paxprime2010
PAX 2010: Rage Preview

John Funk | 6 Sep 2010 21:13
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Wellspring, as the name would indicate, sat atop a well that was its source of wealth - naturally, we hadn't been there for five minutes before an alarm went off at the well. Bandits had attacked the well tunnels, and were threatening to poison it unless the government of Wellspring paid a hefty ransom. With the well destroyed, Wellspring would be all but finished. Who better to tackle the problem than a guy with a gun?

The player has access to different types of ammunition for their weapons, and to prepare for our journey into the well, we were given electric crossbow bolts - perfect for zapping enemies standing in puddles of water, naturally. We also saw another one of the player's engineering gadgets (like the three-bladed boomerang), a remote-controlled car with a bomb on it. NPC reactions to the player are also in combat - when we drove the car around the corner, we heard a "Who's driving that thing?" and "He's got a rifle!" shouted in warning.

Id wants the enemies the player fights to be just as unique as the environments, explained Willits. The particular clan of bandits we encountered in the well was a very acrobatic group, attacking with flips and graceful, quick actions that brought them right up in your face - where they were more vulnerable to shotgun fire, thankfully. Another group that the player would encounter later was the Wasted clan, an over-the-top group of berserkers who feel no fear. We ran into the Wasted clan while looking for buggy parts - and as soon as we entered the garage, their buggy drove right at us, crashing into a pillar where we were able to take its gunner down before it could get free.

Willits and Hooper finished the demo by taking us to the Dead City, their "favorite place in the game." The Dead City is named thusly because whoever goes there never returns, and there are rumors that it's filled with a special breed of crazy super-mutants. It was by far the coolest-looking area in the demo - for all of their post-apocalyptic charm, Fallout and Borderlands never really explored a full-on urban apocalypse, opting rather to stick the player out in a wasteland.

The Dead City, on the other hand, was exactly what it said on the tin: A ruined, blasted-out, city filled with crumbling buildings that hadn't been inhabited in decades - even centuries. The moment we stepped into the sunlight, we were attacked by a group of mutants crawling out of sewers and abandoned buildings, and they were shortly joined by a very big ally of theirs. The huge mutant was harder to kill and armed with a grenade launcher, but a few hits from a rocket launcher put it down.

Then the ground shook. And it shook again, and again. If we'd thought that other mutant was big (and in fact, in my notes I called it "huuuuuge,") then it was time to think again: We rounded the corner and came face to face with a mutant the size of a skyscraper. And now we know why nobody returns from Dead City.

Rage doesn't look as unique anymore as its creators might have hoped, but it's looking very good. It's out September 13th of next year on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

Also check out Russ Pitts' preview of Rage here.

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