A game that has been on a lot of people’s radars since its announcement is id software’s new title Rage, of course a lot of fans were wanting Doom 4 and not a new IP but id software have gone in the right direction to try out something new that utilises their new id Tech 5 engine. Luckily at this year’s Eurogamer Expo 2010, Tim Willits creative director of Rage was invited to the show to demo Rage to get everyone excited for its launch next year.
Rage is set in a near and not too distant future, sometime shortly after the year 2036 after the Apophis asteroid collided with the earth, causing devastation to all civilizations that were present at the time, ravaging the world turning it into a wasteland. You play a member from an Ark of significant people that were frozen in stasis so that you could survive the damage caused by the asteroid, only to find out that there was a malfunction and you were the lone survivor from your Ark. As the government had favoured you along with the significant others in your Ark your body has been filled with Nanotrites which allow you to regenerate your health and even give you extra strength. However if you don’t want to have regenerative health, these Nanotrites can however be turned off and you can rely on good old health packs for when low on health.
Rage is a mixture of different styles of gameplay and genres which have been chosen in order to make a more rounded game to make it standout from id software’s usual run and gun game they’re best known for. It comprises of two main types that are vehicle combat with racing which sits alongside the intense first person action we all know and love. id Tech 5 boasts environments that will have dynamic textures that will never be the same every time you play the game, to accompany these they also have a dynamic damage system which means if you hit an enemy in the leg they will limp, and animate accordingly to how they’ve been hurt. The gameplay also promises to be the same as well, enemies will take the best routes to get to you, meaning everything will always be different.
The reasoning behind choosing these two types of gameplay are focused around id Tech 5, and that it can create vaster areas than any previous id products, and to move across a large amount of space without finding it boring you’d generally want a car or some form of transport, and then adding on weapons to your mode of transport, gives you an edge, allowing you to take out your enemies Camageddon style. This may just sound like the game is non-stop action, however there is a story line to the game which will be told through missions you get from civilians in the cities that you visit, be it something hugely plot driven, or helping someone out with a personal issue.
So we were introduced to a few different types of cars, such as a buggy and a more beefy car which looked as if it could do a fair bit of damage to anything it could come in contact with. So Jason Kim producer of Rage jumped in the car and drove off to Wellsprings, destroying some cars on the way, giving us a feel for what the car combat will be like in the final game. After seeing the driving in action it doesn’t look too bad considering id software are primarily an FPS studio, and with the promise of a lot of racing and vehicle combat in game we hope it handles well too.
After wandering into town Jason grabbed a mission off a local resident asking for help with some bandits who have taken over their local water facility. As the bandits were down in the water facility you were given electric darts and with a lot of water around, they did seem quite helpful and similar in feel to the Electro Bolt plasmid from Bioshock. In this mission and at the start of each mission you accept you may be given a weapon or item from your mission giver to aid your quest, whether you use the item or not the levels aren’t entirely staged on the use of the weapons, and you could use your favourite weapon of choice. The main objective id seem to be pushing is that you can play the game how you want to play it and you aren’t constrained to anything.
A small segment of the game that we were shown is that Rage features multiple mini games that you can partake in, generally betting is involved, just think of all the small betting games you’d come across in Shenmue, just more Sci-Fi feeling. We were shown a rather quick game of Tombstones, which can be played if you find some civilians in the street playing a game and you can join in the fun. The game was made up of holograms and had a man with a gun in the middle of a board surrounded by bad guys, and you had to role dice to kill them. It seemed pretty simple and perhaps a great way to earn some cash and waste a little time in the downtrodden cities.
The most impressive section of the Rage demo we were presented was of course shown at the end of the demo, having been taken into a location called ‘Dead City’ where generally if someone is sent there, they’re sent there to die and never return, the location is also over populated with mutants which links to your eventual demise. After encroaching on the mutants land you are then ambushed with a number of normal mutants, coming at them from all angles, however this wasn’t the threat. Soon after taking out a number of them, what you would call a giant came out from behind some cars and then another one followed, these ones about the height of two normal mutants put together and carried a lot more muscle. While taking these two out the ground seemed to be shaking, you could hear something in the distance, there was dust falling from an old abandoned piece of building and then all of a sudden charging from around a corner a monster like mutant came from round the side of a building, planting his hand in the side in order to drag himself around the building and get towards you, sadly the demo ended here, and we were left on such a cliff-hanger wondering if this beast of a mutant was a boss of perhaps just your everyday overexposed mutant coming round the corner to see what all the ruckus is about. After being in development for about four years to date and having another year on top of that to go I for one honestly cannot wait to see more of the game and have a play of it myself, and also find out more about these absolutely massive mutants.
We were lucky enough to interview Tim Willits the Creative Director of id Software about Rage and with a sneaky little Doom 3 question in there, so please check that out if you’d like to hear Tim explain in more detail about Apophis, Doom 3, some info on Rage, and a little chat about if there would ever be a Rage demo.
One last promise that Tim made was that there will be a multiplayer in Rage, as people were getting worried from a lack of news on the specifics of it, and you can expect more multiplayer news next year. Rage currently has a release date of September 16th 2011 and will be coming out on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and of course Windows.