id Software's latest shooter, "Rage," may be an entirely new property for the company, but it may feel familiar to fans of last year's RPG hit "Borderlands." The game shares a very similar look and feel, almost as if both titles were rendered from very similar concept art.
Design Director, Matt Hooper, doesn't feel that stylistic similarities will be much of a problem for them though. "I can see [fans of 'Borderlands'] drawing comparisons -- and people naturally want to draw parallels between existing things -- but no, we're not just making another 'Doom' here. It's something new for us."
In fact, other than the art style, he believes they share very little in common. "Rage is not a procedural landscape with heavy RPG elements and a billion weapons. It's a very crafted, focused, action shooter with a level of attention to detail that's just off the charts."
He even points out that elements of the design came from the "Mad Max" school of post-apocalypse, but their homage to that world came out of necessity. He explains, "We knew we wanted to have vehicles, and that we could make a kick-ass shooter, so the two came together in a very natural way for the team."
And it's really the nuts and bolts of the design that he thinks will distinguish it. "We've got a finely crafted weapons, really creative engineering items like deployable turrets and remote controlled bombs. It's all about creating a rich universe to use the array of weapons and options at the player's disposal."
But he admits that it's all part of the preview process that will really reveal "Rage" to potential fans out there. "It's not a bad thing that people [draw comparisons]," says Hooper. " I just hope that people get more information and see demos and really realize what makes Rage so unique. Even if this post-apocalyptic wasteland seems familiar at first."
I'll be the first to say that I'm very excited about what I've seen from the project so far. It may instantly bring back memories of "Borderlands," but to me, that's a damn good thing. And I'll spend more time lost in a "Mad Max" universe any day.