GamesCom 2009: Rage Preview - Our Game of the Show
Written Sunday, August 30, 2009 By Dan Webb
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I think it’s fair to sit here and say that world renowned developer, id Software, have been relying on past glories in recent years. We get it... you made Wolfenstein, Quake and Doom, and they were all great franchises and all... but we want something fresh, something cutting edge... something new! Their response to this general consensus was to announce Rage at QuakeCon 2007 – a post apocalyptic, cel-shaded/illustrative first person shooter, set in the not too distant future. After seeing, what I can only describe as the best title at GamesCom, I think it’s safe to say that id hasn’t lost their uncanny ability to produce great franchises. Let me be the first to say, “sorry id for doubting that you still had it in you.”

Rage takes place in the not too distant future, in a world that has been devastated by an asteroid. That doesn’t mean the end of the world though, of course not... they’d be a pretty awful game. Before the impact the governments around the world had the common sense to bury pods of people under the planet’s surface, so these people could come out when it’s safe and rebuild society. Things however don’t go according to plan – do they ever in video games? – and your pod pops up a little early and you find yourself in a lawless world of bandits and a never ending wasteland. It feels like a good time to mention that this world you are cast into is absolutely visually stunning. I’ve become a fan of the cel-shaded/illustrative look in recent years and id have created something truly beautiful here by embracing that art style. Let me throw an early spanner in the works though and mention that the demo at GamesCom was performed on a high end PC, so whether the console version will be as sublime remains to be seen.

So we pick up proceedings about 90 minutes from the beginning of the game, out in the middle of the wasteland. On the one side of you; a buggy, and on the other, a deserted shack guarded by a solitary wasteland bandit. Our player whips out a “wing stick” (essentially a three pronged boomerang weapon) and one swing of the arm later, the bandit collapses to his knees without so much as a whimper. There’s nothing like a silent kill... or is that silent hill?

The world you are thrust into, according to id, is “open, but directed.” It isn’t procedural though and id assured us that every part of the wasteland is hand crafted to improve your experience and give the world some credence. Open but directed; what does that mean exactly? Well, you do have the freedom to roam, investigate, explore and even take on side quests, but the world tries to offer you subtle hints on which way to go. For us, it was across the wasteland in our buggy to a place called Wellspring. Obviously, taking out a few bandits with some buggy-to-buggy vehicular combat is first on the cards but after taking out a few foes – with somewhat relative ease – and using the vehicle’s self regenerative nitro, Wellspring was upon us.
Wellspring is one of many main towns in the wasteland and carries with it a western vibe; from everything like the locals kitted in cowboy hats and neckerchiefs, right the way down to the crippling sun and dust blowing up off the roads. The streets were littered with locals; from those playing a dice game (that you can incidentally get involved in), to others stood around offering you hints on where to go. id explained the interactions as “casual” around the towns, so you don’t have to enter into some long winded conversation with them. It is a shooter after all. You can do a ton of other stuff in and around the towns as well, like heading to the Outfitters to do a bit of buying and selling of weapons and gadgets, or head on over to the local garage to buy a new vehicle or repair/upgrade your existing vehicle. The customisation of the buggy incidentally is fairly in depth allowing you to buy stronger weapons or change individual pieces like the suspension or its side panels.

After meeting the local sheriff and being enlisted to help him rid the wastelands of the Shrouded Clan, we managed to get a look at the game’s combat aspect in full motion. The first thing that will strike you about the mutants is not only do they look positively disgusting – which is a good thing –  but their animations are fluent, especially when they vault, and they also have a solid AI as they will kick over your deployed turrets and attempt to obliterate the cover you’re standing behind.  The explosion animations look fantastic as well... especially if you managed to catch one of the mutants with it.

There are a ton of weapon varieties in Rage and in our short presentation, we got to see the pistol, shotgun, machine gun, crossbow, remote controlled bomb car, the wing stick, sentry bots, spider turrets (complete with melee) and we have a feeling that we’re only just scratching the surface in terms of weapons. The gadgets can be mapped to a quick select menu as well so you won’t be faffing around in menus all the time.

