2017 has been quite the year for gamers and an absolutely incredible time for Nintendo. Bethesda and Panic Button has brought the FPS giant Doom to the Nintendo Switch against all odds. First off, it’s great to see Bethesda and Nintendo working with each other again. The gaming community hasn’t seen a Doom release for Nintendo since the N64 era. Secondly, the fact that this is all running on a portable system powered by a Nvidia Tegra X1 GPU is simply hard to believe. The team at Panic Button have crafted some serious voodoo here to pull this off and it’s wildly impressive.
For those new to this release, players take the role of a marine that’s sole purpose is to defeat the forces of Hell that have been released upon Mars by the Union Aerospace corporation. The action is fast paced and the key to survival is to keep on moving. You are rewarded in your aggression, including performing glory kills. Once enough damage has been dealt to an enemy, they will be highlighted and this is your cue to perform one of many brutal melee finishing moves. Health is dropped as you break, rip and tear these demons apart. There are collectibles found throughout the game’s 8-12 hour campaign. These can be used as points to upgrade your weapons and suit. Players will also come across drones that can enable more powerful shots, a wider spread or a higher rate of fire on your current firearms. The chainsaw makes a welcome return as a special weapon and it absolutely decimates whatever is on the other end.
While there has been noticeable adjustments to get this brilliant shooter running on the Switch, the tenacious ultra violent elements that Doom is known for is all here. The frantic, high octane action can now be taken on the go with you, which makes for a phenomenal mobile experience. For those that played it last year on other platforms, you’ll see that all the enemies, weapons, and bosses are indeed present and this is not a watered down port. Every level and the original design found on other platforms is present and accounted for on the Nintendo Switch. On top of that, players also pick up all the post release updates and DLC, making this an even more enticing package.
Let’s talk about the graphical performance. The game runs at a target of 30 frames per second, but can dip below that when you are in a mosh pit of demons and blasting them to bits. On occasions you will experience some frame pacing issues, but it’s nothing consistent or overbearing. It uses an adaptive resolution and levels out at around 600P if you have the Nintendo Switch docked. The graphic effects found in the original release are present as well that include depth of field, motion blur and temporal aliasing. If you happen to jump from the PS4 Pro, Xbox One X or PC builds, you will no doubt notice the Switch is at a significantly lower resolution. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise and is still a monumental accomplishment from the developers at Panic Button. When playing in handheld mode, it’s hard to argue that it’s no doubt the most technical FPS on a any mobile platform to date.
Fans of multiplayer will be happy to hear it’s pretty much identical as well here on the Switch. As it is with the campaign, the matches are blazing fast and unwavering in its frantic pace. Players can warm up by basting some bots and then when comfortable, jump online for some real competition. It’s a blast and getting the demon rune within a map allows you to lay waste to the opposing players in brutalizing fashion. Arcade mode is another fun option after you finish the campaign. You start the game with all the weapons and rune abilities. You simply dispose of all enemies as fast as possible and the chaotic gameplay here is thrilling.
Doom for the Nintendo Switch offers up the most impressive first person shooter ever seen on a handheld in history. There were sacrifices in resolution and texture quality, but the entire core package is present here including the entire campaign, Arcade mode, Multiplayer component and all the post release DLC. Blasting away demons on Mars is as fun as its ever been. The work that Panic Button Studios has accomplished here cannot be stressed enough and this release for the Switch continues to spell a bright future for Nintendo’s hybrid system.