Doom Eternal (Switch) Review
The wait for Doom Eternal on the Nintendo Switch has been painful; it’s been almost a year since the initial planned release, it’s now cheaper elsewhere by a fair margin (and available physically) – so why would you buy Doom Eternal on the Switch? Because it’s a bloody miracle, it even exists.
When Doom 2016 was announced for the Switch, we couldn’t believe it, the rip and tear action of the modern classic distilled into the palm of your hands, available anywhere – and the first Doom game available on a Nintendo system in a very long time. Doom Eternal builds on Doom 2016 with more additions to its core gameplay loop, big and badder enemies and a new setting Earth – and it’s hell.
Like Doom 2016 you’re required to keep moving around the levels which are just sectioned off arena at this point. You’ll need to dance with your enemies, but unlike a ballet, you’re shooting, setting on firing, tearing and blowing them up with every step. You’ll get a system working as you reload and recharge, turning taking down demons into an art form. You’re given a reprieve between each of these sessions. Eternal breaks up the action with platforming, you can double jump, and dash in all directions to accomplish this. There’s also a manoeuvre to grab onto particular walls. It sorts of works, but there are probably better ways to break up the action than this.
The game’s story also left me cold, with the opening not explaining things properly. The majority of the lore is in codecs both written and audio, the cutscenes without any context were just a bit naff. That’s alright it’s Doom, I’m not expecting a novel but at I’d prefer at least things make sense or don’t have it all.
With a more in-depth and grander vision for its gameplay, how does the Switch handle the game itself? In a word, admirably. Eternal is more visually dense than Doom 2016, and despite this, the game still manages to look the part. If you stop and take a closer look (which you won’t have time to do), you’ll see blurrier textures; character models with less complicated models and toned-down lighting effects. Then there’s the “blur” the to game; there’s no easy to put the – the game runs at a very low resolution at in places. I thought I didn’t have my glasses on at one point, but no, that’s how it looks. It never gets in the way, but if you’ve seen the game on another console – you might not be able to look at this the same way again. The saving grace is the frame rate, it’s 30fps for most of the game, not 60fps like the other consoles but it still stable for the most part.
Doom Eternal does have one other thing over the other consoles: gyro controls; you’ll have to tweak to your liking they’re not naturally right out of the box and between playing it handheld and with a Pro controller it feels different as well.
Doom Eternal is the best example so far of how amazing the Switch is being pushed after four years, but we’re starting to see that there’s not much more to give. There’s no denying Doom Eternal on the Switch is fun. However it’s now game design, not just graphics, makes it harder for the console to get these ports.
It’s impressive achievement to be playing this on the Switch, the cut downs to get it on there are visible, but the core gameplay loop remains fun even if you’re looking through vaseline to get there.
+ A thrilling action game regardless of platform
+ How is this game even running on here
+ Load times are surprisingly quick
- Platforming and wall jumping is a bit average
- Gyro controls take some tweaking
- An overwhelming number of things to remember to do at any one time
- Doom 2016 is still king