Tag Archives: id software

I Love The Little Robots In Doom 3

I’m walking down a dark, damp and scary hallway. I can hear strange noises all around me. My shotgun is darting about the hallway and connecting rooms, looking for any movement. Suddenly my eyes find an enemy demon. It charges me and shoots a fireball. But I don’t care about myself. Instead, I’m worried about my little boy ahead of me. My robot son. I jump ahead, take the blast and kill the demon. I turn around and whisper to my robot buddy that he’s safe and he boops and beeps, but keeps on walking. I quickly follow him because nothing will hurt my Doom 3 turret drone, not on my watch.

Doom 3 was recently brought to PS4, Xbox One and Switch and I finally got around to beating it not long ago. But while the shotgun was fun to use and killing demons was exciting, maybe one of my favorite parts of Doom 3 was the small spider-like robot drones that can be found throughout the game. These sentry bots are used for security and assistance on Mars. One of the first ones you encounter helps lead you to a particular part of the base.

But while they look cute, they are extremely deadly. These bots come equipped with a powerful machine gun and they have infinite ammo. They can easily tear through packs of demons with little effort. This makes them extremely useful unless you are an idiot like me and fall in love with these little guys. In which case, these drones become another challenge added to the level. Instead of letting it go ahead, killing demons and taking fire for me, I would charge around it to protect it.

Why? That’s a great question! I don’t have a really good answer for it either.

It is surprising how little noises and small animations can help you connect with something as strange or mechanical as a walking turret. That is the key to my love of the sentry bot. The noises it makes while it walks around are the best. It’s little feet stomping quickly in succession and the beeps and boops it emits after killing a demon or when reaching a door. But what really got me was if you fall behind or walk away from the bot it will stop and look back at you, waiting. Maybe you could read that as annoyed, but I instead took it as a sign of care. It’s worried about me.

It’s thinking: “Hey, why is this idiot exploring that dark corner? Follow me, dude, there is a literal demon invasion happening. Do you really need three more shotgun shells? Or those 5 bits of armor? Really? Come on dude, I don’t want you to die out here. Follow me.”

So once my brain had given these little robots personality and emotions, I began to see them as cute creatures that needed my protection. I would keep a close eye on them, especially when a demon would pop up. I’m only human though, so I would make mistakes and lose it for a moment or get caught up in a fight and not know where it was. In these moments I would run towards the noise of gunfire.

My little buddy was in a fight and all alone. It needed my help. Often it didn’t, it would usually win against most demons in one on one fights. But if I saw a demon smack my boy, well I wouldn’t take it well. I’d usually pull out my chainsaw and send a message to other demons. Don’t you dare lay a claw, hoof or whatever on my drone boy or I will cut your demon ass in half with a chainsaw! Like Limp Bizkit, I do in fact pack a chainsaw.

I’m happy to report that during my playthrough of Doom 3 I never let a robot buddy get destroyed. I originally wrote “killed” in the previous sentence but realized these things aren’t alive. They’re just machines. But it is interesting how easily my brain bought into the idea that these digital robots are more than just that, bits of code and texture wrapped around a 3D model.

When we talk about the future of robotics, people sometimes debate how humans will react to more robots appearing in our lives. I think as long as they aren’t creepy androids, people will quickly fall in love with robot helpers. Check out the comments on any video featuring those Boston Dynamic robots. People get angry at how badly they are treated in the videos. We really aren’t that far away from a future where we all have little robots and people post them online, like cat pictures today. And I’ll be right there with you folks. Give me cute robots. I’m ready to protect them and love them, like a puppy.

Source: Kotaku.com

15 Years Later, I Was Finally Brave Enough To Finish Doom 3

After the recent surprise release of Doom 3 on PS4, Xbox One, and Switch I felt I needed to finally accomplish something I had been putting off for too long. It was time to load up Doom 3, start a new game and finish this thing. I tried before when I was much younger and fear stopped me dead in my tracks. Now I was older, braver and ready to kill all the demons and get this monkey off my back.

