From the very first screenshots it was obvious which school of thought Rage was trying to fit into. We’re used to developer Id Software producing more visceral FPS experiences with Doom, Wolfenstein and Quake making up their back catalogue but it was clear with Rage that Id were going to stretch their legs into RPG and story telling areas they’ve previously avoided. Looking a hell of a lot like Borderlands and with a story that’s frighteningly similar to Fallout, especially in its opening.

Rage is as amazing looking as the screenshots promise. It’s an incredible looking game. One of the best we’ve ever seen on a console. The graphics are crisp, the art style fantastic and consistent and the textures are just sublime. There have been reports of very bad pop in but installing the game to your console must help a lot because we haven’t seen any of these issues. The environments are enormous and the sense of a sprawling desert, post-apocalyptic landscape is very real. You get the feeling there is a huge world out there to explore. In reality between the small towns and outposts the cavernous spaces are really only traversable by vehicles and serve as a simple vehicular combat arena between missions objectives. It’s fun enough but you’ll tire of it after a while. Likewise the beautifully depicted play areas such as subways, a crumbling hotel and a gas station aren’t quite as exploratory as they first appear to be. The graphics are so good that it looks as though there is a plethora of places to sniff around in but in reality there are a lot of invisible walls and unopenable doors. Areas are often separated by a two foot wall that you aren’t able to jump over.

There’s a shallowness to the game that you won’t find in the games it’s cosying up alongside – Fallout and Borderlands. This extends to the story too. While the characters, script and plot all seem like a rich vein just waiting to be explored there’s not that much behind them. Great voice actors are stuck with two dimensional characters, brilliant animations and fabulous art work used for outfits and faces disguise characters who you won’t care about talking you through a plot that isn’t particularly compelling.

Have Id made a stinker? No of course not. They done what they always do. They’ve made one of the most visceral first person shooter experiences ever. The guns in this game are sublime. It’s hard to imagine guns feeling more different from one another even in real life. With each gun too you can find and craft new types of ammo that give that weapon yet more different sensations when used. The enemies are utterly fascinating. Some race towards you brandishing melee weapons, running against walls, zipping left and right as they approach making it close to impossible to target them. While those hanging back behind cover with guns and projectiles work together switching places, using a variety of cover and making you think about what you’re doing the whole time. Lucky then that combat makes up the meat of the game with even side missions usually just requiring you to revisit repopulated locations to retrieve an object.

While Rage includes all the weapon customisation, side missions, exploration and character building that seem to have become mandatory these days, all of that stuff rings hollow in the face of what is a straight up arcade style FPS with awesome graphics. The other stuff is somewhat gilding the lily but it doesn’t actually detract from the experience of playing, instead just serving as a bit more flavour that is really required.







One response to “Rage”

  1. Colin avatar

    I agree about the landscapes, they can be quite annoying especially when there are drops in areas you can’t reach.

    Id seem to have relied heavily on other media and the multiplayer to fill in the story gaps which isn’t ideal because not everyone is interested.

    I don’t think RAGE should be compared to Borderlands though. It may look similar (better) but there is no RPG/levelling/stat boosting to it. To me it’s an FPS, nothing else and as you say, a good one at that.

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