PC Gamer

The magic of QuakeCon has cut a modest 25% off of Steam's Bethesda/id Software catalog for the weekend, with bigger deals rotating daily. At the time of writing, RAGE is 50% off. (Note: see below for possibly better deals.)

50% off RAGE - $9.99
25% off The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - $44.99
25% off Hunted: The Demon’s Forge - $14.99
25% off Fallout: New Vegas - $14.99
25% off Fallout 3: GOTY Edition - $14.99
25% off The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion GOTY Edition - $14.99
25% off The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind GOTY Edition - $14.99
75% off Titan Quest - $3.74
More Steam deals

GameFly's QuakeCon sale is just like Steam's, except -- what's this? RAGE is cheaper on GameFly. And so is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Huh! Keep an eye on it.

Again with the QuakeCon deals, and again with a couple better prices than Steam. (What's going on? I'm scared.) GameStop currently has RAGE for $6.79 and Skyrim for $40.19 (same as last week for that one). I've listed a few unrelated deals below:

75% off Orcs Must Die! GOTY - $3.24
50% off Quantum Conundrum - $7.49
66% off Supreme Commander 2 - $4.99
50% off Borderlands - $9.99

A new challenger! Instead of riding along on the QuakeCon bandwagon, Get Games is offering discounts on Take 2 and Batman games.

30% off Civilization V: Gods & Kings - $20.99
70% off Civilization V - $8.99
75% off Civilization III Complete - $1.25
75% off Civilization IV Complete - $7.49
70% off Mafia II - $8.99
60% off Bioshock 2 - $7.99
65% off Batman Arkham City - $6.99
45% off Batman Arkham Asylum GOTY - $10.99
50% off LEGO Batman - $9.99
75% off Stronghold 3 Gold - $9.99

Though Amazon is usually a discount powerhouse, it's way down here this week because it's got a pretty stagnant rotation of deals lately. The only major new addition I could find this week is The Darkness II, and that's not very major.

Checking hardware, I did see that most GeForce GTX 670s and GTX 680s are at least a little discounted. Newegg's prices look to be about the same, though, so cross-reference.

75% off The Darkness II - $12.49
25% off Empire: Total War - $15.05
72% off Mount & Blade - $4.17
50% off Mount & Blade: Warband - $10.03
26% off Dragon Age 2 - $14.74
25% off Mass Effect 2 - $14.92
71% off Trine - $5.83
50% off Mount & Blade: Warband - $9.95
27% off Dungeon Siege 3 - $14.68
50% off Tropico 4 - $19.99
26% off Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - $14.84
More Amazon PC game downloads

This week's alliterative sale takes 50% off Tremendous TopWare Titles.

If you find any great deals I missed, please do share them in the comments. Additionally, I thought this might be a good space to start sharing what we'll be playing this weekend. I plan to leave Civilization V: Gods & Kings on the ground to conquer the stars in Endless Space. Probably some EVE Online too. Space: it's really, really great. What are you up to?
PC Gamer

Remember Doom 3? Of course you do. Remember it fondly? Ah. For the side of the internet nodding instead of choking on bile, Bethesda is releasing the BFG Edition that remasters the experience (though on the face of it, primarily for console owners rather than upgrading the already superior PC version), gives your futuristic marine some armour-mounted lighting to bring him up to date with 19th century coal-miners and, most importantly, adds a brand new chapter called The Lost Mission.

Here's a brand new trailer from QuakeCon that shows off a few new corners of Hell, that new flashlight, chainsaws, plasma death, and the most indecisive jump scare of all time.

Along with the Lost Mission, the BFG Edition also comes with both original Doom games, the Doom 3 expansion Resurrection of Evil, and another chance to see Dr. Malcolm be promoted from humble Research Director of the world's darkest science facility to Head of Demons in the fires of Hell itself. Hmm. I wonder if that's where he told HR he saw himself in five years time...

The Doom 3 BFG Edition blasts onto shelves this October.
PC Gamer

The Oculus Rift -- a virtual reality headset which began as a garage project by VR-enthusiast Palmer Luckey -- is one step closer to being in your home and on your head. Oculus created a $250,000 Kickstarter campaign to acquire capital for the production of developer kits, and it's already achieved a balance of $445,844 with 30 days to go. That's momentum.

It helps when you have Gabe Newell "strongly encouraging" everyone to support the project, John Carmack calling it "the best VR demo probably the world has ever seen," and Cliff Bleszinski proclaiming himself "a believer." The Rift's powerful and influential backers are forward-thinking people (Gabe Newell is an especially accomplished predictor), which is a hint that head-mounted displays are on for real this time -- the cyberspace dreaming of the '80s and '90s is going practical.

