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Jeremy Jastrzab
15 Jun, 2011

E3 2011 Feature: Rage Preview

360 Feature | The time to Rage is almost upon us.
Rage has been a very long time coming. Id Software has been very quietly and secretively building and creating a world that on the surface may seem similar to recent hits such as Fallout 3 and Borderlands. However, having now spent some time with the game at E3 2011, it becomes all that little bit clearer just how different the game will hopefully be from the rest of the pack, as well as reaffirming the credentials of Id Software as one of the premier game developers in the world. And this is barely the surface of what Rage is meant to offer.

As explained in our preview from last year’s E3, Rage starts off typically enough with the player forced to seek refuge under ground due to an impending meteor crash. Upon remerging from this the players finds that most of the world has been turned into a wasteland, quite heavily populated with all manner of ‘infected’ freaks, nasties and mutants. Still, the lid on the story of Rage is still being kept on quite tightly, despite assertions that the player’s situation will be much clearer and more readily understood when they get a few hours in. This didn’t prevent some hands on time with three diverse areas in the game.

It's just like Mario Kart, but with more deserts and explosions.

It's just like Mario Kart, but with more deserts and explosions.
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The first level on offer was a buggy race. It was akin to a more deadly and post-apocalyptic version of Mario Kart. The addition of upgrades and power-ups such as speed boosts and homing rockets would do that for just about any game. The most encouraging aspect of this part of the game was that it handled like a proper racing game, and very deliberately avoids using the dual analog controls from Halo, which seem to have infected the majority of shooters with vehicles. And for the record, it controlled extremely well. However, the opponent AI was quite ruthless and most had a difficult time keeping up with it, which will make it interesting to see how this aspect turns out.

The second level threw players into an improvised arena, complete with waves of freaks/mutants and a mini-boss. Not that the boss was that mini… it was actually a freak/mutant the size of a small office block. While impending death seemed to at the end of each swipe of a club, a very generous demo load out meant that following some persistent rocket launcher and shotgun fire, all the foes were dealt with. Just. The enemies were fast and brutal, while the boss took a lot damage before going down. Following this battle, the players had to find an entrance to a hospital. While coming across an offline switch, the game showed off some intuitive level design, where inquisitive players would find that following the cable coming out of the switch would lead you to the required power supply.

No, that's not the one you should be worrying about.

No, that's not the one you should be worrying about.
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The third demo level on show threw players against human AI. But first, in order to progress, players encountered laser grids, which needed to have their power supplies shut down by using EMP grenades. The first one was simple enough, as it sat next to the grid. However, they got harder, as the power supplies got further and further away from the grids. One was only visible through a few tiny doorway gaps, but in an example of how finely tuned the controls were, getting out a precise grenade wasn’t a serious issue. Keep in mind, the demo was played on the Xbox 360.

Once the humans were encountered, they were tough. As they are heavily armoured, the best way to take them down was to first shoot off their helmet, then go for the head shot. Enemies would use advanced tactics too, such as retreating and using cover. While it didn’t seem consistently effective, the team tactics required you to stay on the ball. Furthermore, outside of the reassuring stable of Id weapons (such as shotguns and rockets) and other standard and possibly new weapons, there are numerous assisting tools, such as fixed and mobile turrets, as well as a remote controlled car that doubles as a remote controlled explosive. This is apparently the tip of the iceberg.

Spider turrets, a must for all post-apocalyptic escapades.

Spider turrets, a must for all post-apocalyptic escapades.
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What really stood about Rage though, was that it was among the best running and finely tuned console games of this year’s show. It controlled like an absolute dream, and the frame rate was ridiculously smooth. Id Software stated last year that it was their goal to have the game running at 60 fps on all three release platforms and are definitely on track for realising that goal. Finally, the designs detailed above, such as following the cable to the power supply, finding the grid power supplies and differences in enemies that you face show just how robustly designed Rage is and that Id still has something to show despite years out of the limelight.

