DOOM was rebooted last year for the PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The game was praised for its frantic gameplay and stellar graphics, which were backed by potent console hardware and the [then] nascent GeForce GTX 10 Series graphics cards. But how would DOOM look on a gaming system that is considered by many to woefully underpowered by modern hardware standards?
We're getting a glimpse today as DOOM for the Nintendo Switch has been demoed to the gaming press, and by all accounts, this port looks damn good. The Nintendo Switch is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra X1 ARM-based SoC, which has a 256-core Maxwell GPU onboard. It's not exactly what we'd call a powerhouse chip; at least compared to what you'd find in a PlayStation 4 Pro or Xbox One X. However, Bethesda has been able to massage this port to maintain much of the visual fidelity of the original game while running at a resolution of 1280x720 on the Nintendo Switch's 6.2-inch display.
“Doom is a completely different kind of game from what everyone else is doing. It’s a very visceral, violent, bloody, fun first-person shooter," said Pete Hines, Bethesda VP for Marketing and Communications in an interview with GamesBeat. Luckily, none of the blood and gore of DOOM has been removed to cater to the "kid-friendly" portable gaming console.
"We feel like we have something that represents the game and looks really good," added Hines. "Some games may look as good as Doom on the Switch, but I’m not sure that anything looks better. It’s an impressive-looking game and it’s still really fun to play.”
Some who were given the opportunity to play DOOM on the Nintendo Switch commented that playing with Joy-Cons was a bit tedious, and that the Pro Controller was the preferred method for blasting their way through the game. In addition, while texture quality obviously isn't cranked up to the levels that you'd see on other current generation consoles or the PC, it still looks good as you can see from the included screenshots.
The other major concessions are that the frame rate is locked in at around 30 FPS and that load times are a bit longer than you would expect. However, this port hasn't been fully optimized for the Nintendo Switch at this point, so there is some room for improvement before the game is made available later this year.
We should note that not only is DOOM on the way to the Nintendo Switch, but that Wolfenstein II: New Colossus will also arrive sometime next year. If you've seen the latest trailer for that game, it should be a riot to play on the Nintendo Switch.