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For a while there, I thought we were going to find RAGE on some trashy “What ever happened to… ?” television special. It’d have been huddled in the back of a barely lit trailer, clad in a grease-and-sweat-stained bathrobe and wolfing down an entire carton of metropolitan ice cream. “I coulda been somethin’,” it’d have said between chunky mouthfuls. “I coulda gone places. But then id got all distant, and everyone forgot about me.” Then: warm salty tears, pitter-pattering into the sticky sugar soup below. That depressing reality, however, is no longer our own. After leaving RAGE untouched for a year, id’s finally returned to its not-so-deserted deserts. The result? A brand new, six-area DLC tale called “Scorchers.” Sweet, sweet deets after the break.
I remember when I turned 15. It was pretty unspectacular. I couldn’t drive yet, I didn’t really have much of a party to speak of, and hardly any of the entire Internet used it as an opportunity to fondly reminisce about rocket jumps and murder. But now, Quake II turns 15, and suddenly it gets the royal treatment. Bizarre, right? It really is just the darndest thing. Maybe everyone’s still waiting to leap out and surprise me. I bet that’s it. Any second now. While we’re waiting, though, I suppose we can discuss some crazy Quake II factoids. But only just for a bit. And you have to put on this party hat and pretend to be having fun. I demand it.
It says something about John Carmack’s status in the gaming industry that he can hold a talk that lasts for three and a half hours> and the majority of watchers are simply delighted. So, if you’ve got nothing else on for the next 210 minutes, here is said relaxed, cheerful, full-throttle, ad-libbed and fascinating QuakeCon speech in full. id’s brain o’brains chats about the problems with Rage and its messy PC launch, his love-hate relationship with the PC as a platform, those Oculus Rift VR goggles that are getting Kickstarted hearts all aflutter, Doom 3 BFG, 3D displays, just the tiniest smidgen on Doom 4 and, of course, a sustained stream of characteristically uncensored techspeak about the past, present and future of computing. Such as viewing images by firing laser beams directly into people’s retinas. Er…
Impressively, as well as talking for so damned long, he doesn’t sit down until the 90-minute point. (more…)
While we’re talking Id, there’s something else that came out of E3 that you might find interesting. Bethesda frontman Pete Hines told Eurogamer that despite the lukewarm reception for Rage, they have big plans for it: “We’re looking at doing some things with Rage. But obviously the first thing out of anybody’s lips now when we talk about id is not, hey, what else is up with Rage? They’re asking the question they’ve been asking for five years, six years, seven years, which is, where’s Doom 4? What about Doom 4? As far as where we are with Rage, the future for that is still TBD.”
Which is interesting, because whatever the do with Doom, I felt like Rage was a move in the right direction, but didn’t quite go all out on any of the things that it was hinting at. The half-formed racing, half-formed exploration, half-formed crafting, all pointed to a deeper game which, if they concentrate on just one of those elements next time, might yet yield something beyond the usual adventure with shotguns. Id are also working on another shooter, which has yet to be revealed.
This year has been unusually rich in the kind of game that I most enjoy: those that are open-ended, or provide a sandbox world for me to mess about in. We usually get a couple of these every year, but in 2011 we seem to have run into a minor bounty of the open stuff, which is good news for explorers and meanderers alike. I’ve gone into a bit more detail about why this pleases me below. >
And in the game!> Ahaha! Ah. My little joke about Determinism there. What this is really about is how I feel after playing Rage, which is a feeling not uncommon to gaming throughout the ages: the feeling that the options a game presents are actually an illusion. Read on for ramblings… (more…)
Lists! Two of ‘em, in fact. But what do these lists do? They compare the top-ten selling PC games of last week on Steam with the top-ten selling PC games of last week at UK retail. What could we learn from them? Nothing, probably. Apart from which game companies became slightly richer over the last few days. Well done, those companies. (more…)
Question to the floor: how’s everyone doing with Rage at the moment? There seem to be mixed reports as to the efficacy of the recent patch – for some it did the trick, for others (especially on ATI cards – our own John Walker claims the game is still more or less unplayable on his 5850) it didn’t help the glitching and texture pop-in, and others still have claimed it made things even worse. Carmack claimed on Twitter yesterday that id are still monitoring forum reports, and suggested those experiencing difficulties browse said forum for help. They’re worth a check, even though it’s massively tiresome to have to do so for a game you paid good money for, as there are a raft of fixes and tweaks doing the rounds – most of which at least involve only the relatively simple act of downloading a replacement config file. (more…)
Again! Again! It’s our theoretically regular comparison of Steam’s top ten best-selling games over the last week with the same at UK retail. Will Rage have stormed its way to the top despite the outrage and buck-passing surrounding its technically-troubled PC launch? Or will foot-to-ball have conclusively proven that an Englishman’s national sport is more important to him than pretending to be a time-lost survivor of a planet-wide apocalypse? And will retail be a mess of Sims games while Steam is a confusing muddle of pre-orders, deeply discounted returning titles and new entries? Take my hand. Where we’re going, there be tables. (more…)