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Platform

360, PC, PS3

 

Genre

Shooter (mostly)

 

Publisher

Bethesda Softworks

 

Developer

id Software

 

ETA

2011

 

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Rage

 

rage          rage

 

Rage is a game of contrasts; verily, the kind of game that takes your breath away with its artistry, depth of emotion, and examination of the Human Spirit yearning for a sublime coupling of Logic and Spirituality.

 

Not really.

 

With Rage you'll find what id Software is known for: killing mutants/demons, decapitating when necessary, and generally blowing things up. And actually, I had a problem nailing down Rage to a particular genre. The shooting part looked good (if

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somewhat "standard"), but there are also elements of role-playing (leveling-up) and car combat/racing. During the demo, the latter aspect was downplayed as merely a method of getting from Point A to Point B very quickly, but there was still a short encounter with several Wasteland marauders. KA-BOOM! Okay, next checkpoint.

 

The story pushing the character forward,

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seems to be cribbed from the Fallout series. As per my scribbled notes, you're the "lone survivor of an underground pod put there so humanity would escape extinction due to a meteor strike." (There were other people in the pod, but none of them survived, for some reason.) The meteor strike has obliterated most of the population but a few stragglers eke out an existence, fighting off mutants in the process. There's some "shady government running things and/or experimenting on" the remaining populace, which (I assume) will likely produce an endpoint for the game.

 

rage          rage

 

The centerpiece of the demo was a mission that took the player from the open wasteland area to an underground facility where he had to prevent the water supply from being poisoned.

 

Mobile turrets were shown, a lighting gun shocked some bad guys (remember firing the lighting gun while going for a swim in Quake?), and a glaive-type weapon liberated heads from necks. In short, it felt kind of run of the mill. Though with a lot more color than id is known for.

 

Then the demo switched to another outdoor area, this one littered with collapsed and knocked-over buildings. After a brief skirmish with some regular mutants, a towering pile of muscle and mechanical death appeared. Out came the rocket launcher and the fight was over pretty quick. The area went quiet until a rolling thunder rocked the screen, spilling dust from the collapsed buildings. Then another. Something big was coming. Suddenly it came into view -- this thing was almost as big as the some of the buildings that had collapsed. (Noted: "Cool!!!")

 

Then the demo was over.

 

rage          rage

 

Vertical slice demos are a tough thing to watch sometimes. How does a person make sense of it all when most everything is taken out of context? Undeniably, Rage looks fantastic -- all of it being handcrafted and "touched by an artist" and making full use of id Tech 5 -- but it's hard to judge what the focus is or how much of the game (like the driving/racing) might be optional. We all have to wait until sometime in 2011 for the answers.

 

- Aaron Simmer

(June 25, 2010)

 

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