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A First Look At id's Rage

We jumped in a dune buggy and sped across the wasteland in the new post-apocalyptic shooter from the Doom guys.


That asteroid strike didn't do anyone any favors.
The first thing you notice when you sit down and look at id Software's next action game Rage--the developer's first new, internally developed title since the ballyhooed 2004 release of Doom 3--is that this isn't just another one of those dank, linear corridor shooters the company became known for with Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake. Rage's designers are pulling a laundry list of elements from other genres--things like an open world, vehicular combat, and schematic-based item engineering--to finally give you something to do besides creeping through dim hallways and shooting endless bad guys.

Speaking of elements from other games, I'll hazard a guess that you've seen something similar to Rage's arid, post-apocalyptic, mutant-filled wasteland before. But you can at least give id points for coming up with a plausible apocalypse. The game is set after the Earth is struck and decimated by Apophis, a real-life asteroid with an appreciable chance of hitting our planet in 2036. If it does hit us, the real Apophis won't doom the entire Earth, but Rage amps up the destruction factor beyond what's factual, creating a long impact winter that scours the planet of vegetation, deposits a strange new element called Feltrite, and (most importantly) gives you a proper barren landscape to maraud across.

So who are you? You're a member of the government's Eden Project, a program that placed important people like scientists and military personnel in stasis and buried them in "arks," or underground pods. The idea was that these capable people would emerge after the asteroid strike to rebuild society. But you wake up to find all your fellow ark members dead, and a world that's forgotten there were ever any arks in the first place. Creative director Tim Willits says the fate of those other arks will play a part in the storyline later on, but your first order of business is to figure out where you are and how to survive in the twisted new world order that arose in the years after the catastrophe.

Driving? In an id game? 
Of course, you'll start to do that by exploring. Rage's main gameplay focus consists of you roaming the wasteland in an open-world fashion, looking for settlements and taking on missions to increase your reputation and build up your stockpile of weapons and wheels. Unsurprisingly, the towns that I saw in my demo had a cobbled-together, Mad Max sort of vibe to them, with buildings and equipment assembled from whatever the residents could scavenge.

The Rage team at id is making a greater effort this time than it did with Doom 3 to create more uniquely designed, memorable characters with their own styles and mannerisms. So all of the inhabitants of the game's first town, Wellspring, had their own advice and warnings to offer in my demo, including mission givers like the town's mayor and sheriff. Like other open-world games, you'll pick up story missions from the most important characters that push forward your character progression and access to the environment. The sheriff, for instance, wanted the player to hunt down a bandit group called the Shrouded who was controlling travel across the wasteland with C4-equipped remote-control cars.

Taking care of threats like the Shrouded entails--you knew this was coming--a healthy dose of corridor shooting! Rage streams the wasteland seamlessly as you roam around, but when you enter structures like the Shrouded's ramshackle desert base, you'll hit a loading screen and then, presto, you're in an enclosed map straight out of Doom 3. Shoot your way through a bunch of bandits, blow up some fuel containers, and you've neutralized the Shrouded.

Surely you didn't think they'd forget the corridors. 
The corridor-shooting levels of Doom are back, but at least id is making an effort to get past the trite old shotgun-machine-gun-rocket-launcher weapons roster (though those guns are of course in here as well). You've got the wingstick, which is basically a bladed boomerang, and a crossbow you can use for stealth kills. And many of the old archetypal weapons each accommodate multiple ammo types with varying levels of stopping power and other attributes. Some weapons will only have a single type of ammo, but others can be loaded with up to four types.

The biggest contributor to combat variety in Rage, however, is the group of supplemental items you can build from spare parts, once you've found the schematics that tell you how to build them. When you finish the Shrouded mission, you'll get the plans for those RC cars and learn which parts you need to find in order to make them yourself. Other constructible equipment includes automated turrets you can set up to help you flank enemies, a lock grinder that lets you force your way through sealed doors, and a spider-like sentry bot that seems like a nod to the one that followed you around and helped blast enemies from time to time in Doom 3. The only barrier to using these items is collecting the spare parts to make them, so you'll want to loot every downed enemy and explore the nooks of every base to get as many parts as you can.

