One of the best first person shooters ever made, Doom Eternal, is finally available for Nintendo Switch letting players take the pulse-pounding demon slaying action on the go. The wait has been longer than anticipated and the retail version was canned completely, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be excited for the Switch port. In fact, it’s quite amazing they were able to squeeze this game down to run on Nintendo’s hybrid system!
The Doom Slayer is back and more badass than ever, armed to the teeth with an insane roster of outlandish guns and weapons specifically designed to force Hell’s Army back to Hell. This time around the demons have invaded earth and the Slayer is humanity’s last hope for survival.
2016’s soft reboot of the Doom franchise was an instant hit. It blended what made the original games great — fast and fluid shooting mechanics and a wide array of guns — with modern graphics and story telling to create one of the best shooters of all time. And although Doom Eternal does not reinvent the wheel, what it does it does exceptionally well, and it made me question which of the two games are better.
The short answer is: I like them both equally and if you’re a fan of 2016’s Doom then you will no doubt fall in love with its sequel, Doom Eternal.
The game released back in March of this year on other platforms but Nintendo Switch players had to wait almost until the end of the year for the action. No doubt, Switch owners have seen how well the game has performed. It was nominated for Game of Year at the Game Awards and won Best Action Game for PC of 2020. We already know the accolades sung for the game, but how well does it perform on the little hybrid console?
The Switch port of Doom Eternal was handled by Panic Button, who was in charge of the previous Doom port and the Wolfenstein series ports for Switch. All of these games perform amazingly on the console and Doom Eternal is no different. Credit has to be due for Panic Button being able to port such a title to the underpowered Switch. In a time when gamers are leaping to the next generation of gaming consoles the Nintendo Switch, now almost four years old, is still able to handle big AAA titles with the right optimization.
Unfortunately the Switch port is probably the worst looking version of the game. I have played the game on both my Switch and base PS4 and seen the game running on a high end PC and the Switch game definitely doesn’t look as good as the others. With many players making the transition to the PS5 or Xbox Series X, two incredible pieces of gaming hardware, Doom Eternal on those new systems will vastly outshine the Switch port in terms of graphics.
That being said, the Switch port of Doom Eternal does not look all that bad. It’s still very much playable and if you live in a Nintendo-only household the game will still look great. It’s only when played side-by-side with the other versions of the game that we start to see the cracks. Thankfully it seems that the graphical downgrade only applies to the textures and lighting of the game. As far as framerate goes, I have not noticed any drops whatsoever in my nearly ten hours of playtime in the campaign – and that counts for both handheld and docked. It runs at a steady 30 FPS across all modes in the campaign.
What Doom Eternal lacks on Switch (the better graphics and higher framerate) it makes up for with portability and gyro controls. The magicians at Panic Button deserve all the praise in the world for porting one of the biggest games of 2020 to a portable console. It might not be the best looking version of the game but it’s certainly one of the best looking games on the Switch.
The Switch gyro controls work great and can be used for aiming in conjunction with the control sticks on the Joy-Con controllers. I did not use the feature a whole lot personally, but it’s nice to have the option there when I need it. If you’re a Splatoon 2 player you’ll no doubt be right at home with the precision gyro brings to the game.
Doom Eternal boasts an awesome heavy metal inspired soundtrack which blends perfectly with the mayhem on screen. Demon groans of pain coupled with shotgun blasts just sound all the better with roaring guitar and pulse-pounding drum beats in the background.
The game also includes the online multiplayer Battle Mode that pits two player-controlled demons against a fully armed Slayer. I’m happy to report that it performed quite well for me without any performance issues to note. There was a bit of load time to find a match, however, but that’s probably just because not many people are playing it on Switch.
Doom Eternal has A LOT of collectibles as secrets to find throughout the levels giving the game plenty of replay value, especially players who might be double dipping here with the Switch port. So if you love exploring in your games, this one has plenty to offer.
Panic Button once again performs a miracle here porting one of the best games of 2020 onto Nintendo’s hybrid console. This may not be the best looking version of the game but it’s still one of the best looking games for the Switch. Doom Eternal is a masterpiece in the first person shooter genre and having the ability to take it on the go is an absolute technical marvel. If you haven’t played this game yet or you’re looking for an excuse to double dip, this version is fantastic.
Doom Eternal Review
- Graphics - 8/108/10
- Sound - 9/109/10
- Gameplay - 10/1010/10
- Lasting Appeal - 9/109/10
Final Thoughts: EXCELLENT
The wizards at Panic Button have once again done the impossible of porting one of the biggest and greatest shooters of 2020, maybe all time, offering Switch owners the chance to hunt demons anywhere and anytime. It’s time to rip ‘n’ tear on the go with Doom Eternal.