First thing on our to-do list for the opening day of Gamescom was a developer walkthrough of id’s post-apocalyptic first-person shooter Rage by the game’s senior designer. Throughout the twenty-minute demonstration, the developer showed off a few out of many environments, multiple ways of tormenting the mutant baddies, and, most notably, the game’s impressive presentation.
At the start of the demo, we were shown an early section of the game which sees the player head into a settlement and snoop around for a side quest. As you can imagine, he soon finds a fellow who needs help with delivering a message and off he goes! The designated destination happened to be very close by, so heads started flying in no time, thanks in large part to a handy, bladed boomerang, one of many weapons in the player’s arsenal. On his way to the objective, the player also made use of one of the vehicles (should you be interested, we counted four different types in total) scattered around, in our case a quad bike which, as we were told by the developer, is the very first and most basic vehicle you get to use to your advantage, be it for running down enemies or traversing the humongous, dusty terrain. When the shit hit the fan, the player casually switched over to the much more powerful missile launcher and sent the enemies to a little meet-and-greet with their maker.
Next, the developer fired up a new segment which consisted of a walled-off, breathing city populated by numerous settlers. Here, our attention was turned to the many things the player can do in a town, ranging from partaking in a tower-defense mini-game and full-on races to shooting the breeze with the locals and spending your hard-earned cash on car upgrades. This is also where we got a chance to take in all the detail the developer has crammed into the game which we found quite astounding when you take into account that the game is an open-world game. Let’s just say this – it blows Borderlands out of the water, presentation-wise.
The stage that followed was set in an underground base and was, naturally, absolutely packed with various crazy wackos. The type of mutant freak that seemed to give the demonstrator the most trouble, though, was an agile bastard whose name we didn’t learn but could tell he came from a circus family. It was in these tight corridors that the player’s mettle was put to the test the most, escaping death on more than a few occasions.
Before wrapping up, the developer showcased an area called Dead City and warned that it housed some of the fiercest foes featured in the game. The first and second waves of enemies were no match for the trusty shotgun (they did appear more violent and deadly, though) in the player’s hands and the hulking, mortar-wielding mutant that followed was dispatched pretty quickly as well, requiring only a few evasive moves to the left and right and well-timed missile shots. Little did we know, however, that these served only as a taste of what was in store for us next. Following several fright-inducing quakes, a towering mutant, who looked fearsome and powerful enough to give Godzilla a run for its money, showed up and the screen went black, signaling the end of the demo.
Overall, Rage is shaping up very nicely and looks downright splendid, even when played on the Xbox 360. Despite heavy action on screen, the game didn’t struggle in the slightest sense of the word and showed great promise of being able to provide a remarkable first-person experience come Fall 2011.