Rage has been talked about and teased for years; and we're going to talk about and tease it a little bit more. I, like you, have been watching trailers and reading previews all year. But I, unlike you, recently got to play two missions: "Find the Buggy Parts," which we detailed in our previous hands-on preview, and "Authority Prison." I deserve any hatred you're feeling towards me right now, but I assure you, it's the fault of Bethesda and id Software.
After dispensing with countless enemies and securing some much needed buggy components in the first level, I moved on to Authority Prison. The event I was at was loud, and since it was a preview build I couldn't turn on subtitles. Long story slightly less long, I didn't know where I was or why I was fighting, two questions I rarely need answered when there's a gun in my hand.
The level didn't look like a prison, more like a run down bunker. I progressed through several rooms, again stealing every single object I could. I was happily looting when a fully armored enemy attacked me, and he brought friends. Using the hand gun and spyglass I was able to pop a few headshots, loot them and move on. I must say, they were traveling light as I hardly took anything worth stealing from their bodies.
Ahead I encountered a few more enemies, who were equally taken care of with well placed head wounds. The next room was blocked off by a dozen rows of orange lasers, the cut-your-body-in-half kind of lasers. Not sure how to progress, I panned the room and noticed a white generator with rainbow glowing lights. Rainbow lights in Rage? Surely, they must be blown up.
Turns out my instinct to destroy the beauty around me was correct. I found some EMP grenades that could be used to disable the generators controlling the lasers. Several more rooms were blocked by lasers, but thankfully, a rainbow generator and supply of EMP grenades were never far away. Eventually, I came across motion sensing turrets; again when in doubt, destroy the pretty colors.
The gunplay in Rage felt exactly like it should. I was able to run through a level at a fast pace, I dare say the perfect pace. I was able to pick up a new gun, toggle through my options, both gun and ammo, and plow through the opposition. Basically I didn't need any type of tutorial, it played like it was supposed to and I've played enough shooters to just pick up and shoot. Weapons I came across included a sniper rifle, shotgun and machine gun.
My weapon of choice though is the wingstick, think a large, razor edged boomerang with a special appreciation for necks. Using the left bumper I was able to decapitate an assortment of enemies that didn't get the message. The message being I was going to kill them, I had already killed all of their friends, and I was not going to stop until every last one of them met with equally horrific ends.
Not only was I set on removing the heads of every living soul I encountered, I was also going to steal every single glowing object I could find; and I found a lot. There were bottles of beer, ammo, radio parts, bandages, potions, and more for me to claim. I've always been a loot whore, and Rage will be no different. The loot I took mostly just filled up my inventory menu; that is until I realized you could craft! Using items I had found I was able to make a lock grinder, an item I wouldn't be able to find otherwise.
The final room was the prison part of the prison. I've always fancied myself a revolutionary, so I decided to free all the remaining prisoners. Viva la revolucion! I guess I didn't notice those armed soldiers who shot at me before were also guarding the prisoners. All of my potential freedom fighters were promptly killed. Alone, scared, and with dashed dreams of freedom I killed all the remaining guards before heading down to the cells. This is where I found Captain Marshal, my guess is he was the reason I was there to begin with. A few more soldiers later and Captain Marshall and I were on our way out. I had a feeling this was going to be the start of a beautiful friendship. The preview build ended there, so I don't actually know that, but I'm almost never completely wrong about these types of things.
I don't know if my rampant enthusiasm shines through all these words but I really enjoyed playing. Rage comes out on September 13 for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.