Okay, before we begin, you won’t be able to play this version of Doom on a pregnancy test or cash register. But whatever, the original Doom with ray tracing is so cool that I can forgive that one drawback.
Announced yesterday on April Fools’ Day, this new visual mod for the original 1993 release of Doom ain’t a joke. Created by modder sultim-t, this mod adds real-time path tracing to the PrBoom source port of Doom. It currently supports the first three episodes of the classic shooter and dramatically changes the way Doom looks, letting you play the old-timer with incredible, modern lighting.
Installing this new ray tracing mod for Doom is fairly simple. You’ll need an original Doom.wad file to run this, which considering how old and cheap the game is, you likely already have one kicking around somewhere on your computer. Then you just download the mod for PrBoom, a modern Doom source port and you are off the races. Or should I say… RAY-ces. (I shouldn’t. I’m very sorry that I did.)
Sultim-t explains on the mod’s download page that this only works for Nvidia GPUs and they are willing to help someone get this working on Linux.
This ain’t the first time we’ve seen a classic Id shooter get the raytracing treatment. In 2019, Nvidia partnered with Id to create Quake II RTX, a version of the classic shooter that also utilized real-time ray tracing tech.
I really enjoy the way Doom and Quake look with fancy real-time lighting. The simple textures and geometry of these classic shooters still hold up in 2022, but now the improved lighting is able to improve the atmosphere of these old-school digital worlds. Doom in particular can look downright scary at times using this new mod.
Of course, as mentioned already, you’ll need a decently powerful PC to run these games with ray tracing enabled as this tech is very resource-demanding and needs modern, fairly high-end GPUs to even work at all.