Rage also has an engineering aspect in it – a lot like Fallout 3’s – and you can use items you’ve picked up around the wasteland to make funky gadgets once you have the blueprints; in this instance, id created a batch of remote controlled bomb cars to use. Rage also has an economy system as well so players are rewarded for performing side missions and looting the bodies of the recently deceased in a bid to raise capital to buy and upgrade your weapons/armour/vehicles. Gamers can also rejoice though as id are placing no restrictions on your inventory so you can carry as much, or as little as you want. Again, it’s a shooter, not an RPG... which by the way means no morality choices either. Random and off topic I know, but it’s worth pointing out.

id is looking to add plenty of variety into the proceedings with Rage and you’ll not only have chance to take part in races across the wastelands in your spare time, but you can also get involved in an battle arena called BashTV with the tagline, “mutant bash.” It’s exactly how it sounds... you step into some putrid warehouse full of mutants and you’ll have to demolish them with whatever weapons you have at your disposal in order to win some cash. It looked like some pretty intensive but fun combat and by our reckoning Creative Director, Tim Willits, saw off 19 mutants in around 80 seconds – not bad going.

Comparisons with Fallout and Borderlands are inevitable simply because of the setting and art style similarities. It’s worth pointing out though, that whilst Fallout 3 was an RPG and Borderlands is an RPG-shooter; Rage is just a straight up shooter that just so happens to share a few similarities with a handful of other games. Rage has a ton of innovation, cool weapons and gadgets, a fantastic look to it, and plenty of variety with vehicle combat, races and BashTV. Bethesda must be kicking themselves ever so slightly that they purchased the Texas based developer after the EA publishing agreement was signed, sealed and delivered, although it stands to profit if it sells well anyway. Either way, Rage is now currently on our radars and we look forward to seeing how this one shapes up.

Rage is out on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC some time in 2010.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 4153
Comment #1 by VladimirK
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 02:25:39 AM
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Looks good, if not a little like a Fallout 3 rip off with dune buggies.

Forum Posts: 449
Comment #2 by II KaotiK
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 02:39:26 AM
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Nice preview.

The screenshots look nice, but like you said, high end PC...


Forum Posts: 211
Comment #3 by Polygon Pirate
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 02:42:04 AM
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Nope, totally different games. One is an RPG viewed from 1st person, the other a FPS with driving elements. As far as the setting is concerned the RAGE world looks significantly different to the DC plains and has its own unique art style, which looks brilliant by the way.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #4 by DeadlyCobraz
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 02:46:29 AM
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I had the exact same doubts regarding ID, due to their (imo) recent epic fails, but now i'm convinced this will be a kick-ass title. ID will hopefully get back on track this time.

Forum Posts: 823
Comment #5 by Phate
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 03:32:32 AM
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Credit where credit is due; it DOES look mighty purty, but something tells me this game going to fall into uninspired mediocrity.

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #7 by Frank3rt
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 03:58:58 AM
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This looks like greatness.

Forum Posts: 1097
Comment #8 by bloodswan
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 04:50:32 AM
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Will definately be keeping my eyes on this

Forum Posts: 1097
Comment #9 by bloodswan
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 04:53:26 AM
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Looks alot different to Fallout 3 by the way, the art for one thin g and the wasteland for another plus it is not an rpg....reminds me more of Bioshock with a post apocalyptic setting

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #10 by Dark Seraphim77
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 05:22:04 AM
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Too many great games coming out. And I think this will be one of them. Will have to watch and see how this one develops. Looks very promising.

Forum Posts: 1003
Comment #11 by Dr Popodopolus
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 06:10:36 AM
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Fallout meets Borderlands. Me likes.

Forum Posts: 34
Comment #12 by frostalchemist
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 06:12:51 AM
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@3 in fallout 3 you could change from 1st to 3rd whenever you wanted it was one of the bumpers i think

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #13 by TwiceAzzNice
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 07:41:49 AM
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Looks alright i guess.

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #14 by Experiment21
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 08:00:29 AM
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this looks so cool

Forum Posts: 121
Comment #15 by cool4joe
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 08:41:20 AM
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Looks like Fallout 3 I guess except for the fact that the graphics are a thousand times better

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #16 by JD15
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 09:01:32 AM
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@12 except fallout 3 3rd person sucked

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #17 by xseraphx
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 09:09:48 AM
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This seems like Fallout 3 with different animation.

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #18 by ERIKDOTCOM
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 09:11:12 AM
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This game looks pretty good.

Forum Posts: 162
Comment #19 by EletricMafia209...
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 09:34:54 AM
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reminds me of quake 4...

Forum Posts: 231
Comment #20 by Infomouse
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 09:54:18 AM
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@17 you mean good animation?

