Rage - Xbox 360

Game Description:A brand new IP for id Software (of Doom and Quake fame), this all-new title utilizes the company's unique id Tech 5 technology, aiming to incomparable new levels of graphic presentation in artistic expression and graphic fidelity. Rage offers high-intensity battling and racing gameplay, offering the complexity of race track dynamics and tactics (including a monetary system where you can invest winnings from races to improve your vehicles and character) and the action of a FPS when you take to foot in combat scenarios.
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RAGE PAX East 2011 Preview

RAGE PAX East 2011 Preview

By Kevin Kelly - Posted Mar 12, 2011


How would you like to have a two hour hands-off demo of RAGE compressed into roughly 40 minutes? That's what Jason Kim and Matt Hooper treated us to at PAX East this weekend. RAGE hasn't been played that much since it was first announced, and we certainly haven't been able to get our hands on it yet. Here in Boston, they showed off more of the game as Jason drove us through the levels, and Matt talked about what we were seeing.

The last time I saw the game was at QuakeCon last summer, where they took us through a hands-off demo simultaneously running on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and the PC. They took us through some simple vehicular combat, showed off a few desolate environs, and then went into the town of Wellspring and into the sewers below the city to solve some problems. You know, through gunplay. Which is the way you negotiate in video games.

The point of the session was a tour through the wasteland, and you start off at the top of a lonely, windy gorge, part of an area called "Ghost Territory." A couple of statues topped with Longhorn skulls dot the immediate landscape, and the howling winds tell you that this probably isn't a friendly place. You're tasked with a quest to "Retrieve Buggy Parts," so you can fix up your ride. There is a buggy nearby, one of the Class One (the lowest level) vehicles, and you can drive on to your next location, noticing a towering, decrepit freeway looming overhead.

From there, we headed to an area called "Ark Emergence," and it was there that an NPC character told us, over and over, that the sewers were very dangerous, and that you shouldn't go down there. I don't really need characters telling me over and over than I need to stop myself from dropping down into dank and dark sewage tunnels, but, hey, good looking out.


You can interact with other NPCs here, including the sassy and curvaceous Loosum Hagar, who teaches you about the usefulness of Wingsticks, which are the tri-bladed boomerang weapons you'll find throughout the game. After letting you toss a few at wooden targets, she tells the nearby vendor that it's okay to sell you some. Of course, you'll definitely want to pick some of these up, as they kill quickly and silently. 

From there, we jetted off on a sort of turbo-fied version of the Mongoose from Halo, and a moment of unexpected mirth occurred when Jason accidentally drove into a barrier, catapulting his character, rag-doll style, a few dozen yards out of the vehicle. Ouch. Needless to say, he didn't survive. From there, we jumped to the "Dam Facility" where we spent time battling endless hordes of mutants, and then, after a quick tour through Wellspring, we picked up a quest to take out a Remote Control Bomb Base.

During this quest, we headed stealthily into a factory where they build remote control car bombs, which you use to drive through shafts and take out the entire facility. While you're there, you pick up the ability to engineer and use RC bomb cars as well, which come in handy throughout the game. After more driving around, including a look at one of the Class Three vehicles, which are bristling with armor and armaments, we skipped ahead (and unfortunately missed an entire section of car combat) to the "Dead City," which is an enormous, vacant wasteland of skyscrapers and buildings.

In here, after taking out more multiple mutants (that all look somewhat like Gollum) and a mid-boss who had a whip-like tendril for a right arm, we then headed into a central area where we waited on an extremely slow door to open. Then, they took us down to a boss battle with a gigantic creature with a partially exposed brain pan and an opening on his chest that would occasionally offer up access to his innards that didn't react well to our missile shots. That’s where our demo ended, right with the bad guy about to go down for his crimes against humanity.


