'Doom' On Switch Still Runs Great, Early Impressions Suggest


There was a collective "whoa" when Bethesda announced it was going to port Doom, a graphically intensive game, on the Nintendo Switch.

It was an important show of support. Skyrim is already headed for the system, but the Switch needed more boost — gamers need to be assured and confident that picking up a Switch means they'll have access to third-party experiences also present on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. With Doom coming, along with Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, that seemed to settle it. The Switch is a capable piece of hardware. After so many years, Nintendo has finally cracked the code.

But aside from excitement, gamers also had doubts. Doom? On a handheld? How can such a tiny console run such a big game? It seemed impossible, if not a little bit fanatical. Gamers wondered if it would be a watered-down version, with certain penalties on the graphics department to account for the Switch's comparably weaker hardware than rival machines.

How Well Does 'Doom' Run On Nintendo Switch?

Turns out, they're right, yet also wrong. Early impressions about Doom on Switch are now starting to surface, and while the jury is still out on how the final version will turn out, there already seems to be a strong consensus: running on Switch renders slight graphical changes, but Doom still pretty much feels and looks like Doom. Polygon said it best:

"It's a modern, cutting-edge, game of the year-winning shooter and it's running on a Nintendo handheld."

Doom Gameplay Test On Nintendo Switch

Here's what critics are saying about the game. Do keep in mind that these are still categorized as early impressions. There's every possibility that the final game might turn out better or worse compared with the current build.

For starters, Engadget adds to the consensus above, saying Doom feels great to play despite having only 30 fps — a huge step down from 60 fps on other consoles.

"Doom on the Nintendo Switch feels identical to Doom on other platforms. The same fast-paced, demonic shooter action that embodied the spirit of the classic game is there, and it still feels great."

Still, throughout testing, several publications noticed that the game had noticeable graphical downgrades on Switch. This is no surprise. Corners had to be cut in certain aspects to deliver a smooth experience. Even so, IGN argued the downgrade isn't a big deal.

"Bethesda has been tight-lipped on the resolution, and I'm sure certain graphical settings have been tuned down to compensate for the Switch's weaker hardware, but it was genuinely hard for me to tell what, if anything, was scaled down when playing undocked. It just looked like the lovely, gory Doom I remembered playing on my PC."

On the other hand, an analysis by Digital Foundry went into detail about just how much of a downgrade the game received in terms of graphics.

"Doom was always soft but the Switch rendition is its blurriest presentation yet. We can't be entirely certain, but some areas of gameplay are blurrier than others, suggesting dynamic resolution scaling — a feature in place on all console versions to date," Digital Foundry said.

Still, it gave merit where merit is due.

"[T]he basic idea of bringing Doom — and indeed Wolfenstein 2 — to Switch is just so ambitious, we have to applaud the developers for the effort. Hopefully the final code will deliver."

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