Call of Duty's a strange beast. It's all at once the gaming industry's calling card and whipping boy, with frequent angry words flying between sides like so many spammed grenades. If you keep your ear against the industry's pulse, though, Infinity Ward's infinitely sequelized cash cow that lays golden eggs is kind of a joke. It never changes. It's everything that's wrong with first-person shooters. Etc. Id Software mega-brain John Carmack, however, thinks it's high-time you come down from that high horse.
It’s easy for PC gamers to get disheartened at E3. As Tim mentioned to John Carmack yesterday, we don’t have our own conference to look forward to. But if we did, our conference would be about straight games. Here’s what I’d stick in our first montage. Remember, there’s still plenty of E3 we haven’t written about yet.
John Carmack knows everything. As well as being a literal rocket scientist, and knowing how to choke the life-force out of a man double his size, he was lead programmer on two of gaming’s enduring classics: Doom and Quake. At the moment, he’s on the press junket for Rage over in LA – but that hasn’t blunted the man’s razor sharp knowledge of technology and its application to games. Tim managed to pin him down for a twenty minute interview about Rage, why the PC is “orders of magnitude” above the consoles in power, and pixel fidelity. An absolute must-view for people with even a vague interest in the future of hardware.
When you're at the forefront of an emerging trend, you're bound to have imitators. Such is the case with Fallout, a series that's been wandering wastelands and mutilating mutants since long before videogaming came down with an incurable case of post-apocalypse fever. Imitation's a sticky subject, though. Sometimes, it's just a sh**-eating grin away from outright flattery, but other times, it's a lawsuit and a career-in-tatters away from bold-faced plagiarism.
So, the question arises: where, exactly, does RAGE stand? Well, we saw the game in action at QuakeCon, and we decided to run a little DNA test on the post-apocalyptic shooter in order to find out how it stacks up against its closest living – and also Bethesda-published – relative. So, without further ado, let's see what makes RAGE tick.
Between all the blaring heavy metal music, impromptu Pat Benatar concerts, and five hour-long John Carmack manifestos, you could be forgiven for thinking that QuakeCon is not a place for serious business. And you'd be right. Well, mostly.
Fortunately, we were on hand in an effort to collect whatever scraps of news might fall from id's table, and we came away surprisingly sated. So, without further ado, here's what happened.
Doom 4 Nowhere to be Found, Check Back Next Year -- It was the perfect storm. John Carmack tweeted that he was working on a little something special for QuakeCon, and Todd Hollenshead – who is incapable of lying – said we'd see Doom 4 this year. One eternity in a room with John Carmack later (rumor has it that he's still talking), and here's what we've seen of Doom 4. See it? Right there? Oh, is that a blank space? Huh. Imagine that.
Go quad or go home. That's the general theme behind Patriot's new Xporter Rage series of USB flash memory drives, which offer up to 27MB/s read and up to 25MB/s write speeds, a result of the quad-channel design.
"The Xporter Rage USB Flash Drives are exceptionally fast and provide an outstanding value to users," states Meng Jay Choo, Product Manager at Patriot. "Designed around the quad-channel performance solution, these drives are some of the fastest available. When you also consider the convenience and ease of use offered by the capless rubber-coated housing, Rage drives are ideal for enthusiasts and professionals who need to transport and quickly access their important data on-the-go."
The Xporter Rage series is available now in a variety of capacities to suit a number of budgets, including 8GB ($25 street), 16GB ($40 street), 32GB ($75), and 64GB ($140).
“When it’s done” has been id Software’s catchphrase since time immemorial, so – while we don’t like to toot our own horns – we saw this coming the day RAGE was announced. In fact, we’ve had this article ready to go for years, as we’re in desperate need of a real hobby. So, who won the Presidential election? Was it McCain? We have a good feeling about his chances. Also, we’d just like to dedicate some space to our admiration for Tiger Woods. Such upstanding moral fiber from a man who could – if he wanted to – have his pick of the litter. Also, the iPhone? Never gonna catch on. Anyway, here’s id Software’s Tim Willits explaining why RAGE won’t be hulk-smashing its way into 2010.
“Because we haven’t even hit alpha on this thing yet. But we’re working very hard and we’re getting close to that. But it’s important that we get this right. There’s nothing worse than pushing something out before it’s ready. And the great thing about Bethesda and Zenimax is [that] the executive management has the faith in us to give us the resource that we need to do the right game,” he said.
“Because, trust me, it would be horrible if we were to release it and it was bad. So, we’re going to get the resources that we need and we’re going to get the polish that we need.”
All right. That’s all from us. If you see future us, make sure to ask how the 40-story mansion’s doing. Boy oh boy, investing all of our money into HD-DVD stocks is gonna pay off any day now.
Well, we now have absolute proof that at least one member of the PC gaming community wasn’t living in the hornets’ nest Infinity Ward stepped on when it announced that Modern Warfare 2 won’t support dedicated servers. Unfortunately, that one person is none other than id Software’s John Carmack.
“It’s not cast in stone yet, but at this point no, we don’t think [RAGE] will have dedicated servers,” Carmack told Variety’s Cut Scene blog. “The great thing is we won’t have to be a pioneer on that. We’ll see how it works out for everyone else.”
If it’s any consolation, RAGE is primarily a single-player game. But then, knowing id, we imagine that the game’s multiplayer component will still be better than most.
Racing and shooting? Sometimes at the same time? Gee whiz, that sounds complicated. Surprisingly, though, id Software’s Todd Hollenshead thinks RAGE can pull off such a tricky balancing act in only one go and – as such – sees no need for an open beta. He said as much in an interview with VG247.
“I doubt there will be an open beta,” he stated, simply.
Well, what about a demo, then? RAGE may look, sound, and perhaps even taste great, but what if we’re still not sold on it? Is there hope for us yet?
“The demo question is hard to answer, because I don’t know what the development cycle will be like. We don’t have anything against demos or tests; we typically do that – probably – to a greater extent than almost anybody else in the industry, so my guess would be that we will have something, but that’s far from set in stone,” said Hollenshead.
So then, what will the demo be called? MILD IRRITATION?
Er, yeah... So, uh, what's the deal with airline food?
Day one of id Software’s annual ode to the art of frag is in the books, and as with any slain beast, that which was inside it (usually blood, sometimes candy, but – in this case -- news) is now out in the open for all eyes to see. So, without any further ado, here’s today’s installment of the QuakeCon Times.
Premium service coming to QuakeLive, Carmack confirms – There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, and Quake Live’s learning that lesson the hard way. According to id’s John Carmack, in-game ads simply couldn’t rocket-jump the game into profitability, so a subscription-based tier was needed. Fortunately, it’s optional, so – whether you’re filthy-rich or dirt-poor – blowing anonymous people into tiny giblets will always be a viable option.
New RAGE trailer makes us feel another emotion: envy – Guys and gals who are play-testing this game right now, we hate you. RAGE looks amazing, but one can only watch a trailer so many times before they start longing for something more. Luckily, we hear RAGE will include that newfangled “gameplay” feature that so many games these days support. Now if only we could try it out…
Carmack says id will put three AAA titles into development – So let’s see, that’s RAGE, Doom 4, and…? Don’t think id’s trying to pull a fast one on you, though; even Carmack and co. don’t know what their third team’s up to – mostly because they haven’t decided yet. Odds are, though, we won’t find out for quite some time, especially because…