Right about now you're probably saying, "Oh good! Inventory management!" But I'm pleased to report id isn't taking inventory cues from that other post-apocalyptic first-person game released by its sister company Bethesda. In Fallout 3, you could only carry so many items and so much weight before you became literally unable to move, often forcing you to dump equipment mid-mission so you could pick up other items. Rage will have no such restrictions. You'll get unlimited inventory slots so you can pick up as much loot as you find, and you won't need to visit any sort of workbench to construct new combat gear. So if you find enough parts to make a new sentry bot inside a particular dungeon level, you can bust one out on the spot to increase your combat efforts. And used equipment can be salvaged to recover some spare parts (the amount depends on how much damage the item took in battle).

Styles is one of the game's more colorful characters.
Naturally, you aren't going to spend all of Rage trudging across the wasteland; vehicles play a big part in Rage as well, and there's a succession of better and better vehicles to pick up as you go. You'll start with a simple ATV and then graduate to a basic dune buggy, and you can store all these vehicles in Mick's Garage back at the settlement for retrieval later. At Mick's, you can also tweak out specific elements of your rides, like suspensions and engines. There's also a list of weapons you can mount on different places, though I only got to see front-firing machine guns in my demo.

I wasn't able to get my own hands on Rage's controls, so it's hard to say how exactly how the game's vehicles handle--but the driving action certainly looked arcade-style to me. You'll run up against roving bandits in their own dune buggies and such as you traverse the landscape, and while the combat will be optional--you can attempt to escape if you want--it'll behoove you to engage attackers, since they'll drop loot and spare parts that will go toward more combat items and vehicle upgrades.

Like any good open-world game, Rage will also employ its driving in one-off racing challenges. Apparently the residents of the wasteland got bored and fashioned parts of it into makeshift raceways, where you'll compete against other drivers for first place--mostly by shooting them before they can finish. The race missions looked arcade-like to me, too; you pick up ammo and turbo power-ups as you run the course, and enemies will respawn after a short time when you blow them up. The best vehicle upgrades are only available to you in exchange for the racing certificates you earn by winning these races, so you'll have to jump in on them periodically to keep your wheels up to date.

That's not the only way to earn your keep in Rage's wasteland. There's a bizarre character named J.K. Styles, a fat, flamboyant huckster who runs the Mutant Bash TV station in the middle of the desert. As part of the story you'll be forced to meet up with him and run a carnival-like gauntlet of mutant assaults for the amusement of whatever passes for bored housewives after the end of the world. You can come back later and compete for better scores to get more cash, and Styles will give you a gadget that lets you tame mutants in the wilds so you can capture them and bring them back to him for more money. Styles is a weird, eye-catching character, and he proves that if nothing else, id has at least mastered the technique of rendering bump-mapped cellulite.

The megatextured landscape looks fantastic. 
id's designers kept referring to the Rage "fiction" during my demo, as it seems they're making an effort to create an honestly cohesive world around the game. The Shrouded aren't the only antagonist group in Rage; they're just one of a list of bandit clans that also includes names like the Wasted, the Toxic, and the Gearheads. But from Willits' description, there's a more pervasive and sinister presence lurking behind the wasteland's petty bad guys that you'll start to uncover as you delve deeper into the storyline. There's also a clear split in the middle of the narrative that will deliver you to an entirely different setting than what we've seen of Rage so far. All those desert environments in the media released to date are taken from the first half of the game, and id isn't giving up details yet on the nature of that second half and where it will take you.

It's probably going to be a long while before we find those details out. id characterized this as a "first look" at the game, and given the company's predilection for long development cycles, we almost certainly won't get to the point "when it's done" anytime soon. Rage is certainly looking like id's most ambitious game to date, so I'm hoping it'll be worth all that wait.     
 
