The weirdest thing about the port of DOOM onto the Nintendo Switch is just how lonely it feels on the console. Because, right now, there is nothing like DOOM on the Switch. Which actually makes it a perfect fit, but it does feel somewhat weird to go from the cute, brightly colored logos of Switch games on my home screen over to, well, DOOM. The game itself plays pretty much exactly like you remember it does. All of the controls are mapped in pretty much the exact same ways on the Switch, the only difference is the motion controls and the handheld mode.
The gameplay, the multiplayer, the style – everything else is the same. And despite being a bit old now, DOOM on the Switch looks like a proper AAA game on the console. It’s nice to see a major AAA third-party game on the Switch, so that was also a major highlight.
The motion controls were, well, a bit odd. Because the only thing you could control with them were your glory kills and pistol-whipping. So, while it was as easy as snapping your arm up to activate the glory kills, it wasn’t any easier than just using the standard controls. So I really ended up ignoring the motion controls all-together. It was only when using the Switch in TV mode that I even noticed them, because I’d accidentally pistol-whip nothing when moving my arm for a better resting angle.
The handheld mode for DOOM was also a bit odd. To pull up your gun focus, you’d naturally hit the left-trigger, while to shoot you pulled the right. Just like any other shooter. However, with the Switch in handheld mode, there’s a good 6″ of space between your two hands, and that’s where the screen is. Somehow, with DOOM that difference makes for much more of an uncomfortable feel than with other games. My hand-eye coordination just did not like the fact that shooting required both hands and they were so damn far apart. It started getting to me so badly, I just could not play the game on handheld after the opening.
Which is sad, because one of the Switch’s greatest strengths is its ability to let you play a game anywhere – no TV required.
But here I was, making it so I needed a TV to play DOOM, and it was just like playing the game on any other console.
However, DOOM fills a need on the Switch that I didn’t even know was there. So many games for the Switch are family friendly, brightly colored, or at least (in the case of Skyrim, is a pretty uplifting adventure) but DOOM is all shrieking hellbeasts, zombies, and the joy of being covered in the blood of your enemies. It has a viciousness to it that hasn’t existed on a Nintendo console in decades. So having it there, now, is almost a revelation.
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