But first, let me take you back nearly 15 years ago when a young Zack discovered news of Doom 3 coming to Xbox. I had enjoyed playing the original games on my PC and was excited to play another Doom and this time, I would get to do it on my Xbox. That sounded great to me! Not long after this, I received issue 44 of the Official Xbox Magazine and it had a demo on it of Doom 3. The disc had a few different demos, including one for the now-forgotten Darkwatch. But the one I was most excited about was a small demo of Doom 3. At this point, May 2005, Doom 3 had been out on PC for about a year. But I didn’t have a computer that could run and so this was my first taste of Doom 3. I was ready, or so I thought.

Back in 2005, it wasn’t easy to just watch gameplay footage of a game. Especially if, like me, you had dial-up internet still. So I went into Doom 3 basically knowing very little about it beyond the trailer on the demo disc, which looked a little scary.

The demo was terrifying.

The way the game built up the dread and atmosphere was very effective, especially if you were 13 years old and alone in a dark room in the middle of the night. I remember feeling more and more paranoid as I played. Something was watching me. I always felt that sense of something hunting me. Eventually my panic and fear grew too large and I turned the lights on and quit the demo. I came back later and ended up finishing the demo, but I was scared. What would the full game be like?

The answer was: Even worse!

Playing through Doom 3 was hard for me. It scared me enough that after 30 mins or an hour I would end up having to take a break. Walk away from it. Play something else or go outside or watch a movie. Anything to escape Doom 3.

The darkness really scared me. In the original Doom 3, you could only use your flashlight by lowering your weapon. So to see in the dark areas of the game, you would have to go in defenseless. If something did pop up you would then have to drop your flashlight and fire blindly into the inky darkness, hoping whatever you were shooting would die before it got to you. This rhythm of combat caused me to get more and more anxious and afraid as I played, which is why I needed frequent breaks.

Eventually, I made enough progress that I reached Hell. Then I found myself surrounded by screams and yelling, fire and brimstone and deadly demons. Oh, and at this point in the game, Doom 3 takes away your weapons and only gives you some of them back over time with limited ammo. 13-year-old Zack had enough. After pushing through to this point, losing my guns and being surrounded by pain and suffering was too much. I shut Doom 3 off and never returned.

As the years went by, I would think about playing it again but never really did. When the BFG Edition was released in 2012 I messed around a bit with it via Gamefly, but too many other games distracted me from playing it more. Honestly, my brain was also holding me back. Some part of my mind still remembered the pain and trauma the game caused and was keeping me away from it.

So with the announcement of new ports and after years of not playing Doom 3 or finishing it, I was ready to beat this damn game. I bought the new release of Doom 3 for PS4, loaded it up and began. 15 years later, now equipped with the BFG Edition’s flashlight mod, I found Doom 3 fun to come back to and not as terrifying as before. When I reached Hell again last week, this time as an adult, I found myself getting nervous. A weird residual fear of the last time I was in Hell in Doom 3, that my brain couldn’t shake. But ultimately, it wasn’t as bad as my younger self made it out to be.

A few days ago I finally beat Doom 3. (That last boss fight wasn’t hard and also was really mediocre!) I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I now feel inspired. Maybe I’ll go back and beat Silent Hill 1? That game also scared me too much the first time I played it. Or I might go back and finish up some other scary game from my teenage and childhood years.

Besides, these days I’m more afraid of the real world and the assholes in it than some demons or weird monsters.

Source: Kotaku.com

Searching For Crates In Rage 2 Sucks

Rage 2 is a violent and dangerous world. Every day is filled with action, explosions, car chases, and giant monsters. It’s all very exciting and a blast to experience. But one of the most prevalent activities in this world isn’t killing mutants or destroying enemy convoys. No. Instead, for some reason, the game really wants you to find a bunch of crates. So many crates. And it sucks.

I’ve been enjoying my time with Rage 2, even if the game feels like six things copied and pasted a thousand times. Luckily, most of Rage 2 is fun and feels great. I love the shooting and driving, so I don’t mind doing the same things over and over. It’s fine. What I do dislike and actively hate is how nearly every single location in Rage 2 is packed with the same collectibles. And each location tasks the player with finding them.

Again and again and again.

To be fair, you don’t have to find these collectibles which are usually crates and PDAs. However, if you want to fully check a location off your map you will need to spend some time searching for crates and stupid little PDAs.

