Rage screenshot
Rage screenshot

Combat encourages you to utilize your full arsenal, though at the start of the game most enemies simply run at you and indiscriminately suck up any and all bullets. Towards the end of my two-hour session I was up against more intelligent foes, some of whom carried energy shields that needed to be deactivated with EMP grenades.

There's a nice rhythm in cycling through your guns and ammo, and you're able to easily flick between these on a controller by holding down the trigger buttons. The system definitely makes a nice change from the typical FPS mould of having two weapons and so much ammunition you never need to worry.

Health slowly regenerates, and there are consumable healing items, but take too much damage and you'll initiate a defibrillation mini-game - your heart has a fancy computer attached to it, and using a two-step process it massages the vital organ and then shocks it back to life. It'll take a few minutes to recharge after each use, so if you die again you'll have to load the nearest checkpoint.

Back with Hagar, your first task is to clear out a pack of bandits from a nearby ruined hotel, and you're allowed to borrow an ATV for the task. Driving seems slightly more tuned and responsive from when I last played the game; that or the handling model of the ATV is easier to get to grips with than your customisable buggy, which is unlocked a couple of hours into the game.

The hotel is stocked with the Ghost clan, and they like to contort themselves to manoeuvre the environment - hanging off beams, leaping over cover, and darting out of the way. I'd love to see what the faction's entrance criteria are. They're a bit creepy, but they fall down after you blast them with a few bullets. I generally found myself firing off a couple more than required for good measure.

Whereas the outside sprawl is big enough to be daunting - criticism of id Tech 4's inability to render large outside areas clearly hit a nerve with the Texan developer - the inside of the hotel, and many of RAGE's indoor zones, will be immediately familiar to anyone who remembered skulking through DOOM's corridors all the way back in 1993.

A few more quests later - realigning a radio tower, warning nearby camps of mutants, working with the Outrigger settlement to provide the Hagar camp with some much-needed supplies, plundering a garage, destroying a barricade - and your time with Hagar comes to an end.

What follows is a journey to Wellspring, a dense, complex town riddled with its own problems, and the beginning of RAGE's second chapter. That, sadly, will have to wait until October.

RAGE is due for release on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC on October 7 2011.

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11 Comments

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Gollum_85's Avatar

Gollum_85

"When was the last time a game opened with a good vehicle ride?" How about Far Cry 2?
Posted 14:33 on 13 August 2011
dazzadavie's Avatar

dazzadavie

Never had this on my scope before now. Sounds goods as Reynoldio says bit of Borderlands, Bit of Fallout and Doom(not to worried about the latter)
Posted 07:44 on 05 August 2011
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

sounds really good. how open were the levels did it feel like you could go anywhere or have a more linear feel?.

im going to wait for reviews but ID do make great games.
Posted 00:55 on 05 August 2011
reynoldio's Avatar

reynoldio

Definite get. Bit of Borderlands, bit of Fallout, bit of Doom. Could a better game exist?!
Posted 14:57 on 03 August 2011
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

Either way i have extremely high hopes for this game, the technology makes me harder than the Lich King 25 heroic encounter.
Posted 13:37 on 03 August 2011
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ squidman

Thanks Martin. I'll keep an eye out for further previews.

It's still on my watchlist due to the original IP-ness and the simple fact it's id that are making it. Rage is quite hard to pigeon-hole, (a fault of mine but when I'm researching I like pigeon-holes), I guess it's somewhere between Bioshock and Crysis for now.

The only game like Borderlands I'm expecting is Borderlands 2 :)
Posted 13:36 on 03 August 2011
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Seeing as it's id Software. I have full trust in them on making a great FPS, because of the likes of Quake and Doom. I can see where the Borderlands comes into play, but myself won't be comparing the game towards it.

I would like to get Rage, but I think it will be a Christmas buy, unless the reviews for the game swing my decision.
Posted 12:28 on 03 August 2011
squidman's Avatar

squidman@ FantasyMeister

You don't level your character directly, but you can upgrade weapons and vehicles for extra combat abilities. For instance, you can buy a monocular early on from a vendor which gives your pistol an effective scope - I raised the money for this by flogging off loads of stuff I found whilst on missions.

You're also forced to pick a type of armour at Wellspring, and doing this will slightly affect the way you play the game from that point. Whether this gets upgraded at the game progresses I won't know until I'm allowed to play more of the game.

Loot isn't randomised like, say, Diablo or Borderlands, but most of it ties into the crafting system - you make some of the inventive ammo or equipment types by collecting the right amounts of other stuff. Think of a less cryptic Horadric Cube and you're pretty much there.

I didn't go back to replay areas outside of missions in the two hours I had to play (I was trying to see as much of the game as possible in the time I had) but when I revisited an area because I was given another mission there were different placements of enemies.

I do think it's important to not expect a game like Borderlands, though, because you quite simply ain't gonna get it in RAGE.
Posted 12:13 on 03 August 2011
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee

This will either suffer with comparisons to Borderlands, or benefit as every single player of Borderlands migrates to it. If it plays even half as well as it looks, I'll be on it day 1.
Posted 00:21 on 03 August 2011
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk@ FantasyMeister

^^I'll second FM's questions, and the importance of knowing about such features.

I *want* to get Rage when the time comes, given my love of Borderlands, but given the already crowded release schedule, Rage will have to try pretty damn hard to justify being an immediate purchase.
Posted 17:44 on 02 August 2011
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

Any experience points, skilltrees or levelling anywhere? Is it a varied loot table? Can you re-farm areas you've been to before or does stuff stay dead? Any armor or accessories? Is there any dice rolling going on behind the scenes or is it pure skill-based? Any character customisation?

Sorry about the questions, but these are really what I need to know before deciding whether to buy or not.
Posted 15:30 on 02 August 2011

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 07/10/2011
Developer: id Software
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 1,043 43
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