In 1993, id Software launched a game entitled Doom. It was a revolutionary title, one which not only paved the way for all of the third-dimensional first-person shooters that have flooded the PC and console gaming market ever since, but which also opened up the world to the incredible realm of something known as networked multiplayer gaming via a recently-inaugurated thingy we all used to refer to as the Information Superhighway (thank you, Al Gore) — an online phenomenon that has prevented many a lad (and lass) from developing an actual life ever since.
As I roared through the game’s blood-soaked levels, I couldn’t help but praise Doom as one of the all-time greatest titles — ranking it right up there with games such as the fantasy RPG Betrayal at Krondor (1993), the 8-bit post-apocalyptic RPGWasteland (1988), Leisure Suit Larry (1987) (the everlasting adventure game classic wherein you help a middle-aged loser get laid), and Doom’s bastard cousin from LucasArts, Star Wars: Dark Forces.
Now, while I’ve played a lot of great games since then — with titles like Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption — I’ve never been able to come across a game with that classic addictiveness that Doom was known for. Until now, that is. The latest endeavor from id — the strangely-christened Rage, formed with Bethesda Softworks — was initially announced in 2007. Four years on, we at long last have the finished product to enjoy.
And enjoy we do.
Set 106 years after a giant asteroid decimates civilization as we know it, Rage finds you as the sole survivor of a doomed Ark — ships that were buried under the surface of the Earth stocked with noteworthy human beings who would build a better tomorrow once awoken. Emerging prematurely from his long slumber, our nameless character is promptly rescued from a troop of mutants by Hagar: a colonist in the dusty rocky terrain known as the Wasteland.
Without so much as a single bit of questioning or soliloquizing on behalf of your character’s part, the Ark survivor immediately goes into action working for Hagar. Traveling about the Wasteland, you set about riding the world of its many lesser elements, such as bandits and mutants. Eventually, you learn that there are far more ghastly terrors disparaging the planet, namely a totalitarian government system called The Authority — an organization that is extremely keen to capture any and all Ark survivors in order to do who knows what with them.