The latest instalment of id Software's venerable first-person shooter franchise DOOM will be on shelves at the end of March, and it's no overstatement to say that the game is eagerly awaited by FPS fans worldwide. However two recent statements made by the developers could change that level of engagement, one for the better, and another for the worse.
First, via Digital Foundry comes news that Doom: Eternal will not feature real-time raytracing at launch, nor for some time after launch. As part of a 3-hour sit-down interview id Software’s studio director Marty Stratton stated that, although "the team basically did some initial implementation and exploration about a year ago" and "is the biggest fan of new tech", they "had to pull back [on the] effort" to ensure that game had as much polish as possible at launch. According to Stratton the team has just started looking at integrating the technology into the game engine, but in a manner that could go beyond the familiar implementations of ray-traced global illumination and shadows.
Real-time ray tracing is a technology which has been pushed heavily by NVIDIA in particular, and is widely seen as the 'next big thing' in gaming as GPUs are now advanced enough to take advantage of new algorithmic models. Relatively few titles have implemented the tech. - Control, Battlefield 5, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Metro: Exodus being key examples - but that hasn't dampened enthusiasm as yet. News that a major studio hasn't viewed it as a launch priority may cause a few pangs of concern in certain quarters however.
Turning to more positive news, Creative Director Hugo Martin confirmed on Facebook that Doom: Eternal would not feature micro-transactions of any kind. Martin divulged that the game would not ape the excesses of other recent Triple-A titles by charging for both a full-priced $60 game and additional MTX (supported by a shop, in-game or otherwise), and that all cosmetic features would be unlocked and available through an XP system only achieved by playing the game.
To say that's unexpected is putting it mildly. Bethesda are hardly known for their benevolence when it comes to microtransactions, in-game or otherwise, and the industry trend has been to leverage this business model more rather than less. Doom: Eternal will still apparently have a two paid-for single player campaign add-ons, but that's a far cry from how DLC has been pushed in recent years.
Doom: Eternal launches on March 20th on PC.
SOURCE: Facebook DOOM 2016/Eternal Fan Club via /u/OnyxWorkshop on Reddit, Digital Foundry