The Nintendo Switch port of DOOM isn’t without compromise.
When the Nintendo Switch port of DOOM was announced during last night’s Nintendo Direct, it almost seemed to good to be true. As excitement quiets down, Bethesda spoke with Glixel about the logistics of bringing its massively successful shooter to Nintendo Switch. As it turns out, there are some initial caveats with bringing the game to Switch.
First, SnapMap, DOOM’s level creator mode won’t be coming to the Switch version at all. The mode was only for singleplayer levels, but it was a way to add longevity for players who weren’t interested in DOOM’s multiplayer component. The mode wasn’t quite a smash hit with most users when the game launched back in 2016, but it offered players a way to challenge and shame their friends in brutally difficult, Super Mario Maker-like scenarios. It’s a shame to hear developer id Software and Bethesda aren’t bringing the mode to Nintendo’s platform. While the power of the Switch could be a limiting factor when it came to removing SnapMap, it’s also possible it was simply cut it because it was barely used on other platforms and takes up a lot of storage space.
Secondly, DOOM’s multiplayer won’t be available right away when players pop the cartridge into Switch. Instead, players can choose to download it for free as an additional mode in the game. This decision from the developer is likely due to the recent revelation that some games on Switch will need to be saved on a MicroSD card to access all features. On PC and console, DOOM is a massive game. On PS4 and Xbox One, the game is well over 50 gigabytes and PC is nearly double that size with 4K assets installed. On Switch, the game will likely have lower resolution assets, which should reduce the overall file size, but the game will probably still take up quite a bit of room. In an attempt to reduce the overall size of the game, it’s possible making the multiplayer a separate download might mitigate space concerns.
Now that we know a little more about how id Software and Bethesda are handling DOOM’s Switch port, it’ll be interesting to see other caveats that come with porting to the console. DOOM is a phenomenally well optimized game that goes easy on CPUs. The console also supports Vulkan as does DOOM’s id Tech 6 engine, which likely further optimizes the experience on Switch’s somewhat dated (for a console) specs. Keeping all that in mind, we’re probably in for another well optimized romp through hell on Switch when it launches sometime this winter.