Come for an in-depth explanation of RAGE’s art and sound design principles, stay for the unexpected appearance of a beloved character actor.

Once again, id Software is promoting its upcoming open-world shooter RAGE with a behind-the-scenes vignette. This episodes focuses on the game’s art and sound design, which, despite the cynical cries of ‘net jerks, involves quite a bit more than a brown paintbrush and assorted splatter noises.

Honestly, given id’s pedigree, it shouldn’t come as a surprise, but there are certain vistas within the game, certain scenes, that when showcased within this video, left me stunned. Say what you will about the oversaturation of the first-person shooter genre, but RAGE, as it stands currently, is a gorgeous game.

Design-wise, art-wise, the developer has really captured the inherent dilapidation popular culture has led us to imagine as “post-apocalyptic dystopia.” RAGE rules Bartertown, is what I’m saying here.

Likewise, the game’s sound design (particularly when cast into deep focus, as in this clip) is quite impressive. This is one of those techy areas of game creation that when done really well, is something you won’t even notice, but with the guiding hand of this clip, you can really see how much effort went into RAGE’s various shouts and explosions.

Of course, all that pales in comparison to the presence of John Goodman. If you’re of the same generation as I, there’s just something incredibly comforting about that man’s voice. Comforting, but with a bit of an edge.

It’s something of a baffling choice to tap Goodman for voice actor work — as far as I know this isn’t exactly something he’s known for — but it works surprisingly well in this context. Propers to id for the excellent work there.

RAGE is scheduled to hit the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 4.

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