Doom Eternal on Nintendo Switch, from my personal experience, can be frustrating to play. Unlike on other platforms, the frame rate is locked to 30 frames per second, and there can be a battle with the controls sometimes when using the Joy-Con. However, despite these issues, Doom Eternal is still a satisfying demon-slaying romp, offering one of the finest first-person shooter experiences available on a Nintendo platform. If you enjoyed playing through the main campaign, Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part One adds even more carnage to an already fantastic game — just don’t go in expecting the Switch version to be the definitive way to play, because it isn’t.
The Ancient Gods – Part One follows on from the main campaign after the defeat of the Icon of Sin. The death of the tyrannical Khan Maykr brought Hell’s invasion of Earth to a halt, but it has given the demons a chance to dominate all dimensions and resume their conquest against our world. The Doom Slayer then sets out on a quest with the help of Samuel Hayden to prevent this from happening. Just like with the main story, it’s nothing to write home about and will be concluded in the next installment, Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part Two, which has yet to be released on the Nintendo Switch. There is a pretty nifty cliffhanger at the end of the DLC, which actually gave me chills, but aside from that, the narrative was just a reason to continue ripping and tearing.
Meanwhile, there’s no denying that the Doom series has a killer soundtrack, and the DLC is no exception. The heavy metal music that fans know and love is still here, with a few new tracks being thrown in for extra measure.
The Ancient Gods – Part One doesn’t alter the gameplay in any meaningful way, and to be honest, it doesn’t have to. Expect to be surrounded by hordes of demons constantly as you run, jump, and rip them to shreds. It is worth mentioning that this DLC assumes that you have mastered Doom Eternal‘s mechanics, because The Ancient Gods doesn’t give you time to readjust yourself. Personally, having played the base Doom Eternal on Xbox One X last year, my transition to Nintendo Switch was quite drastic. I had to complete the first few levels again to familiarize myself with playing with unique restrictions. Playing with Joy-Con is extremely weird at times, and large encounters can often feel unfair as a result.
Speaking of large encounters, The Ancient Gods – Part One features a lot of drawn-out fights. Sometimes this is freaking awesome, as you tend to feel like an absolute badass. However, the first level in particular felt like unnecessary padding, with encounters that went on for far too long. While playing in handheld mode, it started to become uncomfortable really fast, so I had to pause the game at various intervals. Honestly, the best way to play Doom Eternal on Switch is to use a Pro Controller.
Obviously, the Switch port doesn’t look as fancy as other versions of the game, with the docked mode having a much lower resolution. This is carried over into the DLC, so expect to see a similar level of performance. You may notice it less handheld though.
There are a few new enemy variants that are introduced in the DLC, and they often require you to rethink your strategies. One enemy in particular, the Spirit, possesses nearby demons and makes them stronger. To defeat the invisible enemy, the Doom Slayer is required to defeat the demon first and finish the Spirit off using the plasma rifle. The other new enemy types require similar tactics, which can be especially challenging during later sections of this campaign. Although the enemies are fine enough, the final boss is the most frustrating encounter that I’ve ever experienced in a shooter. At first, I was enjoying the fight quite a bit, but it then quickly devolves into a game of luck and chance. Hopefully, with how this DLC ended, we’re in for a more interesting final encounter in the second part.
Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods – Part One is an excellent continuation of the main campaign on Switch for the most part. Some areas don’t reach the heights of the previous chapter, but the gameplay is still as satisfying as it was before. A few new enemies added into the mix ensure that you are constantly on your toes, and all of this is complemented by yet another fantastic musical score. The Nintendo Switch version isn’t the best way to experience the game by any means, but it is still very much playable for those who want a great FPS title on the go.
A review code for Doom Eternal The Ancient Gods – Part One was provided by the publisher.