RAGE Hands On Preview
At the Eurogamer Expo, Chris got some hands on time with Rage, after completing some of the first few missions he has gathered some thoughts together. Read them below. Beware of early game spoilers.
You wake in a pod, no idea where you are or who you are, all you know is that a door is about to open throwing you into the unknown. That unknown turns out to be a bit of a wasteland, which, from what I saw of the early parts of the game comes across as a mix between Fallout 3 and Borderlands all tied up with id Software’s new megatexture technology and some vehicles.
After being ambushed by some chaps who mean you harm, you get rescued by a gruff leader of a small group of friendlies. You receive your first mission from this chap who provides you with some basic supplies to keep you alive. A pistol with standard ammunition is your starting weapon, it will keep you alive, and with a bit of skill you will find it a very useful tool for knocking down the many enemies you will encounter along the way. Your first mission introduces you to the combat and the death system where you are able to resuscitate yourself thanks to the nanites in your blood stream. At least that is how it is explained.
If you have any sense you will jump in a buggy to get around your first few missions, there may be plenty of scenery, but from my experience with the opening hour or so with the game, there isn’t much of anything to do outside of the mission areas. I sincerely hope that there is something to do away from the settlements and mission hubs apart from driving around, it might get a bit boring if you drive long distances. In the short time I played though, all the missions and hubs were closely connected so not too much driving was required.
It is worth knowing that the driving itself is perfectly fine, your quad-bike or buggy will bounce around nicely on the bumps of the wasteland, and a powerful boost will kick things up a gear.
Along the way in the early stages of the game you will be rewarded with some recipes for items to craft. If you need more bandages to quickly heal yourself during a fight, or more lock grinders, you can craft them with the bits and pieces you will find during the missions. It is a system that adds a bit more depth to what you get from a typical id Software game, and when you learn to craft new ammunition you will certainly be able to expand on how you use your guns.
You can also combine equipment you find with your weapons, along my way I came across one half of a pair of binoculars which I was able to use with my pistol. I went from using a pistol with normal iron sights, to a pistol useful for sniping. It is another part of the RPG elements you will find in the game, and while it certainly doesn’t seem to be anything like a Fallout or Oblivion, it does move Rage up and beyond the usual fare of shooters.
One moment which certainly caught my attention occurred when walking through the second friendly settlement you come across. While walking up some stairs to finish off a mission, a character who had seemed absolutely inconsequential when I first walked past him to get the details on my completed mission, said that I should see him after seeing the boss as he would have a job for me.
I didn’t get a marker telling me to see this guy, it was just an off the cuff remark that I tried to follow up on. What made this moment really shine was that this new mission was a direct continuation of what I found in the previous mission. While events at the original camp seemed to be jumping ahead with little involvement from me, I was quite pleased with this moment, it felt good to pick up from where another had failed.
I am hesitant to say that Rage will be one of the best games we will see this year, but I am prepared to be pleasantly surprised when it comes out next week. From my play test I can say that this is more than the usual id fare and it looks like it will be worth checking out.
Rage will be available in the UK on the 7th October for PC, 360 and PS3.