We'll have more on Rage from QuakeCon shortly, but you could always pass a couple of minutes checking out the newly released trailer and screenshots till then. 
 
 
 
 
 


 


 


 
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Posted by Brad

That asteroid strike didn't do anyone any favors.
The first thing you notice when you sit down and look at id Software's next action game Rage--the developer's first new, internally developed title since the ballyhooed 2004 release of Doom 3--is that this isn't just another one of those dank, linear corridor shooters the company became known for with Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake. Rage's designers are pulling a laundry list of elements from other genres--things like an open world, vehicular combat, and schematic-based item engineering--to finally give you something to do besides creeping through dim hallways and shooting endless bad guys.

Speaking of elements from other games, I'll hazard a guess that you've seen something similar to Rage's arid, post-apocalyptic, mutant-filled wasteland before. But you can at least give id points for coming up with a plausible apocalypse. The game is set after the Earth is struck and decimated by Apophis, a real-life asteroid with an appreciable chance of hitting our planet in 2036. If it does hit us, the real Apophis won't doom the entire Earth, but Rage amps up the destruction factor beyond what's factual, creating a long impact winter that scours the planet of vegetation, deposits a strange new element called Feltrite, and (most importantly) gives you a proper barren landscape to maraud across.

So who are you? You're a member of the government's Eden Project, a program that placed important people like scientists and military personnel in stasis and buried them in "arks," or underground pods. The idea was that these capable people would emerge after the asteroid strike to rebuild society. But you wake up to find all your fellow ark members dead, and a world that's forgotten there were ever any arks in the first place. Creative director Tim Willits says the fate of those other arks will play a part in the storyline later on, but your first order of business is to figure out where you are and how to survive in the twisted new world order that arose in the years after the catastrophe.

Driving? In an id game? 
Of course, you'll start to do that by exploring. Rage's main gameplay focus consists of you roaming the wasteland in an open-world fashion, looking for settlements and taking on missions to increase your reputation and build up your stockpile of weapons and wheels. Unsurprisingly, the towns that I saw in my demo had a cobbled-together, Mad Max sort of vibe to them, with buildings and equipment assembled from whatever the residents could scavenge.

The Rage team at id is making a greater effort this time than it did with Doom 3 to create more uniquely designed, memorable characters with their own styles and mannerisms. So all of the inhabitants of the game's first town, Wellspring, had their own advice and warnings to offer in my demo, including mission givers like the town's mayor and sheriff. Like other open-world games, you'll pick up story missions from the most important characters that push forward your character progression and access to the environment. The sheriff, for instance, wanted the player to hunt down a bandit group called the Shrouded who was controlling travel across the wasteland with C4-equipped remote-control cars.

Taking care of threats like the Shrouded entails--you knew this was coming--a healthy dose of corridor shooting! Rage streams the wasteland seamlessly as you roam around, but when you enter structures like the Shrouded's ramshackle desert base, you'll hit a loading screen and then, presto, you're in an enclosed map straight out of Doom 3. Shoot your way through a bunch of bandits, blow up some fuel containers, and you've neutralized the Shrouded.

Surely you didn't think they'd forget the corridors. 
The corridor-shooting levels of Doom are back, but at least id is making an effort to get past the trite old shotgun-machine-gun-rocket-launcher weapons roster (though those guns are of course in here as well). You've got the wingstick, which is basically a bladed boomerang, and a crossbow you can use for stealth kills. And many of the old archetypal weapons each accommodate multiple ammo types with varying levels of stopping power and other attributes. Some weapons will only have a single type of ammo, but others can be loaded with up to four types.

The biggest contributor to combat variety in Rage, however, is the group of supplemental items you can build from spare parts, once you've found the schematics that tell you how to build them. When you finish the Shrouded mission, you'll get the plans for those RC cars and learn which parts you need to find in order to make them yourself. Other constructible equipment includes automated turrets you can set up to help you flank enemies, a lock grinder that lets you force your way through sealed doors, and a spider-like sentry bot that seems like a nod to the one that followed you around and helped blast enemies from time to time in Doom 3. The only barrier to using these items is collecting the spare parts to make them, so you'll want to loot every downed enemy and explore the nooks of every base to get as many parts as you can.