And again, to be fair to Rage 2, you don’t have to collect these things. This is just a problem I have while playing. I just can’t walk away from these locations and see them on my map unfinished. I hate it. This is my personal hang up, I understand this. If you can drive by a bandit camp that isn’t checked off the map, more power to you. I can’t do it, which means I end up digging around every location searching for shit.

Here’s the thing though, even if these crates are optional, I don’t understand WHY these scavenger hunts are even in the game at all. Because they suck. They are just the worst.

Crates can be hidden almost anywhere. Sometimes they are just sitting out in the open. I love these crates. I’ll never say anything bad about these good ones. They are fine. But other crates are bastards, hiding in weird spots or under buildings. These crates are annoying, but I understand that these scavenger hunts need to be a bit challenging, so I’ll get grumpy at these bastards, but I don’t hate them.

No, I reserve that hatred for the asshole crates.

These assholes are always a pain to find. Here’s an example of an asshole chest. I was searching a bandit camp in Rage 2, looking for the last crate in the area. I spent way too long digging around this area, searching every room, behind rocks and even vehicles. I almost gave up. Suddenly, as I was walking by a large shipping container, my view stopped moving and locked onto the doors for a moment. I stopped and checked the container and found the doors were locked with a small pink padlock and my reticle was locking on to this object due to auto-aim. I shot it, the doors opened and I found the last crate. What an asshole.

This sucked and wasn’t fun. I didn’t feel clever finding this box. Up until this point, I had no idea I could shoot locks that I found randomly in the world. I didn’t even know I could check shipping containers, as most of them are locked and can’t be opened. In fact, at this location, there was actually a few other containers that I couldn’t open. After finding it I felt cheated and it left a sour taste in my mouth, a taste that I quickly rinsed away by shotgunning some bandits later.

There is an ability players can unlock that adds a item tracker to the in-game HUD. I didn’t have this tracker for my first few hours of Rage 2. Once I did unlock this tracker, I was excited. Finally, chests will be easy to find.

Except there was a big problem: The tracker blows.

It works well enough in large and open areas. But more compact or vertical bases are still a massive hassle to search. One problem is that the tracker seems to be inconsistent or at least it feels that way. It also has a problem with how it works. It tracks not just crates, but PDAs and Ark chests (another collectible some areas have you search for.) This means if a PDA, chest, and crate are close to each other, the tracker will change wildly as you move in different directions. I’ve gotten better at using it, but it doesn’t really solve my main problem with these overused checklists.

These item searches are a terrible activity. They aren’t fun or interesting and their rewards are rarely worth the time. These damn crates are a wonderful example of how overstuffing an open world can lead to things that are created simply to be time sinks. A way of making that list to “finish” the game get longer and longer.

These things add little to no value to the game and for the players, like me, who try to complete them, they often make us hate playing the game we were enjoying just a moment earlier.

So if you are enjoying Rage 2, don’t worry about tracking down every chest. Find what you can and if you really feel up to it, wait until you unlock the tracker before looking for all these collectibles. Don’t make my mistake. Instead, have fun. Don’t worry about checklists.

Source: Kotaku.com

These Rage 2 Characters Have Amazing Names But No Backstories, So I Made Some Up

I’ve met some real characters during my time playing Rage 2. And by characters, I mean glorified quest dispensers. There’s old guy, cool lady, and of course—who could forget?—third main story person. These folks get functional speaking parts, but I honestly can’t remember a word they’ve said. They’re bland potato people in a perfunctory post-apocalyptic stew. But some of Rage 2‘s characters deserve better. I speak, of course, of all the otherwise faceless NPCs with in-friggin’-credible names.

Rage 2—a game I’m enjoying because The Guns Feel Good, and sometimes that’s all you need—feels like it could’ve been the bizarro garage punk noise solo its trailers tried to portray it as, but then its mom came in and told it to turn down that awful racket. So now it’s got a standard-issue video game setting, but all the ladders are pink, because fuck you, mom. There are, however, sprinkles of legitimate strangeness throughout the game in the form of characters with names that beautifully straddle the line between trying too hard and not trying even a single bit. These, dear reader, are their names (that I didn’t make up) and their stories (that I did make up).

