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Braving the New World of Rage How will you survive? Rate Topic: -----

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 12:18 AM

Braving the New World of Rage
The End of the World has come and gone ? How will you survive?

August 13, 2009 - Forget what you've thought of id shooters up till now.

That's a pretty strong statement to make, particularly from a company whose bread and butter has been franchises such as Doom, Quake and Wolfenstein. But when it comes to Rage, id's brand new post-apocalyptic FPS, the company specifically chose to take its new engine (which they're calling id Tech 5) and do something radically different from what it's known for. While the nucleus of Rage is still first-person shooting, id is tossing in a healthy mix of vehicle combat, racing, and even mild RPG elements to create something different. At QuakeCon, I was able to check out the early sections of the game to get a sense of what this new world was all about.

Rage takes place in the near future of Earth, where the planet has been devastated by the massive asteroid Apophis (id is taking an actual asteroid that is on a near-collision course with Earth and making the supposition that it's much larger than scientists currently believe). With doomsday upon humanity, the governments of the world band together to form the Eden Project, a system where scientists, researchers, engineers, and military personnel are frozen underground in 12 to 16-person groups known as Arks. The purpose of this system is to have these chosen people come back and rebuild society after a while, passing on their knowledge and skills to ensure the survival of the human race. What the governments didn't plan for is that many more people survived the impact than predicted, and these outside survivors establish their own settlements, raiding clans and (for the unfortunate ones) mutant enclaves. As an Ark member, you emerge from your cryostasis somewhere in the southwestern states of America (in an area that looks like Arizona) to discover that your facility has been horribly damaged, leaving you as the lone survivor of the experiment to rediscover this vastly changed world. Your mission now is to find out what happened to the other Arks.

The demo I saw took place about an hour or two into the game, and was intentionally set at that point to showcase the game's scope and diversity of its gameplay elements. It began with the main character dispatched by a man named Dan Hagar, a Wasteland settler who saves the player from a bandit attack at the beginning of the game. Hagar serves as your early game guide and provides you with many of the early skills that you use to explore the Wasteland (He also provides you with your first vehicle, an ATV, but I'll get to the transportation in a moment.) Anyway, Hagar needs supplies to solve his bandit problems, so he sends you to the largest town, Wellspring. While helping Dan is part of the plot, exploration was the key of the demo, so the quest was abandoned in order to explore the surrounding environment. It was here that we were introduced to Crazy Joe, a settler who raves about mutants and constantly talks about the Authority (a mysterious organization in this new world) taking the mutants of the wasteland and performing experiments on them.

Not wishing to be affected by Joe's insanity any longer, we left and immediately scavenged the nearby supplies. These fall into different categories: items that you can use for yourself (such as bandages), items you'll collect to resell, and items broken down into raw materials that can be refashioned into new equipment, assuming that you have blueprint schematics for these items. The manufacturing angle is rather interesting because as long as you have the basic items, you can create items anywhere without having to worry about a workbench. What's more, you won't have to worry about picking and choosing what gear to collect; id is planning on giving players unlimited inventory slots and no weight restrictions, so if you want it, snag it.


Strap in; Rage is unlike any other id shooter.

Once we'd collected everything we had, we noticed a mutant off on the cliffs ahead of us. With a quick flick of the wrist, we were able to kill the creature with a three-pronged boomerang-like weapon known as the wing stick. Unlike many of the firearms, which make a sound and alert enemies to your presence, the wing stick is a way to silently strike enemies down from afar. While we didn't get a full sense of the number of weapons that you'll be able to collect, I did pick up on a crossbow; it's another relatively silent weapon. We were told (and in some cases shown) that many of the standards that can be expected from an id game will be included, such as a shotgun, machine gun, and pistols. These weapons have various ammo types associated with them, which, in effect, act as an alternate fire, so you can choose armor piercing rounds or impact slugs, for example. You'll even tweak grenades with manufacturing skills and schematics, so you can create EMP grenades, which we were told would be more useful as the game progressed.

With our immediate threat neutralized, we leapt into our dune buggy and sped off. While it isn't the best looking machine in the world, it is a vehicle that our character put together with his bare hands. We had affixed twin chainguns on the rollbar cage to provide protection from raiders in the wilderness. This personal affinity towards your machine adds a degree bit of personal connection and pride with your gear; you're not simply going to pick up another buggy from an enemy and scrap your own if it takes too much damage, or if you want to go on a GTA-styled rampage. You're going to want to protect and improve your vehicles, and if they take too much damage you'll have to call out a tow truck to drag the wreckage back to a garage and pay for the repairs in town (a process which will most likely be rather expensive in this devastated world).

As we went forward, we noticed that a group of raiders attempted to block our progress to Wellspring by driving directly into our path with guns blazing. The surprise attack evoked images of Mad Max or The Road Warrior as these makeshift vehicles launched over dunes and the rough terrain of the Wasteland in a pack. Fortunately, our nimble buggy was much better than their junk heaps, and thanks to some quick turns and blasts of nitrous we were able to outmaneuver them and line them up for target practice. Once you get a target in front of you, your guns will autolock. After a few quick bursts, the raiders were turned into scrap and we were free to proceed. While they didn't drop any ammunition or items, we were told that they will drop these items every now and then. What's more, it's possible to earn rewards and cash for killing these miscreants, so while you don't have to engage them it can be worth your time and effort to clean up the dregs of society.