Forum Posts: 71
Comment #21 by adbailey18
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 10:27:38 AM
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Hi all, my first post! On topic, this game has the potential to be really good. Like the article says its running on a high end pc so guess we will have to see how good it can look on consoles.

I read something a little time ago, can't remember where, that this game will be on 4 DVD's for the 360, anybody know if there's any truth in that rumour??

I've got a feeling there could be as Forza 3 will be coming on 2....

Forum Posts: 1068
Comment #22 by The Bum-Mobile
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 10:30:54 AM
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I'll stay with Borderlands thanks. And before I get "Well that's a shooter with a RPG elements. This is pure shooter." let me just say that they look enough the ssame to me, and Borderlands looks ten times better.

Forum Posts: 279
Comment #23 by Krisko Disko
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 11:10:16 AM
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Frankly, I don't mind the comparisons with Fallout 3. It's one of my favorite games of all time. So any game that captures that concept yet remains original is great in my book.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #24 by Fata1Stryke
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 11:45:43 AM
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This looks absolutely awesome. Hopefully I'll get this and Borderlands!

And #21, I read something along those lines too, and it's a distinct possibility, but so far I think that was just speculation.

Forum Posts: 561
Comment #25 by MakoBallistic
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 11:51:46 AM
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looks amazing, but it really isnt cel-shaded at all, borderlands and crackdown 2 are cel-shaded, hence the thick black lines around everything, this looks like fallout but much prettier.

Forum Posts: 71
Comment #26 by adbailey18
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 11:59:56 AM
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Yeah I was surprised it says cel-shaded, compared to other games like that its far of the mark!

Borderland's is looking good too, can't wait for it tbh, good coop action maybe?!

Forum Posts: 330
Comment #27 by STONE DEVIL
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 12:15:44 PM
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looks cool, but the world design looks to be taken from Mad Max/Road Warrior and Doomsday.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #28 by Dr Bob
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 12:22:04 PM
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Those who say that this is a Fallout rip-off are ignorant and haven't read a single thing about RAGE.

Forum Posts: 23
Comment #29 by RnR1
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 12:35:48 PM
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Like others have said " It looks like this game or that game" I am still interested and will keep an eye out on how this one. On the subject of multiple discs, I wonder if you can install the game to your HDD and just use one disc in the tray (like a PC game). Oh well a lot of information to look forward too about this game.

Forum Posts: 34
Comment #30 by The Bryceroy
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 01:03:41 PM
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Hoo-ray for id! That's all we need to say! I'm surprised as hell it was Game of GamesCom for x360a, but that just makes me even more happy. I cannot wait for this game OR for Borderlands!

On a different note, yeah I'm a tad worried about the looks of the game when it transfers to the 360...idTech is usually designed with beastly PC's in mind, but DOOM 3 didn't suffer TOO badly for it I didn't think, maybe idTech 5 will be a bit more friendly to the 360? Time will tell, but one way or another, I have to have this.

Forum Posts: 71
Comment #31 by adbailey18
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 01:19:24 PM
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Yeah I think if you look at the big games due out this year and next they are getting incredibly better graphics so fingers crossed it will be fine.

If it is multiple disc i'm pretty sure you'd be able to install all to the HDD and just keep the one in the drive!

Forum Posts: 510
Comment #32 by Battosai343
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 01:44:33 PM
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@27 I got that Mad Max vibe is exactly what i got too.
@5 I completely agree

I do have to say this reminds me a bit of fallout 3 with the intensity cranked up a bit. I still think Borderlands will be better.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #33 by Hitchenson
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 01:44:48 PM
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I'll get this for sure, definitely not on 360 though. It's been said the game looks worse and will be split up onto numerous disks; no thanks.

Forum Posts: 510
Comment #34 by Battosai343
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 01:45:48 PM
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Woops, screwed that sentence all up XD

Forum Posts: 504
Comment #36 by padraiglovesyou
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 03:20:45 PM
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Sounds ok I'll judge more when there's more to go on

Forum Posts: 21
Comment #37 by Rudeboy Iggy
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 04:05:09 PM
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I love the guy in the first screen...Britains answer to Captain America

Forum Posts: 160
Comment #38 by Jmashed
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 04:17:38 PM
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In my book there is no such thing as a rip off simply because there is almost no originality in the world anymore. Any theme or story you use will be similar to something else, its how you do it that makes it original. Sure it looks good, but I'll only consider it if it plays good, lasts long, maybe has a good multi-player mode (which we all know it will), and doesn't get increasingly annoying like Just Cause. Oh, and if you think Brutal Legends is original, it isn't. Just think Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of ya.

