Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rage Review

Score: 8/10
Length: 15-19 Hours (depending on skill/difficulty)
Available For: PC, PS3, Xbox 360 
Platform Review: PS3 

Rage is not Fallout 3. Rage is not Borderlands. Don’t go into Rage expecting these games or you’ll most likely end up disappointed. Rage is a blend of some aspects of both those games but it’s still very much its own style of game. Rage is at its core two games: first person corridor shooter and a racing/combat racing game.

Rage is not a role playing game. There is no leveling, no skills, and no choices that affect the story. The only way for a weapon to do more damage is to change to different types of ammo. Rage does however have a couple of things that are often found in RPG’s such as a crafting system, gathering of loot in the world and from enemies, and a couple of upgrades for health/armor.

The basic gameplay cycle of Rage is: grab a quest from quest-giver, move to the quest on a vehicle through semi-open world, enter a building, engage is corridor style FPS while completing quest, then return for your reward at the quest giver. There are no experience points as mentioned before so your reward is usually a weapon, ammo, cash etc. The formula is set up similar to an RPG without being an RPG. The shooting is top notch with semi-intelligent AI and varied encounters as one would expect from ID. ID software knows how to make a shooter and it really shows in this game. The story in Rage is definitely not the game’s strongest aspect, but it is decent and is a much more story driven game than most shooters out there.

The crafting system in rage is very basic, but there are some very fun gadgets and ammo that can be crafted. From dynamite arrows to sentry bots that walk around and kill enemies for you, there are plenty of cool things to help you throughout the game. To build items, the player will need to find ingredients in the world or buy them from vendors. Once the players has all the ingredients they can craft any item from anywhere in the world (even in the middle of fights).

In addition to the shooting parts of the game there are races involving a few different types of vehicles. There is a mix of timed races, points gathering, and straight of 3 lap racing. Some of these races allow the use of weapons like rocket launchers, machine guns, and plasma cannons which can make the races chaotic but fun. The races are fun, but nothing revolutionary. Most of these races are optional, but completing them will grant you the ability to upgrade your cars with increased armor, weapons, better tires, etc. than can help the main story line slightly since there is a little bit of vehicle combat moving between shooting quest hubs.
Rage’s graphics for rage (on the PS3 version) look amazing for being run on a 6 year old console. The textures are sharp as hell, phenomenal lighting, etc. running at 60 FPS all make the game look stunning. All is not perfect however as the game currently has a texture popping issue across all platforms that can be very noticeable at first, but eventually the player stops noticing it after a while.

Overall, Rage is a very solid shooter that stands on its own but better games have been released this year. Rage is an exciting ride that plenty of fun in store. Rage lasted me about 19 hours on Nightmare difficulty to finish doing all the side quests, mini games, races, and main story. There are online races and co-op missions that will add even more hours for those that are interested. I would recommend waiting for a price drop for budget gamer, since this game is fun enough at $60 but other games out right now are currently better at full price (Arkham City, Dark Souls, etc.).

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