E3 2008: Rage Updated Impressions

John Carmack shows his latest game at the EA press conference and we've got impressions.

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Take one part Mad Max postapocalyptic dystopia. Add in a dash of dusty, dirty dune-buggy driving action. Throw in a sci-fi gadgets and weaponry. Then add tough-talking chicks and nasty-looking mutants wielding huge, metal weaponry. Mix it all together with the help of id Software cofounder John Carmack, and you've got Rage, the latest game from id. Carmack showed off the game today during the EA press conference to an enthusiastic response.

Our first thought when looking at the fairly brief trailer for the game was Road Warrior meets The Hills Have Eyes meets Death Race 2000. As Carmack himself puts it, Rage is a first-person action game that's big on action, exploration, and driving. He didn't make mention of gory, mutant-splattering fights, but you sort of have to figure that that's a big part of the fun. After all, why create fugly-looking monsters if you can't blast them back to the pit of Hades from which they came?

The trailer shown off for the game featured a number of vignettes that painted a pretty grim picture of the universe of Rage, full of blasted scenery, mountainous expanses full of jagged peaks, and small enclaves of humanity banding together in small villages. We saw a few glimpses of characters who might turn out to be major players in Rage's storyline, including an older man who didn't speak and a female character who upon the main character walking into a seedy-looking bar said, "You look like you could use a drink."

Unlike Doom 3 with its dark, claustrophobic interiors (not to mention its ever-present flashlight), the most interesting aspect of Rage's visuals was the broad daylight exteriors and the brightly lit mutant enemies. Unlike the sometimes obscured enemies in Doom 3, you could make out every hideous crevasse on these freaks' faces, and it made for some pretty unnerving character design. Hopefully, we'll learn new and exciting ways of dispatching those ugly beasties when id Software shows off more of the game at this year's QuakeCon in Dallas, which begins on July 31. We'll have more on the game from QuakeCon and beyond as we continue to follow Rage's progress.

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