The First 60 Minutes of RAGE Made Me Want More
I had the privilege to have a full hour with Id's RAGE at PAX Prime 2011. I was able to start from the very beginning and try out a handful of the initial missions. The brief glimpse of the intro sequence taught me that I was an ARK survivor who is meant to restore civilization along with his other fellow survivors. You quickly learn that all of them are dead except for you, and that is when you get thrust into the open world and experience its savage nature.
I was immediately attacked by a bunch of bandits which would have easily disposed of me, but I was saved at the last second by one of the occupants from a nearby settlement. This prompted the start of my initial questlines. Immediately thoughts of a few different games to mind. The post-apocalyptic setting that puts you in a role of a survivor gives the game that sense of Fallout, though the gunplay and RAGE's crazy cast of enemies leans more towards the styles of Borderlands. I was immediately introduced to one of the game's first vehicles, the ATV, which is just one way of getting around the vast wasteland, along with the buggy that we've all seen in many of the game's early trailers. The ATV is super quick and extremely responsive and makes getting from point A to point B a breeze. Add in a high powered boost and you got an extremely fun, and quick way of exploring the vastness of the wasteland.
The early quests that I was able to play through were mostly fetch quests, though they were definitely the most action packed fetch quests I've ever played. You're sent to a remote location, which is usually an instance of sorts, that you must make your way through, surviving a constant onslaught of enemies. Speaking of the enemies, they surprised me how quick and agile they were. No longer are they either running towards you, or simply hiding behind a piece of cover, these enemies are smart and acrobatic. They'll leap and jump through corridors which not only keeps you on your toes, but makes it challenging to actually hit them. This is yet another aspect of RAGE, ammo conservation. Ammo is scarce, so making your shots count is key. Aimlessly firing off at bandits and mutants will leave you defenseless.
It's a good thing then that the gunplay is so fast and fluid. If you've played other shooters, you'll find yourself quite comfortable with the controls. Switching out weapons and ammo types can be done on the fly and quickly let you get the upper hand on the situation. I was told that a big component of the game was crafting, and though I didn't get to see it extensively, I was able to craft a few things, namely a lock grinder which opened some previously locked doors for me.
I've only seen a handful of the enemies in the game and was reassured that there are plenty more factions that are sure to stir up some trouble. The mutants and bandits were already causing me problems, but factions such as the Shrouded who don steel plated armor, or the vehicle based Scorchers are sure to provide a nice challenge once we're able to get our hands on the full version.
If there is one thing certain, RAGE is one of the best looking games I have seen to date. I was completely taken by the attention to detail. From the awe-inducing environments down to each character expressions, the game is absolutely gorgeous. I personally can't wait to spend some quality time with RAGE once it hits stores on October 4th.