Panic Button Explains Why DOOM Eternal’s Cutscenes Run At 20fps On Switch

DOOM Eternal is undeniably one of the Switch’s more impressive ports. Brought across by port specialists Panic Button, gameplay successfully runs at a solid 30 frames per seconds. When compared to the PS4 and Xbox One editions, however, it took a significant visual hit.

As part of this performance trade-off, cutscenes were also affected, capped on Switch at 20 frames per second. Speaking with Digital Foundry, Panic Button lead engineer Travis Archer discussed why these compromises were made, confirming:

As is typical of most games, the cutscenes are sometimes the most graphically intensive scenes in the game – lots of dynamic lights, lots of shadows, lots of animated complex geometry on screen, and so in this case, the importance to us was not losing that detail for the cutscenes. It’s kind of like a big payoff moment. It’s supposed to look really cool, and we decided it was better to run at a higher resolution in this case because it didn’t affect the gameplay – it doesn’t impact your ability to fluidly move around the game when you’re in the middle of a cutscene. It was less critical.

Now, in terms of the end result, I think there are still improvements we can make towards those cutscenes, and we do intend to make some improvements to the cutscenes to improve the performance of those. But that was the decision mostly based on how high the quality bar is for those scenes.

You can watch the full hour-long video interview above, which offers some intriguing insights on how Panic Button got DOOM Eternal’s “impossible” port. Digital Foundry previously released a breakdown of Eternal’s tech last month, confirming an improved performance over Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.

If you’re curious to know more, you can always check out our own review, where we awarded the Switch port 8/10 stars.

Did you buy DOOM Eternal on Switch? Want Panic Button to tackle other games? Share your thoughts down below.

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