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #39 by snake2895
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 06:33:44 PM
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If this is a Fallout 3 rip off then FO3 was a rip off of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #40 by xT4CTICALx
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 08:07:11 PM
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I really want to find out about this
game it seems like fallout 3 to me

Forum Posts: 157
Comment #41 by Full Metal COS
Monday, August 31, 2009 @ 09:57:47 PM
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#29, you can install multi-disc games to your hdd, but they take up a ton of space! Also you have to have whichever disc you are up to in the drive (I'm guessing this is to stop people lending mates one disc of a game and then both playing it, anti-piracy and such), I've currently got last remnant on my hdd, because it runs horrible without it. On topic, this game looks ace, but there are an almost unwlecome amount of amazing games coming in the next 6 months or so, damn developers, why can't they spread them out a bit? Us gamers aint made of money. lol.

Forum Posts: 244
Comment #42 by thegamingspoon
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 12:23:32 AM
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This game looks like a fallout 3-Jak and Daxter 3 hybrid

Who gives a rat's arse if it's partly a rip off, there are so many games it is impossible to make one completely unique, because in shooters what can you shoot?
Zombies/mutants, robots, aliens, other humans, mythical beings from a different dimension, animals. Not alot to choose from is their?

Forum Posts: 2123
Comment #43 by pined5551
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 05:38:12 AM
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To anyone who thinks this is ripping off Fallout 3, this game is clearly more of a FRS and more action orientated, in fact the only core comparison between the two is the fact that their wasteland settings.

@ 41, I know what you mean about too many games but its cheaper for us this way as if you dont get around to buying a game until after a year from its release date it'll likley be in a 'bargain bin' somewhere, or going for 15 quid or less. (or dollar equivelent).

Forum Posts: 173
Comment #44 by Epilogue of Euphoria
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 06:48:55 AM
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Mad Max finally gets the video game treatment! Seriously though, the game does sound very interesting.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #45 by Woodzr
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 10:58:59 AM
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it seems alot of games are going post-apocalypsic now...

Forum Posts: 177
Comment #46 by squirreltakos
Tuesday, September 01, 2009 @ 01:20:49 PM
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real original right...

Forum Posts: 2438
Comment #47 by bLaKgRaVy
Thursday, September 03, 2009 @ 09:45:14 AM
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Who cares if it seems like a ripoff of Fallout 3 or Borderlands? You can't have more than one game of any genre now without fear of being compared to every other game in that genre? FO3 and Rage are going to be two totally different games, so how can you compare? Plus, it's not even coming out until next year, so how can you really tell what it'll be like? Yea, they look similar, but how is a post-apocalyptic world supposed to look? That's the ONLY similarity between the two games. Game styles are completely different; different stories, different graphics, different gameplay. Tell me please how you can compare the two when there is nothing the same about either one except the setting?

Forum Posts: 18
Comment #48 by S q u e e t l e
Sunday, September 06, 2009 @ 03:30:58 AM
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Saw the trailer, looks like post-apocalyptic games are the
new thing. Fallout 3 (love it), Borderlands (preordered), now this... I'm not a huge fan of id software too so I think I'll skip this one.

Forum Posts: 3
Comment #49 by VegetableBasket
Saturday, September 12, 2009 @ 11:41:53 PM
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ATTENTION ANYONE WHO THINKS THIS GAME IS A FALLOUT RIPOFF: It's been in development longer than fallout. Yeah, that's right, the game was conceived before fallout was. Post Apocalyptic is just the new high fantasy, it's called a trend.

Forum Posts: 13
Comment #50 by bloodjinn420
Friday, December 11, 2009 @ 09:48:07 AM
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@ the dummy above me lol. fallout and fallout 2 came out years befor rage was even a thought. so to say id started doing it first is pretty stupid. did you even play any pc games? or are you just typing fanboy garbage?
anyway, rage looks sick so far! this is a must have for me.

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #51 by InnerOblivion
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 @ 10:40:29 AM
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I will be interested to see how this game turns out. I'll keep my eye on it.

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id Software


US October 04, 2011
Europe October 07, 2011

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