Rage Hands-On Preview - Diary of an Ark Survivor

A fallen meteor reduces a thriving planet to dust. One bewildered survivor awakens to tell his story.

by

Dear Diary,

It's the little things you miss most in the postapocalypse. Government, laws, small bits of your humanity--you learn to adapt quickly without those luxuries to survive. But toilet paper…now that's a whole other story. I've done some things that I'm not too proud of to get a roll of that stuff. It's basically gold by today's standards. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Lets start with how I came to be stranded on this ruined planet--a waking nightmare from which I doubt I'll ever be free.

Most of the people I've met would kill me where I stand.

Here's some free advice: Never let yourself get put into suspended animation. You've all seen those movies, right? Guy goes to sleep in some pod only to wake up years later and finds that the whole world has gone crazy. Turns out that actually happens. Waking up in a sterile room surrounded by malfunctioned pods filled with corpses, I almost considered myself lucky. That is, right up until the bandits attacked. While the Ark's computer prattled on with some useless automated message, two short, gaunt figures were sizing me up in the doorway. A few bullets sent their brains spraying across the room.

My savior went by the name of Dan Hager, a burly man and no doubt a native to these parts. He started talking up a storm about how happy he was to have found me, mentioned something about a group called The Authority, and then said something about my Ark suit, but I could little more than gawk at the scenery around me. There was nothing but cliffs, rocks, and ruined city streets as far as the eye could see. What had happened here? Before I could ask, Hager motioned me to keep quiet as we passed a checkpoint manned by more of those things that had almost gutted me earlier. Sometimes, I almost wish they had.

After a short drive, we were parked in Hager's settlement. This makeshift village was built around a converted gas station and housed about a half-dozen survivors. Skipping any introductions, Hager led me into his office and got straight to business. By rescuing me, he had put the whole settlement at risk, he explained. The bandits would be coming once they discovered the bodies of their dead friends, and they would want blood. Hager didn't want that to happen. He wanted me to kill them first. This was heavy stuff. I had just been brought into this world, and now I was being asked to take others out. Did I even have the stomach for such a thing?

I opened my mouth to protest, but Hager shoved a monstrous pistol into my hands. Holding the weapon felt familiar somehow, and I shut my mouth. I figured this is how the world works now, kill or be killed, and who was I to stand against it? Plus, the old man did say there was something "special" about us Ark folks. And those bandits did try to kill me first, so this was just aggressive self-defense. To get back to the bandits' hideout, I was given a beat-up 4-wheeler to drive. Poor thing didn't look like much, but a little button labeled "boost" sent me back down that dusty road in a big hurry.

I'm going to need a nice pair of deer antlers if I want to fit in.

Once the bullets started flying, I got the feeling Hager oversold this whole "bandit threat" issue just a bit. They had numbers, but these pale, little freaks were armed with nothing more than knives and bats. And the way they charged straight at me suggested they'd never encountered a gun before. Two or three shots to the body, or one to head, was enough to drop one. And when I did get hit, I could either wait for my health to recover on its own (more on that later) or slap on one of the bandages Hager had included for a quick fix. The mass murder was going really well until I stepped into a noose trap that hoisted me into the air. One of the little creatures then strolled over and ordered that I be "taken to the kill room."

I died in that filthy little pit. Amid the piles of gore and the stink of who-knows-what, one of those little monsters slid a blade right between my ribs and left me to rot. Hardly seems fair, right? I guess fate agreed with me because that's when the nanomachines kicked into action. By playing a little game in my head where I mimicked certain motions, I was able to kick start my heart and get back on my feet. The more motions I could mimic, the healthier I felt upon waking. This defibrillator also sent out a shock wave that damaged all nearby foes. However, the device had its limits and took time to recharge in between each use. Needless to say, my would-be murderers never saw it coming.

I'm not sure what The Authority wants, but I hear they're armed with advanced weaponry.

After shooting my way out of the bandits' hideout, I took a zip line back down to where the 4-wheeler was parked. Despite a few bumps, bruises, and a quick brush with death, it was job well done. Back at Hager's settlement, my employer was inclined to agree. Adrenaline still pumping in my veins, I didn't even flinch when he asked me to pay a visit to a local settlement up north to see about collecting some medical supplies. Before heading out, I took a moment to stop and chat with a few of the locals. One scantly clad woman caught my eye and taught me how to throw a wingstick--a sort of weaponized boomerang. A fast-talking merchant was more than eager to buy up all the spray cans, as well as the other crap I had collected during my brief travels, and sold me some bandages in exchange.

