3,100. That was the number of people we were told had brought their own PCs to QuakeCon. Some to compete. Some to show off. And some to make new likeminded friends. One particular couple had just got married and were spending their honeymoon time at QuakeCon. And certain publishers try to imply that PC gaming is on the decline. How wrong they are.
Apart from some scheduling teething problems, day one of QuakeCon went off with a bang. Granted, it’s pretty hard for that not to happen when your day starts with a behind-closed-doors hands-on session with Dishonored. I wish I could tell you more, but you’ll have to purchase the next issue of Atomic to see my full thoughts on Arkane Studios’ daring title.
My time with the progressive first-person Dishonored was followed up by a return to old-school shooter roots with some of the newer levels from Doom 3: BFG Edition. These so-called Lost Missions were a hell of a lot of fun, and the amazing thing was the genre shift from survival horror to action horror simply by including more ammunition and a shoulder-mounted flashlight. I only played it for 20 minutes (that’s how long it took to finish the section) but it was a blast from start to finish, and particularly impressive in 3D. As someone who’s openly hated on 3D in the past, advances in tech have allowed me to see its potential for first-person shooters, and Doom 3 is no exception to this.
The big event of day one, though, was John Carmack’s keynote, and because it was delayed until later in the day, we (being myself and our local Bethesda rep) had a chance to check out the all-important LAN part of QuakeCon. We’d seen lines of people with PCs all day—lines that didn’t seem to get any shorter and, reportedly, because of the popularity of the event, certain unlucky gamers were turned away. While it sucks to be them, it’s great to see that QuakeCon gets bigger and bigger every year.
Checking out the actual LAN room was intense. PCs and laptops of all shapes and sizes were neatly placed along rows and rows of tables; most of which were full at this stage. Walking back past the line of patient PC patrons, we stopped at around the halfway point to see how long people had been waiting. “Five hours,” was the response. Now that’s dedication.
It was keynote time, though, and Todd Hollenshead worked up the crowd before introducing Pete Hines to announce that the Skyrim – Dawnguard DLC is now available for PC, and that PS3 fans should check out the Bethesda Blog for an update on where their Skyrim DLC is at.
Pete tagged Todd back in to discuss a bunch of sales that are happening on Steam to celebrate the fact that QuakeCon is on, as well as some App Store sales for iOS fans. Apparently, Quake Live is now offering one, three and six-month subscriptions for players that are still keen to get their Quake on.
Then, after a Doom 3: BFG trailer, the main man—John Carmack—stepped out on stage and apologised that he wouldn’t be able to talk for as long as he’d like because he was coming down with a cold. Three hours later, he was still going strong! Here’s a list of interesting titbits and quotes from his keynote.
Jump the page to check out a lengthy list of bullet-point highlights from the Carmack keynote.