Last year we were ranting and raving about RAGE, a hauntingly beautiful shooter from the minds of Doom. Thankfully, this year RAGE was playable at Bethesda’s booth and we were able to get some quality hands-on time with it. Hit the break to view our first hands-on impressions of RAGE.
While it’s always nice to get a developer-controlled demonstration (last year), it’s even better once you actually get your hands-on these sometimes elusive products. RAGE is a title I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Perhaps I’ve been secretly hoping that RAGE will somehow fill the void that I feel Fallout 3 failed to cover, or maybe because I feel instantly compelled to enjoy games created by id. Regardless it was about time I finally was able to get a taste of RAGE.
Bethesda had several different levels available for the media to try, and based on time constraints I went ahead and tried “The Dead City”. At first glance, the player is treated to a ruined city filled with mutants. I walked calmly down the path, listening to the breeze rustle what little life that could be seen. Seconds later I jumped into a small, closed off area, completely aware that I would have to engage in combat. One of the biggest issues I noticed last year is the RAGE had some temperamental hit-detection. Thankfully, this wasn’t an issue with this build. Combat is chaotic, responsive and most importantly fun. Each weapon can be easily switched and I love the bladed-boomerang that lops mutant’s heads off with ease. I wouldn’t say that there’s anything unique about the combat in RAGE, however it’s very polished; which is something I can’t say about a lot of shooters.
Aside from that, everything was fairly straight-forward though I do want to point out one potential flaw. Games these days have been notorious for holding player’s hands, and RAGE does the opposite. There’s really no type of tutorial to ease the player in and usually demos are peppered with helpful hints all over. It will be interesting to see if this is still present in the final retail copy.
RAGE’s engine can go pound for pound with the best in the industry and it’s obviously apparent in RAGE. The amount of detail in the textures is impressive, and when you combine that with how diverse everything looks; you achieve graphical bliss. In a nutshell my time with RAGE was incredibly enjoyable. I love the art direction and frantic combat, and cannot wait to get my hands on the final retail copy.