Rage (Single Player)
RAGE is ID Software's latest shooter. It uses the ID Tech 5 engine to render Mega Textures to look fantastic (not without it's problems though) and maintains a 60 fps rate through the game meaning it runs smooth as a baby's bottom.
Set in a post apocalyptic world where you are an Ark survivor (basically you were buried underground after an asteroid strike). You wake to a world overrun by mutants, destroyed cities and Mad Max style settlers and gangs.
You meet up with John Goodman and immediately start doing tasks for random people and shooting a hell of a lot of mutants.
It is a weird mix of racing, RPG-lite and corridor shooting.
It fakes you with the over world that it will be a Fallout type RPG, but it's very basic. The RPG elements include:
* The towns have a variety of people in them that will give you main missions or side quests (about 10 in the game).
* There are shops that allow you to sell the various debris you collect on missions, or buy ammo, upgrades, build schematics etc.
* There are mini games that include a card game, dice game, guitar strumming and stab yourself in the fingers game.
* You find schematics that allow you to MacGuyver the various debris and parts you find into useful weapons, health packs and explosives. Including the wing-sticks, remote control car bombs and bandages.
* There are races to compete in for upgrades to you car.
However these parts are all mainly distractions to do between missions. The vast majority of the game involves driving to a dungeon type level and corridor shooting your way to the objective and back. i.e A typical ID Shooter.
The graphics are amazing when you stand still and it maintains a 60 fps at all times meaning it moves very smooth. However when you enter an area and when you turn round fast there is a noticeable lag on the textures meaning they seem to load in a second too slow. It's not a huge problem, but it can be distracting.
The best bit of the graphics is the animations of the enemies and characters. All the AI characters have been individually animated for each bit of audio making them move realistically depending on their speech. The enemies leap, roll and dodge with impressive skill making killing them all the more satisfying.
The bigger bosses are impressive and considering it never drops frame rate it all moves fantastically.
I was impressed with the game. The shooting is massively enjoyable, with a wide array of weapons that have multiple ammo types meaning that customising the way you like to play is a lot of fun. Personally I liked to go with the Shotgun for mutants as they get close pretty fast, the Authority rifle for all other types of enemies and the wingstick as the alternate fire.
The Wing-stick is my favourite toy in the game. It's a glave type throwing device (Think the movie Krull) that spins at an enemy, bouncing off surfaces and decapitating them as they run towards you. It never gets old and just gets better with the advanced model you get later in the game.
While the story is functional and the atmosphere in the game is great. It seriously loses it towards the end making me think that the game was rushed. It has a disappointing last few missions and it felt very rushed. The expected final boss battle never materialised and the game just ended leaving you thinking WTF happened next.
It took me about 12:30 hrs to complete the game and I had a hell of a lot of fun.