Rage was first revealed as a tech demo in June 2007 and officially announced a couple of months later at QuakeCon. It's the flagship title for Id Software's id Tech 5 engine, and now it has finally been given an official release date in September 2011 so we still have a bit of waiting left to endure.
The big talking point of Rage has been and remains the amazing visual quality Id have been able to achieve across multiple platforms. The mega texture technology that allows for textures of immense size to cover whole levels, sounds a bit like the space folding tech used for space travel in Dune to us. So rather than explaining how it works, we'll just have to be satisfied telling you it looks bloody brilliant.
If you know your Id Software, you will be surprised to the bright, open desert expands of Rage. It's far from anything you have experienced in Doom, Quake or Wolfenstein, but Id insists that despite its looks it still retains the core gameplay found in previous Id titles - and lots more, of course. We spoke to design director Matt Hooper:
- We're careful to stay to true to that first person action, which means accessible controls, we're running on 60 frames per second on all consoles, that's important the fluidity that you get throughout the game. But we've also introduced the players to some new things like vehicles, and vehicular combat. But we're really careful to keep controls intuitive and teach the player how to use it.
Now, vehicles may be a new thing to Id Software, but you have probably tinkered with them in the past once or twice, at any rate the vehicles in Rage looks like a lot of fun and makes of think of Mad Max (in a good way, not the Tina Turner way). But vehicles aren't the only new addition to the Id formula.
- We have off end weapons like the wing stick. You throw it out, decapitate a mutant, and feel really proud about it. It's a one button click. We have engineering items, little gadgets, this cool little tools that the players get to use. If you have the plans and the parts to build it, you can build it anywhere in the world. You get things like a placeable turret, a little remote controlled bomb car. We teach you how to use it, and then you decide when and where you're going to use it for the rest of the game, says Hooper.
The story in Rage is fairly simple. An asteroid hit Earth and sent civilisation back to square one. The player was cryo-freezed before the cataclysmic events in an effort by to preserve our civilisation, but as it turns out the pod you were in malfunction and you are the sole survivor. Other human survivors populate the Earth, but so do mutants and other horrors the asteroid has brought with it. And this is where things get really interesting.
- It's been a long time since we married a brand new IP, a brand new fiction with new technology, in this case it's id Tech 5. So we're really excited to bring all those things together and show the world, says Hooper.
Rage is an open world action cake, with lots of different layers and fillings, and what started out as the perfect showcase for Id's new technology may very well turn out to be one of the best titles of 2011.