The Rift is lauded for its low-latency head tracking and face-consuming field of view, as well as its potential price. It's not as if good VR goggles are non-existent, they're just not something you impulse buy on Amazon, and what's available for consumers doesn't tick all of Oculus' gaming-centric boxes.

The $599.99 Wrap 1200VR is designed as a "virtual display," meaning that it projects "75-inch widescreen display, as seen from 10 feet." That's not what we're hearing about Oculus' headset, which is supposed immerse us in a world with a 110-degree diagonal FOV. The same goes for Sony's higher-resolution HMZ-T1 Wearable HDTV, which advertises a 45-degree FOV and doesn't feature head tracking. Even the $1799 Z800 3DVisor quits at 40-degrees diagonal FOV.

The Rift's consumer price hasn't been set yet, but while the Kickstarter campaign is running, you can secure an assembled developer kit for $300. That price doesn't predict the consumer price -- smaller and larger backers are subsidizing these kits -- but it's not a bad sign.

The Rift dev kits are estimated to be delivered this December, and include a copy of Doom 3: BFG Edition, the first Oculus-compatible game. John Carmack's involvement in the project led to a demonstration of Doom 3 with Oculus at E3 in June, and the responses I've seen have ranged from positive to "OMG." For more about the technology, have a look at our coverage of that demo, complete with lots of over-our-heads Carmack talk.
PC Gamer
Carmack Goggles
John Carmack has been building a virtual reality headset in his spare time. He's showing it to people behind closed doors at this year's E3, tucked away inside the Bethesda booth, and described it as "probably the best VR demo the world has ever seen." Our video hero, David Boddington, was the 30th person in the world to use it.

Check below for a 20 minute video with Carmack on virtual reality, why he decided to tackle headsets, the latency of the human mind, and the first footage of one his handmade prototypes.

Carmack's such an intelligent guy that a single question sends him off on a four-minute-long monologue with a dozen long words I don't understand. To help make it easier, we've split the 20 minute video in to three chunks, with some impressions at the end of what it's like to use.

Part one shows the first glimpse of the duct-tape-and-belt prototype, covers the latency of the human brain, and how making "an 8 year old PC game is still demanding on consoles". Also big words about screens I don't understand?

Part two is the most impenetrably techy, as he explains the exact challenges of building a VR headset, but Carmack occasionally surfaces from the jargon to say something incredibly concise and exciting. Like when he explains that this is the best VR demo that the world has ever seen, but that "maybe hidden in some NASA lab there's something cooler than this, but I haven't seen it."

The third part is where Carmack gets down to showing us the device itself, while Games Radar's Hollander Cooper quizzes him on the realities of bringing something like this to market. Key quote? "This is literally held together with duct tape, but the guts of this is going to be made available as a kit for around $500."

At that price, I'd buy one.

Carmack talked a bit more in this last part on the reasons why the project excites him. "For a certain part of the hacker/maker crowd, this is going to be awesomely cool to work with, because there is honest to god cutting edge research to be done on the ergonomics, the focusing adjustment, software integration with other titles. These are things that people can do in their workshop that can make a difference in the next twelve months and yes, somebody big is going to turn this in to a real product in the coming years."

Our video wizard David Boddington used it to play Doom 3: BFG Edition and loved it. "The level of immersion was unlike any other gaming experience I've ever had, and that bodes well for the future if Carmack or someone else can take the tech to the next level."

It's worth noting that the prototype Carmack is demoing wasn't made by him, but by another Texan builder of VR headsets. It's using the same tech and principles as Carmack's own version, which was unfortunately unable to make the trip to E3.

The goggle screens completely cover your vision, meaning the only thing you can see are scary corridors and flying heads. Character movement works more traditionally however, with players using a controller to walk around and shoot, while the goggles function as a head-tracker. If it ever comes to market as a consumer product, or even if the maker kits are reasonably accessible, it sounds like the perfect thing for hardcore ArmA players or flight sim enthusiasts.

There's one final thing that's interesting about this. Carmack has been good friends with Michael Abrash since the pair were programmers together on Quake 1. What did Michael Abrash recently say he was working on at Valve? Wearable computing.

Would you wear virtual reality goggles in front of your PC? Do you think John Carmack can make VR finally good?
PC Gamer
Doom 3 BFG Edition thumb
id Software is Dooming us like we've never been Doomed before. Publisher Bethesda Softworks has announced the Doom 3 BFG Edition, which will feature the series' entire catalog, including Doom, Doom 2, Doom 3, and Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil, as well as an added "Lost Mission" with seven new levels. The release date and pricing are TBA, but it's coming sometime this year. Check out the trailer inside.

