Genre: First Person Shooter Developer: Publisher: Classification: MA15+ Release Date: 30th Nov 2011 Platforms:
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You start Rage in an Ark, the rest of humanity doomed to go the way of the dinosaurs. Fade to black, and the game opens some years later - and you're the only person still alive in your Ark.
Why did you survive? Why did you get picked to enter the Ark in the first place? These are the questions you'll find yourself asking when you first enter the Wasteland - but only until you are overwhelmed by the striking beauty of your surroundings.
If Rage does anything at all right, it's graphics. On my PC the game looks utterly fantastic, and it runs at a constant 60 FPS. I can't tell you what settings it's using - the game doesn't allow me to see that.
Still, as I blast my way through wave after wave of enemies, there are barely any frames dropped. The only time they do is when the amount of mutants really starts to overwhelm you - and they don't drop much.
Here's a thought though - I rarely notice frame drops, unless they're significant enough to affect gameplay. Why am I noticing frame drops in Rage that I'd otherwise ignore? Is it because I hold id Software to an extremely high standard? Is it because the game runs so well the rest of the time, it's a bit hard to miss? Sadly it's neither of these.
The reason I'm noticing frame drops is because frankly, I could play Rage asleep. Start quest. Drive to quest. Enter corridor. Shoot everything that moves. Leave corridor. Drive back to quest starter. End quest. Rinse. Repeat.
There's no substance here. I'm noticing frame drops because the game lacks anything tangible to keep my mind active. The story - what story? The questions I asked above - they get answered in the lightest possible way. You muddle it out from conversations around you.
The quests - why are you even doing them? Honesly, beyond the first handful of missions - which you do out of gratitude to a man who saved your life (even if he is thoroughly taking advantage of the situation) - there's no reason for you to do anything.
The breaking point for me was when my next mission was to bust into an "Authority" prison to rescue a man creatively called Captain Marshall. Before heading off on this mission to save a man I'd never met and didn't know, I am told that I am doing this because The Authority are the bad guys. That they're glad they know they can trust me, and that I haven't been corrupted by Authority propaganda.
There's two problems with this idea. The first - I hadn't heard any Authority propaganda at the time. This would be the equivalent of waking up in a 1960s era Soviet Russia, never meeting an American (or hearing anything about them) and then immediately being tasked with killing JFK.
The second is that they can't trust me. I don't have any option in this situation. I can either do as they tell me or all progress in the game can halt.
Naturally, this is a situation arising in many, many games - linearity is neither new nor particularly terrible, when done correctly. Rage makes the mistake of attempting to mask its linearity - it tries to make you think you're a newcomer to a vast and vastly changed world, but the reality is utterly different.
There's certainly a lot of life within each 'zone' - each missionís playing area - but outside, in the "Wasteland" you explore by driving around in your buggy - the world is dead... except for some pestering bandits in buggies of their own.
These bandits serve no purpose other than to distract you from the fact that the Wasteland in Rage is a content void. I think I saw one enemy running - on foot - about the Wasteland the entire time I was driving around, and I am certain he wasnít supposed to be there.
Inside the zones the life exists, but it's all hostile. And it's hard to describe it as life - it's not until much later in the game that the AI starts to exhibit anything related to the I in the acronym initialism. Most of the time the type of enemy details how it will attack you. Ranged enemies hide behind cover, duck out occasionally and fire at you. Melee enemies will run straight at you. Mutants will just run at you.
I know if I don't mention the driving people will be upset - it's not good. The car handles how I imagine Christine handles, making the racing segments frustrating. Well, it would if the racing segments were difficult. Winning races allows you to upgrade your buggy, which seems like a good idea until they force you change buggies and you realise you wasted all those racing slips.
If you're after a good keyboard racer, consider Trackmania 2 - it's fantastic - but if it's running around with guns and then jumping into vehicles you want, Battlefield 3 is about three weeks away. And it has Helicopters. And Jets.
The weapons are sort of inventive - though not in any way we haven't seen before. Instead, the game spices things up a little with different sorts of ammo. My favourite was the mind control darts for the crossbow - you take over an opponent and eventually cause them to explode.
In towns - where there are no hostiles - people talk to you constantly. Or rather, they talk at you (as you have no way of talking back). Their dialogue isn't skippable - but I did find I could walk away and they would treat the situation like I knew what was going on (after which I'd just read the quest details, which repeats what they said).
The animations of the characters are quite good - though I did notice some characters had far less in their animated arsenal compared to others. Much less impressive was the voice-acting - or, more accurately, the sound editing. It sounds like lines were read and then edited together - which makes quite a bit of the VA sound stilted and unnatural.
The reality is this - Rage is a beautiful game. It's a beautiful engine too. It alt-tabs flawlessly, it loads quickly, with the right PC setup there's minimal texture pop-in and the way the whole game handles lighting is phenomenal. Rage's problem though is that there isn't any point to it. There's no reason to keep playing beyond your first mission.
The threadbare story is filled with pointless motivations, poorly realised characters and bad dialogue - so cross out 'wanting to know what happens at the end'. The way the game challenges you is by simply sending more of the same at you and hoping you run out of ammo. It doesn't have story, it doesn't have gameplay - so why would you keep playing? Hold off on buying Rage until someone - probably the modding community - does something interesting with the engine.
I love it and feel that an 8 for the fun I get out of it,there's car racing at the speedway there's bandits to fight and all sorts of characters to meet and kill and the game is also a maze for me (I'm 58 and forget where I've been)
I don't need the full story to enjoy this game it can be full on sometimes
I think the scoe of 4.5 was not at all good for this game. To me I have played alot of FPS, this is not that bad at all. A good kill time for Battle 3 and MW3. But on a level with those, yeah rage wont cut it. ID software need to go back to basic. However this game does have alot of good stuff, creating buggie bombs, loved these in a good fire fight, drop them then drive it as fast as you can into the enemy and bang. I gave it an 7 because I did like this game for the little bits of fun I got out of it.