Face it, pirates and ninjas are out and zombies are in. And we have no doubt that one of our most high-anticipated games of this year is Left4Dead, Valve’s post-apocalyptic survival horror shooter. Our initial playtest sent chills down our spine when we first saw it at last year’s Showdown LAN, and the game looked much more refined and polished when we played it at this year’s E3. A revamped visual style and new character designs suit the cinematic direction -- the levels looked grittier and the zombies were definitely more terrifying (if that’s even possible). We spoke with Michael Booth, the designer of Left4Dead, to find out what other changes have been made to the game since Valve bought up his development team.
Back when the PlayStation 3 launched in November of 2006, PC Gamer magazine tempted the gamers waiting in front of the Sony Metreon in San Francisco (the official PS3 North American launch headquarters) with a Faustian bargain (look it up). Our sister publication offered to give away a $7,500 Falcon Northwest gaming PC to one of the campers if they willingly relinquished their place in line. The catch: the unfaithful console fanboy who accepted the PC would also have to sign a legally binding contract preventing him from owning a PlayStation 3 for three years – an eternity in game industry time.
The (in our opinion) lucky gamer who volunteered to defect to PC gaming was one Neal Chung-Lee, a local student had at that point been waiting in line for several days to be the one of the first people to own a PS3. But after selling his console-loving soul to PC gaming (and making the front page of Digg), Neal fell off of our radar. That is, until we bumped into him this past week. And you’ll never guess where.
Read on to find out where we found Neal playing a PlayStation 3.
We had an opportunity to speak with id co-founder John Carmack after the big EA press conference yesterday (where id surprisingly announced a partnership with EA to publish Rage). We grilled the legendary game developer (and part-time rocket scientist) about id's post-apocalyptic shooter, the state of gaming graphics, and what his plans are after id Tech 5. Rage looks be a drastic departure from the traditional id FPS, not only in gameplay style (open worlds with vehicles vs. claustrophobic indoor environments) but also in the way Carmack has designed the code-base. id has already announced that Doom 4 is in development (no publisher has yet been annonced), and Carmack confirmed that it'll run at 30Hz and run with several times the graphics power as Rage, a 60Hz game.
Click through to read our extensive interview and find out what John Carmack thinks about DirectX 10!
After Microsoft had tantalized attendees with a few breathtaking glimpses of Gears of War 2 gameplay at its E3 2008 press conference, Microsoft devices division VP Don Mattrick took to the stage for the mandatory chest-thumping talk. He pompously announced that he expects Xbox 360 to trounce PS3 over the entire course of the current console cycle.
Then he triumphantly stated that Xbox Live had generated more than $1 billion in sales and dispersed 500 million pieces of content. Microsoft also announced that it has partnered with NBC and Universal who will now make their content available through the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Interestingly, Microsoft never made any statements regarding how it plans to wrest the no.1 spot from Nintendo. Has it relinquished all such hopes and desires? Have your say.
With gamers increasingly voicing their concerns about the Guitar Hero series becoming monotonous, all eyes are now on the second installment of the Rock Band series. Harmonix and MTV Games gave away the full Rock Band 2 track list at the ongoing E3. The game’s disc will come with 84 tracks and 20 songs will be released as downloadable content or dlc. Additionally, gamers will be able to import their on-disc and downloaded Rock Band 1 tracks to Rock Band 2. Tracks from the who’s who of the rockosphere populate the list. Make the jump for the entire list. Make the jump for the list.
Just for you, because you're awesome: new screenshots from two of our most highly-anticipated PC games of the year. Spore and Left4Dead look much more polished and graphically improved since we've last seen them. In the case of Left4Dead, all the character models have been revamped as well. The L4D screens don't actually show the new character design. For a peek at those, you'll have to hit up our liveblog of the EA press conference.
For gamers reading the site (we know there are a lot of you), we wanted to let you know what Maximum PC will have some great E3 coverage this year. In fact, Will Smith and I are at the SFO airport right now, and our plane is boarding in next 10 minutes. We'll be down in LA for the whole week, blogging live from the various press conferences and posting hands-on reports for all of our scheduled game demos and appointments. Be sure to check back frequently for the latest updates. You can also click the E3 Coverage tablet link on the right side of the website to only filter our E3 reports.