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Bethesda doesn’t make crap, and neither does id. id has brought great to shooters to
gamers for close to twenty years, and Bethesda has devoured hundreds of hours
of my precious life with its Fallout
series alone. id is the developer
behind this week’s big release Rage,
and Bethesda will be publishing it.
While the post-apocalyptic shooter seems like a sure-fire hit, there are
still some things that could mar its success.
A big problem is that it comes across as “Fallout with
cars”. While drivable cars would
be a nifty addition to Fallout, it’s not necessarily something to base an
entire game around. Shooters have
been trying to find the perfect balance of driving/shooting for a decade, and
franchises like Halo have worked hard to
find the sweet spot. Rage is set in a devastated world with a ravaged
population. The crowded
battlefields of Halo, with
slow-moving tanks will be replaced by vast wastelands to be traveled by nimble
dune-buggies. This could result in
short bursts of vehicular combat popping up during otherwise unneeded driving
levels between the “Real missions” where the player is on foot.
The driving will also figure in the multiplayer, but therein
lies another risk for the game. As
of this writing multiplayer will be limited to vehicular combat, and two-player
co-op missions on foot. Without
head-to-head shooter matches, it might quickly lose the interest of the
hardcore shooter crowd.
It’s running on Id’s new engine, Idtech 5, which is the same
engine that they’ll use for Doom 4. New tech is great thing, but Rage might end up being the test run for Doom 4. Rather
than risk all of their marbles on Doom 4, Id might be using Rage
as an experiment to make sure that things will go properly for the next
installment in their biggest franchise.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “A lone wanderer
emerges from his subterranean vault to lay eyes on the ruins of his once great
world overrun by mutants battling against the tattered remains of
humanity”. It sounds a lot like
every single Fallout game, and it’s no
coincidence that Bethesda has been handling that franchise of late. Sure, Rage calls the underground survival shelters “Arks”, but
the whole premise of a Wasteland Wanderer surviving the end of civilization in
a bunker has “Vault-tec” and “Pip Boy” written all over it.
It lends further suspicion to the notion that Rage might just be a test run of the id Tech 5 engine
using a generic setting full of ideas that didn’t make it into Fallout
3’s DLC packs. Gamers facing a choice between Rage, and recent classics like Fallout and Borderlands might decide to grab the Game Of The Year Edition of one of the proven
hits, rather than take a chance on an unproven new Intellectual Property.
The amnesiac protagonist isn’t helping out in the
originality department either…
While we’re hoping for an awesome experience that gives us the
Mad Max game we’ve been waiting thirty years for, there’s still a chance that Rage will end up more like Brink with dune buggies.