Chances are, if you’re reading this review, you know what you’re getting into with Doom Eternal. This hellishly fast shooter launched on PC and consoles in March 2020 and has only just arrived on Nintendo Switch in all its gory glory. Therefore, in this review, we won’t go into too much detail about the critical analysis of the actual game. Instead, we’re mainly going to focus on how it plays on Switch.
Just to share some basic information. Doom Eternal is a direct sequel to the 2016 reboot and picks up where we left hell at that point. We say that because storytelling is not the power of Doom. In fact it is a border nuisance in Doom Eternal. During the countless cutscenes you immediately notice that storytelling is not the motive.
The opposite can be said of the action, which is clearly the reason to buy this game. You are encouraged to never stop and shoot at the various enemies with whatever weapon you have at your disposal – and there are many more this time.
Graphically, the PC and console versions were very nicely finished. And while the Switch is much less powerful, in the end it’s another victory for Panic Button, sitting nicely next to other ‘impossible ports’ like the original Doom, Wolfenstein 2 and Warframe.
Sure, corners have been cut to squeeze the game on Switch, which is quite a significantly less capable platform than PC and the other consoles. It’s a bit blurrier, the resolution, and especially the texture resolution, has taken a hit and, perhaps more importantly, it runs at 30fps instead of buttery-smooth 60fps.
However, we didn’t find it a problem and it didn’t affect our enjoyment. It helps, of course, that it’s a locked 30fps. I can only remember one moment when the frame rate dropped, and it was noticeable because it is so rare. The environments are just as breathtaking – the gigantic monsters of hell that roam the landscape and the dead remains of the war are just as impressive. In fact, they tell the story much better than all the horrible cutscenes. Sorry, they are really bad.
My only complaint about the Switch port in particular is the controls. The JoyCons are notoriously awful when it comes to precision, and we actually found it impossible to find comfortable sensitivity settings. It’s a problem I also had with the original Doom, and we ended up using a Pro Controller, which solved the problem. It’s a weird one though, considering we play other shooters on Switch with JoyCons without any issues.
If you’re already a fan of Doom Eternal and know what you’re getting into, the Switch version is a damn good way to play it again. It might not be the best way, as you have to accept a noticeable drop in visual fidelity and a literal halving of the frame rate, but you get the switch’s portability as a plus. Just play with the Pro Controller and skip the cutscenes for the best experience.
As with their previous ports, Panic Button has made the perfect version of Doom eternal for the Switch in a very playable way. If you have not played the game yet or you want to play the game portable, this port is definitely worth it.