This article was originally published in two parts across PC Gamer issue 309 and 310. For more quality articles about all things PC gaming, you can subscribe now in the UK and the US.Writers of videogame histories often think in terms of individuals and periods—great innovators and clear-cut ‘epochs’ in design, typically bookended by technological advances. Events or people who contradict those accounts have a tendency to get written out of the tale. According to one popular version of the medium’s evolution, the first-person shooter was formally established in 1992 with id Software’s Wolfenstein 3D, a lean, thuggish exploration of a texture-mapped Nazi citadel, and popularised in 1993 by heavy metal odyssey Doom, which sold a then-ludicrous million copies worldwide at release. The company’s later shooter, Quake, meanwhile, is often held up as the first ‘true’ 3D polygonal shooter.Founded in 1991 by former employees of software company Softdisk, id’s contributions to what we now call the FPS is undoubtedly immense. Between them, Wolfenstein 3D and Doom brought a distinct tempo, savagery and bloodlust to first-person gaming, and programmer John Carmack’s engine technology would power many a landmark FPS in the decade following Doom’s release. But we shouldn’t view that contribution… Read full this story
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