Mirroring previous showings of the game, creative director Tim Willits quickly summarized the game's story--an asteroid has hit the Earth, and those that buried themselves underground weren't the only ones to survive--before running us through Wellspring, one of the two major towns in the "open but directed" adventure, and a mission to save its water.
In keeping with id's directive to introduce a new element--be it a weapon, ammo type, gameplay mechanic or some on--in nearly every mission, this particular mission teaches players what can happen when they shoot an electrified bolt into water, thus electrocuting the enemies that have never considered the dangers of puddle play.
For the most part, it was a glimpse of what we've seen before--that is, until the end.
Willits concluded the demonstration with a quick glimpse of a new area entitled "Dead City," which sees the familiar desert replaced with a ruined metropolis. The city is, as its name suggests, rather dead. The streets have buckled. Buildings have collapsed, toppled, sunk into the ground, and, of course, mutants have taken it over.
But not just any mutants. Freaky mutants with glowing white eyes, staying true to id's vow of different mutant gangs with distinct appearances. And these guys have friends. Tall friends. Friends that stand one or two stories tall and pack huge guns that lob giant explosive blobs. Friends that you'll want to use a rocket launcher to take down.
And then, just as the big guy fell, an even taller foe appeared, one that stood four or five stories tall, and the demonstration came to its towering cliffhanger of an ending.
With its PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 release still a ways off--the game doesn't hit until 2011--id is certainly playing its cards close to its chest, revealing just a little at a time, with hands-on time yet to come. Still, the game is looking gorgeous and showing progress with each showing--the glowing cross-hatched overlay used to indicate damage I saw a few months ago has since been replaced with one that more resembles blood vessels--and I'm eager to, one day, just sit down and play.
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You know you want to.