October 7, 2011
AVAILABLE FOR: PC, PLAYSTATION 3 and XBOX 360
RAGE is an action FPS with some RPG elements, developed by id, that thrusts you into a post apocalyptic world that has been ravaged and destroyed by a giant meteor. You take on the role of an ARK survivor, one of a select group of people chosen to guide humanity and rebuild society after its destruction by a planet killing meteor.The only problem is a military commander sabotaged the project causing ARKs of his choosing with his people to open before any other ARK in an attempt to rebuild as he sees fit and become mankinds supreme dictator, as a result you awake from your stasis pod over 100 years after the impact.
Society is divided between bandit outlaws with a thirst for blood, mercenary groups, small cities/towns that have created a base of civilization and the traitorous military group known as the authority. As an ARK survivor you have been given some biological enhancements, such as your ability to utilize a defibrillator built into your chest when you die, and automatically heal when hurt through the use of nano tech.
RAGE is primarily an action FPS game and fits the genre well. The combat is fast paced and brutally satisfying, RPG elements come into the game in the form of accepting missions from key characters and being able to choose side quests from a job board, much like in borderlands, and also in the ability to communicate with most people in towns and cities. These RPG aspects do a nice job of accentuating the game as an action FPS and throw a unique twist to it. The world is large and semi open, its not entirely open world but also alot has been left open should you wish to explore outside of completing quests. Your main mode of transportation are vehicles, you are set up with a starter vehicle and obtain more throughout the game by winning them in races. The vehicles are customizable and can be outfitted with weapons such as dual mini guns or dual rocket launchers. The vehicle weapon system has been developed quite well, when in vehicle combat you have a certain field of view that enables an auto aim so you arent worried about driving and aiming your weapons at the same time, this method works extremely well and makes vehicle combat simple and enjoyable. There is no quick travel but the world is just large enough to have a massive scale but is set up so that traveling doesnt take forever and drag out. Ground combat is a bit limited as far as weapon selection, but makes up for it with good customization options and a good amount of power that varies on ammo type. Another perk is the ability to obtain “recipies” and engineer ammo, first aid, adrenaline enhancers and so on by collecting components as you complete missions and find things throughout the world. Even useless items such as empty bottles will get you cash at a vendor in town, so it pays to pick up everything, and as far as i can tell there is no limit as to how much you can carry. So a mission can bank you quite a bit of cash for ammo, gear and upgrades.
The graphics are seemingly outdated with DX9 which is welcome news for those with outdated systems who cant afford the outrageous cost of bleeding edge PC components. Regardless id has definitely worked a good deal of magic with DX9. The textures are most noticeable as being DX9, however the textures still reflect alot of detail and the lighting and shadows look amazing. DX11 would have been ideal to bring out the detail in the game but all in all the use of DX9 has been implemented beautifully and has been polished to a high degree. Stability is solid and glitches are at a minimum and have little to no impact on gameplay, which is saying alot for a newly released game. My only gripe really is that the player doesnt have advanced graphical options, you simply have resolution, brightness, gpu transcoding, and anti-aliasing. The id tech implemented adjusts the advanced options automatically based on your system specs and takes full advantage the resources available to optimize the game for 60 frames per second, this isnt a deal breaker as it does an excellent job of auto detecting specs and adjusting accordingly and will also come as a breath of fresh air for those who are less tech savvy and simply want to install and play. However the majority of the PC community likes to tweak it their way and not have it done for them with software. But not to fret, advanced graphics options should be made available in the first patch from Bethesda that is currently under development.
So far I have put just over 15hrs into RAGE, with quite a bit more to go. This is one game wont be held back by short gameplay. As far as replayability goes, I dont see that there will be much value in that, while its a packs alot of fun and intensity, its lack of full RPG elements such as leveling and complete customization will likely hinder its replay value. The only reason to go back and play it again would be to complete side quests not undertaken the first time through.
To break it down, RAGE is intensely fun with great gameplay and good mechanics and a gripping and intriguing story line, the graphics are implemented using older tech but done so expertly creating a beautiful world and characters with rich detail. For a new release is quite solid and and for the most part glitch free, a few patch releases and any noticeable glitches should be taken care of.