South Africa’s biggest videogames expo, rAge, is just a couple of days away and we’re as giddy with excitement as any of the multitude of fellow geeks have their tickets at the ready. From Friday, attendees can immerse themselves in myriad activities including hands-on with Triple-A titles, LAN events and even the odd board game or two. There’s also a ton of swag up for purchase and we expect to see more than a few Cosplayers. If you’re in any doubt whether or not you want to rock up at this year’s rAge allow us to tantalise you with this list of what we’re looking forward to:
Overclocking workshop (Brendyn Lotz)
The editor of TheOverclocker magazine, Neo “ShockG” Sibeko will be joined by Goddy “Vivi” Roodt and Andrew “dRweEZ” Roberts to host the first ever NAG Overclocking Workshop Competition at rAge. Unlike previous years where the overclocking was a matter of being at the venue at the right time this year the agenda is packed with blistering clock speeds.
Entering the competition needs to be done before hand by submitting a valid 3DMark11 or 3DMark 2013 score on HWBOT or 3DMark.com. Do you think you have what it takes to enter? Then you need to head to the NAG forum for more information on entering. Finalists will run benchmarks for 3D Firestrike and Intel XTU in three elimination rounds on Friday and Saturday and one round on Sunday before the winners compete head-to-head for R15 000 in prizes. Expect lots of liquid nitrogen and jaw dropping clock speeds.
VR Gaming (Deon Du Plessis)
I may get some flack for this, but I don’t care: I think virtual reality gaming and all of its associated headsets and technologies are the future, and I can’t wait to spend some quality time with the latest version of the Oculus Rift headset that’s coming to rAge.
My only experience of VR so far happened last year, when I got to try out the first Oculus Rift development kit, and it blew me away. Despite the fact that the graphics of the rollercoaster demo I sat through were blocky, and appeared as if I were seeing everything through a screen door, that didn’t stop my body buying into the idea that I was actually on a rollercoaster.
I am so looking forward to having a similar experience with a more advanced headset, and immersing myself in scenes and games that have far better graphics.
A VR demo of Alien: Isolation is apparently going to be on the show floor, and it could offer me exactly what I am looking for. Since that game made me almost soil myself while playing it on a flat screen, there’s a strong possibility my rAge 2015 VR experience could be accompanied by a panic attack.
I can’t wait.
NAG LAN (Clinton Mathos)
As is the case every year, one of the biggest draws of rAge is the LAN. PC enthusiasts from around the country pack up their precious rigs and make the trip to the dome for a solid 52 hours of interconnected joy.
Once they’ve made the trek, set up the battle stations and jacked in, expect gaming, streaming and downloading thanks to the solid internet usually provided to the LAN. Internet Solutions will providing the connectivity and has promised its speed will keep loading screens as far away as possible.
Since we won’t be sitting down to partake ourselves (boooo), we will be stalking the area. Got a cool custom case? Do your LEDs need to come with a seizure warning? Does your PC effing transform? We want to see it! Look for the geeks with the cameras and a smile on their faces.
This year we’re looking at the NAG LAN with the eyes of a maker. We’ll be scouting for any projects that fit the maker manifesto with the hopes of showing it to the masses.If we don’t stumble into you feel free to get in contact with us via the usual social medias or with a flare gun on the day.
We’re joking about the flare gun. Unless your PC can fire one. If it does give us a call.
South African Indie Games (Nick Cowen)
Obviously there’ll be a bunch of Triple A titles for gamers to get their hands on, some of which have already been released – Forza Motorsport 6, Rare Play – and others that players are still eagerly awaiting – Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, Just Cause 3 and The Division. However, step away from the brain-bashing cacophony caused by the expo’s biggest titles, and you may find some rather interesting homegrown videogames – and some of them are really pretty good.
One part showcase, one part launchpad, Home Coded will feature some of the best and brightest young talent on the local scene. Developers will be showing off their creations – some of them having taken years to come into being – and will be on hand to have a chat about game development and some of the challenges facing local game devs. For a taste of what to expect, check out our features on the recent A MAZE Festival as some of those games will be at rAge.
Board games and card games (Nick Cowen)
If you fancy unplugging for a bit but you still have a hankering to play something, rAge has you covered. Not are there a huge selection of board games and card games for punters to purchase, there are usually a ton of tables at rAge set aside for players to crack open their decks and hammer each other. Players can pick up expansions, rare cards, brand new games and they don’t even have to wait to get home to enjoy them. Oh, and if anyone’s looking for a game of Netrunner, give us a shout.