Eventually, we made it to Wellspring, a town with a mix of Western and Eastern influences in its architecture. While we were taken to see the mayor (an affable man who was eager to hear from Dan), we instead chose to leave that main plot point alone and instead take advantage of some of the other side quests scattered around town, such as working for the sheriff trying to pacify many of the outlaws in nearby territories. In fact, this was one of the points that id wanted to stress: gameplay within Rage is open-ended but directed, meaning that players will be able to explore anything they want within the game and check out anything that they find intriguing, but they'll always know exactly where they need to go to move the plot along. This was highlighted by taking on a mission from the sheriff; he wanted remote controlled bomb attacks from a clan of criminal known as The Shrouded to stop. To help you on your mission, the sheriff provides schematics of RC car bombs to use fire against fire.


Yes, there are vehicles, but there's still plenty of shooting, too.

We leapt into our buggy and sprinted towards the Shrouded's location, but faced some threats from the RC car bombs from the clan ourselves. Fortunately, we managed to blast through enough of the explosive toys to get to the front door to get inside. Now, if you've played Doom or other id shooters, the close feel of the corridors inside the Shrouded base will definitely seem familiar. Attacks weren't based on level triggers, however; units actively patrol their base, giving you the option to go in guns blazing or stealthily taking out enemies one by one. Fortunately, we weren't stuck going into battle against four or five of these clan members at a time. We were able to use automated turrets and sentry bots to whittle down the numbers so progress was ensured.

Turrets constantly lay down a stream of bullets until a target is eliminated. They can be used for various tactics, such as setting down a base of fire while you flank a target. Sentry bots, on the other hand, actively walk around a level, trying to eliminate threats. The interesting factor with both of these mechanical protection measures is that you aren't forced to leave them behind; you can easily pick them up once they've served their purpose. Based upon their condition when you remove them from the battlefield you either receive a certain amount of materials or the item in fresh condition. Combined with a one-button press loot mechanic you can collect a ton of equipment.


Are mutants people, too?

However, don't expect the game to go easy on you. Shortly after clearing a room we ran into a heavy armored Shroud who charged through one of the turrets we'd placed, knocking it senselessly to the floor and rendering it useless. We knocked some of his armor off by targeting his chest with round after round, allowing us to fire upon the exposed flesh; damage within Rage is location specific.

After a few more battles we were able to destroy the Shroud within the base and eliminate their bomb making capability. However, just because we'd cleared out that location didn't mean that everything was over at that base. I was told that because the world constantly moves and evolves, it's entirely possible that mutants could come along later and take over the base, requiring you to go back and clean the building out again for more cash and items.

Back in Wellspring, we had a chance to stop by Mike's Garage, which allowed us to store all of the vehicles that we'd acquired throughout the course of the game (from ATVs to dune buggies to cars) and customize these machines with everything from new shocks and wheels to body panels. However, to modify these cars we need to earn certificates, which can only be done by entering the races run by Jackie Weeks, the manager of the local racing circuit. There isn't a large hurdle involved in joining the circuit; all that is needed is a conversation with Weeks' assistant Slim and entry into a particular event is guaranteed.

Races take place across a reconstructed arena designed by the citizens of Wellspring, and they feature a mix of both car combat and traditional racing mechanics. The obvious point of the competition is to be first across the finish line, but you can do this by either outracing your opponents or blowing them to pieces. Along the way, it is possible to collect either ammo power-ups in orange canisters or nitrous boosts in blue packs, allowing you to gain an edge on your enemies. Eliminating an enemy doesn't completely take them out of the race; instead, it forces them to reset farther back on the track, allowing you to gain an edge. The other plus to destroying enemies is that you earn bonus certificates once you complete the race, one for each car destroyed, while coming in first place earns you 15 certificates.


The things you'll do for ratings.

After a number of races, however, you'll need to be sponsored by a patron to earn a chance to compete in better events. That's where J.K. Stiles comes in. The producer of Mutant Bash, a Running Man-like television show pitting contestants against large odds, Stiles makes you a deal: you compete for him and do well against the creatures he throws at you, and not only will he pay you for your trouble, his reruns will make you famous. The episode that I witnessed has a couple of stages, starting out with mutants that quickly descend from stairs and attack on a sound stage while the cheers from an unseen crowd are piped in via speakers. From there, the action moves to a separate stage with slides full of mutants and eventually Molotov-throwing mutants atop platforms. The action is fast paced and hectic, particularly because you'll frequently be surrounded on all sides by slobbering mutants throwing knives or leaping at you with clubs.

After a quick respite to resupply with ammo, we next saw a "bonus room" with a gigantic slot machine. Each time you shoot the target as a dollar sign pops up on the machine you earn cash. However, it takes one shot of a skull-and-crossbones icon to unleash a horde of mutants in the room. The next two areas are much more dangerous, with randomly projected spikes through the floor that force you to keep moving around. It was tricky for us, but eventually all of the mutants were blasted to pieces. But this wasn't the end of the episode: a larger mutant boss advanced from the shadows, wielding a tentacle arm to whip and lash enemies. After a combination of shotgun blasts, grenades, and other weapons, the creature went down, providing an eventual payday of $785. We were told that you could replay a map over and over again to increase your stats or earn more cash as well.

While we only got a quick glimpse at some of the gameplay sequences, we were told that there were plenty of other elements that we hadn't been shown. For example, Rage takes place across two large chapters set in radically different areas; while the first one is set in the Southwest, id wasn't willing to discuss where the second half of the game will be, but mentioned that it will have a very distinct switch and different feel. Even though we didn't see some of the later segments, Rage looks like it will be incredibly deep, and we can't wait till our next time in the Wasteland.

" This Article was wrote by Jeff Haynes."

Hope Ya Like . ALL Fans of Horror & Rage Games
Ready, Set, Go !
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#2 User is offline   silent tiger 

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 02:50 PM

Thanx man nice report laugh.gif
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#3 User is offline   unique 

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 05:46 PM

yw . hope ya enjoy it
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