What I learned from all of this is that RAGE is extremely gorgeous. I mean, the environments, the environmental effects, the sky, and the large open environments all look stellar. Totally jaw-dropping. But, the enemy AI, and the game mechanics, all feel a bit dated. It's like a gorgeous, gold-edged picture framed that's being used to hold a dusty painting. Not to say that RAGE is bad, and obviously the game is still a work in progress, but I was more impressed by the environs than the gameplay, and I want my games to both look and play well. We'll see how things change the next time we check it out.

Comments are Closed

  • jrg11

    If the extremely linear to a fault CoD formula with it's infinite enemies and hand holding, or Gears with it's chest high walls and hiding behind cover all the time is considered modern, I'd rather play a dated shooter (a stigma wich Rage, Duke, Serious Sam etc so often get).

    Rage looks like a fantastic open-world FPS in the vein of the Stalker series, or Far Cry 2, which was a diamon in the rough imho. Comparisons to Fallout are pointless, because FO is still an RPG, and the shooting feels pretty clunky in it (its a great RPG tho, but its not the game for all-out action).

    Shooting, movement, aiming felt great in every id game so far (well, at least the PC versions...), that coupled with an open environment to explore, doing side quest to improve you guns and cars, and other fun stuff like car-combat, and toying around with remote control bombs, not to mention killing bosses the size of a building sounds like a winning combo, and def doesn't sound boring or dated, game mechanics to me. Fun, not horribly original, but then again nothing is these days, or at least not big budget shooters.

    Posted: March 16, 2011 7:02 AM
  • PadawanLearner

    It may look alot like Fallout but as long as it doesn't freeze on me every ten minutes I'm sold.

    Posted: March 14, 2011 4:41 PM
  • Nagato6192

    What are the specs?

    Posted: March 14, 2011 2:31 PM
  • InnerRise

    We don't need another Fallout sans the terrible graphics. That game is horrrid enough as is.

    Now its pretty sister with the gimpy leg wants to come out and play?

    Handicaps off! Get out!

    Posted: March 14, 2011 12:53 PM
  • bbad6394

    ugh i really hope they step it up in the final months. oh well at least there's still skyrim, gears 3, mass effect 3!!! oh and the new call of duty..ha....

    Posted: March 14, 2011 7:55 AM
  • UnJakeable

    No doubt the game play will still be the best in this new Post apocalyptic FPS genre. The controls on Fo3 and Borderlands suck.

    Posted: March 14, 2011 7:01 AM
  • expl0siv0

    I'm surprised to hear that Kevin thinks the AI is bad because I remember the last preview I'm pretty sure Adam and Abbie(?) seemed impressed with the enemies. Oh well could have changed. However I'm not surprised that some of the mechanics seem dated... Borderlands and Fallout anyone?

    Posted: March 13, 2011 11:15 PM
  • HazelrahFiver

    Like Benny, I worry about the gameplay. Not that I don't trust ID, but nothing they've done has been fantastic. I know I'm a harlot for saying such, but only Doom II is worth a damn after all these years (except for Reznor's Quake soundtrack). This could very well be the greatest looking game for this entire generation, but it has some too-powerful competition to contend with for gameplay. Even in the same post-apocalyptic setting there is Fallout 3, which RAGE is eerily reminiscent of. In fact, the game makes me consider passing it up and simply saving the cash by playing Fo3 again instead. I worry that RAGE won't rise above 'another shooter'. That said, thus far I still plan on buying the game ><</safety_wrapper> ;

    Posted: March 13, 2011 8:09 PM
  • silent_deadly_6

    If this game plays as awesome as it looks Im totally going to play this game, I can't wait to get my hands on this game in September !!

    Posted: March 13, 2011 2:51 PM
  • MetalRFM

    Do you guys use spell check?

    Posted: March 12, 2011 8:05 PM
  • dukeletoatreides

    Waiting for RAGE to come out has been like the most painful child labor ever!!

    Posted: March 12, 2011 12:25 PM
  • benny2beer

    I thought we were past the days of pretty graphics, crappy gameplay. I really hope bring the gameplay up to a level that's comparable to how it looks.

    Posted: March 12, 2011 12:17 PM
  • pitt6671


    Posted: March 12, 2011 11:36 AM