I just stepped out of the live Rage demo and I have to say… I like it! I wasn’t too excited for Rage until after viewing the game here at PAX East 2011. When the demo first starts you can immediately see how detailed an immersive the world is. The detail to the scenery, weapons, and characters all help pull you into Rage. The sound also helps, too. While the music is not overpowering, it definitely helps set the mood in this post-apocalyptic world. The sound of the weapons are excellent and really sound like they pack a punch while the voice overs fit their characters. Besides looking amazing, the game is also very fluid in both animations and game play. I was actually surprised to see that they were playing the game on an Xbox 360; I could have sworn it was PC. We are talking a silky smooth 60fps with no drop in framerate.
There is a lot to do in Rage. Besides your main objectives, you will also run across several areas with side quests. As usual they are optional, but of course completing them will get you some good loot. There are also quests called dynamic quest. To make it simple, as you roam around the wasteland different objectives will just pop up based off of where you are. Destroy this tower, kill “X” enemy, etc… You can also blow right past these but then you also blow right past the prize.
You have a wide variety of weapons. A few that we saw were the pistol, rifle, sniper, crossbow, rocket launcher, Wingstick (basically a boomerang that can kill), and even RC cars that explode. Some weapons have multiple ammo types to help you take care of enemies in a more efficient fashion. Switching between some weapons is very fluid. Best example is switching between a gun and the Windstick; it takes less than a second to go from shooting to decapitating your enemy with your deadly boomerang. Another good example would be how quickly you can deploy a turret while in a fight and also how quickly you can pick it back up. Kills are of course gory and dynamic based on where you hit the enemy. You collect currency throughout the game so you can buy new weapons and upgrades as you go along.
The most intriguing thing I found about the demo is a point that I didn’t focus on during the demo. The AI is actually smart. The AI will use the level to the best of their advantage; hiding behind cover effectively, choosing positions to assist comrades, and doing what they can to give you the disadvantage. In one portion, the AI saw the player shooting at it so it stopped moving to where it was going and immediately found cover. These are human enemies I’m speaking of; the mutants aren’t so smart, but they are aggressive and come in numbers. I did enjoy the design of the levels they showed in the demos. The levels are designed for shoot-outs. There is ample cover for enemies and is positioned to give them plenty of chances to get the best of you. Each area also has its own personality. The scenery and look of the enemies change from area to area so it is unlikely that you will get bored looking at the same things over and over again.
The demo lasted about 40 minutes, but it was enough to get me pumped. We are working on getting screenshots and video so check back or follow us on twitter to keep up to date on the latest info.