In brief: For anyone looking to slay Doom Eternal's vicious demons with realistic real-time reflections might be disappointed to know that the game won't be featuring ray tracing at launch. The rest, however, can look forward to causing chaos with the super shotgun when the title comes out in less than two months.
In a recent interview with Digital Foundry, id Software's Marty Stratton shed some light on the company's new id Tech 7 engine powering the upcoming Doom: Eternal shooter. One of the items discussed was ray tracing, the implementation of which, he noted, was pulled in favor of polishing the game and getting it completed on schedule.
Stratton said that the development team did "some initial implementation and exploration about a year ago," but that the studio already had a lot on its plate at the same time. "Our tech team are the biggest fans of new tech, so it was a little hard to pull everyone off of (ray tracing) because it was the shiny new toy, but when we’re talking about getting the game out there, and getting it out to as close to on time as possible and at the highest, polished quality, we had to pull back on those efforts." he continued in the interview below.
The game is likely to receive the tech in the future, as Stratton says that his team is "literally just about ready to start looking at again," with interesting ideas for the technology besides its use in rendering shadows, reflections, and real-time lighting. It's also possible that the studio plans to release a graphically enhanced version of the game in time for next-gen consoles, which will have support for ray tracing technology, among other features.
Fans of the series, however, would likely care more about shooting and tearing demons in the game's natural fast-paced style rather than take a performance hit for some graphical bells and whistles. Not that the game lacks in that department, given early impressions of the people who were invited at a recent preview event and praised it for its visuals, level design, and progression system.
The game is scheduled to release on March 20 for the PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Google Stadia, with a Nintendo Switch version to follow soon.