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Updated impressions of Rage

A lone man struggles to the surface from a vault deep underground, wearing the garb of a long-dead civilization. Earth is an arid wasteland, packed with warring bandit tribes and mutants, as the survivors of a world-wide disaster struggle to stay alive day-to-day. Call us crazy if you like, but we’re sure we’ve been here before.

In the past few years various companies have been hawking products that are a bit Rage-y. Of course id Software has never been one to pay attention to games being nurtured elsewhere, but when you bear witness to Rage’s drought-ridden wasteland it’s hard to contain a Pavlovian bark of “Fallout 3!” or “Borderlands!”. And, later on, “BioShock!”, “Brink!” or “Doom 3!” Directing this yelping into the face of Rage’s lead designer Tim Willits would’ve been rude.

We got to wondering: did it matter that Rage shared settings, phraseology and the coloration of its craggy mountains with other games – even those in Bethesda’s stable? This is an id game, and what matters in an id game is that when you shoot someone in the face with a shotgun it is excellent. From where we had been sitting, this appeared to be the case. What’s more, you get a cool car. “Rage takes place in the distant future, after an asteroid has destroyed most of civilization,” Tim Willits had previously explained. “You’re a person who was frozen in a cryogenic chamber – arks. The ark that you’re in is damaged when it’s brought back to the surface. So you’re the only survivor.”

What follows is a directed, if not open-world, jaunt through the valleys, dried ocean floors and cowboy-vibe settlements of this new planet Earth. You’ll take odd-jobs from the locals propping up the bar in the nearby town, taking you into familiar id corridor-crawl combat, and you’ll gun over desolate hill and dale in your spruced-up buggy. Ultimately, you’ll face The Authority – an omnipresent force with an unhealthy interest in some of the technology coursing through your veins.

“As part of the Ark program you were injected with nanotrites. They heal you when you die, so you get a chance to de-fib yourself back to life,” explains Willits. “We’ve set up this dichotomy. You’re Buck Rogers – a futuristic man from the past – but you’re in a world that’s rustic and recycled. Ultimately part of the story arc is that you find out that there’s more to these nanotrites than meet the eye. Is it cosmic radiation that made the mutants, or is it The Authority messing with nanotrites? There’s a mystery that surrounds it.”

Before nanotrites come into play you’ve got to get to grips with the getting from A to B. Your buggy is an upgradeable steed that’ll accompany you throughout the game, although should you wish to walk between the game’s locations, then the option is open to you – albeit a somewhat trudging and boring one.

When you get into the car the action snaps from the first-person to a third-person car view in which you can roar off into the wild brown yonder with hood-mounted machine-guns blazing. Bandits and mutants will set up ambushes along your trail and various pieces of valley furniture are conveniently ramp-shaped, so your journeys will rarely be peaceful. In fact, should you like the car combat (and the screeching turns and impressive vehicle destruction suggests it’s likely that you will) then there’ll be various side-missions that will send you back out into the wastes to take down some of the more evil and super-powered four-wheeled machines of this particular apocalypse.

Sooner, rather than later, you’ll arrive in Wellspring to some familiar Western-style music licks and a cobbled together and scavenged material art style that concentrates on various rotor blades lazily revolving beneath the beating desert sun. Wellspring is the first of two major hubs in the game – the other being Subway Town – and it meshes the ambience of Deadwood, BraveStarr and Firefly with aplomb. The town’s populace is all waiting to spin around you while waving hands and delivering dialogue in a fashion that’s reminiscent of Hicksville animatronics in Disney World.

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23 comments

  • CAPST3R - August 14, 2010 10:55 a.m.

    I would get this, but it just seems like Fallout:New Vegas will do everything better, and anything that doesn't do, Dead Rising probably will. Plus; an ark? I seem to remember Brink containing a place with exactly the same name. This just looks like it'll have parts (and not necessarily the best parts) of other games jumbled into one, which means it won't flow. Sorry, but it's not looking good.
  • metalgatesolid - July 15, 2010 6:21 p.m.

