Rage – Preview
We’ve been hearing this appellation since 2007, but since the word of its existence came, it vanished in the same way… until now. Id Software is animated again in its quest to illuminate the gaming world with what they have to offer, and we will sharing our opinion on what is known so far.
Id astounded everyone when they revealed the graphics of Doom 3, back when it was set to be released; because of how far advanced it was compared to every other game in-terms of graphics. Rage will bring back that nostalgic feeling, as it will be using the brand new id Tech 5 graphics engine.
No lame scribbles can do justice to how great this game looks. The vistas of the dead, post-apocalyptic world, with its greyish and realistically dull colors along with profoundly well-modeled characters truly makes it seem like the next step in graphics evolution. Id is claiming that the game runs smoother on the PS3 than the Xbox360, and just imagining what it will look like on a high-end PC makes a tingling sensation go down my spine.
Id games aren’t known for the story they have to offer, they’re famous for how much fun they give when you blow the brains out of your maniac enemies. But that doesn’t mean the Rage doesn’t have anything to explain about the ruinous world that it is set in.
You’ll be moving around in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, and all that happened thanks to an impact of an asteroid, the real-life Apophis, which has been calculated in reality to pass near Earth in 2036. According to the game, the calculations were a wee bit inaccurate, and the asteroid strikes Earth on December 2029, leaving behind a handful of scattered human survivors which are forced to begin a new civilization. They do so by uniting together, making shelters around oasis and other few habitable areas.
There are obviously those who have suffered abnormalities from the impact, such as mutation, and then there are those regular bandits, the bad guys you’d often find in such situations using force to rob and savage everyone. The crazy mutants and bandits alike have separately formed organizations of their own, constantly trying to attack the ‘normal’ humans to sabotage whatever the heck they can. Both the crazies and the bandits serve as the primary enemies for much of the game.
The player wakes up after being preserved in a certain something called an Ark. The Arks are cryogenic pods that were sealed under the Earth to biologically conserve people of relative importance and traits that would assist with the rebuilding of mankind. This was all thanks to a huge project known as the Eden Project.
Regretfully, Eden Project was far less successful than anticipated. The player’s own Ark is pretty damaged and the rest of the people preserved with him are dead. The player himself has no memory of his past identity or objective, and is forced to head for the surface to find someone who could help him.
The world is cruel, and the one destroyed by an asteroid is crueler. There are lots of hostile factions that, for one reason or the other, won’t be very nice to you.
If Doom 3 would combine with Fallout 3, which in-turn would combine with a weird form of Twisted Metal, you’d get the gameplay of Rage. The world is absolutely open to you, and you can choose to run around (or drive around) wherever you wish to in the vast, mostly deserted and morbid surroundings.
The main storyline is played in an RPG fashion, by following the directions of the people you meet and completing quests they offer. It’s an open yet directed styled FPS, and the way you experience the gameplay is projected by your approach.
Choose to follow the main storyline and you’ll be doing what you would do most often in FPS games, shooting your way through bandits, mutants and maniacs. Take a timeout for exploring the world and an RPG feeling will be reflected. But at its core, Rage is a very open ended shooter, with lots of options available to the players.
The slightly different part of the gameplay is the vehicle combat. Many times you’ll be thinking that you’re set for a race, but it’ll end up being more of a slaughtering massacre than a contest. Bandits and mutants in your way can be turned into minced meat while you’re riding your vehicle, be it by using the turrets or just by ramming into them.
Then we have the more traditional shooter styled combat, which is really intense and fun thanks to the splendidly smart AI. Each enemy type or faction you meet will have a different behavior and a different approach in attempting to kill you.
The AI is so good that it almost seemed perfectly scripted, but it’s not, and that’s what makes it so awesome. We also see the Bioshock-like ammo varieties for the weapons, which can be used with the environment to create booby-traps and kill enemies quickly. The swapping of ammo and switching weapons is fluid, and does well to add to the fast-paced shooting action of the game.
One of the more fun and different features of the game is how you can combine your average and regular scraps to form some destructive weapons and gadgets, which includes everything from remote controlled bombs to huge automated turrets. This can be done instantly, so you don’t have to go around searching for some bench to do your work on; your own inventory is your laboratory.
What deserves the most appreciation is how well all the above things combine together to make a good experience, as the combat is fluid, fun and intense; and thanks to the wondrously intelligent AI, it hopefully won’t become too repetitive. When you aren’t busy fending off retards and bandits, exploring the pulchritudinous environment is itself a real treat.
As far as the multiplayer is concerned, no one is really sure why Id Soft hasn’t released too much info about it. The only bit we know that it’s going to be different from that of Doom 3, and it may not be as big as the single player mode, but it will certainly have the ‘rage’ thing to it.
Quite personally I’m really excited about what Id Software has cooked for us. What has been shown so far is very promising indeed, and the forerunners of the first person shooter genre are claiming that Rage is definitely the next big thing. Rage is coming to Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Playstation 3 and Xbox360 on 13th of September 2011.