To make a long story short, I'll just say the neighboring village fell under the guidance of an old woman with a robotic arm. In an world were people seem hard-pressed to get an old buggy up and running, it was surprising to see this level of technology out in the wild. What else could be out there, and how much of it has been lost forever? In exchange for the requested medical supplies, the old woman tasked me with finding out what happened to someone named Juno, a local who had gone missing some time ago. In this environment, I could venture a guess, but I kept my mouth shut and agreed to help.

I stumbled upon Juno's remains while running for my life from a pack of mad gearheads with thick, British accents. These blokes were well armed and well fortified within an old radio tower. Thanks to my soft spot for helping desperate villagers, I agreed to investigate this area and realign the radio transmitter to help boost their signal. At that moment, the only thing I had time to realign was some greaser's head from his shoulders. Wingsticks worked well for this, as did grenades. I managed to drop one particularly beefy brute that had a light machine gun with some special, high-powered fat-boy slugs fired from my pistol.

There's still a lot more wasteland out there that has yet to be explored.

My unfortunate news about Juno didn't brighten the elderly woman's day once I returned from my mission. Even so, she did hand over the recipe for crafting healing cloths, so that should solve Hager's medical crisis. The other local who tasked me with fixing the radio tower was much more pleased to learn that it had been taken care of--so much so that he dropped a shotgun in my hands. But the errands don't stop there. As I write this, propped against the side of someone else's 4-wheeler, armed with someone else's shotgun, in someone else's world, I'm not sure what to make of all this. Maybe I'm dead and this is some form of hyperaggressive purgatory. Whatever the case, there are good people here who need a helping hand. Perhaps we'll find a way out of this together.

Discussion

62 comments
rasputin177
rasputin177

This is very creative and great. Don't listen to the jealous posters who run a spell check over everything and think that means they can write better then you. I will never understand that. Writing is about so much more then spell check.

bluesteelMeGaSE
bluesteelMeGaSE

Well, this is actually loaded with typographical errors, but it's a decent placeholder that doesn't spoil anything, really. Consider it a more in-depth look at what plot details we've already been given on this title.

CASwim1111
CASwim1111

Dystopian in a very Mad Max / Road Warrior kind of way. I like the concept; looking forward to the demo.

dcrabiddog
dcrabiddog

no spoilers here boys and girls this is all released info about the back story and beginning of the game. you can download this very story in vid from xbl or rage the game .com this game will run at 60 frames per second and every sell is hand painted no re-duexed landscapes here every stone is special. every band of bad guys fights different and this id tech engine five is the stuff dreams are made of. no joke here boys and girls this is the game to have this holiday season! lol! i should get a pay check for this lol! see you in the wasteland that was our gods green earth! grrrrr. woof! you now have space rabies!

DJ-Wolfman09
DJ-Wolfman09

does anyone get a Fallout 3 vibe from this or is that just me?

sneezebox
sneezebox

Here's to hoping it lives up to the hype.

imkain
imkain

I have to agree with MadDog on this one...very well thought out preview...with this kind of writing style a gamer can be immersed in the writers actual gameplay experience. Well done!

maddog123
maddog123

I like the writing style of this preview, very interesting. I don't usually read them all the way through, I skim instead. I actually read every word of this and got a lot out of it. Freaking sweet yo.

GnomeGrown
GnomeGrown

I absolutely love how this preview is written. Well done Maxwell; this preview alone has peaked my interest on this game. I'll be keeping a close eye on this indeed.

terminator661
terminator661

the game engine going behind this looks sweet. Looks like its going to be a great game.

s5s5stan
s5s5stan

It's not that the writing is original, it's about what real events are about to unfold people.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

very entertaining and well written review, and the game seems amazing

rigas47
rigas47

@NeoEnigma Thanks for pointing out at my mistake

KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

Great preview - that was a very innovative style of preview writing. Now, even I'm curious to find out more about this game !!!

Ometh
Ometh

Looks so badass. Time to pre order.

