This leads you back into id’s comfort-zone, an indoor shoot-them-in-the-face sort of affair, albeit one more sophisticated than Dooms of past – the crossbow allows for stealth kills and bodies can be looted for machine parts, which (assuming you’ve got the correct schematic) can then be used to cobble together useful items.

The remote-controlled bomb car, for instance, is what you’ll use to complete this particular mission. Compiling the required items allows you to create one on the spot, and once deployed you control it through its on-board camera, guiding it down ducts and crawlspaces to a previously inaccessible room full of explosives.

We’re shown another buildable object, the sentry bot. Essentially a gun with robotic spider-legs, it follows you about, obediently murdering those it deems unworthy of your presence.

Back out of the bandit base, you’ll scoot quest-in-hand back to Wellspring in your vehicle, which can be stored at Mike’s Garage. Here you’ll be able to purchase new vehicles, as well as upgrade your current ones with better suspension, increased armour, extra boost, grippier tires, or just a fresh coat of paint. The point is that your ride is persistent, and you’ll be trying hard not to have it turned into a smoldering roll cage.

Nearby, Slim offers race challenges, which take place in bespoke arena tracks in the desert, while a grotesquely obese chap called Styles forces you (at first, at least) to take part in his violent, voyeuristic Running Man-style TV show, Bash TV. Blast deranged clown-mask wearing mutants in the face for cash (each death elicits a satisfying cha-ching sound) in the Chamber of Laughs in exchange for race sponsorship, and once your obligations have been met, you can return at any time, much in the same style as Oblivion’s arena, for a financial pick-me-up.

So much is still under wraps, and we’re still uncertain about the exact scale of RAGE (beyond a vague promise of around 15 hours of gameplay) and how its open-world will be delivered.

The driving locations we were shown (which can be walked across, if you’ve got the patience) are wide areas walled visibly on either side by cliff faces, with various routes leading to settlements and other locations. This isn’t an Elder Scrolls-degree of wanderability then, but that’s not the direction id is taking RAGE in – it’s firmly pegging it as an action shooter, not a racer, and certainly not an RPG.

Nov 16, 2009

Steve Hogarty

Steve Hogarty is a London-based freelance journalist covering games and technology. His bylines have appeared in publications including GamesRadar, The Independent, Yahoo, VICE, Eurogamer, and more. He is also the co-host of the pocast, Regular Features.