Rage preview makes us happy, not furious
Well, Rage sure is pretty. Like, astonishingly, in an ‘I can’t believe how detailed and rich this rusty, backwater post-apocalyptic town is’ kind of way. Think Killzone, only with more going for it than ‘orangey brown’.
Try not to move too much, though: the megatextures id has been cooing about for its Tech 5 engine (huge textures that create massive and beautiful environments) look lovely, but suffer from just a tiny bit of pop up – all that fine detail taking a fraction of a second to drop in.
It’s a shame, because this is an amazing looking game, full of life: sun bleached canyons, beautiful ramshackle towns and incredible character design and animation. Fortunately once you’re fighting off mutants or bouncing around in a buggy you won’t really notice the textures drop in immediately after you turn around.
One thing you can’t avoid is how much this feels like a super HD Fallout. It’s mostly circumstantial but it’s easy to forget what game you’re playing. You start in a vault that you used to survive an asteroid strike, and leave to explore a new frontier full of mutants and towns built from sheet metal and recovered tech.
Unlike Fallout, the combat’s brilliant. There are big, rattly pistols, booming shotguns and clattering AKs. The interaction between these and the bad men is top notch deathsploitation. The various factions and mutants take just a few too many bullets to die for our tastes, but each hit makes them buck and twitch before dying with spectacular death throws.
We played a number of missions – there were mutant bunkers to clear, car parts to find and so on. We also jumped to a later stage, infiltrating a prison run by the totalitarian Authority. It’s an interesting change in tone adding more advanced technology to the dustbowl world. It also gave us the chance to play with toys like spider-legged machine gun turrets and mind control crossbow bolts.
Visual quirks aside, this is an exciting prospect with a lovely art style and brilliant combat. Rage is out on 7 October.