Rage Preview

Take on gang members in various locales.

Id Software is back in a huge way with its new, absolutely beautiful first-person shooter Rage. The game was being shown behind closed doors in Bethesda Softworks’ booth at E3 and it is shaping up to be one of the prettiest, most fun shooters on the horizon.

One of the first things that players will notice about Rage is the amazing design and detail put into its art style. The entire game’s environment was painted by the artists, meaning that no one part of what you will see in the game is pre-rendered and drawn up by computers. This makes plateaus, mountains, and canyons in the game look absolutely stunning. If there was any comparison that could be drawn, it would be that Rage‘s art style is Borderlands on steroids.

As for the game’s plot, it won’t be anything new to anyone who’s played a post-apocalyptic game before. Rage is set after a massive asteroid has hit the Earth and left the planet, for the most part, a massive wasteland. Before the asteroid hit, several people were stashed away underground in cryo-pods called Arks. The hero of the game that you will take control of is one of these survivors. However, more people survived the asteroid impact than was thought and in addition to that, many who did were transformed into horrid mutants. Those mutants will act as one of your main adversarial groups for the game.

The game’s demonstrator quickly showed these mutants in action as they appeared en masse to ambush you after acquiring a quest. Here we got a look at one of the first and possibly coolest weapons in Rage, the bladed boomerang. Aimed well enough and it will cleave an enemies head clear off before returning to your hand. The demonstrator also showed how the mutants will react to being shot in the game. While they will keep coming at you until killed, they will stumble and react accordingly when shot depending on where they are hit. A shot to the leg will cause them to limp, while a shot to the shoulder may have them running at you while holding said shoulder with their other arm.

Other combat features include weapon upgrades like electric ammunition for shock damage or quick kills on anyone standing in water, as well as a mini-scope that can be used to see and shoot distant enemies when using weapons that don’t have one attached, i.e. pistols. There will also be an ability to find and create devices for you to unleash upon enemies like RC cars with explosives attached and automated spider bots.

Fight in vehicles amongst beautifully painted environments.

Rage will also feature vehicle combat that is reminiscent of that found in Borderlands. Players will drive around and face-off against gangs in vehicles equipped with turbo boost jets and dual-mounted turrets. During the course of combat, both players and vehicles will take damage that will have to be healed or repaired and will not regenerate.

When the demonstrator took us into the town of Wellspring, I got to see just what kind of style Id used for the culture for the survivors’ of this asteroid impact. After watching him walk around it was clear that the town and its citizens were inspired by both Old West and Steam Punk styles. Wellspring also showed that when players receive quests or tasks, the descriptions and details for these tasks will show up on the right side of the screen in a dossier-like format while chatting with the quest giver.

In the final part of the demo, myself and everyone in the room were introduced to a place called Dead City, where the name is quite the literal interpretation of what the locale is. Interstates and highways broken apart, tall buildings wearing down or half toppled with all their windows blown out; the city was indeed a very barren and desolate place. Eventually our demonstrator’s presence in the city was noticed by the locals: lots and lots of mutants.

The mutants rose from holes in the ground and rushed towards the demonstrator as he mowed them down with shotgun and pistol fire. Eventually some large super-mutants started showing up that needed to be taken down with grenade launchers and rockets. These guys seemed to be the baddest and toughest of the bunch, but that was only until our demonstrator had laid them all to waste. Then the real big baddy arrived.

The ground began to tremble and shake violently. Rubble fell from the highways and the camera shook as if an earthquake was incoming to the area. Then, around the corner of one of the city’s abandoned buildings came a massive, nearly skyscraper-sized mega-mutant. As the megaton monster let out a massive roar, the game faded to white and the demo was over.

To say that Id looks to have done it again is probably an understatement. This beautiful, action-packed shooter is sure to provide plenty of thrills and glee for anyone looking to shoot up mutants and gangs in a stunningly gorgeous post-apocalyptic wasteland. Rage will be released for the PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360 sometime in 2011.


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Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

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