Way back in 1991 gamers had to stop a mech-powered Hitler in the first-person shooter, Wolfenstein, which helped popularize both the ‘Boss Key’ and the FPS genre. The game was designed by the now renowned software developers, id Software. The company has come a long ways since Wolfenstein and have managed to stay relevant in today’s competitive digital entertainment industry. In a recent interview id’s Tom Willits talks about the developer’s maturity over the years in dealing with the FPS genre as well as evolving from Doom to Rage.
The interview comes courtesy of MSNBC, where a brief history of the developer is recounted before getting into the nitty-gritty pertaining to the recently released shooter, Rage, which managed to impress some with high review scores, but left others wanting, hence the hovering Metacritic score stationed in the 80s.
Willits explains in the interview that Rage still shares many similarities with the original Doom, saying…
"With 'Rage,' at its core, it still feels like an id Software game," …. "It's very fluid, very fast." … "the microcosms of fun — the moments where you've got mutants coming at you, you're switching weapons, trying to find the best ammo, and you pull that trigger and get that instant feedback. The blood goes flying and you defeat the enemies in front of you. That tight, hard, fast action shooter," … "that's the spirit of id."However, Willits spoke of the flipside to the Rage coin, saying that the game “marries” a story-driven narrative within an open-world with all that blood and guts, fast-paced combat he mentioned above. Supposedly, it’s the best of both worlds: engaging story meets old-school shoot-e’m-up.
For id Software it was necessary to mature in the genre past the simple run-and-gun, no-plot, no-story gameplay and compete with other, popular FPS games ruling the marketplace like Halo, Call of Duty and Battlefield. With id Software maturing their design strategies to match the quality, pace and storytelling of newer games also comes the risk of being left in the dust, especially with so many heavy-hitting shooters waiting around the corner this fall. If Rage manages to maintain a decent Metacritic ranking and sell well then it just goes on to prove that id Software still has what it takes to compete in today’s market.
You can check out the entire interview with id Software’s Tom Willits over at MSNBC.