There’s just something about deranged lunatics with large knives screaming and running at you at full speed that gets your blood pumping. It also freaks you the hell out and makes you want to shoot them. Rage is the game that lets you do just that. I got to sit down and play Rage for a full hour at PAX, and it left me wanting to pre-order the game right then and there.
First of all, it’s completely gorgeous. The environments are insanely detailed and surprisingly colorful for a game that could have easily gotten away with having a murky color palette. The character models look fantastic, and they seem to have just a hint of cell shading which makes them nearly pop off the screen. The sound design is spot on and satisfying, and the voice acting is top-notch (especially John Goodman, of course).
An hour wasn’t really enough time to get into the storyline, so I don’t have much more to tell than what has already been made public. Basically, an asteroid was detected on a collision course with Earth, and a bunch of people were put into suspended animation to be revived later and carry on the human race. The next thing that happens is you wake up, and promptly get attacked by a deranged bandit.
The rest of my time with the game was pretty much a tutorial, providing you with useful information and techniques while giving you some high-intensity on-the-job training. As I wandered around doing odd jobs and meeting some key individuals, I was continuously amazed by the speed at which the game moved with no noticeable pop-in in sight. The wasteland setting and marauding bandits reminded me a lot of the Fallout world, but with everything re-imagined and improved upon. Rage has definitely raised the bar, and I see it being tough competition for game of the year. There are a lot of good games that are still scheduled to come out this year, and if this isn’t on your list, it needs to be.
Rage launches XBOX 360, PS3, and PC on October 4th.