This sets a shocking precedent: a next-generation blockbuster game premiering first on Apple’s iOS devices. Okay, so id Software’s Rage and Rage HD aren’t exactly full-length action RPGs like next year’s PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 releases will be. But these bargain-priced iOS apps do provide a sneak preview of the full game’s action elements and indoor decors.
I’m not kidding when I say "bargain-priced," by the way. id charges $1.99 for Rage HD, which has higher-resolution textures optimized for the iPhone 4 and iPad, and only 99 cents for the lower-resolution Rage. You’d better find some other game to play while downloading these, though; the high-res version is a 743MB download, and the lower-res one still weighs in at at hefty 537MB.
Graphically speaking, the screenshots suggest impressive visual fidelity much like what we saw in this summer’s tech demo. Since the game is still downloading on my iPhone, I can’t provide first-hand impressions, but I will post an update as soon as I can get into the driver’s seat.
Update: The download finally finished. Rage HD looks quite impressive for an iPhone game, although perhaps not quite as much as Epic Games’ Epic Citadel tech demo. In any case, the gameplay should be familiar to fans of rail shooters like House of the Dead. It’s definitely very-arcade-y, which is perhaps not a bad thing considering the learning curve for free-roaming shooters on the iPhone.