In addition to new content, id has spent the past year addressing complaints about Doom 3's darkness and difficulty (enter the new "armor-mounted flashlight"), tweaking its lighting and rendering, and adding 3D monitor and 5.1 surround sound support. Many of the modifications are bigger news for the console versions, as we've already been blessed with smooth framerates and the famous Duct Tape Mod.

"Doom 3 was enthusiastically embraced by gamers worldwide at its release," said id Software's John Carmack in today's statement. "Today, the full experience has been enhanced and extended to be better than ever, and is delivered across all the platforms with a silky smooth frame rate and highly responsive controls."

If id were working on it, this definitive Doom collection would be an excellent precursor to Doom 4, and Polygon's Russ Pitts made the same leading statement to id's Tim Willits, who repeated back, "If one were working on that, it would be a perfect precursor."

So, yeah, it seems likely that we'll get a Doom 4 re-announcement sometime this year.
PC Gamer
Do you have a penchant for all things related to 1996 computer game Quake and its numerous sequels and spin-offs? Do you own a computer that’s reasonably portable, and have an interest in LAN gaming? Are you free on 2-5 August 2012? Do you live in or around Dallas, Texas, or have the ability to get there for said dates? Do you want to get exclusive news and hands-on experiences with upcoming games from the likes of Bethesda and id? Do you enjoy being brainwashed by corporate sponsorship from 22 different companies? Do you? DO YOU?

If so, there is absolutely no event suitable for you occurring in the next year. Apart, maybe, from , which is taking place at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas on 2-5 August 2012. It’s free and run by volunteers, and in 2010 it attracted some 8,500 people. You might even rub shoulders some of the incredibly famous and good-looking people from PC Gamer there.
PC Gamer
Welcome to the PC Gamer Ultimate Christmas Giveaway! This is the biggest competition we've ever done: packed with peripherals, games, and exclusive items signed by some very important people. Why are we doing this? Because it's Christmas! And we love you.

The Ultimate Christmas giveaway will run until Christmas Eve. Every day we'll be posting about a new prize that's up for grabs, and you'll have 24 hours after the time of publishing to enter. Sadly, we're only able to open this competition to UK residents.

Ah Christmas, a time for family, a time for giving, and a time for blowing the heads of mutants, at least that's what the guys at id think. So, to wish everyone a Merry Headshotmas, they've sent us a Rage poster signed by their staff, including John Carmack himself! They've also thrown in a copy of Rage and the Rage strategy guide too, that's one hell of a prize.

Check inside for details, plus a closer look at the poster.

She's a beauty isn't she? All this could be yours if you answer one very simple question:

When the world is destroyed in 2012, what is your plan to survive in the harsh post apocalyptic wasteland?

The best, coolest and funniest plan will win the loot. If you win, you'll get a private message via the forums. Let us know your address and we'll send you your prizes shortly after Christmas. Remember, this competition is open to UK readers only. Also, if you don't claim your prize within three weeks of being notified we'll offer it to someone else. Full terms and conditions can be found here.

Good luck out there wastelanders! Don't forget to check back at 4.30 for the next prize, which will involve pointing and clicking.
PC Gamer
Doom 3 - man on fire goes aaaaaagh
The Doom 3 source code has been released and is available now on Github. According to John Carmack's Twitter feed, the source code was delayed when lawyers had a bit of a wobble over some patent problems. With the addition of a few lines of code and the tweaking of a few more, the release was good to go. Releasing source code is a bit of a risky move, and takes time and money to do, so it's heartening to see id dishing out the data for free. Indie devs and code enthusiasts, go forth and conquer!
PC Gamer
PCG US Holiday 2011 - Diablo III
15 years ago, the original Diablo hacked and slashed its way into PC gaming history. Now, on the run-up to Diablo III, we take a trip to Blizzard to look back at how all began, and forward at where it’s going—including insight into the Diablo III that almost was! Plus, we’ve got Battlefield 3 sniper survival tips, a special report on what Windows 8 means for gamers, and an emergency guide to wrestling your accounts back from hackers. Then read our reviews of Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad, Rage, Hard Reset, Driver: San Francisco, and more!

It's all on newsstands now! Or, if you can’t make it to the store, we’re available on Coverleaf.com and Apple Newsstand.

PC Gamer
Doom 3
Attention indie devs and modders! John Carmack has tweeted to say that id are releasing the full source Doom 3 source code to anyone who fancies downloading it and having a poke. The news, spotted on RPS, puts id Tech 4 in the hands of game makers looking for some free tech to play with. “Doom 3 source is packaged and tested, we are waiting on final lawyer clearance for release,” Tweeted Carmack. No news on how long exactly that will take. To all the budding devs who will be downloading the new code, please, for the love of our eyes, use more lights than id did in Doom 3.