Before I get into this... some context setting history: id software was once the game developer. When PC gaming was first hitting its stride back in the early '90s there was a time when Wolfenstein 3D was the most amazing thing gamers had ever seen. It created a genre - the First Person Shooter (FPS). Id then followed that up with Doom, which became the ultimate PC game for many years.
and Quake II
which lead to Quake 3 Arena
. There are those who would tell you that Half-Life
was the greatest shooter of the era, but they'd be liars... it was Counter-Strike
, which was a Half-Life
mod. But all that aside Id ruled the '90s and are responsible for some of the greatest PC games ever.
The last decade however has not been as kind; Doom 3
, while visually stunning received mixed marks from press and customers alike. Quake 4
had similar treatment. The string of Wolfenstein
revisits have also had receptions ranging from “pretty darn good” to just plain iffy.
At some point in the last few years Id must have decided it was time to turn things around. No more “Same I.P. with a new engine” à la everything listed above. Nor shall there be the “Same engine with new I.P.” - like, well, like nothing I can recall but the guy demoing the game said that so there you go.
No, this time it would be a whole new round of technology and intellectual property that would really shake things up like they haven't done in longer than I care to admit remembering. So, id went to work. John Carmack began working on his next round of world changing 3D engine software. The rest of the team began the difficult process of crafting a game that would take advantage of the new powers id tech 5 would allow and be a worthwhile follow up to the likes of Wolfenstein
before it. That game is [/i]Rage[/i], and from what was shown in the 30 minute demo I sat in on, I think they may be in line to pull it off on all fronts.
The initial plot of Rage
will not seem to dissimilar to those gamers who have ever played any Fallout 3
. End-of-the-world events lead to people living in pods underground until the surface is safe again. They then re-emerge to find a world very different the one that they were expecting. Where they differ however is that, instead of a nuclear holocaust (as in Fallout 3
), in Rage
there is a giant asteroid.
The end result is the same, a Mad Max-ian wasteland populated with bandits and mutants. There are plenty of other similarities throughout, but there are certain things one comes to expect form a post-apocalyptic setting, so it's all forgiveable.
The game itself starts out with the player emerging from a 'pod' - one of the lucky few to be selected for the 'Eden Project' - now that the world has been deemed safe enough to begin rebuilding society. Once you emerge you find yourself being attacked by bandits. Thankfully a local kills the bandits and saves you, and our story begins.
The demo I watched started off about three 'hours' into the game with our hero on his way to “Wellspring” in his first vehicle, a dune buggy you build early on. We pass a shack on the side of the road and decide to go check it out. Inside we find 'Crazy Joe' who explains a bit about how things are and where the mutants came from. “Then the space rock went and hit us. Those unlucky few left on the surface started changing, them were craaaazy days. Didn't have time to get no deeper I suppose.” After a quick word about the mutants, “You see a mutant, you run”, Joe sends us on our way.