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Of all the games to release on the Switch in its first year, who could have predicted that Doom would grace Nintendo's portable/console hybrid? Not just for its M-rated content, but for its specific brand of brutal and bloody M-rated content that truly revels in its own gory combat. Doom is a unique brand of visceral action and, putting aside any comparisons to how the game might run on other hardware, Doom on the Switch delivers on all fronts. As the game begins you awaken in an empty room in a research facility on Mars. The Union Aerospace Corporation has opened a portal to Hell in order to draw power and solve Earth's energy crisis, but wouldn't you know it, demons have poured through the portal and are decimating the facility. It's up to you to stop the rampaging demons and send them back to Hell. For a Doom game, you might assume that's enough of a plotline, and for the most part that's all you really need to know, but there are still more details that make the game's infrequent cutscenes pretty interesting. The player character may not be terribly deep—though it is a nice nod to the series that you are once again playing the iconic Doomguy, this time called the Doom Slayer—but the game's universe is interesting and worth exploring. There's one thing you should always expect from a Doom game: tons of vicious, bloody action. This latest entry in the series doesn't disappoint on that front. In addition to the general mayhem of gunning down hordes of demons, Doom features brutal melee finishers called glory kills. You need to be up close and personal with a dazed demon to execute the attack, which can be dangerous, but in addition to just plain looking cool glory kills reward you with health, so they can be worthwhile attacks. They also speak to the fast-paced philosophy of this Doom game. This isn't the type of FPS where you hide behind cover and snipe your enemies from a distance. You need to be constantly on the move, gunning down monsters, punching them in face, and dodging their attacks. The rapid fluidity of battle can be disorienting at first—glory kills in particular can be a little rough on your eyes since, when the animation finishes, you often end up looking in a different direction than where you started—but after a bit of practice with it the hectic nature of the combat is actually quite satisfying. It's visceral action, and exciting to play from the first enemy encounter to the last. The bane of modern FPS games is corridor level design. Too many shooters put you on narrow paths where you dash from cover to cover, popping off shots between waiting for your health to regenerate. Doom has none of these weaknesses. The level design here is fantastically elaborate, with branching, interconnected paths and tons of secrets to find. You're never at a loss for things to investigate, which is an all too rare treat in FPS design anymore. The secrets are well-worth finding as well. Doom has quite an elaborate upgrade system, from weapon mods to health/armor boosters, and taking the time to survey your surroundings often rewards you with such upgrades. The only annoying aspect of Doom's exploration is that oftentimes there are points of no return with no warning, and with the auto-saving checkpoint system you can easily accidentally lock yourself out of sections of the map in each level. It's not a terrible hassle to replay a level but it is rather inconvenient. In addition to a pretty lengthy single-player campaign—which also has the added replay value of multiple difficulty settings and a score-chasing arcade mode—Doom offers online multiplayer. Many of the usual multiplayer game features are available here, including old standbys like Team Deathmatch and modern features like leveling up to unlock new equipment. There are also a few unique features as well, though these can be a little daunting to new players, such as the ability to transform into a demon during a match. However, the fast-paced action of Doom's gameplay makes for a somewhat rocky multiplayer system. Any slight delay between players can really make things rough on your aim when everyone is zipping around so quickly. Your mileage may vary depending upon your internet connection but in my experience the gameplay seemed to be too fast for the actual multiplayer infrastructure. Visually, Doom is everything you would expect. Several levels literally take place in Hell, and the landscape is suitably demonic, and the monsters themselves are delightfully horrific (though still clearly based on classic Doom enemies). Overall though the game's setting doesn't lend itself to a ton of variety in the visuals, which is a bit of a shame since what you do see looks pretty great. And of course the fast-paced action is complemented by a heart-pounding soundtrack—just the kind of intense music you want while tearing demons apart with a chainsaw. There is one huge problem with the presentation though, and it's a glitch that is still prevalent two months after the game's initial release. Occasionally the sound cuts out entirely, and other times you'll get a sharp blaring noise for a split second. These issues can pop up seemingly at random, and you'll have to restart a checkpoint to fix the audio when it goes silent. These glitches may not affect the gameplay but they are extremely distracting when they happen in the middle of a fight. Doom is everything you'd expect it to be: an intense FPS with brutal combat around every corner. What might be surprising though is how well that formula is used in this game. This is far from mindless action. The fast-paced gameplay is thrilling but it also changes the way you approach battles and encourages a true understanding of your surroundings. The level design makes exploration not only rewarding in terms of power-ups but engaging in its own right. The multiplayer system is somewhat less unique and exciting but it still scratches an itch for a bit of classic competitive gameplay. Aside from a few technical issues Doom on the Switch is an intense and intensely satisfying experience. Rating: 8 out of 10 Demons
Just got the Doom port for Switch for $25 at Best Buy (had rewards and game membership). Wasn't going to get it unless I could get it for cheap. I must say I am very impressed. You can actually play Doom while taking a shit and it works spendidly. I have a PC that runs Doom at 60fps, 1080p on Ultra Settings so I know how well it plays compared to the PC version. Basically it is a very good port of a stellar game. Compromises had to be made but even with those compromises (720p @ 30fps both docked and undocked and no SnapMap support) it is easily the best Doom game ever released on any Nintendo platoform. So we can now take a shit and Doom it up while doing so with no problem.