Music, Movies & Books Video

Netflix: ‘Altered Carbon’ Release Date Trailer

I am a big fan of the Cyberpunk genre. Some of my favorite books are Neuromancer, Snow Crash, and Altered Carbon. So I was pretty excited last year when Netflix announced they were making an Altered Carbon series. Now, we have some new details: The show will be releasing on February 2nd 2018 and consist of 10 episodes. That gives you time to read the first novel in the series if you are interested. It gets a strong recommendation from me.

About Altered Carbon:

In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”) making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats “existence” as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning. . . .

Games Video

Thoughts on Quake Champions

I have always appreciated the multiplayer Quake Games such as Quake 3. I just appreciated them from afar. At the time I was too busy playing Starsiege: Tribes to really get into it. It wasn’t until years later when Quake Live came out did a put maybe 20-30 hours into it.

To me, the Quake series was one of those multiplayer shooters that people played to prove themselves. It was an arena where aim and general skill mattered above all else. Guns were accurate, maps were balanced, and even movement had a lot of depth. The strategy seemed to boil down to controlling power weapons on the map and knowing when to push an opponent or when to retreat. I grew up watching eSports become a thing with tournaments such as Quakecon and players like Fatal1ty. I remember watching frag videos like Get Quaked 3. So I can certainly appreciate what Quake as a series represents and the history behind it.

So I think I understand why so many people got concerned when they announced that the next Quake game was going to have “Champions”. The idea of each character having a unique ability, movement mechanics, and health/armor stack certainly seems to dilute that simplicity and purity Quake has always had in the past. Sure its true that some of that is gone now, but I think the trade off for added depth is worth it. I also suspect that adding champions to the game should help it appeal to a larger audience and bring in some new players, which is something the series has needed for a long time. The good news is that each champion only has one unique ability, and they are not win buttons like the ultimate abilities in Overwatch. They also seem to be pretty balanced based on what I have experienced playing and what I watched in this year’s Quakecon Duel Championship matches. The game still very much plays like an arena shooter where map control and item spawn timing are important. The core of the game still feels very much like Quake to me, and I think long time Quake players that have not tried it out yet should give it a chance.

I think the biggest concern for the success of this game is not that it has Champions, but that the game is going to be free to play. Being able to switch Champions out on the fly in TDM, or have access to the full roster when picking your three in duels seems pretty important. If they are not easily earned in game it is going to be a problem. Of course there is always the option to buy Champion Pack outright for $30, which seems like a fair price to me. Honestly, I think they really should just release the game at $30 and skip the whole free to play thing. I would hate to see the game get overlooked by newer players due to there being a perception of it being “pay to win”.

Anyway, here is a few minutes of gameplay footage I took of the game once it was released to Early Access. I have less then 5 hours of time in the game so far, but don’t worry because I removed the parts where I died over and over and over again. Nobody should have to see that.