Around 2pm CST on Thursday the 12th of August, the exhibit hall at QuakeCon 2010 began to empty out as gamers headed to the hotel's Grand Ballroom to check out the latest demo of id Software's hotly anticipated first-person shooter, RAGE.
Id's Creative Director, Tim Willits, began the presentation by letting the assembled crowd know the demo they were about to see was a "work-in-progress" and had been tweaked as little as "15 minutes ago."
Id took the unusual step of demonstrating the title simultaneously on a PlayStation3, XBOX 360 and a PC to show the developer was quite serious about RAGE being a cross-platform title. Massive cheers erupted from the audience when the PC loaded the level in a fraction of the time it took the consoles to do so.
Willits stated that RAGE was id Software's first new "IP" (intellectual property, i.e., "game series") in ten years. He mentioned the brand new "idTech5" engine that runs the game, highlighting its ability to paint and texture game elements in a "unique" manner, although he didn't provide any specific examples.
Then it was on to the demo. Id Design Director Matt Hooper talked through the demo as he played RAGE on a PC.
Unfortunately, id forbade us from taking any video and the gameplay was a bit difficult to photograph, but we're happy to report that the game looks fantastic. Several of the grand outdoor landscapes elicited audible "ooohs" from audience members. Though we didn't have the best views of the PS3 and XBOX screens, the game looked remarkably similar across the three platforms (FYI, the XBOX crashed towards the end of the demonstration).
The weapons system in RAGE allows the player not only to switch between weapons, but also to use different types of ammo in the same weapon. Hooper demonstrated how to toggle between bullets and "electrobolts" in one of the guns. The player also has access to a really cool boomerang-like weapon called the Wingstick.
Actor John Goodman voices Dan Hagar, one of the game's important NPCs.
The game allows the player to assemble various useful devices from objects found in the game. Hooper showed the audience a "lockgrinder tool" that the player has to construct himself/herself, although he didn't delineate which objects this requires.
Willits concluded the demo by telling the crowd to expect RAGE to hit store shelves on Sept. 13, 2011 in the USA and Sept. 15 in Europe.
Now it's on to the photos:
The crowd gathers.
Id Software Creative Director Tim Willits addresses the audience.
Design Director Matt Hooper demos RAGE on the PC. This dune buggy appears in the "Wasteland" level.
Another vehicle in the "Wasteland" level. The vehicles shown in the demo have a definite Mad Max feel to them, which is a design aspect Willits mentioned in an earlier panel.
Rear view of the same vehicle. RAGE features some gnarly Twisted Metal-style vehicle combat.
A saloon in the game's main town. The designers intend for the player to gather much of the game's backstory by eavesdropping on conversations or interacting with NPCs. These men spoke about a rumor regarding fuel prices.
One of RAGE's mini-games, where the player can earn money to buy weapons, armor, vehicle upgrades, etc. This one is a game of chance called "Tombstone" and involves rolling dice.
In the "Dam Facility" level.
Firing an "electrobolt" into water kills any enemies standing in it, similar to Bioshock.
More "Dam Facility" level, where the player hunts a gang of bandits trying to poison the well.
The spider-like robot in the foreground is one of the many devices the player can engineer to defend against enemies, again using parts found in the world of the game.
The "Dead City" level.
Overall, the crowd (this reporter included) seemed quite thrilled with the RAGE demo and chatter among the attendees as they filed out of the ballroom was overwhelmingly positive.
Check back tomorrow for more pics from the QuakeCon 2010 Exhibit Hall.