Right about now you're probably saying, "Oh good! Inventory management!" But I'm pleased to report id isn't taking inventory cues from that other post-apocalyptic first-person game released by its sister company Bethesda. In Fallout 3, you could only carry so many items and so much weight before you became literally unable to move, often forcing you to dump equipment mid-mission so you could pick up other items. Rage will have no such restrictions. You'll get unlimited inventory slots so you can pick up as much loot as you find, and you won't need to visit any sort of workbench to construct new combat gear. So if you find enough parts to make a new sentry bot inside a particular dungeon level, you can bust one out on the spot to increase your combat efforts. And used equipment can be salvaged to recover some spare parts (the amount depends on how much damage the item took in battle).

Styles is one of the game's more colorful characters.
Naturally, you aren't going to spend all of Rage trudging across the wasteland; vehicles play a big part in Rage as well, and there's a succession of better and better vehicles to pick up as you go. You'll start with a simple ATV and then graduate to a basic dune buggy, and you can store all these vehicles in Mick's Garage back at the settlement for retrieval later. At Mick's, you can also tweak out specific elements of your rides, like suspensions and engines. There's also a list of weapons you can mount on different places, though I only got to see front-firing machine guns in my demo.

I wasn't able to get my own hands on Rage's controls, so it's hard to say how exactly how the game's vehicles handle--but the driving action certainly looked arcade-style to me. You'll run up against roving bandits in their own dune buggies and such as you traverse the landscape, and while the combat will be optional--you can attempt to escape if you want--it'll behoove you to engage attackers, since they'll drop loot and spare parts that will go toward more combat items and vehicle upgrades.

Like any good open-world game, Rage will also employ its driving in one-off racing challenges. Apparently the residents of the wasteland got bored and fashioned parts of it into makeshift raceways, where you'll compete against other drivers for first place--mostly by shooting them before they can finish. The race missions looked arcade-like to me, too; you pick up ammo and turbo power-ups as you run the course, and enemies will respawn after a short time when you blow them up. The best vehicle upgrades are only available to you in exchange for the racing certificates you earn by winning these races, so you'll have to jump in on them periodically to keep your wheels up to date.

That's not the only way to earn your keep in Rage's wasteland. There's a bizarre character named J.K. Styles, a fat, flamboyant huckster who runs the Mutant Bash TV station in the middle of the desert. As part of the story you'll be forced to meet up with him and run a carnival-like gauntlet of mutant assaults for the amusement of whatever passes for bored housewives after the end of the world. You can come back later and compete for better scores to get more cash, and Styles will give you a gadget that lets you tame mutants in the wilds so you can capture them and bring them back to him for more money. Styles is a weird, eye-catching character, and he proves that if nothing else, id has at least mastered the technique of rendering bump-mapped cellulite.

The megatextured landscape looks fantastic. 
id's designers kept referring to the Rage "fiction" during my demo, as it seems they're making an effort to create an honestly cohesive world around the game. The Shrouded aren't the only antagonist group in Rage; they're just one of a list of bandit clans that also includes names like the Wasted, the Toxic, and the Gearheads. But from Willits' description, there's a more pervasive and sinister presence lurking behind the wasteland's petty bad guys that you'll start to uncover as you delve deeper into the storyline. There's also a clear split in the middle of the narrative that will deliver you to an entirely different setting than what we've seen of Rage so far. All those desert environments in the media released to date are taken from the first half of the game, and id isn't giving up details yet on the nature of that second half and where it will take you.

It's probably going to be a long while before we find those details out. id characterized this as a "first look" at the game, and given the company's predilection for long development cycles, we almost certainly won't get to the point "when it's done" anytime soon. Rage is certainly looking like id's most ambitious game to date, so I'm hoping it'll be worth all that wait.     
 
