id Software has a pedigree, thereís no denying this. In fact one could argue that they defined and created the First Person Shooter genre. With seminal titles like Wolfenstein 3D, DOOM and Quake under their belt they spawned a whole type of game. And now theyíre back with RAGE and for those who canít be bothered to read the whole review Ė itís a good game with some decidedly old-skool shooter mechanics wrapped in brand new technology.
Simply put. I donít get all the negative press this game has been getting. Iíve spent my time in a chunk of the Wasteland of RAGE and Iíve thoroughly enjoyed it. Before we dive into the review though, letís get a few things straight.
RAGE is a FPS, delightfully so. Itís not an RPG, itís not a rip off of Fallout and Borderlands, and in fact Borderlands is nothing like RAGE. The idea of a post apocalyptic wasteland isnít new Fallout fans; itís as old as the very hills.
What RAGE is like is a mix between a First Person Shooter and the ideas set forth in films like Mad Max 2. RAGE has some RPG-lite-lite elements that mix in with the FPS gameplay and I feel itís much richer for it. Story
Earth is in trouble, the giant asteroid nicknamed: Apophis is on a collision course with the planet and itís going to hit. This is based on a slim chance that the actual asteroid itself will really hit our own planet in the future and as thus, it is a pretty sobering thought to see this vision of a possible future outlined by the game. Selected lucky individuals (you are one) are given a chance in the Ark project, buried deep into the ground and sent into cryogenic suspension. You awaken +106 years later and things have changed.
The story is told through a few cut-scenes at the start. For the rest of it, itís presented in first person to keep you as the central focus and directly involved in events around you. You learn more about the world and about the game itself through interaction with the characters, NPCs if weíre using RPG terms.
I wonít spoil the story, but there are a few interesting surprises along the way.Gameplay
The controls of RAGE are simple enough and theyíre intuitive. Thereís no cover button, so you crouch and hide behind cover. Rather like the good old days before sticky cover was invented, the rest of the controls let you shoot, sprint, throw grenades and swap weapons with an in-game system that lets you pick 1 of 4 assigned weapons and swap out ammo types with a few flicks of the stick.
The driving controls are excellent, and they offer a great deal of responsiveness. There are also controls presets that let you change things around if you prefer a different button combination.
RAGE has a hard save option, along with auto-saves. Please use the hard save option at every possible chance, some of the load times are just a smidge longer than I would have liked and the hard save makes it much better.
RAGE is a huge game on 360, it comes on 3 discs Ė 2 are for the gameís single player and 1 is for the vehicle based multiplayer, this includes the cooperative mode as well. It is worth installing the whole thing on your HDD Ė youíll use just over 22GB of space and the game will run much smoother because of it.
RAGE is built on several pillars of gameplay, all of these are fairly well combined and there are very few hiccups.Shooting:
The game is a core shooter; itís about shooting things and not immersing you in the next Oscar winning game story. RAGE is about the player feeling just as lost as the character, then getting hold of some firepower and becoming a little braver until they tote around an arsenal of the gods that they can use to decimate their enemies in fun and unfriendly ways.
RAGE is about getting hold of cool things, from shotguns (really well done id Software, I love this shotgun), rocket launchers, sniper rifles, specialist weapons and pistols. Itís about using those to end the miserable lives of whatever gets in your way next. However and hereís the RPG thingy Ė RAGE has upgrades for those weapons, you know, little mods that change the way they work say like: Deus Ex. Itís got ammo types, ammo types are basically another way of turning that weapon of yours into an awesome death dealing machine.