Preview: RAGE is post-apocalyptic madness

July 6, 2011

Since it was first announced in 2007, RAGE has been compared to games like Fallout and Motorstorm, due to its post-apocalyptic setting and driving elements. However, after our time with it at E3, another game comes to mind: Borderlands.

RAGE takes places a number of years after the destruction of civilization by the impact of the asteroid Apophis. You play as a survivor of the impact who comes out of cryo-freeze in an Ark, a kind of subterranean building in which the government cryogenically froze a number of scientists and other individuals hoping that they would be able to rebuild civilization after the destruction of the Earth. Unfortunately, you are the sole survivor in your Ark and you’ve lost all memory of your identity and post-impact objectives.

At E3, we didn’t get to see any of the racing, but we got plenty of time with the combat. It does not feel like Fallout at all, other than the setting of the game, as it provides a very good shooter experience with plenty of weapons, utilities, and ammo options to choose from. We played through a section where we took on a few normal mutants and one giant mutant. The giant version seems to absorb a lot of damage, though firing all our rockets into its face did the trick. We also played through a level of Mutant Bash TV, where we were placed in a series of arenas with the sole goal of seeing how fast you could kill waves of mutants. It was darkly humorous and we were forced to use a number of different weapons and ammo types, all of which felt satisfying and damaging.

Finally, we played through an attack on a bandit faction’s base, where we got to see the RC Bomb Car and automated turrets in action, along with our only combat against normal humans. The RC Bomb Car is fun to use, as you’ll get to drive it personally and detonate it remotely when it reaches your preferred destination. Watch out for enemy fire, though, as not only is the car vulnerable to weapons fire, but you are a sitting duck while controlling it. More enjoyable to use were the automated turrets, as they come equipped with legs and motion servos. They’ll scamper around the surrounding terrain looking for enemies to shoot, along with following you as you make your way through a hostile base. Human opponents also seem to be a bit smarter than your average mutant. Mutants simply run at you, wielding whatever weapons they get their hands on, while humans will employ strategy and the environment to their advantage while trying to kill you.

Overall, RAGE feels very smooth and well along in its development, which is good since its extended development period is nearing an end finally. It hits PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 this October.