Id Software has long established itself as a developer that likes to be at the forefront of graphics technology, so it comes as little surprise to learn that Doom Eternal will support all the fancy ray-tracing features of Nvidia’s RTX graphics cards.
“RTX makes it look, you know, amazing,” said Doom Eternal executive producer Marty Stratton, during a chat with Giant Bomb. “There are great benefits but it doesn’t necessarily expand our audience or the way that something like Stadia does so, but absolutely people can look forward to DOOM Eternal and id Tech 7 supporting ray tracing. Absolutely. I mean we love that stuff, the team loves it and I think we’ll do it better than anybody honestly.”
Doom Eternal is set to be the first game to support id Tech 7. The new game engine offers support for real-time ray-tracing and will only support Vulkan rendering. That means no DirectX or OpenGL version whatsoever. Id Software claims id Tech 7 features ten times the texture quality and geometric detail of id Tech 6, the engine used for Doom (2016).
The last Doom was already looking great but there are certainly some fantastic additional graphical flourishes in Doom Eternal. The demonic temples with their ornate spires are looking absolutely rammed with detail. You’ll probably be too busy putting both barrels in a cacodemon’s gob to pay much attention to it, but it looks great all the same.
As for the ray-tracing, well, it's surely going to come at a hefty performance cost. Doom Eternal is a game that relies on liquid-smooth frame rates to deliver its immensely satisfying shooter experience. Anyone with an RTX graphics card is going to have to make some tough choices in terms of graphics settings, although we'd certainly argue ray-tracing is at least worth a resolution hit.