Published on September 27th, 2011 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder
RAGE Hands-On Impressions from PAX ’11
Developer: id Software
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Release Date: Oct. 4, 2011
I don’t know about you, but when I think of a desert wasteland, I tend to think of Mad Max or Book of Eli with crazy runners and dune buggies. Luckily, when I got to play RAGE on the Xbox 360 at PAX 2011, id Software and publisher Bethesda didn’t disappoint.
My hour-long playthrough started off with an epic speech from the inside of an underground cryo-pod. This select group of people were being ushered underground in pods to help rebuild the earth after the coming apocalypse. There was something ‘special’ brewing on the planet, and they needed to be away in a hurry, so on with the cryo-sleep, right?
Well, something not-so-awesome happened to the pod during your extended nap. When you finally awaken, it’s to a dead crew and and a startling realization that life does still exist – and it wants you dead. A local business owner gives you an assist with your issues and enlists your help, and since he just saved your life the least you can do is give him a little bit of assistance, right?
That’s where things get a little interesting.
I found out that those lucky enough to survive the ride on spaceships are ‘special’. In a way, that tells the station attendant that he can point you in a direction and expect you to wreck shop on local gangs that are giving him some trouble. So he does the good deed and sends me toward the gang headquarters with a handgun.
Really now, who doesn’t know how to gun down a whole HQ with a six-shooter?
He lets me borrow his four-wheeler and off we go. When I get to the headquarters, things get even crazier. In desert crawlers of yesteryear, we’d get running baddies with a penchant for standing and shooting at you, out in the open, with little to no regard for their own safety. Not the case here.
These desert bandits embody the name of the game, and will use every piece of furniture in the evironment to get their hands on you. From running full speed to leaping and swinging on fixtures in the ceiling, then hopping over furniture – they pull no stops to get to you.
So what we have is have pissed-off freerunners with machetes and all means of weaponry up against you and your six-shooter. Exhilirating is a little bit of an understatement! The only thing that disappointed me about the intro missions is that when the enemies drop their shotguns or pistols, there’s no option to take the weapons. It’s both awkward and frustrating to watch a shotgun that just shot at you fade away when you have a small army of bandits left to take out.
Annoyances aside, the missions fit the story well. Once I got done earning better weaponry, I was introduced to both the boomerang and the dune buggy. The boomerang was fun to play around with, and once I completed the missions to grab the parts for the buggy, I took it out for a nice little ride.
After all that, my hour was done, but it left a great impression on me. The graphics were impressive, the world’s various environments I’d seen up to that point were large, and I had an absolute blast.
id Software has done great work with Rage, and it’s definitely a game I’ll be owning. The biggest issue I’m having now is deciding what system I want to play it on when it releases.
Many thanks to Bethesda and id for allowing me to get this one-on one time with RAGE.