Rage is very much on track and looks like it will finally be released this year. And it’s making a lot of the right noises; heaps of gameplay variety, astute designs, fine tuned mechanics and what could end up being some of the best technology across HD platforms. Still, it’s a very ambitious title with a number of potential pitfalls and Id Software still has a lot to prove before players can start celebrating the return to form of the famous development studio.

Related Rage Content

Rage Review
11 Oct, 2011 Doom + Mad Max.
Rage: An Interview with Tim Willits
24 Sep, 2011 We ask the hard questions of Rage's legendary Creative Director.
Rage Preview
23 Sep, 2011 We get our hands on the game's first 60 minutes.
10 Comments
2 years ago
So

This is a first person shooting, free roaming, driving game? and seems a bit like Fallout 3 in the setting...

Is it more of a racing game or more of a story-based shooter game?

and is it primarily multiplayer or will you get a good experience on your own?

Sorry for all the questions, I have actually googled this stuff but the game is very different and there aren't that many clear answers...
2 years ago
PixieGirl wrote
This is a first person shooting, free roaming, driving game? and seems a bit like Fallout 3 in the setting...
Pretty much, the PR spin tells us - an open world first person shooter. The driving is mainly as a means of getting around, as well as parttaking in races. The setting definitely will remind people of Fallout 3 and Borderlands, but it controls like a pure FPS.

PixieGirl wrote
Is it more of a racing game or more of a story-based shooter game?
Definitely the latter. The racing only makes up a portion of what's on offer.

PixieGirl wrote
and is it primarily multiplayer or will you get a good experience on your own?
AFAIK, the multiplayer is minimal - you can compete in buggy races and a co-op mission mode that is available as a bonus to the main story. It is primarily designed as a single player experience.

Hope that helps.
2 years ago
I am VERY glad this is catered more towards SP. FPS is getting stale with consistently linear and uninteresting shooterfests, so it's refreshing to see this and Prey 2 going a different route and presenting something interesting in the genre.
2 years ago
iD has been disappointingly off my radar for quite awhile now. Hopefully this puts them back on the map.
2 years ago
I wish I could + you more than once for that post Jeremy :]

Do you know if the races are optional?
2 years ago
PixieGirl wrote
I wish I could + you more than once for that post Jeremy :]

Do you know if the races are optional?
One is good icon_smile.gif

As far as I was told, there will be some racing that is story-related - but it's also there for side competitions for earning extra monies, rewards (for vehicle customising) and that kind of thing.
2 years ago
Looks like daytime Doom 3 with some borderlands thrown in. Just not impressed.

What happened to the ID of old icon_sad.gif
2 years ago
sebconn wrote
Looks like daytime Doom 3 with some borderlands thrown in. Just not impressed.
I feel much the same. Got burned by Doom 3, which was enjoyable but still rather bland. They seem to make engines first, games second these days.

sebconn wrote
What happened to the ID of old icon_sad.gif
Is that the id who made side-scrolling shareware (Apogee/Keen), pseudo-3D shooters (Doom/Wolf) or full-3D shooters (Quake onwards)?
2 years ago
grim-one wrote
sebconn wrote
What happened to the ID of old icon_sad.gif
Is that the id who made side-scrolling shareware (Apogee/Keen), pseudo-3D shooters (Doom/Wolf) or full-3D shooters (Quake onwards)?
D) All of the Above.

Quietly optimistic about RAGE, actually. Putting aside a few naff weapon designs, I'm really digging the style of it - just hoping that the gameplay delivers.
2 years ago
Whats with dising Doom 3, loved it on original Xbox.
This looks great too.

It's like the Regurgitator song -

I see your band now and it's not too bad
you're nothing like you used to be
please write some songs that really do not suck
please become what you were before

i like your old stuff better than your new stuff (x4)

i try hard not to bring up the past
i'm sorry i had to again
you don't know me i feel you are my friend
i'm trying not to be pretend

i like your old stuff better than your new stuff (x12)

i like your old stuff better than your new stuff (x8)
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  24/11/2011 (Confirmed)
Publisher:
  Bethesda
Year Made:
  2011

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