Tim Willits, Lead Designer at id Software, has been making the rounds and doing interviews with the media to promote their eventually to be released game, Rage. This game, originally announced in 2007, is a completely new direction for id because it’s far more than just another first person shooter.
Willits put it like this in an interview with IGN.
Rage, at its core, is a first person action game, but we’ve added all of these elements that expanded the game play. We’ve added vehicle combat, vehicle racing, we have a whole host of unique characters that you can interact with. All of that is built upon a really in-depth story that we feel will engage players and really get them into the Rage universe.
When adding vehicle combat into the FPS action, one has to wonder about balance. How much of the game is dedicated to driving? Now Gamer had similar questions and was told it would be partly up to the gamer.
Well it’s definitively an additive type experience to the first-person action, but depending on the type of player you are, you may really like the vehicle combat aspect of the game. So you’ll go to the bar pick up a job – you earn money for every vehicle you destroy in the wasteland. So we have side missions, we have missions where you have to find a particular vehicle and destroy it.
Getting from point A to point B – the best way to do that is to drive. You can walk – but it’s not much fun and it takes a while. It really depends on the type of player you are, but we tailored the game in a way we call open, but directed. You can follow the main storyline; the principal missions and can get through the game in a decent amount of time, or you can explore more and go on side missions, talk to different NPCs and they’ll send you off somewhere.
With all the post-apocalyptic games out there, why would id choose this much-used setting for a new IP? Rage evolved from what the new id Tech 5 engine could offer.
Well we actually started another game after Doom 3 and Quake IV with Raven, and it was following the same kind of pattern. But when John refined what we were able to do, I kind of saw the potential, and I said “Let’s do this – let’s make this game” so yeah, there was a bit of the discovery of seeing what he was able to do.
And then he took some NASA data of the US, and was able to stream it all in, and I said “Oh, we could make a wasteland, we could drive around, and put guns on, that’s cool!” and then it kind of evolved from there.
With a huge environment, which will span 2 discs on the Xbox 360, travel will be a part of the experience. No waypoints or teleporters in the Rage wasteland. Willits elaborates when speaking with VG247.
There’s no fast travel, because we want getting from point A to point B to be as fun as what you do in point B. Plus, the Wasteland is a gargantuan. So yeah, it’s part of the gameplay experience.
Getting the average person into the gameplay and making it accessible to them? Yeah. When you start out in the Wasteland, you don’t have the entire Wasteland available to you. We have Teach, Practice and then Challenge. We start with pretty simple things. We start with a Four-Wheeler first. But if you’re hardcore, the Four-Wheeler’s got boost, you can get to things with it, to the action really quick, but if you’re a novice you’ve got plenty of time to tool around with the Four-Wheeler. We’ve made the environment interesting enough to attract people, to make them go, “Oh yeah, that’s cool. I’m going to go do that rather than just get to my mission and get back.” I feel we have enough flexibility in the game to make it enjoyable.
I for one never get tired of wandering around post-apocalyptic wastelands. I see elements in Rage from all of my favorite games: Fallout 3, Borderlands, Metro 2033 and even sprinkles of Burnout and Fuel.
Is id following the direction of the rest of the industry instead of breaking new ground? Not likely. Rage is sure to be a turning point in what gamers expect games to look like and play like.
Rage will be released “sometime in 2011” on Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Macintosh – or according to Willits, “We will not release it until it’s awesome.”