DOOM & Skyrim on the Switch: Worth the second (or third) buy?
The Nintendo Switch is fast becoming home to a number of great ports of previously-released games with Bethesda being one of the big publishers involved.
They recently put out both Skyrim and 2016’s DOOM on the console which both present a question for many people who already own the games on other hardware: is it worth buying again?
Probably the biggest surprise to see running on the Switch, DOOM is the much newer and more demanding game here, but it has not been ported unscathed.
You may have seen the developer interview which stated that the game runs at 720p @ 30FPS. While that may be true in some parts, it’s very common for the framerate to drop to the teens or lower, with substantial slowdown in more hectic fights.
While the resolution may be 720p, the textures and effects are turned down so low that the promising “HD” resolution matters very little. Even in portable mode on the small screen, this game has lost a lot of its sheen.
The biggest problem, however, is the controls. This has nothing to do with the fact that I initially played this game on PC, but more due to the cramped Joy-Cons. With the grip the experience is fine, but handheld mode becomes painful after about 40 minutes and aiming just never feels right.
Gyro controls would have really helped this, and I hope it’s added in a future update. If FPS games on controllers have you running scared, you may want to wait for this to be patched in before you even consider touching it.
That’s a real shame because these problems don’t change the fact that this is DOOM, my favourite game of last year and one of the best shooters of recent memory. I was only supposed to put in a few hours for this story but I ended up playing most of the campaign (again) and even a few multiplayer matches.
The last problem is the removal of the SnapMap mode. Like gyro controls this may be unforgivable, but I’d be lying if I said I personally missed it.
Worth buying it again? Yes, if they add gyro controls
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
While it’s always good to look at a game (and its port) in a vacuum, I think that your enjoyment of Skyrim on the Switch is going to depend a lot on how you’ve played it in the past, if at all.
I put 100+ hours into Skyrim at launch on the PlayStation 3. Having gotten my fill then, I never went back for any of the DLC or the mod utopia of the PC version when that became my platform of choice.
Because of this the Switch version feels very similar. The performance and fidelity here matches what I remember of my time on the PS3, and the controls are familiar too, if not a bit better thanks to remapping. It’s great to be playing this game again, especially on the go.
All that being said, I realise I missed a huge part of this game by not going back to it on PC. That is, of course, the endless source of mods that extended the life of this game indefinitely.
While this is the Special Edition of the game with the expansions, it is “vanilla” Skyrim and all you have in the way of additions is some Zelda equipment unlocked with amiibo.
More so than the DOOM controls above, this may be the biggest reason fans avoid this version of the game, especially as even PS4 and Xbox One players now have access to mods.
This is still an extremely compelling RPG to have on the go, especially if you’ve played everything there is to play in Breath of the Wild. I just wish that this game was slightly cheaper, given it’s age.
Worth buying it again? Yes, if you can live without mods