This is running in real-time? On a 360? Right now? What? That%26rsquo;s not typical over-eager preview hyperbole %26ndash; those were my actual thoughts while id%26rsquo;s Tim Willits and Matt Hooper walked me and a gaggle of press through some early moments in Rage.
I knew it was going to look spectacular. It%26rsquo;s id. It%26rsquo;s the developer that, as they put it, %26ldquo;invented first-person shooters,%26rdquo; and Rage is their Next Big Thing. It is very big - id Tech 5 renders environments and animations like you%26rsquo;ve never seen in a game, with unparalleled fluidity and expressiveness.
Above: The environmental details are beautiful, and the characters even more so
Our US press demo was much the same as the one recounted inthe last UK preview we posted, so I%26rsquo;ll mostly focus on my personal reactions to the game.
The first encounter we witnessed was with Crazy Joe, a friendly, but%26hellip; crazy NPC whose wide-eyes, gesticulating arms, and captivatingly-detailed shack charmed my brains out. This guy was a part of the world, believable and solid and worth interacting with just to experience. Things only got better, because when id walked us out of the shack, a couple of equally-believably-but-not-nearly-as-friendly mutants were checking out our dune buggy, and not because they wanted to place a reasonable monetary offer on it.
Above: Kill it with fire!
The mutants were dispatched in a manner fitting of both id and scary-ass mutants %26ndash; bullets, aimed and fired from pistols and sub-machine guns, and a very unfriendly spinning blade which sliced through necks like they were air. While id is going in a new direction and %26ldquo;changing the expectations of what an id game can be,%26rdquo; they%26rsquo;re still id, and Rage is still about the same kind of heart-hammering close-quarters combat as Doom.
When they hopped into the dune buggy and opened up on the desert terrain, my immediate reaction was, %26ldquo;Oh hi, Borderlands%26rdquo; (in aTommy Wiseau voice, of course). There%26rsquo;ll be a lot of comparisons to Borderlands, but despite the similar (but much better-looking) environment, Rage is not Borderlands. It%26rsquo;s an %26ldquo;action movie%26rdquo; and isn%26rsquo;t %26ldquo;procedural%26rdquo; like Borderlands, says id, and they didn%26rsquo;t have much trouble convincing me of that.
Above: Who doesn%26rsquo;t like armed dune buggies?