NEWS - Monday, April 18, 2011

Rage Details on Multiplayer, Co-op, And Pre-orders

Thanks to titles like Doom II and Quake III Arena, the idea of an Id Software game without multiplayer just seems kind of weird. Since Id has shown the single-player campaign for Rage numerous times in the past, it makes sense in the PR campaign for the company to finally reveal the game’s multiplayer. Is it just "deathmatch with cars"? Not quite.
First, lead designer Matt Hooper and creative director Tim Willits recently showed off Rage’s main multiplayer component: "Rage Combat Rally." Willits described this mode as the "best of both worlds," as it provides a measure of Id Software’s signature competitive multiplayer combat, while also emphasizing the vehicular action that Rage introduces. Additionally, this mode also layers objectives on top of traditional free-for-all deathmatching -- which Willits believes adds a measure of depth and tactical interest on top of the "drive forth and kill" mentality.
At the moment, Rage Combat Rally supports four players (the developers are aiming for six, but everything is subject to technical constraints and gameplay balance), and a typical match lasts about three minutes (which can be adjusted by players). The basic goal, besides shooting your opponents, is to score points by driving through rally points -- these in turn grant multipliers for your overall score. Victory conditions depend on which mode you’re playing (Team Rally, Chain Rally where pretty much everybody drives after the lead player, and simple Vehicle Deathmatch), and all stats get stored into a persistent profile that details your level progression (which in turn unlocks additional vehicles, weapons, and items). The current plan is to have at least five Rage Combat Rally maps out-of-the-box, with DLC to be determined later.
For the next feature, Hooper quipped, "How can you do co-op with big single player campaign?" He discounted the idea of simply dropping another player into the same universe, but he noted that the team stumbled upon the idea of "legends." "You know, when the sheriff of Wellsprings talks about the time when he and a couple of the boys walked into town after the Shrouded had taken over," stated Hooper. Hence, the separate cooperative mode called "Legends of the Wasteland," where two players work through a defined side-mission (such as the aforementioned Wellspring clean-up, or a cooperative version of Mutant Bash TV). The main differences in co-op look like increased enemy count and occasional puzzles (such as one player opening vaults or passageways, and the other player defending the opener or grabbing a now-accessible item). The team is still experimenting with how many missions total, or the exact structure (do you unlock missions? Or access all of them right away?) of this mode.
Finally, the team announced that all pre-orders will upgrade your copy of Rage to the "Anarchy Edition," which includes an additional suite of weapons, missions, and gear. The weapons include a Double Barrel Shotgun (Hooper commented, "it’s not an Id game without a Double Barrel Shotgun," though I’m kind of curious as to why said shotgun isn’t part of the default arsenal) and the Fists of RAGE (a particularly nasty looking set of brass knuckles), while the gear includes a custom vehicle (the Rat Rod Buggy) and a set of Crimson Elite armor. The last bit of content named was the "Wasteland Sewer" mission (only the name was given; whether or not this is the same mission as seen in previous demonstrations remains to be seen). As to whether or not there’s a price difference, or if these items would be available as DLC post-release, is still to be determined. Still, these multiplayer options and extra bonus gear help maintain our interest in Id’s big new fall 2011 game.


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