When I was at Eurogamer Expo, I attended a demo session hosted by Tim Willits of id Software, designer on such games as the Quake series, and Doom 3. He was giving a talk and demo of id’s new game RAGE, due out next year. And from what I saw, it leaves me a tad worried.
First things first, let me say that the id Tech 5 engine is really impressive so far. They’re really pushing on with what they can do, and with how scalable the possibilities are with it, especially because they are downsizing the engine for portable devices. This was noted by the revelation early on in the talk that RAGE will also see a version of the game on the iPhone, also on the Tech 5 engine. The game looks magnificent so far, don’t get me wrong, but it’s how it looks like it plays out, that’s what raises my concern.
Now, this could be down to the fact that I failed to do any research on the game prior to attending, but when I saw it being played, the only thing that I could think of throughout the gameplay demonstration was “this is just a prettier Borderlands”. And with somewhat valid reason too. Post apocalyptic sort-of setting? Check. Elemental weapons? Check. Masked bandits attacking you? Check. Vehicle combat? Check. It’s all there. The only difference I could pick out immediately was that interactions with non-enemy NPCs were a lot better in RAGE and weren’t largely skippable as they were in Borderlands.
I guess that my best bet would be to wait it out, because there’s still a fair amount of time until the game is released (almost a year, if memory serves me well). Maybe the vehicle combat will be better. We’ll know more about multiplayer and possible co-op. We’ll know more about vehicle upgrades and the racing missions that weren’t shown. And importantly, we will know more about the story.
I want to like RAGE. It seems like a game that is there to be liked and is sure to be a success. But after being let down so badly by Borderlands’ broken-at-launch co-op, poor plot, and lack of apparent immediate direction, I fear the same could happen here too, and so I will remain on the fence until I know more about the game, what I’m getting for my Euros, and how the whole thing will come together