Review: DOOM (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Review: DOOM (Switch)

By Sairus Delaney

A hell of a game

It’s actually a little sad that every time I boot up DOOM on my Switch I think, “Wow. I can’t believe DOOM is on this system.” Nintendo has a long way to go with major 3rd party support, but DOOM is a fantastic early step in that direction.

It’s refreshing how DOOM rebels against modern first person shooter tropes. There’s no cover shooting mechanic, regenerating health, or limit on how many weapons you can carry at a time. Instead the game encourages constant movement as the best defense and rewards aggressive, close quarters combat with a variety of weapons. This is made absolutely clear with how it encourages you to melee kill enemies in exchange for a fountain of health and ammo pickups.

For those tired of overly linear shooters, DOOM’s level design will also be a breath of fresh air. Each stage is constructed like a series of deathmatch arenas linked by a labyrinth of passageways. This allows for a massive amount of exploration and there is a lot to find in every map. Extra weapon caches, upgrades, multiplayer unlocks and even entire amazing throwback secret levels are waiting for anyone who wants to search them out.

This open level design also makes the movement heavy combat shine as you sprint and leap around obstacles to avoid and ambush demons. Initial enemies will just shamble towards you slowly, but the game rapidly introduces leaping, flying and teleporting demons. Each new enemy requires you to improve your moving and shooting ability, and if you can’t keep up you’ll be thankful for DOOM’s plentiful checkpoints. 

Initially I played DOOM a lot in handheld mode and honestly didn’t enjoy it very much. The low resolution and awkward analog stick placement felt uncomfortable. Once I switched over to a pro controller it felt a lot smoother to play, especially with the recent patch that added motion assisted aiming. 

Aside from the reduced visuals, the Switch version of DOOM does have a few obvious shortcomings. The game has a *massive* required download when it’s first opened as the entire online multiplayer component is not included on the game card. ID and Panic Button also opted to cut the acclaimed Snap Map level designer from the game entirely. Loading times can be frustrating as they are extremely lengthy and force you to wait for long periods between respawns. These aren’t deal breakers, but they’re annoying all the same. 

DOOM is a tremendous accomplishment. While the visuals are clearly a downgrade from other systems, it’s still one of the most gorgeous games on the Switch. The emphasis on frenetic combat and optional exploration take all the best parts from classic DOOM gameplay, but modernizes them in all the right ways. While the online is mostly forgettable it can still be an enjoyable romp. Be warned that while the game is totally playable in handheld mode, it’s probably best enjoyed on a big screen with an actual controller.

If you’re an FPS fan and you own a Switch, this is an absolute requirement for your library. 

Final Score: 9.0

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