    Why keep doing a Fallout? The setting? A vault? How about they totally change everything...Coming home on a spaceship you emerge from hyperspace with seconds to spare as your ship chrashes on your homeworld that has been 1) infected with a virus 2) wiped out by war 3) inhabitants dissapeared. The setting a lush vibrant world where you must travel under sea, into woods, scout cities, visit flying cities all sandboxed for our playing pleasure. These ideas are TM under gatesindustries...
  • GaryTheGuidoHunter - July 15, 2010 6:16 p.m.

    Rage looks to be the offspring of Borlands and Fallout3 and the vehicles really remind me of Mad Max.The post-apocalyptic genre is a very interesting one and I hope this game will be very intersting and fun to play.
  • Mcan50 - July 15, 2010 5:14 p.m.

    I cannot wait for this game, and I'm not a big FPS fan. I do wish that while driving the game stayed in first person view and not third person though.
  • CARDYKEV - July 15, 2010 2:41 p.m.

    Lol Mutants sporting Union Jack body paint?! Looks like Nationalism survives the apocolypse
  • Metroidhunter32 - July 15, 2010 2:08 p.m.

    That car came straight out of Jak 3.
  • HonestGuy - July 15, 2010 1:32 p.m.

    "what matters in an id game is that when you shoot someone in the face with a shotgun it is excellent..." i think that's probably the most accurate description of id, and that's a VERY GOOD thing! :) fan-rage for RAGE! i'm getting this, an unswayed id fan since 1992. :)
  • FreekinIdiot - July 15, 2010 12:45 p.m.

    Soooo, if the nanotrites can 'defibrillate' you back to life then how come he's the only survivor from the ark??? Seems to me these nanotrites are a wee bit flawed...
  • SwampRock - July 15, 2010 9:14 a.m.

    the game looks good, but only thing I'm worried about: If the buggy is going to be a big part of the game there probably will be a lot of detail missing in the environment as say compared to fallout.
  • Felixthecat - July 15, 2010 7:09 a.m.

    It looks absolutely phenomenal, from everything from the small graphical detail to the incredible looking enemy AI. It look great.
  • Samael - July 15, 2010 6:03 a.m.

    Is this an original looking game? Hell no. Is it an awesome looking game? Hell yes. That's basically all I have to say about RAGE. I'm sure I'll be playing it when it comes out.
  • JayBeat - July 15, 2010 6:01 a.m.

    Cannot wait to check this out
  • Evil_AppleJuice - July 15, 2010 5:01 a.m.

    loved Fallout 3 and own but havent played Borderlands yet. Seriously tho, they've done more "original" apocalypse games than Mario games.
  • Didijustshard - July 15, 2010 4:52 a.m.

    I cannot wait for this!
  • Smeggs - July 15, 2010 3:52 a.m.

    It may not be too origional anyore, but none of the games mentioned had graphics this good looking. And Doom 3, although basic, I still enjoyed the 'feel' of firing the guns in that game. Borderlands' Driving sucked, along with its nearly invisible story. Fallout 3, although one of my favorite games EVER, was kind of clunky at times, and the lack of even the most basic transportation (Come on, there were bicycles and motorcycles everywhere, throw me a freaking bone Bethesda) and only being able to either walk or fast-travel was annoying at times, although it did help to find new stuff, not to mention certain bugs (Indestructible twitching ghouls!) and the shorter than hell story-mode. Bioshock 2 was good, other than a few things I cannot yet say for I don't know how Rage's story plays out. And so on and so forth.
  • Im2awesome - July 15, 2010 3:52 a.m.

    There were a few things that I didn't like about Fallout3, and this game looks like it fixed everything and added more. Oh man. another $65 down the tube. Shooooooooot.
  • killerrpgfan - July 15, 2010 3:11 a.m.

    i can't wait for this game!!
  • liekmudkiepz8 - July 15, 2010 2:01 a.m.

    I hope this game has good driving combat. In borderlands it wasnt very good (most guns were more powerful than the weapons on the vehicle)
  • Gameguy94 - July 15, 2010 1:59 a.m.

    Rage looks like it will have everything fallout 3 didn't have.
  • oufour - July 15, 2010 12:39 a.m.

    sweet. loved borderlands, definitely gonna get this.

Showing 1-20 of 23 comments

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