Rage E3 Preview

June 19, 2010 / 07:30 PM EDT / (@salromano)

Rage was officially announced back in June 2007 by id Software and with three years gone and passed, it’s shaping up to be a marvel. We received an inside look at the game during this past week’s E3 and were left astounded.

The story of Rage goes something like this. An asteroid is going to hit the planet, so the player hides in this arc along with a group of other people so they can recreate the planet afterward. However, upon arising form the arc and into the world of Rage, the player finds a post-apocalyptic land full of towns, mutants, and living people.

The first thing I noticed in the Rage demo we were being shown (which ran off of an Xbox 360) was the smoothness of the game. You don’t normally see something this smooth run off of a console. The visuals were only the first piece of Rage that blew me away, though.

The world is vast and large. However, the team hasn’t just placed areas and environments in the world just to make it big. Everything in the Rage world has a meaning. In the demo, we were taken on a mission to the town of Wellspring which, from what we saw, was pretty big. The developers said that they had kind of a Chinese influence when creating the town. We saw stores, other buildings, and even alleyways where crazy old men talk about seeing mutants to the younger folks.

This was only one of the towns we were shown. According to the developers, each town in Rage looks completely different. They don’t want to make any town look similar or else players would get bored with the game. They’ve done the same for other environments, too.

There will be some mini-games in the towns. One game we saw used small holograms where players had to bet on how many mutants would die before they got to the sheriff. This game is played on a sidewalk, as you would with any of today’s outdoor dice games.

There is a bit of social interaction within the towns, as well. When the player in the demo entered town, he was still wearing his arc outfit which, in Rage‘s society, looked weird, so we heard comments like “what the hell are you wearing?” out of the NPCs.

After playing around a bit in the town, we were shown a mission. The mission was to help out Wellspring by fixing the water supply. Off to the sewers, then. Backing up on their previous statement, the sewers environment was completely different than the town. The leaking water from one of the pipes could be seen trickling down the screen as players walked underneath it. They’re trying to put as much diversity into the environments as possible.

Besides the environmental shift, this is also where we were shown the electro-bolt ammunition for the crossbow. The demo showed the player using it on a group of enemies standing in a puddle where he shot the the bow into the water so that all of the enemies would get electrocuted. That’s realism, for you. The devs said that they’re always trying to give players some new toy or new tool for their tool box, so expect to see a lot of cool stuff out or Rage‘s artillery.

Adding to that cool stuff are engineering items. These are fun little tools you can make throughout the game that can assist the player in various situations. We saw a few of them. The robot toy car allows players to control the car, lead it into a group of enemies, then blow it up in their faces. Lock grinders was another, which is basically a simple engineering tool that breaks locks for easy entry. Then we saw the spider sentry bot, which is – as its name describes – a walking sentry turret that looks like a spider.

We saw the player take on a lot of enemies, who’s bodies they can loot afterward. One area in the sewers saw enemies coming from a variety of different locations, jumping off ledges and coming out of doorways. The team explained that enemies can pretty much come from anywhere and that the game is made so that enemies know where they can travel. It’s not scripted, simply put.

After a bit of that, the devs jumped forward to a different city, once again showing off the diversity in Rage. Dead City, as it’s called, is a huge city now collapsed. Skyscrapers and large buildings can be seen titled over. It looks reminiscent of New York City or San Francisco. Broken concrete with weeds growing in between could be seen. There were even cars and bus stops. Nobody comes back alive after traveling to Dead City, apparently, which is why not much is known about it. It’s suggested that its lack of information is because the authority has been doing experiments in Dead City, there are different sized bandits here – basically, the player doesn’t know what to expect.

Then we saw it. A huge, Godzilla-sized mutant beast came stomping in from behind the fallen skyscrapers. He was huge. Just as we thought the devs were about to take him on, the demo ended and the Rage logo flashed on screen. The journalist-filled audience cheered.

Rage releases on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, and Mac in 2011. If my look at the game is to be believed, prepare to be blown away. Check out the new E3 screenshots at the gallery.

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