Rage Review

Uploaded by Linkthe1st on 17.10.2011

For years now first person shooter role playing hybrids taking place in a wasteland have been
a staple of our holiday diet. With a new one being release every year the trend is strong,
and the game to take up the reins for holiday 2011, is RAGE. The first game from notorious
FPS creator id Software since Doom 3. It's time to grab a shotgun, start shifting through
ruins again, and watch out for muties while you do it.
Right from it's inception Rage draws reference from popular past wasteland titles. The story
goes that in 2029 earth and the human race is doomed because the real life meteorite
called Apophis. Unlike in our reality though, Apophis is on an unalterable collision course
with earth. In an effort to prevent our extinction large stasis units called arks are filled
with volunteers and buried underground across the world. However, things don't go quite
as planned, and you turn out to be the only survivor from your particular ark. After one
hundred and six years of cryogenic hibernation you're woken up, and step out into the wasteland
for the first time, to see what has become of the world, post apocalypse.
...sound familiar?
Even though Rage starts off with a strong introductory cinematic, the story is only
decent if not weak. Things start off slow with no real tangible threat to propel the
plot forward. It takes time before you can garner the story's direction, and even longer
before you get a brief explanation of what went wrong with the ark program. Furthermore
just as the story begins to heat up, Rage abruptly ends. While the sudden and inconclusive
finale is certainly jarring, and disappointing, it could serve as good starting point for
quality story based downloadable content. At present though, and if no such DLC comes
to light, Rage is a game that you shouldn't be buying for it's story. Luckily though the
actual gameplay fairs far better.
-Well I guess you don't know anything about any of this. He he.-
-Welcome to the Future-
As a genre mixer Rage combines traditional FPS mechanics, and a moderate number of RPG
elements, but surprisingly enough there's also a significant amount of vehicle combat
and racing present as well. The game breaks down to getting quests in a local town, grabbing
a set of wheels, heading to your destination, and then running around on foot gunning down
enemies. Don't let that simple digest of actions fool you though. The environment you're in
is almost always different, jobs vary quite a bit, and who or what you end up shooting
at changes frequently. Thus the feeling of redundancy is greatly reduced from where it
could have easily landed. The only constant thing you'll see is the large wasteland world-space
that you drive through, which connects all of the smaller local areas where gun play
takes place. Most new areas you visit are introduced through the main quest line, but
you can usually revisit each one during optional sub-quests, which are usually found on bounty
The shooting mechanics are tight and very responsive, of the calibre you would expect
from a game this big. When you get into a gun fight there's no question that Rage is
a FPS first and foremost. The good controls are put to proper use too, as the game has
superior enemy AI. Foes are not very predictable, and there's a plenitude of ways they may react
to the variety of possible scenarios that can occur. It keeps you on your toes, which
is good, because it keeps typically redundant trigger action feeling fresh. Another element
of Rage is it's RPG mechanics, which are much more simplistic. They come nowhere near the
complexity of say Fallout or Borderlands though. You're limited to looting, selling, buying,
crafting, and swapping between special ammo types for your guns; In all honesty the RPG
elements are remarkably similar to those found in BioShock, if a comparison was ever to be
drawn. Vehicle combat is a big part of Rage too, while driving through the wasteland you
can get into skirmishes with multiple bandit clans who seek to own the roads. There's incentive
to engage them too, as for each bandit car you destroy you're paid in cash by the bar
owner in the local town. There are also races you can enter in each town for each class
of vehicle you can own in the game. The competitions range from time trials, to checkpoint collection
matches, with or without weapons. These races are critical to owning a better ride too,
as vehicle upgrades can only be purchased with racing certificates, which can only be
acquired by winning matches. The driving controls are a bit odd though, realistic they are not,
and you'll have to get used to them before feeling comfortable behind the wheel.
Rage on an interactive level is, at the very least, above par. The shooting mechanics are
great, and even though the driving is a bit lukewarm it's fun, and the RPG elements, though
simple, back up both very well.
If there's anything that can be said about the wasteland in rage, it's the most beautiful
one yet. Premièring the brand new id tech 5, which utilizes massive texture streaming,
there's supposedly not a single repeated image covering any surface in the game. Sure you'll
see reused advertising posters from before the apocalypse, but that more a fact of reality
than a factor of lazy artwork. everywhere else though the non-repeating textures can
be seen clear as day, and it goes a long way in improving the enormous panoramic views
you see while driving across the wastes. That coupled with how the game was designed from
the ground up to run at an incredible sixty frames per second, and you have a wasteland
that is truly a sight to behold. The major downfall however, is how textures
are fuzzy upon closer inspection. It's possible to forgive though, since rage is an action
game, and is by no means focused on leisurely strolls. If anything though issues with texture
draw in is the game's largest set back. Because of how the engine has to stream the textures,
they're drawn in as you rotate your view. The problem however is how the textures can
take nearly a whole second to draw in fully. How bad this effect is depends on what console,
or computer, you're playing on. However, the graphical glitch is hardly a game breaker,
save for a few unlucky souls who suffer the worst of it; For most though it's primarily
just an aesthetic blemish.
If there's anything that can be said about RAGE it's that it strives to be more than
the sum of it's parts. Even though it doesn't' achieve that, and it suffers some hiccups
from the uniquely different technology it uses, It's still a solid game. It's obvious
a lot of care and work went into it, which is why, despite it's shortcomings, Rage is
a game worth purchasing.