This is id Software%26rsquo;s first properly new game since 1996. Just think about that. Various versions of Doom, Quake, and Wolfenstein have marched from id%26rsquo;s Texas offices over the past 12 years, yet the team%26rsquo;s creative muscles haven%26rsquo;t flexed on anything fresh for more than a decade. Already, though, id is engaged in some firefighting as the game%26rsquo;s nature - perhaps understandably - has been misunderstood. %26ldquo;Rage is, at its core, a first-person action game,%26rdquo; says Lead Designer Tim Willits. %26ldquo;It has elements of exploration, it has adventure elements tied with vehicle combat. But it%26rsquo;s not a vehicle combat game: it%26rsquo;s a first-person game at its heart, at its core - that%26rsquo;s what we do at id.%26rdquo;

The setting is definitely Earth, but a post-apocalyptic vision of our terran turf, many years after a catastrophic comet impact. Id aren%26rsquo;t keen to give away the whole picture just yet, but you%26rsquo;ll play a character from the past, part of a plan to rebuild society after the comet hit. %26ldquo;Your primary goal is just to survive,%26rdquo; explains Willits. %26ldquo;To learn about the conflicts, the factions - the bandits, the mutants. And then as the story progresses, you discover that there%26rsquo;s something bigger going on. You%26rsquo;ll work to establish the correct structure to rebuild society.%26rdquo;

We expect it%26rsquo;ll be far from RPG conventions like running retrieval errands for mutated citizens, but that plenty of more-or-less-friendly folks in the wastelands will ask you to carry out missions, trade, or race - or just shoot you in the face. %26ldquo;It%26rsquo;s more story-driven than our previous games,%26rdquo; reckons Willits. %26ldquo;Missions are based on parts of the story, though you have choices. You can do things at your pace, but there%26rsquo;s a strong story, and you follow that story.%26rdquo;

As id are the fathers of deathmatch, we%26rsquo;d expect 32-player rocket-laden apocalyptic arenas as standard-issue multiplayer content for an id release. But with a new IP comes a different approach: though it%26rsquo;s primarily a single-player game, cooperative multiplayer is a big focus. If id can reach the slickness of Borderlands%26rsquo; drop-in-drop-out buddy action, it could have a hit on its hands.

+ More big guns and shouty mutants from id, and a welcome new style and setting for the dev.
%26ndash; Will all the genre-bending dilute the gunplay?

Sep 26, 2008