Those of us who spent countless hours trolling the corridors of DOOM and Quake titles for the next key or victim to "gib" (AI or human) no doubt look back on those days with fond memories. Gameplay was simple and the graphics were simple, allowing players to actually play rather than endure numerous cutscenes, lengthy dialogue and hide-n-fire gun fights that slow down the game's progression. Shooters have seemingly matured from fast-paced games to story-driven simulators.
That said, don't expect another game from id Software that uses the fast-paced, old-school run-n-gun formula that made the company king of the shooters in the first place-- it just doesn't work anymore, or so the developer claims. The audience wants something more it seems: more story, more visuals, more experience, and more multiplayer options than mere Deathmatch and Capture the Flag.
"We did not want to have Nazis in corridors, demons in corridors, aliens in corridors," said id Software creative director Tim Willits in an interview with PC Gamer. "We didn’t want to have a short single player game, make an id style deathmatch, then just put a name on it and say ‘everyone should buy this.' People expect more."
To his defense, RAGE is definitely a departure from id's previous titles. Wolfenstein may have unleashed the American soldier into Nazi-filled corridors (zombies came later), but the DOOM and Quake series both featured soldiers battling aliens in space. We're not complaining of course, but RAGE offers a fresh new avenue for the developer even though the mutant-filled apocalyptic setting outstayed its welcome even in the 1980s.
But fear not: RAGE will have some elements of id's popular run-n-gun gameplay from days of long ago. "In the different areas, you have a different mindset," Willits explained. "In town, you’re in a mindset where there’s no combat, you can buy your stuff, you can find missions. In the wasteland, you’re in a buggy, a bit of vehicle combat. And then, when you get to a facade (RAGE’s dungeon-esque shooter sections), it’s like classic id first person. It makes it more than running around shooting dudes."
RAGE is slated to arrive on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC on September 13, 2011. Still, if gamers send in enough requests, id might actually deliver another short, single player game with an id style deathmatch. Call it Quake 5. Please.