Bruise Armbar

A retired MMA fighter who earned his nickname by being wholly unable to bruise or armbar anybody and having very mean friends.

Annie Hilator

“Name’s Annie,” she tells people she meets through her job as a security guard outside a very exclusive club. “Annie Hilator,” she adds with a sly grin. “Get it?” No one’s ever gotten it.

Hella Brew

The coolest person in the whole wasteland. In his mind.

Ryan Cockaim

By day: the quietest guy at the accounting firm. By night: definitely does porn.

Fistu Lars

Ryan Cockaim’s partner. Not in porn, surprisingly, but very supportive of all his lover’s pursuits. Doesn’t believe in “the institution of marriage,” but would still kind of like it if Ryan proposed.

Peter O’Nails

Every time anyone’s asked him how his day is going, he’s replied “bad.”

Acid Rayne

Actually a staunch conservationist, trying to bring plants and wildlife back to this smoking crater of a world. He swears he saw a duck once, to the point that it’s the only story he tells at parties. People laugh at him for this, and he suffers from pretty bad depression.

Lazer Fist

She is THE LAW.

Brucer

Younger brother of Bruce, older brother of Brucest.

Bad Bertha

Probably one of the top ten worst Berthas, but surprisingly not that bad as far as people go, in general.

Andi Wasteland

SWEARS the wasteland was named after her and not the other way around. Might be right???

Bronco Koronco

Can only say his own name. Is the life of every party.

OPULENT CHASTITY

RIGHTEOUS HAND

!!!

@Oyez_Klang

The final Twitter user. Named by his mother, who was the final Twitter user before him. She passed away many years ago, but remains his only follower. It’s all very tragic, actually.

Lisa Nailgun

The real main character of Rage 2. You’re just a supporting character in their story. Sorry to break it to you this way. If you need someone to help you process this, just hit me up. I’m happy to help. You know I care about you.

DognBone von Carrotcake

Like I’d sully a name this good with some pithy made-up story.

Durk Viscous

Right hand man of DognBone von Carrotcake. Knows very little about about them. Loves them with all his heart. Spends all day on the internet re-posting #relatablecontent.

Wimothy Tillits

I don’t know. Some loser, probably.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Weird Story Behind Doom’s Rare “Ouch Face”

I don’t remember the exact situation I was in when I first saw the face, but I was surprised. I was playing Doom on a crappy Dell computer at the time. I was no older than 10. What was that? Why did the Doomguy look like he had just stepped on a LEGO brick with his barefoot?

I don’t even know if that was the first time I saw it or just the first time I was able to notice his small face change into something I didn’t know about. Years later, I found out what this face is, why it is so rare and how it works.

In the classic Doom games, the player can see their health, ammo and armor on a status bar located at the bottom of the screen. Also included on this bar is a small face which is a visual depiction of the Doomguy. As you take more damage, the Doomguy gets covered in blood. The face will also smile and look around as you play. It even changes if you activate the god mode cheat, gaining glowing yellow eyes.

Most players will see a lot of these different faces as they play through Doom. However, the ouch face is rare and when the game first was released, players weren’t sure what was happening. Many weren’t even seeing it. Some believed it was a totally random occurrence.

However, once Doom’s source code was released by id Software in the late 90s, players discovered what was going on. The ouch face is so rare because of a programming error.

Players found in the code that the face should show up whenever a player takes more than 20 damage, which isn’t a very rare event in Doom. But the code controlling when the face appears was written incorrectly. Instead, the face only shows up when the player gains 20 health or more while at the same time taking damage. This is much rarer, usually only happening when a player picks up a large health item while getting attacked by more powerful enemies.

There are ways to easy see the face. One of the most reliable ways to see the ouch face is to stand on a floor that does damage and then enter the god mode cheat code, iddqd. After doing this, the player gains more than 20 health while taking damage and results in the ouch face popping up.

The ouch face has become a bit of meme in the years following Doom’s release. For example, it can be found in Doom 3 on an in-game magazine.

In various ports of Doom the ouch face has been made easier to see. In the Playstation 1 port of Doom, the ouch face commonly occurs when the player takes damage from behind. Some source ports like ZDoom have actually fixed the bug, making the face appear more often in gameplay.

Source: Kotaku.com