QuakeCon is happening. Amid the rows of LAN-goers intravenously absorbing energy drinks, and the shared sense of smugness at having seen exclusive DOOM footage, the event is also home to a couple of announcements. For instance, Bethesda VP Pete Hines announced that the free-to-play arena shooter Quake Live will arrive on Steam "very, very soon". How soon? Very. How soon, more specifically? He didn't say.
Written by Matt Thrower
Fifteen years ago I thought myself the god of Unreal Tournament: an untouchable colossus of speed and firepower tearing through every difficulty level with consummate ease. So naturally, as soon as I got broadband I tried out for a high ranking clan. They wiped the floor with me, blowing my avatar asunder with the same insouciance I had playing against the bots and laughing as they fell before me.
It was the beginning of a long and illustrious career of being Very Bad Indeed at online games. Yet here I remain, regularly clocking hours on Left 4 Dead, Call of Duty, and DayZ and regularly left propping up the leaderboards.
I’m hardly alone. Public servers commonly have their fair share of deadbeats alongside the clan members and twitch kiddies who rule the maps. The gaming demographic increasingly includes middle-aged people with kids and mortgages who want to kick back in the evening and have some fun, but don’t have the free time to practice. And, predictably, the more experienced players slaughter them, time and time again. Why do we keep coming back for more pain?
Quake Live still knows how to set the stage for a nicely-timed move. Seeking to avoid some of the pitfalls of a strictly browser-based existence, the free-to-play game now has its own standalone launcher, id Software announced today. The arena shooter first revealed the planned switch in November in order to get more control over the game and offer a smoother experience for players.
Browser-based shooter Quake Live will be reintroduced as a standalone, downloadable game by the end of the year. An official update on its forums cites changes in the way plugin-based games are supported by popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox.
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.
Every month, we present you with a roundup of the best free PC games that have been recently released. What we haven’t done before is sit down and think about all the best free PC games knocking around the internet at the moment, eventually formatting them into a big old list feature. We think it’s about time we sorted that out.
The internet is a scary place. It’s a place full of information, far too much for any one person to absorb even a fraction. It’s a place that caters to every desire, however depraved and esoteric. It’s a place full of other people. Isn’t that terrifying?
And, more than that, you’re expected to interact with these people. Have discussions, comment on articles you’ve all read, and troll one another. It’s enough to make that hermetic ideal of cave living, where you only have to worry about which end of the skunk to eat first, look most appealing. But it’s ok, I’m here to help.
Games are perhaps the best way to survive contact with other humans. They let you vent your frustrations, or work together without having to, y’know, have a proper conversation about it. You’re hidden and safe behind the anonymity of the internet, and the rules of the game. It’s a controlled environment, and so you’re probably going to be ok.
And so, allow me to aid you to submerge yourself in the unwashed masses, a toe at first, before the rest of your leg, and then all to follow. Below is a list of games aimed at interaction over the internet, all from within the safety of your browser. Some are short-fire bursts of multiplayer gaming, others aiming for something much more long form and arduous, but oh-so more rewarding because of it.
The European leg of the Intel Extreme World Championships is set to kick off tomorrow in Kiev. Three tournaments will pit the best Starcraft 2, Counterstrike 1.6 and Quake players against each other. The winners will gain a place in the Intel Masters V World Championship in Hanover in March, as well as a mighty wad of cash. Read on for details.
We've had a look at esports around the world and rounded up a few of November's hottest gaming tournaments. StarCraft 2, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty 4, Team Fortress 2 and Quake Live all feature as the month kicks off with the massive Multiplay i41 event in the UK, and ends with the even bigger Dreamhack LAN party in Sweden, where the prize pools are worth thousands of pounds.
I can still remember my first schooling in the art of Quake. A young staff writer fresh out of university, I found myself working late one night, and the office Q3DM17 expert offered to give me a run-around and a few tips.
Talk about school of hard knocks. He railed me from a mile away. He railed me while performing mid-air pirouettes. He railed me when all he could see was the pixel on the top of my head. He was a frickin’ railgun prodigy, and his name, rather aptly, was Mr Chafe.
QuakeCon is happening right now, and to celebrate all that Quakey goodness we're giving away two one-year subscription codes for pro-level access to Id's browser-based shooter, Quake Live. Click the jump to find out how to enter!
Update: Congratulations to our winners, elnicko and Cykio! Go forth and frag in our name.
Quakecon 2010 is just a couple of weeks away, and id Software have just announced the three leagues they'll be holding for the tournaments this year. Teetering at the top of each are, of course, fat stacks of cash, so if you're dossing around Dallas, Texas on the 12th of August and you think you're good enough to bag some of the $50,000 prize money, read on.