The Switch is definitely not DOOMed.
Since I reviewed Skyrim while pretending to be playing DOOM, I was going to be hilarious and pretend I was playing Skyrim while playing DOOM. But it doesn’t work as well. Six hours in I was bored with asking aloud where all the dragons were, and my hands were cramping from trying to play in handheld mode again.
But hey, still got an opener.
Last year’s DOOM is one of the best shooters I have ever played. It gives the kind of fast, frenetic action that you won’t get from the recent resurgence in historical FPS titles like Battlefield One and Call of Duty WW2. For me, I like the crazy, no holds barred, screaming action of blasting demons with a shotgun and not really having to think about much for a while. It’s soothing, in its way.
Which is why I really, truly, wish DOOM was better on the Switch.
Functionally, Switch DOOM is the same as last year’s release, There are no massive framerate drops, no input lag, no random crashes. It runs as well, as far as I can see, on the new console as it did on others. It’s still about Doomguy waking up on Mars in the middle of a demonic incursion, and fixing that with a hot lead injection, and looking good doing it.
Unfortunately, if you’re docking your Switch to exorcise some baddies with aformentioned hot lead, you will then notice the graphics. While this is not even a thing on the 6” screen, the lowered resolution is most definitely a thing when on your 40” TV. It doesn’t look bad, obviously, it’s still DOOM. Just, ya know, the PS4 is right there, guy. Or the XBox… Or PC… Basically anything will make it look better. Again, not bad. Just not as good.
The selling point of a Switch rerelease will always be, of course, portability. So, is DOOM fun to play as a handheld?
Maybe I’ve got monster hands, or hold the Switch like an idiot, but It is basically not possible to play for any amount of time in handheld mode. The Switch isn’t comfortable to use for long periods anyway, but the kind of actions you need to perform input-wise is especially unsuited to the not-very-ergonomic tablet.Joy cons on their own were tolerable, singular or docked, but really you need a Pro Controller to have anything close to the same experience as other consoles.
Likewise, if you share my bad habits and have a tendency to jerk your hands around every which way while shooting, there’s the obvious issue of the screen going along for the ride. This is not great. It’s also probably inappropriate as a public transport diversion, considering the sensibilities of the randoms on your bus/train/hovercraft.
All that sounds bad, right? Well, I still can’t not recommend DOOM. Again, it is one of the best games last year, my favourite offline shooter since TimeSplitters died, and an all-round good time. If you have a Switch, and haven’t played DOOM before, you need to fix that right the hell now.
Just, ya know, maybe on another console.