We'll have more on Rage from QuakeCon shortly, but you could always pass a couple of minutes checking out the newly released trailer and screenshots till then. 
 
 
 
 
 


 


 


 
Staff
Posted by Vinchenzo

Looks... alright. Nothing special.

Posted by BrainSpecialist

Looks like Deus Ex with a good helping of Bioshock and Burnout.
 
I cannot describe how much this turns me on.

Edited by Heartagram

I am interested in the game if it can nab that Mad Max feel that seems pretty awesome. As long as the vehicle bits are not annoying it could be a pretty cool game

Posted by Sir_Hugo_Sherwodywody

It seems too similar to Fallout 3. Nukes rain down in fallout 3 asteroids rain down in RAGE.

Posted by Jimbo_N

YEES. Im so effin glad to finally get some more details on Rage. I take my hat off for you Brad Shoemaker. I think you of all the people on Giant Bomb was exacly the right person to write an article about Rage. As someone who actually enjoyed Doom 3 and has a huge appriciation for both Carmack himself and id.
Posted by Jimbo_N
@Sir_Hugo_Sherwodywody said:
"It seems too similar to Fallout 3. Nukes rain down in fallout 3 asteroids rain down in RAGE. "

Im guessing the game will both feel totally different in actual gameplay and also give you alot more corridor crawling and heavy shotgun action than Fallout will ever be able to do. The similarities probably stop at the surface. But since thats all we´ve see so far I see where you´re coming from.
Posted by anyprophet

So this is Quake 5: Fallout 3.

Posted by Azteck

I am interested.

Posted by Chokobo

If this game ends up being a more action-focused version of Fallout 3 (which is where it looks like its headed), I'm in.

Posted by RipTheVeins
@anyprophet said:
" So this is Quake 5: Fallout 3. "
: Logan's Quest
Posted by Aeterna

Looking forward to this a lot!

Edited by ahoodedfigure

 The settings seem pretty similar but without VATS you've got something that concentrates on straight old FPS-style fighting.  I was more reminded of Bioshock when I was reading this than Fallout, at least as far as the mechanics.  I like making hard choices for gear, but sometimes different emphases make for vastly different playing styles.  Not worrying about equipment does feel more like the old cathartic shooter that Id's known for.
 
I'm the kind of person who never turns a good wasteland down, though there are more ways to end a world.

Posted by Scooper

Graphicaly the game looks amazing, but so did Doom 3 and that game turned out to be not that good. I hope this game's awesome.

Posted by anyprophet
@RipTheVeins said:
" @anyprophet said:
" So this is Quake 5: Fallout 3. "
: Logan's Quest "
hahaha.  Yes.
Posted by Blood_for_the_blood_God

its good to see bethesda is planning far beyond Fallout: Las Vegas...
Posted by Hector

I can't wait for this game.

Online
Posted by nethanel

The world looks like it was ripped from Fallout 3

Posted by Blood_for_the_blood_God

Upon further review, saying this is a ripoff of the Fallout universe could be like comparing Prototype to Infamous, on paper they sound almost like Carbon copies of each other, but in practice there are very distinct differences between them in terms of theme, control schemes, abilities, etc. etc.

Edited by stinky

the graphics look great, especially the character animations, which was subpar in Fallout 3. 
 
but i sure as hell do not want to play Doom again,  experience monster closets, or be in rooms that are too dark to see.  

id has never been known for superb story telling, so while this looks better than Fallout 3, i have a lot of reservations about it.

Posted by Nock

Anyone feeling kinda waste landed out? Fallout, Borderlands,rage... come on guys let thinking up some new ideas.

Posted by Lowbrow

Another post apocalyptic wasteland game? 
 
Yes please.

Posted by floodiastus

Course its fallout, its also mad max, cyborg and any other post apocalypse setting :) 
 
Viva wasteland!

