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The now Zenimax/Bethesda-owned id have been eerily quiet since Rage met a mixed reception and underwhelming sales. I quite liked it, non-ending aside – it might have nothing on BioShock Infinite’s visual majesty, but the people-filled non-combat hubs between its more tunnelish combat were more convincingly alive than Columbia’s Auton population. In any case, Rage wasn’t the combeback Carmack and co needed, leaving us hoping that the in theory forthcoming Doom 4 would be. Half a decade on, there’s neither hide nor hair of it to be seen, and alleged sources close to the project have told Kotaku why that could be. Clearly there’s something in it, as it prompted Bethesda’s Pete Hines to acknowledge that id had indeed switched to making “a new version” of Doom 4 after an earlier one “did not exhibit the quality and excitement that Id and Bethesda intend to deliver.” (more…)
Bethblog has word that the Rage tookit has arrived on Steam, along with some serious documentation to speed would-be modders on their way. Carmack has some advice, too, tweeting: “Doing significant work will require patience, because internally we use a 300 core renderfarm for megatexture creation.”
It’d be interesting to see what people could mod in using existing assets, though. If the toolkit gave enough access to get at the inventory and so on then I think there might be a true open world sandbox/economy game in there waiting to get out. But maybe not. Either way, significant work will require patience. And an enthusiasm for Rage.
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.
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…)