Rage: Bethesda's Spin on the FPS
Players: 1+ Player Game | Genre: FPS
What if you took the non-linear, exploratory gameplay of a Bethesda game and made it into an FPS? You know, like Fallout 3, but with every last hint of RPG combat gone and replaced with fast paced and brutal gunplay?
Rage seems to be the answer. I got in about 45 minutes of solid play time with this game at E3 this year, and the results were exciting. The mission I played had me starting off in a dusty, post-apocalyptic town that reminded me of a cartoonish, brutal cross between New Vegas and Borderlands. This is not a particularly fresh setting, but it fits the gameplay formula well enough and the little backstory behind it that I heard seemed interesting enough; the world was destroyed by a meteor and a select few of humanity were preserved underground only to resurface and realize that the world wasn't quite so cleanly destroyed as they might have hoped. Conflict ensues.
This town had characters in it, each who wanted me to fetch some parts for generic reasons. Suddenly I am on a desert vehicle reminiscent, again, of the vehicles from Borderlands, although it seemed to mesh much better with the game environment and was easier to drive, about as easy as the Warthog from Halo.
Once I'd arrived at my destination, the tone of the game changed completely. I was suddenly in the environment of the fast paced, linear shooter that we know and love. The 'dungeons' themselves are designed more like classic FPS levels, with destroyed buildings forming themselves into labyrinth hallways much more conducive to the fast paced, tactical, run and gun play style of a shooter. And the shooting felt good. Even the lowly pistol had a satisfying kick that just made me love picking off enemy heads with it, and the guns combined well with grenades, razor sharp spinning boomerangs and other tools to make me a destructive one person force. You can rummage through the wake of your destruction to find various pieces of scrap, which you can use with known recipes to build yourself more grenades, ammo or whatever else you might need on the fly. There's no need to worry about your skill level with repair or explosives like in Fallout; just grab what you need to continue the carnage.
This game is a definite buy for any fans of classic FPS action. We seem to have it harder than anyone else; once a year or so we'll pay 60 bucks for an FPS with no more than 6-8 hours of gameplay and we're expected to love it. Rage, if it lives up to its promises, should offer the same great gameplay in much greater quantities normally reserved for RPG fans. Headshot lovers should keep an eye on it.
Editor's Note: Although RAGE is current Pending a Rating, we fully expect this game to earn every bit of a Mature Rating possible. From id Software's past, we expect to see plenty of profanity, suggestive language, and lots of excessive blood, gore and violence.