Gathering together the best shooters is no easy task, but if you’re looking for a new PC FPS to play, look no further.
Your favourite game is at number 51.
RPS Feature The Worthiest Reticules Of All Time
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Spawn, sprint, left turn, elevator, shoot at the dog, cross the bridge, through the door, shoot the exploding barrel, left, right, right, hit the button to cover an acid pit, turn right down a corridor, hit the buttons down the ramps, hopping banisters to save time, left, right, up the ramp and hit the exit. Steam estimates that it takes 55 seconds to download Quake on a modern connection. I can complete the first level of its first world in 20 seconds. But it takes me no time at all to remember each part of the first first-person shooter I played.
When John Carmack started tinkering with Quake’s multiplayer code in 1996, his plans for the QuakeWorld client went deeper than TCP and UDP. Its new netcode made playing an FPS online over dialup not total garbage, sparking the multiplayer FPS explosion, but Carmack had also once intended for QW to be what we’d now consider free-to-play. Though the plans changed and this never happened, I can be endlessly fascinated by scraps of video game history like the time John Carmack thought about selling the right to have a name.
Time for a confession: I’m not a Quake guy. I’m not a Quake guy to the point where I haven’t even played Quake. It was old hat by the time I was all in on video games and I chose the wonderful Unreal Tournament over Arena due to preferring better games. But here I am, intrigued and somewhat astounded by what modder Simon O’Callaghan has managed to do with the seventeen year old engine. Essentially, In The Shadows is a semi-conversion that adds a stealth system and whole new campaign to the aging beast, but it also hits some specific me-shaped buttons. Sneak past the break for a video and a little more in-depth explanation.
Somewhere in the deep, dark, distant future, there exists a world beyond Doom 4. It is a strange and alien place – one in which id has pried the bolts from its lips and… wait, no, it’s never done that. Always “when it’s done.” Always. But still, there are more id games in this far-flung universe, and also I have cool cybernetic laser nostrils. I know, for I have seen it. Briefly, ever so briefly, id creative director Tim Willits took me there. Here’s what he said.
There’s dedication and there’s dedication. The second, slantier version means there’s been a bit more effort being put in. Let’s use Quake as an example: it’s the difference between someone still making Quake levels all these years later, and someone who has built a Quake editor for modern sensibilities, making it all wizzy. Handily for this analogy, that second someone exists, and has just released TrenchBroom, “A Modern Level Editor for Quake.”
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Trent Reznor, who it’s still weird to see referred to as an Academy Award Winning Composer, will be providing the theme tune for Call of Duty Black Ops 2. Both he and the FPS have come a long way from Quake, although I’ll leave it to you to decide in which direction each has been travelling. The news comes along with a trailer for the game that shows the villain for the first time. He has escaped from a place but doesn’t have any weapons but that doesn’t matter because he HAS TAKEN ALL OF THE BLOPS’ WEAPONS. That’s the plot. Oh, and it’s the future, so jetpack dives from space and baby AT-ATs.
After a number of ventures that took him from an ill-fated N-Gage Red Faction spin-off to an ill-fated Gauntlet sequel, Doom co-creator (with locks that flow like choruses from the mouths of angels) John Romero is eyeing his old-school bread-and-butter. Speaking with Eurogamer, he described his previously hinted at shooter as a “MMO-ish” and “PC first.” I like both of those things. Let us hope his new game is fated to be ill in the colloquial, “that was totally ill” sense and not the one that’s, er, more commonly come to be associated with John Romero.
Heartening news from Sir Carmack, lord of pixels: preliminary id design discussion about the next Quake game has turned up a hankering to return to the Gothic, semi-fantasy setting and vibe of the original Quake. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty damned bored of bio-mechanical environs and beasts after id Tech 4’s quad-whammy of Doom 3, Quake IV, Prey and Quake Wars, so something potentially a little weirder rather takes my fancy.
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(Yes, I know there are, in fact, no Stroggs in Quake 1).
Flash: what can’t it do? Well, it can’t fix the wonky big toe I’ve got as a result of kicking a rock when I was 13, that’s what it can’t do. But it can run a remarkably smooth version of the original Quake in a browser. Mouse support, the constant bane of Flash games, is a little off – you have to hold down the left button to activate mouse-look, meaning firing happens with Control, but it works pretty well nonetheless. Quake’s still surprisingly good-looking after all these years – or is that I’ve become so accustomed to brown games lately that The Forefather Of Brown now looks like part of the herd all over again?