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Similar (but different) to my blog a while back in January for Spec Ops: The Line This article will touch on why I'm so excited for Id's next game and why I think others should be too.
So the first time I ever really looked into this game was back in E3 of 2010. Everyone's favorite video game journalist Adam Sessler was flipping out when he saw Rage running on the 360 (like seriously, he actually stopped Tim Willits at one point just to go "OH MY GOD" again), and so did I. I didn't think it was possible to continue pushing the hardware from 2005 anything past what we already saw. Leave it to Id to prove us all wrong, again.
But that's just the start of it, the more I've heard about this game since the more I wanted it. So much so a Gears of War fan like me has actually put Rage over it as my priority buy for that timeframe.
So what's the big draws to this game? What really is there to be excited about.
Most developers will decide if they can get their game onto the needed space running at 30 FPS on consoles with slight milliseconds of delay between the player pressing an button and the action being perfromed than they're in good shape.
John Carmack says differently, Rage has some of the best graphics of this year on consoles and will be running at 60 frames per second almost constantly (I don't doubt slowdowns will occur during massive amounts of action at once) on consoles which is rarely ever seen done. To finish up, the press of a button to the action performed will be completely instant which should offer a much more visceral feel when firing one of Rage's weapons.
As ironic as it sounds, Rage looks to be the most beautiful wasteland I will ever traverse. Graphics obvious help but the vibrant color tones and Id's promise of a handcrafted world I have little doubt in my mind about it being a post apocalyptic setting I want to traverse every inch of.
But what's so much better about a handcrafted world between a world like Fallout do I [not] hear you ask?
Well Fallout applies to the term procedurally generated environments. While some handle in care and attention to detail in places may have been taken to make sure the Capital or Mojave Wastelands were interesting there was still much copy and pasting going around. Not that there's anything wrong with that, they are large environments with still a lot to explore. Rage takes a step further in that nearly every environment is design down to the smallest dead blade of grass to be distinct. Repeating textures are at a minimum and many of the rock faces you'll see in Rage won't even look the same. It's the benefit of designing a more linear-open world and it's being done to a level Gearbox might've been very well able to do with Borderlands if the effort was there and not just a lot of maps chock full of garbage heaps.
Also, while Fallout and Borderlands have both done well to capture the outside world of the post apocalyptic setting Id seems to be the ones that are also concerned about the inside of the world as well. Given the history of Id and they're reputation for corridor shooters; and the footage from this gameplay trailer, I am looking forward to a great mix of open world conflict and level designs as intense and satisfying as any more linear shooters have to offer.
If that wasn't enough, Rage looks to be the first game set in the post apocalyptic open-world genre to introduce vehicles better than anyone before it. But more on that later.
At first glance, Rage looks like to be a typical FPS in terms of shooting. That's where you'd be wrong. Rage fully embraces it's post apocalyptic but-still-in-the-future setting in it's combat system as anybody could ask for.
I'll start off mentioning the Wingstick, a three-winged boomerang with blades on it that can chop off mutants heads and the like. Then also let's not forget to talk about the amount of drone tech that will be available in Rage as well. Deploying sentries makes for a great tactical advantage in a tight spot. You can push forward by deploying a spider-drone with a turret on top of it, or you can sabotage where mutants are chilling by inch a drone with a bomb attach to it right into their hangout hole. Or you can choose to forget all of this and go in guns blazing.
There's also things like ammo types. As seen so far you can set your assault rifle, crossbow, pistol and a bunch others to burst with electricity which can conduct with the water in the environment if there is some allowing one electrified crossbow bolt to potentially zap all mutants in the facility instead of one. Crossbows also have an ammo type that allows the player to control an enemies mind temporarily and have them walk closer to another enemy before they blow up causing more damage. Along with the rest of the post apocalyptic games out there, Rage appears to allow someone to carry four weapons at a time instead of the typical two.
My last point if just the feel to the combat looks great. Anyone who's played Halo knows how satisfying a headshot or a beatdown. These are thanks to an effort by quick response times, sweet death animations along with that satisfying cracking sound that comes with it. Rage looks to be pulling off this same feat judging by the gameplay I've seen. And the fact that there is literally no delay between when you press down on the right trigger to when your gun fires will make it all the sweeter.
And before anyone else says this looks like borderlands in terms of combat and such, no it resembles much more like Farcry than anything.
What else is there to offer?
Rage despite it's seemingly robust single player (which Id promises to have a great story as well) is still coming with 4 player co-op mode that sends you through many other tales of the wasteland with people online or split screen. Which has me really excited so I can hope to convince my brother to play some co-op with me again.
It also comes with a multiplayer component that rejects the standard team death match approach but rather shows off the car combat and racing portion. It's a pretty gutsy move by Id but I'm wondering how well it will pan out considering the other multiplayer experiences like Forza 4, Battlefield 3, MW3, and Gears of War 3, Resistance 3, along with Uncharted 3 having an improved multiplayer (though i didn't enjoy it much myself). So when it comes to having a lasting community for Rage multiplayer, even though they are avoiding the typical multiplayer death match all bets are off.
To finish up, releasing a new IP in the Fall and Winter months is a risky business even with the reputation of Id software behind it. This goes the same for the other big new IP this fall: Dead Island. But if Borderlands was any example, it came out in October 20th of 2009 which was right before MW2, Assassins Creed 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and right after Uncharted 2, yet it sold over 2 million copies by December and was given the title of most successful new IP of 2009. According to wikipedia, Borderlands now has sold over 4.5 million units. Despite this falls's massive amounts of competition, I wouldn't be surprised if Rage could pull off the same.
Needless to say, I can't wait for October 4th to start off my fall gaming buzz.