Who would have thought a couple of months ago we would be getting DOOM on the Nintendo Switch? Next to no-one right? Well here we are, the critically acclaimed shooter from Bethesda and id Software that launched in 2016 has arrived on the portable hand-held console hybrid. Does it deliver the same hard-hitting, blood and guts swinging experience, or does it fail at bringing hell to the Nintendo platform? Spoiler alert, it’s the former.
When one thinks of DOOM, story isn’t usually something that pops into your mind straightaway, being more well known for its gameplay and visuals. The story included in this instalment is both interesting and deep. You aren’t just running and gunning through hell for the sake of it, there is a reason why everything is taking place which is told to you throughout. As the events unfold in front of you and because of you, more enemies and characters are introduced making for a great pace, the action constantly builds in number of enemies and the difficulty of them.
The gameplay as expected is addictive and satisfying. Shooting or slicing my way through all the different monsters that decided to try and take me on is fun as hell. The weapon variety gives you the opportunity to kill how you want. The chainsaw lets players take on the role of a lumberjack with the demons as your wood to cut down. Not only is the chainsaw a means to kill, but enemies that die in this manner then drop ammo, so you are rewarded for switching up your weapons.
When faced with a large group of monsters, changing your gun throughout is a must with some being deadlier against certain enemy types. The shotgun is my favourite weapon and when combined with the explosive shot modification you can make a big impact on the enemies’ numbers, switching from regular shots to explosive once the cooldown has ended for it, so damn fun.
What I especially love and was surprised with was the number of collectibles, tokens, lore-items and in general other things you could do whilst playing. Collectibles take the form of miniature models of the main character, and allow you to look at various character models. Tokens allow you to upgrade weapons and your praetor suit, the weapon tokens are best acquired through combat with the praetor ones you pick up along the way from dead soldiers.
Runes can be accessed after completion of specific challenges that can be found in the missions, you get teleported into a small arena type scenario with the goal of beating the trial. Runes are then rewarded to the player which grant a benefit, these can be equipped up to a maximum of three at a time after 7 rune trials are beat. Between it all, there is plenty to get stuck in with, these all pad the game out but not in a way that’s unnecessary, it is all there if you want it, but you don’t need it to complete the game. Without doing the extra’s each mission is sizeable and with 13 missions, they amass to around 10-15 hours of play time.
There is a noticeable difference visually between the other platform versions and the Switch version. However, I feel it doesn’t impact the game enough to be a negative thing, it still looks great, all the core effects, colours and designs are there but it just has a slightly muddier look. The menus and text I feel suffer the worst from the difference, with most text being blurred around the edges and the same with the weapon reticle, and that’s in docked mode. In handheld mode it actually looks better but of course that will be to do with the pixels being condensed down to a smaller screen, either mode it still looks good and runs smoothly at a mostly 30 frames per second.
There’s always this sense of unease and hostility that’s instilled into you from the get go, with the majority of that coming from the background soundtrack. Dark and gloomy, it’s doomy! (Unsure whether I’m proud of that one.) When the battle commences the music picks up with a more heavy metal inspired tone and tempo, taking on the hordes with the tracks blasting just makes you feel good.
The multiplayer took me by surprise due to the sheer amount of things to do. 11 game modes in total mixed between solo and team-based modes, with another available just to practice against the bots. Weapon loadout, runes and appearance can all be customised, a welcome addition that helps with replayability more than anything, having stuff to unlock and an incentive to play. Not to mention, I absolutely enjoyed my time with the multiplayer, matches were action-filled and the matchmaking was fast.
Looks like it, sounds like it and most certainly plays like it, DOOM on switch is still the same overall experience you can play on other platforms. It comes with the benefits of being able to take it on the go and having access to the previously released DLC. It may have omitted snap map, but the campaign and multiplayer suite combined bring enough content that allows for an awesome ride.
OVERALL: 8.4/10 – GREAT
Reviewed by Rhys Baldwin.