Go take your favorite post-apocalyptic open world game, pick up the crafted universe of Bioshock, make some smoochy sounds and out comes a beautiful screaming baby – with guns. We’ll name it Rage! At E3 we were taken through two different sections of the game, and both supported all the bold claims of the id Software staff on hand to show off the game. The environments are beautiful, the gameplay is badass, and I most fervently want to get my Rage on.
A meteor destroys the planet, and something called The Authority has buried people in arks so that the human race can rise again. When your personal ark goes faulty you escape to the surface to rejoin the mutated insanity that remains. The first section focused on an encounter with an old, slightly off-his-rocker guy in a shack and a combat-heavy ride in a makeshift vehicle, heavily outfitted with weaponry. Your vehicle has to be upgraded and outfitted, and the employees made it clear that our breezy trip from shanty to Wellspring was only the result of some hard work and modification.
The drive, fraught with gunfire, concludes in Wellspring, a major city in the game. Wellspring’s signature underwater fresh water spring makes it an oasis in the desert-y wilderness. It’s here that we dive into the well to stop the Ghost clan from poisoning the supply and get a real taste for the arsenal.
You’ll find familiar weapons like a sidearm and an AR, but I was most pleased when the id employee playing the demo pulled out a crossbow loaded with electric bolts and electrified some enemies in puddles. I was downright giggling when he used the spider turret (a bot that takes down enemies in range, Agents of Doom, anyone?) and then a remote control car loaded with explosives. For that back-to-nature feel use your wingstick, a boomerang barbed with knives. As you progress through the game you learn how to build different items, like the turrets or a gadget that picks locks. Once learned, all you need are the requisite parts for construction and you can build it on the spot.
The wasteland is littered with mutants for you to dispense with. The Ghost clan, just one of the game’s factions, are nimble. They like to adhere to the ceiling and pull of bullet-dodging acrobatics, so it was especially gratifying to see the effects the hits you do land have on them. Nailing the guy in the chest caused him to stagger just enough to slow down his speedy assault.
For the grand finale, we were treated to the ruins of Dead City. Since Dead City is largely abandoned and apparently more deep in the apocalyptic wasteland, the mutant types were very different from those previously encountered. They looked, well, further gone. After a few mutated nasties migrated up from the sewers for an attack, a giant, enormous, gargantuan hulking baddie lumbered out into – no, over – the space. As the id guide began to unload all the firepower he had on him, the Rage logo appeared. If that conclusion isn’t testament enough to the cruel genius of id Software, just wait until you see the game.