After more than 20 years, Doom 64 has finally found its way onto consoles other than the Nintendo 64. A game that has essentially been disregarded and tossed aside is now back on everyone’s radar. Midway Games’ rendition of the popular franchise is by far one of the most enjoyable the series has to offer and also introduces some new gameplay elements. Playing through the original Doom and Doom II help to highlight many of this game’s strongpoints. Its level design, emphasis on horror, and high-energy gameplay make this an absolute gem while also being a must-play experience for any fans of the series.

Stellar Gameplay

Front and center of the Doom franchise is, and always has been, the gameplay. In fact, the lead designer of the original game has shared his opinions on how little he believes a plot is to a video game. Here, this aspect shines through and is full of high-energy, fast-paced gameplay sequences. Zooming in and out of tight corridors or running around wide open areas fighting off waves of demons feels fantastic. Coupled with some high-quality level design makes this experience akin to bread and butter: evenly matched and a perfect pairing. Coming hot off the heels of playing through Doom II really does help this game show off its strengths. For instance, a new gun is introduced as well as new enemies to shoot down. One aspect I also really enjoyed was the lesser emphasis on finding key cards and backtracking. Doom II struggled a bit with this aspect and fortunately Doom 64 returned to form. There were intricate pathways, areas to explore, and secrets to uncover, of course, but traveling through them never became a hassle or a rage-inducing endeavor.

Doom 64 Review

Stronger Emphasis on Horror

A change made at this point in the series that must be noted is its switch to a more horror-based installment. Rather than having hard rock and heavy metal course through your eardrums, a more somber and eery soundtrack fills the ambiance. Enemies begin to pop out of areas more-so than before, dark areas are brightened only by dim lighting and enemy projectiles, and the overall look of the game is much darker than before. Don’t worry though, the core of the series’ thrilling action remains at the center but attention is shifted to amplifying the atmosphere. It’s a unique touch to the franchise that helps make it feel fresh and not just the same style seen from the first two entries of the series. The plot also contributes to this feeling of horror as well. It’s not an overly present storyline but the looming threat of being in Hell is definitely felt. This truly is a unique entry and this makes it feel that much more special.

Doom 64 Review

Performance on the Switch

In terms of how this runs on the Switch, it can be summed up easily. It’s smooth as hell. The graphics are rendered quickly, there are no long loading times between levels, and frame rates look great. With the ports of Doom and Doom II, a bug would sometimes pop up where if you placed the system in sleep mode while playing, then the game struggled to load and would need to be restarted. Fortunately, this is not an issue as it seems to have been fixed. Though, the initial loading screen does take unnecessarily long to get through which sometimes prevents the pick up and play aspect from occurring, so you’ll have to just put the system in sleep mode in between sessions.

A main draw for playing this version of the game is the new additional episode introduced. The Lost Levels grant players seven new levels to play through with the hope that it ties into the recent, Doom: EternalThey’re all fun levels and feel great to keep playing through after the story is completed, since that’s the main way to unlock it, but it doesn’t add much. It does add some new plot points but quite honestly, there isn’t a moment that definitively links the two games together. It’s more open to interpretation and is unable to bring a whole lot to the table. Still, Doom isn’t about the story so understanding that makes this feel better as the levels are really fun. They still are worth playing through despite knowing it doesn’t connect much to Eternal.

Doom 64 Review

Doom 64 offers one of the freshest takes on the series and is highly enjoyable. It still has the classic gameplay that makes this franchise so memorable while presenting new ideas. The new gun and enemies are welcome additions as well as its stronger emphasis on horror. A storyline is found but it isn’t that memorable, yet this probably isn’t why you’ll be playing through this title. This is a strong entry that finally gets to be played by a wider audience and it’s much deserved. If you’re on the fence for whatever reason, it’s only $5 on the eShop which helps make this a no-brainer.


Thank you to Bethesda Softworks for providing us with a review code!

Doom 64 Review (Nintendo Switch)
Doom 64 is a unique entry in the franchise but is quite possibly one of the best. For only $5, it's a no-brainer.
Overall Score8.6
  • Excellent Level Design
  • Fun Gameplay
  • Smooth Performance
  • Unnoticeable Story
  • Long Intro Sequence
  • Lost Levels Don't Add Much Plot
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

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