Doom can safely be considered one of the all-time greatest classic video games. It's the granddaddy of the first-person shooter genre, and one of the first games to feature extreme gore and violence, alongside the original Mortal Kombat. Doom is a first-ballot hall of fame inductee in the gaming industry, and even if it's a tad simplistic by today's standards, you can still boot it up and enjoy mindlessly running around and blowing away hellspawn with the Doomguy.
But what about Doom 2? The sequel doesn't get discussed nearly as much as its predecessor, and sometimes it seems like people even forget there was a sequel at all. Now on the Nintendo Switch, Doom 2 is good, but it's really just more of the same Doom gameplay, with slightly more guns and enemies. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.
It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times
Doom 2 doesn't really have an in-depth story. After all, this was made in the 90s, where games didn't really have extensive plots unless they were JRPGs. Basically, Doomguy killed everyone on Mars, decided to go back home to Earth, but sure enough, demons also invaded Earth and just started killing a whole bunch of people because that's what they do. Doomguy is not a fan of that particular behavior, so he gathers up a colorful assortment of guns and begins to thoroughly scrub the planet clean of every bad guy he can see. It's not exactly Citizen Kane.
But you don't come to a Doom game looking for high art and scintillating storytelling. You come to shoot a chorus line of demons in the face with a shotgun. Doom 2 plays well even after all this time, and while it's not the most complicated game in the world, there's still something magical about grabbing a rocket launcher and blowing up a Cacodemon into meaty little chunks.
It's pretty amazing that you can now play pretty much every Doom title on the Switch, except for Doom 64, although even that may change soon. Doom 2 feels great on the Switch. It moves smoothly and plays without any real hiccups or framerate issues. It also looks pretty good, or about as good as a classic Doom game can look these days.
Hell Has Some Issues
That being said, there are some small minor issues with the game. I felt like switching weapons using the L and R buttons was a bit cumbersome, and that sometimes it took too long to find the right weapon in the heat of battle. Although that does seem like a consistent problem when porting any of the original Doom games to anything that's not a PC, considering that most consoles don't have number keys for easy selection.
The level design isn't quite as good as the original, and in comparison to Doom, some of the areas can seem a bit bland. A lot of the levels look the same, and it's easy to get turned around and not know where you've been or where you have to go. Also - and this might be biased from me since I'm playing a game from nearly 25 years ago - but I felt the game dragged on a little bit going into the end. I was kind of Doom-ed out by about the halfway point, but judging a game that's two and a half decades old for pacing issues seems a little harsh.
I'm Not Mad, Bethesda... Just Disappointed
Of course, it's impossible not to bring up the nagging issue of that ridiculous Bethesda account requirement. Having to sign-in or create a Bethesda account is one thing, albeit an annoying thing, but not the end of the world. But until you do, the game won't let you in, and as far as I can tell, there doesn't seem to be any real reason for an online connection other than just having to have a Bethesda account connected.
Having this kind of nonsense pop up in games that came out before the Internet was even really a thing is baffling. Thankfully, after you sign-in to your Bethesda account for the first time, you should be able to play the games offline without much trouble. Still, every time I loaded Doom 2, I was met with a message saying that I wasn't connected to the Internet, which is a minor inconvenience, but still pretty irritating.
It looks like the requirement will be patched out later, but the fact that Bethesda is pushing their account system so hard on its customers is kind of a scummy move. You know you've made a stupid mistake when the Internet starts memeing the crap out of you.
Beating The Devil With God Mode
In terms of extra features, there's isn't a whole lot of bonuses that come with Doom 2. You can play the Master Levels, which is an expansion for the game that gives you 20 additional levels to complete. There's also local multiplayer if you and some friends feel like taking each other out with BFGs.
You can also access cheats directly from the in-game menu, which is pretty great. Being able to turn on God Mode and give yourself every weapon in the game at any time is always going to be stupid fun. Also, there's a cheat that brightens the game, which technically makes everything less scary, but also kind of makes it look better. Maybe I just like my Hell to be a little cheerier.
Second Verse, Same As The First
Doom is one of the most historically significant games ever created, but Doom 2 is essentially just more Doom. Depending on how you feel, that is either a good thing or a bad thing. Just know that aside from a super shotgun, a few extra enemies, and the Supercharge power-up, there's really not a whole lot that makes Doom 2 feel unique on its own.
Combined with the asinine online account shenanigans, Doom 2 doesn't feel as essential to own as the first game. However, if you just got finished playing through Doom on the Switch and having more levels to run through sounds great to you, then load up Doom 2 and keep on ripping and tearing.
3.5 Out Of 5 Stars
A copy of Doom 2 was purchased by TheGamer for this review. The game is available now for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.