SummaryRage, the game that should be the magnus opum from ID is just a decent shooter with some nice side-touches. It is enjoyable as long as it lasts but doesn't shine or stand apart from the rest of the genre.
Why this game?ID, the game behind Doom and Quake releasing a new franchise in a brand new technology tree IDTech5. I enjoyed playing Quake4 and Rage was to be a bit more RPG and less shooter. After reading some previews I decided to go and play it when it was released. Might as well pre-order the game.
StoryDon't remember it well. I think the game is situated on earth after some catastrophe and you are the only survivor of a select group of scientists. You return to earth only to find it to be like in a mad max movie.
I played the single player campaign on Normal and finished around about 12 hours and did most of the side quests. What really shines is the setting and the level design. Walking through the cities and exploring the caves is really impressively done in terms of graphics and sound. This really hits you. The amount of detail that the designers put into the environment makes you really feel part of it.
Unfortunately the game misses a lot of interaction with that environment. Moving objects like barrels or chairs, destroying crates or breaking doors open is not present and takes away lot of fun you could have. Also the ever present invisible walls and obstacles that cannot be jumped over is annoying as it makes the game very linear and dull. True, it let's you focus on the gameplay but those thing are just the nice touches it requires.
The gameplay feels therefore like Doom 3 or before. Yes, you can interact with NPC and play games, but that are just small diversions. It doesn't make the environment alive.
Another missed chance is the lack of enemies and stuff in the wasteland maps. It is just empy. You only encounter cars that you can shoot and some turrets and that's it. Borderlands and Fallout 3 really have shown that you really need that to have a consistent world that feels alive. In Rage it always feels like 'pick up a quest', 'drive to a cave', 'shoot and kill'. You can't shoot in the towns, in the wasteland there is nothing to shoot at, etc etc.
Having played the game on Normal, it feels like this is way too easy. I played a lot of shooters, also from ID in the past, and Normal always gave you a challenge. Rage does not. Especially the later levels are just too easy as you never run out of ammo, guns are far too powerful (shotgun with exploding bullets or the end gun). Driving in the wasteland also becomes too easy once you get the final car and gun; the enemy cars are just an annoyance.
Character development is also non-existent in my opinion. In the beginning you get three choices of profession, but it really doesn't matter what you choose. I choose the technical guy but ended up shooting everything instead of using a lot of sentries or cars.
Graphics are great. The annoying pop-ups that were present in version one were quickly patched and the game shows perfectly after that.
AudioSound is just good. Voices, equipment and cars make the right sound and don't feel out of place or overwhelmed. Environmental sounds are ok but not spectacular.
Other things worth mentioningPlayed the game with a controller when I had to drive a vehicle. It is far superior to the keyboard-mouse. But when walking I always opted for the classic keyboard-mouse as it gives you a better control over your pistol.
Rage could have been so much better, but somehow has been streamlined for casual use by butting away and leaving out the nice touches it deserves to make it more than an average shooter.