Nothing can be considered a serious games platform until it has an id Software title it can call its own. The developer behind Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake has been phenomenally successful on every platform that it turns its FPS-specialist eye on, often provoking squeals of delight from gaming fanboys in the process.
However, its first major title for Apple devices isn't a first person shooter; well, not in the traditional sense anyway. It's based on one, instead...
- iPad / iPhone / iPod touch (standard version also available for iPhones older than 3GS)
Coming to PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, Rage is one of the most eagerly anticipated titles, regardless of the platform. And it's easy to see why.
Firstly, the game is coming from id Software - the überking of the first person shooter. And secondly, the tantalising glimpses of the post apocalyptic gameworld we've seen so far make Fallout: New Vegas look like an episode of The Tellytubbies.
However, there's one drawback: It's not coming out until September 2011.
Thankfully, Rage HD on Apple devices is somewhat of a prequel. It's set in the same world, with grime and grunge as prevalent as with its bigger brother, but it's not actually an FPS. It's a rail shooter, and is bloody proud of it. Bloody being the operative word.
Playing a contestant in a bizarre splatter-gameshow, you are guided through some of the most gorgeous graphics we've seen on any handheld console or device. The stroll through each level's decaying landscape will frequently be interrupted by mutants and other deformed denizens, which you must dispatch with great prejudice.
Essentially, that's it. Blast everything that moves, and some things that don't. Your feet will plod along to the next encounter as soon as you complete the last, and you need only worry about the shooting itself and moving your head about to target.
Also scattered around the levels are health pick-ups, bonus targets, ammo supplies, and bags of money (points), all of which need to be grabbed before they automatically whizz off.
Certainly, Rage HD will win no prizes for depth of gameplay or, even, originality (think rail shooters such as House of the Dead, all the way back to Operation Wolf in the arcades), but it will be, and should be, lauded for its sense of fun and simply amazing graphics.
And it works cross platform too. For £1.19 it's equally at home on the iPhone (3GS and up), iPod touch (3rd gen on) and iPad. And for those with older devices, there's even a standard definition version too, costing 59p. We can't help feeling as if you'll miss out on much of its main appeal though.
Played Rage HD yet? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below...