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Average score: 83% (based on 33 ratings)
Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 6 ratings with 1 reviews)
RAGE is a game I was pretty excited to play when it was first announced back in 2007. Why? Simple. It is made by ID Software, the same company that gave us such FPS classics like DOOM, Wolfenstein 3D and Quake! And while this game is not as revolutionary or adrenaline pumping as these aforementioned titles, RAGE was still very fun to play, for me at least.
Ah, when one thinks of ID Software, one already thinks of the groundbreaking engines that fuel their games. And RAGE is no exception. Even on the console versions the game looks absolutely gorgeous! The weapons and character models are all beautifully rendered and when you go outside into the Wasteland, you cannot help but marvel at how huge the environments look!
RAGE takes place about a century after an asteroid hit our planet which almost completely eradicated all life on earth. What is left of our beautiful, blue planet, is a polluted, depressing world filled with bloodthirsty mutants, ruthless bandits and ruled over by the despotic Authority. The remaining, more peaceful folk are forced to live together in tribes all around the land, fending off all the aforementioned threats. It is Darwin's survival of the fittest law in its purest form! The game begins with your character emerging from a 100 year cryogenic sleep. With no supplies or knowledge of your surroundings, you are forced to adapt and survive the world of RAGE.
RAGE's gameplay consists of two main elements, shooting and racing. The shooting itself is very smooth and solid. You have a great variety of weapons and equipment at your disposal. Pistols, shotguns, machine guns, a crossbow, an RPG, etc. And almost every weapon has multiple ammo types. The crossbow, for example, has traditional steel tipped bolts as well as electric bolts which are great for frying enemies standing in water. Shauwking! You also have gadgets like RC bomb cars, sentry drones and wingsticks (which are like razorsharp boomerangs). And the best thing about the game's weapons? You can carry all of them at once! Yes sir, no need to drop a weapon. You find it, you keep it!
Despite the fact that RAGE has regenerating health, the game still has plenty of run and gun shooting not unlike DOOM and Quake. That is because you have access to bandages with completely and instantly refill your health (as long as you have them in your inventory) and if you do buy the farm, your nanotrite injected body can kick start your heart to keep you fighting! But be careful, because these nanotrites need to recharge and another whacking means death! Permanently! So don't get overly cocky.
Now on to the driving. I have to say, the driving mechanics in this game work as solid as its FPS gameplay. Using a PS3 controller, I found the cars easy and fun to drive around with. In addition to exploring the game world, you can also participate in various racing events with include time trails, checkpoint rallies and all out races with rockets and machine guns thrown in the mix. Cars can be tuned varying from a simple paint job to adding spikes to your wheels for extra damage.
RAGE also has side missions and minigames. Side missions are basic jobs like protecting a VIP or collecting some stuff from a particular bandit hideout. Minigames include blackjack, five finger fillet and memory games.
When it comes to audio and music, it is particularly RAGE's sound effects that steal the show. Every weapon and car sounds beefy (gotta love the pistol's BLAM sound when you are shooting Fat Boy bullets) and the voice actors do a great job at giving life to their virtual characters. They even added John Goodman in it as Dan Hagar. The music, however, is much less memorable. The music has some rock and ambient music which adapts on how tense your situation is. But when you think about how great the soundtracks from early ID games were, RAGE's music is quite disappointing overall.
There are two multiplayer modes. There is a race mode wherein you earn points by racing through checkpoints as well as blowing your opponents to pieces and there also is a co-op mode playable both online and offline for two people to play the "legends of the Wasteland." Simple co-op. Go from point A to point B, complete objectives and kill everyone else!
While RAGE looks magnificent, it also suffers from plenty of texture popping. So be prepared to see blurry textures for a second or two before they become crisp and detailed. I do give credit to the guys at ID for managing to cram the entire game on the last-gen consoles in addition to the PC.
I believe that RAGE's world has a lot more potential than what ID Software eventually put into it. The game, while very fun, is merely made to show off their technology rather than filling the world with stuff to see and to do. The world of RAGE feels very empty and lifeless. First of all, there is virtually zero interactivity in the game world. Aside from explosive barrels, nothing in the environment can be destroyed or manipulated. Remember games like Duke Nukem 3D or Deus Ex and what you all could do in those games' levels? Well, there is nothing of that in RAGE. Every object is stuck to the wall or floor like granite and will not move, fall or break no matter how hard you shoot it or how many grenades you throw at it.
Second, there is the Wasteland itself. It is a pretty big open world, but there is virtually nothing going on around you aside from your own exploits and an occasional bandit car or two attacking you. Other open world games, like Far Cry 3 or Red Dead Redemption, also had huge open areas but they had plenty of life in them. Even the original Unreal (realized no later than 1998) had a much more lively and interesting environment. Of course, the world is post-apocalyptic and most of the earth's natural flora is gone, but think about spotting or hunting some mutated wildlife. That would have been fun.
Lastly, think about how much more compelling RAGE's game world would be if you had the chance to discover what happened during your 100 year long absence from the world by reading diaries or video logs (like in System Shock). ID Software had the chance of giving RAGE its own lore and providing every faction its own history and culture, but instead, they all have little individuality and overall, they just feel very generic.
RAGE's ending can easily be described in one word: disappointing. It basically is a Halo 2 style ending. Just when you think you are up for one grand finale, the credits start rolling. I already said in my previous reviews about how much I dislike such endings, so I am not going to waste any more words on this.
The Bottom Line
RAGE is a solid, by the book FPS with its technology being the game's biggest charm. It is not a memorable or compelling game and it could have been a much bigger experience than it eventually became. I would suggest playing ID's earlier games (especially DOOM and Quake) first and if you love those games, than RAGE will be worth a play for you. Just don't expect anything revolutionary.
PlayStation 3 · by Stijn Daneels (79) · 2014