Doom Eternal is Perfectly Imperfect on Switch

It’s not often I review games these days, but every now and then, something comes along that I simply have to get hands on with. I’m not going to give you all a big run down of the Doom Eternal gameplay, as quite honestly, it’s been out a while now on other platforms, and has been reviewed within an inch of its life. What really matters to me this time around is the fact it’s on the Nintendo Switch!

For many, Nintendo platforms are a friendly and joyful place, filled with Mario games, puzzles and such. Actually, my own Switch game collection is entirely just that, with all the games we own suitable for all ages and that’s fantastic. However, today they take a darker turn, as Doom is unleashed to rip a violent hole in that collection; move over Mario!

Surely, they can’t maintain the same stunning visuals we’ve seen on the PlayStation, Xbox, and obviously, on PC? No they can’t. I mean no disrespect to the Switch, as it’s a wonderful thing capable of some fantastic things of its own. However, it’s the least powerful gaming system out there right now by quite a margin and compromises have to be made.

The first thing to be cut in half isn’t the first enemy you see, it is the frame rate. It’s dropped to 30FPS, but overall, it’s absolutely solid, and that is a relief. If I were playing at my computer, that would be unacceptable for me, but playing on the handheld screen while I’m in bed? It’s a compromise I can live with.

Other things have been tweaked too, such as lowering the resolution of assets, and even the enemy models have been put through a potato chipper to square up a few round edges. However, you REALLY have stop and look to notice the slight blur from the lower quality assets and dynamic resolution. That’s why this port works so well, DOOM Eternal is NONE STOP. You rip through the landscape and torsos with endless savagery and none of that action is gone.

I’ll admit, the handheld version is a bit clunky, as clicking that right stick just isn’t quite as snappy on the Switch. However, if you have a Pro Controller, it solves that problem right away.

You still get the same story and gameplay of any other version of the game, which is epic. You still get that stunning audio score to blow your ear drums out with. There’s BATTLEMODE for a 2 vs 1 online multiplayer, which I hadn’t played on other versions, but it’s certainly a lot of fun too.

This much violence on a Nintendo Switch feels pretty amazing to me. I actually still play the original Doom and Doom II every now and then, and it’s great to see the franchise continue to reach new audiences given it’s a game I’ve grown up with the last 30 years or so. Honestly though, headphones in, a warm blanket, sprawled out on the sofa and Doom Eternal on a handheld… well, it’s a hell of a thing. I just wonder how long the kids will let me borrow their Switch for…

Doom Eternal is available now from the Nintendo Store.

Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's, I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

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