By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman
They've got a ton of Falcon 4.0 t-shirts over by the Software Etc./Babbages table (where the Dreamcast is). Yeehaw.
Diamond is showing off an Unreal Tournament tech demo for their Savage 4 based Viper 3 card. It's got no actual gameplay, but it's a totally amazing demo. It uses S3TC to deliver some uber-high res textures. The level itself is just flat walls, but the textures look good enough to add depth. I would have preferred to see a real level…oh well. At least I got to check out the new Unreal Tournament interface…which rocks. :)
Both Quake 3 and UT use the S3TC, so it'll be interesting to see how real games perform with it.
I just spent a good deal of time playing Reqiuem: Avenging Angel. First off, I'm impressed with how decent it is. I was pretty much expecting something much worse. :)
Visually, the game is tolerable, but nothing we haven't seen before, really. The game uses 8-bit textures, and the result is a very "textured" environment. That is to say, everything is obviously a texture, and not very realistic. The biggest problem with Requiem is the number of controls they've got. Jedi Knight had far too many, but man! Reqiuem's got like twice that. Just some of the controls: movement keys, three (!) use keys, scroll powers (both directions), scroll weapons, use power, fire, open powers menu (brings up all of 'em in front of you so you can select them with your mouse) and more. Yowza. It's a twenty minute setup.
I started off with a DM game. The first thing you'll notice is that you actually start the level with all of your powers. You can turn off any powers you don't want on a server, but when they're all on, it's pretty much, "respawn, choose power, kill people." Not much strategy. All of the powers seemed to kill just as effectively…they looked cool, but didn't strike me as being especially DM friendly.
The weapons are your usual crop of grenade, shotgun, sniper rifle, etc. The sniper works like the Team Fortress sniper…hold down to zoom. The grenade launcher's cool, but it feels too flimsy. It fires little grenades that don't seem very intimidating. I kept thinking I was shooting tic tacs. :)
I played a bunch of single player, which I enjoyed a great deal more (no surprise there…I usually do). Despite the visuals being somewhat unexceptional, the levels do manage to be very creepy. I may have some beefs with the plot, but it's enjoyable nonetheless. One especially cool power is "insist". You use this on an enemy, and he'll turn around and start attacking his own guys. The AI is actually good here…it's not a tacked on hack. The AI in general appears to be good. Enemies called for backup, dodged attacks…cool stuff.
Oh yeah….and you can kill innocent people. That rules. ;)
Gotta run…Virtua Fighter's a goin' and the press Daikatana tourney's coming up. I'm gonna get my ass kicked. :)
Oh, one last thing…Requiem's death messages rule. Here's a few of 'em.
3/13: 4:05 PM– 2015
Done a whole boatload here…played a bunch of Tribes earlier with Blue, Idoru, and Redwood…4 on 4 is a whole different scene from the 16 on 16 I'm used to. Not much of a use for a sniper rifle there, so I was all kinds of confused.
Finally got to play Daikatana…pretty impressive. It's incredibly fast…faster than Quake 3: Arena. The game felt a lot like Doom 2, which I suppose was John Romero's intention. I'm a big fan of that shotgun thing…very cool. The sidewinder missiles seem to be a solid weapon, but I'd be concerned about level domination. The starting weapon (the fist) is awful. It really hurts the DM experience when you start with just a melee weapon. It's a reasonably powerful one, but still not anything you seriously want to use on a regular basis.
I'm sitting here at the 2015 talk. The guys here are talking about working on their new add-on pack for Sin, Wages of Sin. I've only glanced at it, but I was very impressed. I doubt anything's going to ever supplant Brood War as the best mission pack ever, but Wages of Sin looks mighty polished. They're talking about how hard it was to work on an add-on for a game still in development…can't even imagine. Had to be horribly frustrating. Looks like they came out on top, though…congrats to them for that. Have to get myself a copy of that…
3/13: 5:35 – More Doins' a Transpirin'
There's a lot of cool stuff going on here…the boys from id dropped by and ran a Quake 3: Arena demo…at first nobody was actually watching, it was just on the giant screen…but once an announcement was made people totally flocked to it. Got to talk to George Broussard for a bit about Duke Nukem Forever…expect great things from those guys. Unfortunately it looks like they're not going to be releasing any info anytime soon…they really want to wait until they can genuinely blow people's minds.
I also talked a bit with some guys from 2015, including General WorT, who I go back to the days of Quake 1 TCs with. Nice guys. Paul (Idoru) and one of the 2015 guys were bonding…apparently they're both old navy folk (no, not the store, you goofs).
I played a ton more Daikatana…it's a boatload of fun, but I don't really like a lot of small (non-gameplay, for the most part) things about it. The weapon models are kinda clunky…when they're on the ground, it's tough to figure out what the heck you're looking at. Kenneth Scott rules as a texture artist, but I just can't get into his work here. Especially not after seeing his stuff on Quake 3. Also, the first person weapon models are kind of weird. The fist is in a really awkward hand position (try doing it on your hand…not very comfortable, is it?) and the rocket launcher just doesn't look like a rocket launcher to me. (Although I certainly dig the firing animation.)
Oh, quote of the moment, "it just feels right." Paul o' Telefragged on Quake 3: Arena.
Credits: Illustration © 1999 Illiad. Extreme Anniliation is © 1999 Jason Bergman. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't try it...or we'll kick yer sorry ass.