There was a time when a new id Software release could make waves across the industry – redefining entire genres, upping the ante for high-end graphics, and changing the face of multiplayer games forever. With those halcyon days lingering in our rear view mirrors over the past few years, it has often felt as if the id Software we grew up with had been lost to time. Then, on Friday the 13th of May, everything changed – Doom was released to the world and blew the doors off expectations worldwide. To say that we were pleasantly surprised would be a vast understatement. To put it simply, id Software is back in a big way and this new take on Doom rockets the studio right back up to the top.
The release of Doom also marks id’s triumphant return to cutting-edge graphics engine development. Combining the high performance and virtual texturing capabilities of id Tech 5 with advanced lighting and materials, the new id Tech 6 feels like a long awaited return to form. Such results don’t come easy, however – while classic id Tech engines were architected primarily by John Carmack, who has since moved onto Oculus, id Tech 6 is the product of a massive dedicated team of id veterans and leading industry engineers, including a number of folks from Crytek, coming together under one banner.
The results are explosive. Doom delivers a full 60fps shooter on consoles with some of the most remarkable visuals we’ve seen this entire generation. In the wake of PlayStation Neo rumours and cries for new hardware, the release of Doom and Uncharted 4 in the same month demonstrates just how capable the existing machines are in the right hands. After all, no matter how much power is available, good performance still requires smart coding and design.