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Gears of War 2, Fallout 3, and Borderlands; what do all of these games have in common? While the list may consist of many things, one of the most apparent is the fact that all feature a post-apocalyptic setting. While the first is largely a story driven, linear path game, the other two focus on the fact that you, as the character are in an open world, and can really do whatever you want whenever you want. There is a main storyline, but often this storyline is quite short (in the case of Fallout 3) or quite shallow (in the case of Borderlands, although some may argue it had been designed as such), and the true depth of the gameplay comes through exploration and the discovery and completion of side quests. The problem with this is that in both of these games, there is really no succinct way of accomplishing exploration. In Fallout, there is fast travel, but if you die before you discover the location, then you have to start back at square one, and the only other way to travel is to walk…a lot. With the case of Borderlands, a vehicle system is put into pay with extremely basic customization options, but often times there is not too much to explore, and vehicles are used to get straight from point A to B, then are ditched. With each of these two games attempting vehicle use in open world gameplay, but not quite hitting the nail on the head, an alternative is needed to get it right.
Enter Rage, the upcoming entry from id Software (the gentlemen who brought you the Doom and Quake franchises). Watch any video and it is apparent that Rage is heavily focused on the first person shooting experience, but there is also a very strong vehicle component to the game. Buggies cannot only be used as transportation from city to city, but there are also online modes where one can race buggies against other opponents. Up until this point, racing and first person shooting have, for the most part, stayed far away from each other, but what Rage is hoping to accomplish may in fact change the genre in some very unique ways. Because of the fact that there will be racing modes in online play, chances are that the amount of customization that one can do to their buggy will be immense, in addition to the large amount that one can customize their own character. Rage is what we, as gamers, need. So often now, developers will go the safe route because they know that a certain formula will work and make them enough money to fund the company. But every now and again, a developer or game will do something that other games before have not tried, taking a gamble in order to gain glory. Rage is that gamble, and with the development in the hands of id Software, it is a gamble that I am excited to take.