“That’s id, as in the id, ego, and superego in the psyche” – Wolfenstein 3D
Quite possibly one of the most iconic names in the gaming industry, id Software has provided painstakingly immersive games since their inception in 1988. iD’s iconic brands such as Wolfenstein, DOOM and Quake have become staples for generations of gamers. iD’s technical, design and artistic leadership had paved the way to a new frontier in gaming and, while creating controversy for their extremely violent titles, the sheer amount of dedication and thought put into these works proves iD Software to be one of the most enriching and inspiring independent game developers out there.
iD Software have expanded upon their years of expertise with a first-person-shooter/RPG that proves itself to be an extremely fulfilling game. Certainly a title that no fan of first-person shooters or post-apocalyptic scenarios should miss. The team that invented the first-person shooter is, without a doubt, pushing the boundaries of gaming.
RⒶGE takes place on an Earth ravaged by the effects of an asteroid collision. You play as a member of the Ark program, a group of humans selected to live underground in cryogenic sleep while the asteroid destroyed all life above. All Ark members would then help repopulate the ravaged environment, creating a brave new world. Of course, this plan can’t go without some repercussions: some people survive the apocalypse, while others became mutated.
Going for a Sunday drive. Of course, no one knows if it’s actually Sunday because all of the calendars were destroyed.
While RⒶGE visually and conceptually evokes imagery from other hits like Fallout 3 and S.T.A.L.K.E.R., iD’s latest shooter provides much more of a graphical and technical wow than its competition. Take a look around and you’ll find a slick combat system, equally slick and immersive graphics, disturbingly intelligent enemy AI and a thoroughly complex upgrade and item creation system. It wasn’t long before RⒶGE hooked me and drew me into its post-apocalyptic world.
It’s not easy writing about a game with so many impressive feature sets; but there were a few that truly caught me by surprise and enriched my experience making me feel just as much a part of the story as the main character was. I learned to live and breath this new Earth, this dystopian future that was as disturbing as it was compelling. This delicate world was truly a sight to behold and one I strongly wish to revisit.
RⒶGE contains some of the most impressive combat I have ever experienced in a video game. While rummaging through dilapidated buildings and finding loot scattered here and there, I encountered several different factions and enemy types, each with their own unique behaviours and combat strategies. Enemies will sidestep your melee attacks and duck your shots with absolute ease. They will also attempt to run away when weakened, struggling for life even during their last breath. RⒶGE’s remarkably well-thought-out AI makes combat all the more exciting and tense. Strategy is necessary when playing and iD makes that experience a thoroughly enjoyable one.
Never ignore the loot scattered around each environment, no matter how unnecessary some may seem. The upgrade and item creation system allows you to synthesize new and existing weapons and items at any time during the game; and if it can’t be used in combat or during exploration then it can at least be sold (sometimes for a very decent price). At one point, I ran out of grenades (an important part of my aresenal during the demo, as I needed them to navigate further through the environment); however, by learning to synthesize weapons I was able to create more without having to backtrack.
Orkin still exists in the future. They just have better equipment.
While fighting enemies and synthesizing items, I also experienced some of the various landscapes the game had to offer. The demo began at the exit of a dismal sewer; the scenery quickly turned into what looked like a faction’s HQ’s, set in a massive, dilapidated building. The grungy, industrial atmosphere was ominous but even more so as the blinding sunlight from outside seeped through cracks and windows. While this was only a small piece of what will become several varied landscapes, it gives an indication of the high quality surroundings that await us in the rest of the game.
These are only some of many features that I grew to admire during my demo of RⒶGE; and I really appreciate how all of these features working together so seamlessly. What I saw from the demo RⒶGE looked like a finished game – and a great one at that. iD Software have truly outdone themselves with this compelling new title, representing a step forward for gaming as a whole.
Until then, check out RⒶGE and RⒶGE HD for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. RⒶGE is fun, but is unfortunately an on-rail shooter so there’s very little room to actually explore. RⒶGE HD is an intense first-person shooter that casts you in the starring role of a post-apocalyptic game show where you’ll be stalked by hungry mutants while you scavenge for ammo and items. After receiving over 100,000 Facebook “likes,” iD Software is giving away the shooters for free until August 25th so get them while you have the chance!
RⒶGE will be published by Bethesda Softworks and is due for release on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC on October 7, 2011.