke the tried and tested pattern of past titles, turning the fast-paced action and semi-non-linear exploration of 1993 and 1994, into a slow, more methodical journey down linear, dimly-lit corridors, where, besides shooting at demons, you must also search for PDAs that add to the story and lore, and help acquiring supplies. Unfortunately, despite it being an otherwise immersive, and beautiful technical marvel, this could be much better.

Screenshot for DOOM 3 on Nintendo Switch

Id Software wanted to craft a horror game, but wasn't successful. The first, very captivating chapter, does wonders in slowly "sinking" you into its atmosphere, by having you, the nameless space marine, take a deliberately slow walk through the claustrophobic and miserable workplace that is UAC's Mars base. There's a heavy emphasis in realism, which helps in making the dark fantasy elements that will soon make their appearance feel even more otherworldly as they would otherwise do. Sadly, after this strong opener, the "magic" will start to fade with every passing hour.

The problem with Doom 3 isn't the fact that it plays a different ball from its forbearers, but how it's not very good at this new kind of thing that it wants to be. For starters, it's not scary - like at all. It will occasionally surprise you, and even unnerve you, but it will use the same two/three tricks again, and again, and again, thus you will be able to predict every single jump scare and ambush. Moreover, your marine, while not the absolute unit that is the Doom Slayer of DOOM, he isn't a Silent Hill weakling either, as he is basically a bipedal battalion, with plenty of bullets to spare.

Screenshot for DOOM 3 on Nintendo Switch

…Then there's the whole darkness thingy. Doom 3 initially wowed the community with its fantastic id Tech 4 engine - which was, and still is fantastic, no doubt about it. The realistic lighting, and dynamic shadows, all rendered in real-time through John Carmack's black magic, look awesome, but the end result is way, way too dark. Have you seen those professionally-captured screenshots, which perfectly emphasise the features on zombies on decently-lit, but still dark areas? Well, these are like 10% of what you will see while playing this, as most of the experience revolves around you shooting at things that you can barely see.

Screenshot for DOOM 3 on Nintendo Switch

When it comes to the Switch, potential buyers should expect a title that's best enjoyed on their TV screens, as the immense darkness makes this a hard recommendation for undocked play, especially for those who like to have their Switch set on its kickstand. Whatever you do, turn off every single light source in the room, especially when in handheld mode. Oh, and make sure to increase the FOV as high as it gets too - this will help you immensely, and there's no downside to doing so, as it doesn't affect performance, and if it does it was never noticed.

The good news about this port is that it's basically the BFG Edition, meaning that, unlike the original, it supports widescreen display, and, most importantly, includes both available expansions, Resurrection of Evil, and Master Levels - although that's good news only if you actually like the core game. Plus, unlike the two previous Doom ports, this doesn't have any problems compared to the original. It's a shame that it still can't much the quality of the PC version, but what you get here is basically a flawless port with few compromises. It's Doom 3 for the Switch, and that's about it.

Screenshot for DOOM 3 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Compared to previous entries, Doom 3 is... well, different. It's a linear and repetitive, low-key horror first-person shooter, which looks great, but can also be frustratingly dark. Some like it, and some don't, as taste is subjective. What isn't, though, is the quality of a port, and in that regard, DOOM 3 is a near flawless one, and of the best version yet, with all additional content included, and - usually - a great price attached to it all.

Developer

Panic Button

Publisher

Bethesda Softworks

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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

Comments

Been playing this for a while now. Love it through and through. Doom 3's slow-burning horror and atmosphere is beautifully horrible.

It's funny, always having been a horror fan I neglected to play this back in the day and just played it last year.  I gotta say I really enjoyed the few hours I played, but I wonder if this wasn't just a case of attributing something to a brand it shouldn't have been.  I'm not a huge fan of Doom so I can't really say but I do hear a lot of people bad mouth this title as of late.

devidise said:
It's funny, always having been a horror fan I neglected to play this back in the day and just played it last year.  I gotta say I really enjoyed the few hours I played, but I wonder if this wasn't just a case of attributing something to a brand it shouldn't have been.  I'm not a huge fan of Doom so I can't really say but I do hear a lot of people bad mouth this title as of late.

Amusingly it was this game that gave birth to doom having deeper lore. Though 2016 really upped the game but having the gratifying balls-out action as well as the deeper lore and cinematic story. I think Doom 3 is more liked than what typically surfaces on forums and the like.

One reason some don't like it very much is the fact that it's not really a Doom game. That was what initially disappointed me about it, but I tend to at least try to experience any game as if there was nothing else before it. Even then, however, it's nothing great. It's enjoyable sure, but it's legacy is so strong that good isn't really enough.

At least that's my thoughts on it, because there are many other that love it. As I've said, it's not a bad game.

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

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