Posted by HatKing

Who gives a shit if it looks similar to Fallout 3?  That game was great, so why wouldn't you want more stuff in that style?  I'm totally in.

Posted by Seraphim84

Does Styles sound like Harry Goz aka Cap'n Murphy from Sealab 2021 in that clip?

Posted by darkjester74

That trailer looks awesome.  While I understand the comparisons to F3, if you look closely this game has FAR more personality than Bethesda's game.  Just take a look at the NPC's animation, you didnt see anything like THAT in the Capital Wasteland.

Posted by ghostNPC

We'll see how this turns out.

Posted by natetodamax

This is the first real time that I can say....
 
tl;dr

Posted by Bubahula

looks awesome but its so simalar to fallout 3 setting wise, like prototype and infamous
Posted by tactis

I hope this game doesnt come out at the same time Fallout: New Vegas comes out because they are gonna be way too similar.

Posted by EdIsCool

Anyone else saddend that id are still the "Doom guys" way to exploit your potential id.

Posted by Clerkboy

wow took long enough to see a trailer but it was well worth it but can a 360 play that i hope

Posted by nixium

Very very stoked about this. 

Posted by artofwar420
@Clerkboy said:
"wow took long enough to see a trailer but it was well worth it but can a 360 play that i hope "

It should, besides, it's fairly easy to port a PC game to the Xbox360. Now the PS3 is the one that worries me.  
 
*not tryint to start flame war
Posted by KillaMaStA

Im very much looking forward to this. Its looking waesome so far

Posted by Jimbo

It all seems a bit... 'me too' so far.  I think id have been behind the curve for about 10 years now, living off past achievements for far too long.
 
Walking backwards down a corridor, whilst firing a shotgun at something running toward me, doesn't seem as compelling as it once did.

Posted by RHCPfan24

It looks really sweet, actually. I hope the combat system is diverse and a lot of fun and I don't really mind its similarities to Fallout 3. That was one of my favorite games of the decade so, yeah, I want more of it.

Posted by Deusoma
@artofwar420 said:
" @Clerkboy said:
"wow took long enough to see a trailer but it was well worth it but can a 360 play that i hope "
It should, besides, it's fairly easy to port a PC game to the Xbox360. Now the PS3 is the one that worries me.   *not tryint to start flame war "
You guys realize the end of the trailer says it will appear on all three platforms, right? So there's no need at all to speculate on what it's coming out on?
Posted by Mootalstrike

Graphically, this game looks amazing.

Posted by gidoff

"Imagine how it would be to be at the top making cash money.
 Sell copies all around the world,
 Tell stories about the apocalypse. "

Posted by iiNF3RNo

 @Nock: yeah i see what you mean. anyway this game caught my interest i will be looking forward to it and borderlands

Posted by keyhunter

Finally a step up in graphics.

Posted by ryanwho

Nothing about Fallout 3's setting originated from the Fallout series.

Posted by likbil

This truly looks amazing. 
 
But more importantly... Is the guy who sitting on a throne or whatever in the trailer (named Styles according to the article) showing his ball sack!?

Posted by xxNBxx
@keyhunter said:
"Finally a step up in graphics. "

Dam straight! Anyone who thinks this doesn't look good needs to get their head out of their ass.   The gun play will be awesome thats a given, the only part I worry about is the driving parts.
Posted by TwoOneFive

AWESOMEEEEEE 
 
 
cant wait for this game.  
 
i love games like this.  
 
all the people doing their things it reminded me of the first time i played riddick on xbox. 

Posted by giyanks22

The production values look strong, but i don't know if the story will be there.

Posted by Dr_Feelgood38

I still think this looks awesome. I really want the perfect "wasteland" game. I'm not sure that this will be it but here's hoping.

Posted by buzz_killington

For All the people drawing parallels to Fallout 3 and/or Borderlands: Rage has been in development since 2004, earlier or around the same time those games started development.

Posted by CrazedJoker

Killzone 2 meets Fallout 3?

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