Almost any PC gamer will list id Software as one of their favourite companies -- they pioneered the platform with the classic Doom and Quake series', among others, after all. So naturally it comes as a disappointment to learn their upcoming first person shooter / racer RAGE is not PC-centric, because of a supposedly smaller audience (ssshh, don't tell Valve).
We've known since last year there would be no dedicated servers, but now we learn there will be no real graphical enhancements either, though you can count on the standard keyboard and mouse-oriented controls, higher resolution, and faster load times.
"[The equality of the three versions] was one of the reasons why before Quakecon I was gonna (set the PC version to) the same resolution," explained creative director Tim Willits, "So I could have all three of them the same, and John Carmack was like, “Well you know it’s really a PC centric audience, let’s go ahead and crank it up a little bit” … and it did load much faster."
"So they were all excited about that. “It loads faster, see! My three thousand dollar machine is better because it loads faster!”
"Sometimes people are… it’s always the ones that love you the most that you hurt, you know? But I think our hardcore PC fans understand the fact that it’s difficult to be a successful company and only make a PC game. The audience is smaller."
We like to think PC gamers are understanding enough -- or more likely, just used to it by now -- of not having completely PC-centric titles, but they do ask for at least one major reason to grab the game on their platform of choice, whether that be dedicated servers, significant graphical enhancements, or features like Eyefinity / 3D Vision Surround support.
It should come as a small comfort to know the controls are still PC-centric -- senior producer Jason Kim notes it was their focus from an early point and he thinks they've "nailed it."
"It’s something that we haven’t lost in this transition – it’s not really a transition. It’s us understanding that 'hey there’s a lot of gamers on all of these platforms – let’s give them rage.' RagePC, RagePS3, Rage360."
As some have experienced with titles like Dead Space, sometimes the PC version feels like the controls have been ported, rendering the game nearly unplayable -- not what you want.