So much right, much more wrong
(This is my first review. I'll try and keep it coherent and fluid.)
I have had a watchful eye upon this game for years. I remember going to the mailbox and pulling out the monthly edition of Game Informer, reading the article and thinking, "God damn this game looks and sounds fucking boss!" Slowly counting down the days and trudging through a few set backs, the day had arrived when Rage was here. I woke up, did all my shit for the day and traveled down to my local game store. I cheerfully went into the store, talked with the employees a lttle, purchased the game and off I went. On the way home my mind ran wild with possibilities as to how the game would play out. What kind of enemies would I encounter and how many awesome guns I would wield? Rage entered my PS3, I was overcome with joy as I would embark upon something ground breaking.
Within the first 15 minutes I was overwhelmed with beauty and color, The new "id 5 engine" looked great, but something wasn't right. As I proceeded down the path, out of my arc, and I thought to myself, "I know this isn't a PC so the graphics wont be top notch, but I thought they would be a little better than this." And thats when I noticed it. Texture popping. SLOW RENDERING, EEEHH! 5-10 second texture popping. "OH NO," I thought. At that point I found myself slightly let down. Minor speed-bump. No worries. I'll try and look past it. I did, for the most part.
I proceeded into and onward with Rage, finding myself highly satisfied with the environment and the level of AI. The environments are rich with color and style. It's hard to hide the highly detailed, decrepit buildings and hills that monolith over you. As you traverse the lands going from one point to the other you find that you need to fight highly sophistocated AI that are wildly detailed yet deceitful. The combat is satisfying as the the enemies bounce back and forth through the level, jumping onto ceilings as they hurl at you with vigor and distain. I never found this to get old as different enemies behave with different mannerisms.
Although the combat is fun and exciting, I did find the level design to be repetative and stale with the strict use of "corridor" combat. You are never given the opportunity to run freely in an open space which made me feel confined and claustrophobic. Don't get me wrong, it was enjoyable, at first. It just got old after a while. Which brings me to another let down. Open world environments.
When I think of open world environments, I think of Oblivion, Fallout, WoW, and Borderlands. I personally would not classify Rage as "open world" unless you want to consider the driving "open world," then be my guest. Maybe I am mistaken and no one has classified this as "open world," but god damn I sure feel like I was made to believe it was. It was the most linear open world game I have ever played. You drive, get a quest, shoot enemies at said quest point, drive back and turn quest in. I was very disappointed in this pseudo open world environment and its lack of content mixed in with open spaces.
So, I keep playing because it's not a total loss. I do enjoy the corridor shooting (despite what I said earlier) and environments and detail. I get to the second area and I feel like the lack luster story is about to snowball. Im traversing the new area picking up meager yet entertaning quests. Hours are flying by and I feel the end is near, but I dont want to believe it. There was a small part of me that was saying, "There has to be more, I'm only 12 hours in." At the time, unbeknownst to me, I had reached the last quest. I'm given one last gun and introduced to one last enemy type. I finish the project given to me by the quest giver and then BOOM, cutscene. Hell fucking no! The game had ended. Done. Roll credits. I was literally crushed. I felt I had just been dumped by a girlfriend(well, maybe not that extreme). I was perplexed. The game was over. What I thought was going to last me until Arkham City, lasted 3 whole goddamn days. Meh!
In retrospect, this is a gorgeous game littered with ambition and potential. It gets a few components right in terms of combat and enemy AI. But after finishing the game, I just found that there were so much wrong. The rendering, the lack of open world-edness in terms of combat and exploration. The story lacked content and originality. Rage also offers multiplayer racing and co-op side story, but it's just not enough for me in terms of purchase. Rage could have been a rental, but I was to far drawn in by all the trailers and articles I had read prior to release. Rage did leave me with one thought though, I am super curious to see what is done with the new id 5 engine. Only time will tell.