Rage: Reviewing the Wasteland
Rage has been a long time coming from id Software, a company known for releasing technically impressive first person shooter games. Built on a brand new engine, set in a post-apocalyptic world, and coming out shortly before several well-known, established shooter franchises, how does it stack up?
The story is pretty standard…bad things happened on Earth, and you just woke up in in the aftermath. An asteroid struck many years before, and you were in cryo-sleep. No worries...John Goodman comes to your rescue. You then set on a series of quest to help the inhabitants of the wasteland move on from there. You quickly find out that the Authority are in charge, and might not be the friendliest guys in the neighborhood. They are up to no good, and you need to find out why. Not a lot more story than that going on in Rage...but it’s just enough to keep you moving from place to place. I really wish the had done more in the story department, but no such luck.
It is no secret that Rage’s graphics are a step above, even though they came with some technical issues right out of the gate. Regardless of these technical issues that plagued the PC as Rage first came out, the patch that came out recently fixed the screen tearing and the texture pop in that made the game damn near unplayable for a few days. The new engine allows a lot of incredibly impressive visuals, without having to break the bank on brand new gaming rig. The fact that this game runs at a solid 60 frames per second really does make a difference……a sweet, smooth, buttery difference. Stepping out into the first town is absolutely amazing, and there are so many other gorgeous parts of the world to look at here you might forget to return fire.
Speaking of firing back, the shooting feels solid here. Being an id game, you have all the standard selection of guns ranging from pistols to assault rifles and even a BFG. I enjoyed the different ammo types and it helps to change up tactics. The guns have a good weight and I found myself using all of the guns regularly. The part of the gameplay that sticks out besides pulling the trigger is the way enemies move and how they react to being shot. The animations and hit reactions here are brilliant and should not be overlooked. Depending on who you are facing, whether it is bandits, mutants or The Authority, they all have different and noticeable tactics. They will attempt to flank you, throw grenades to make you scramble out of cover or blindly charge, and you must stay aware and react. Blasting an enemy and watching them continue to stumble forward never gets old.
The new mechanics that id put into Rage work well to break up the shooting sections. I actually enjoy the driving, but I wish they had given you more reasons to be behind the wheel other than traveling to shoot things in the face. The idea of having guns on your car has always appealed to me, and it is fun here. The driving can feel a little splashy, but I was not looking for a racing sim here. The crafting system is not extremely deep, but it is effective. It made me search every corner of the levels looking for items to use to create those awesome bots. All of the games you can play in each city are well done, too. That card came is must better than it should be…..
Multiplayer is a special case in Rage, but not necessarily a bad case. It consists of 2 player co-op and competitive racing. The co-op uses modified story levels, and can fill in a small amount of back story, which is nice. The racing is really fun, but I admit in is odd to not have a competitive shooting mode on foot. Your car does have missiles, and that’s a good consolation prize, right? It is different in a good way, and does not feel tacked on. I just wish more people were playing it.
At the end of the day, if you like shooting bad guys, you should give Rage a chance. It is not going to do anything incredibly different, but what it does, it does well. The story is standard, but the visuals and gameplay should keep you moving forward. I enjoy what id has done here, and I think it’s a good thing they have started to branch out from just making a straight up shooter.