Goods_Merchant
Goods_Merchant

Argh...everytime I see more previews of Rage, the more I want it...but my aching wallet... :(

NeoEnigma
NeoEnigma

@rigas47 - They absolutely can talk about flaws during their initial impressions. Go read gamespots latest Dead Island preview. They almost had NOTHING positive to say. That being said, it's Rage. Everything I've seen from this game makes me wanna play it even more. Just take my damn money already.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

What happened to crap games..? All I see nowadays is games that I want and my wallet can't handle it :( I'd never even heard of Rage until about a month ago, and now it's in my 'want' list along with Skyrim, Uncharted, Infamous 2, DeusEx.. etc etc. Arggghhhhhhhh!!!

rigas47
rigas47

@Ugly_Geezer they cant tell about any flaws cause then no studio will let them make any previews or hands-on, but judgging that this is an id game you have to be insane to think this game will be below good but i say that just cause im cautios i think its going to be excelent

rigas47
rigas47

More gameplay less spoilers?

Ugly_Geezer
Ugly_Geezer

@MN121MN They should be about the experience with the game, this one isn't. It's a story, a fantasy, there's nothing factual in this piece. We have to agree to disagree my friend ,I would rather know some facts, rather that a (very charming and well written) story. :)

wars45
wars45

is he telling a story or what

MN121MN
MN121MN

@Ugly_Geezer : Aren't most hands-on preview based of one's experience with the game? Besides, the fact about the games evolves when the demand for more sophisticated previews rise.

Ugly_Geezer
Ugly_Geezer

I'm sorry, but a horrible preview, it could have been written by the PR dept of the publisher. You have never mentioned anything factual about your experience with the game, just a narrative of your time with it. For myself, I want to know what you thought of how the game handled, what worked, what didn't and from what didn't seem to work, what can be tweaked by release. Oh well (thumbs down incoming)!

nima_metal90
nima_metal90

i love all ids games! they r master of fps!

TheGreyArea
TheGreyArea

this has really crept up on us. I can't believe it's only next month that we finally get to rock the Rage. Between this and Deus Ex, I will be carried through perfectly, to INTIMIDATING month's of November and December releases. Excellent

fang_proxy
fang_proxy

can't wait! expecting so much from the godfathers of fps!!

ash162
ash162

Great article. So many games and so little time to play them...

ThetaRex
ThetaRex

id, you never cease to amaze :P really looking forward to this one

jamesbigmac
jamesbigmac

Very well done article. Thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Born_Lucky
Born_Lucky

Between the beautiful images, and McGee's narrative, which personalized the whole thing, I can't help but be interested in it. Will it be as good as were all hoping it will be? Time will tell.

it009x9281
it009x9281

I will be getting the steam version starting to move away from shop bought games:)

archiasif
archiasif

Oh it looks such lovely game. I am already loving it : D

isshiah
isshiah

it's on my list...but the latter half of this year'll be expensive.

Jock9
Jock9

Looks good, hope it has a sort of Borderlands like game play and system. FPS meets RPG elements, like selling stuff and buying things, and obviously the quest system being its Bethesda's baby. I'm a big Borderlands, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas fan so hopefully I get my end of the world fix.

GarGx1
GarGx1

Best thing about Rage is that it's a new baby for id. The grand masters of the fps are back.

monkeypants
monkeypants

Fun article. Kudos to Mr. Mcgee for a creative and well-crafted tack on bringing us into the immersion of a game world. Would love to see more articles take this approach - provided the inspiration is there for the author, wouldn't want to see this kind of thing forced.

AyRoks
AyRoks

I think this game is going to be unbelievable! & it looks so damn good so far. October is so faaar away lol.

M-S-M-S
M-S-M-S

This game looks amazing, but I have this feeling that it is a blend between Fallout 3 and Borderlands. Not that it is bad thing, just the originality part is a bit obscure.

oflow
oflow

mine too. I guess its the bad economy but all the good games for 2011 are released in Q4 for xmas season i'm guessing. this year has been a draught for good games. but q4 has rage, sw:tor, tera, gw2, bf3, mw3, spacemarine.

bassist94
bassist94

one of my most anticipated games of 2011

Zephol
Zephol

this game looks amazing! i cant wait to play! GOTY nominated!