id Software, the same folks who made Quake and Doom, released their latest FPS and it’s always refreshing to see a new IP on the market. Rage puts a new spin on the post-apocalyptic genre, and while it has its faults, it’s really an enjoyable game.
The closest that one can get to describing Rage, is by taking Borderlands and Fallout 3 and smashing it into one game. But where Fallout 3 had an RPG element to it, Rage has none but it does possess other qualities that make it enjoyable.
The player awakes from an Ark many years after a tragic accident, only to find the world that he knew has changed dramatically. From the moment gamers set foot in the world, it will become clear that things are going to be tough.
The graphics are very well done, but there are areas that could have used a bit of improvement. Objects look highly detailed from afar, but as soon as closer inspection is done, they will seem out of focus or very pixelated. The opposite is true for the NPC or inhabitants of the world, as they are all unique in look and attitude, and highly detailed.
The first couple of missions will serve as a small tutorial, and mainly consist of a number of fetch-missions. These do become harder with time, and many different kinds of enemies will be encountered – the scariest of which are the mutants.
In the first town, players will be given a wide variety of weapons and also the use of a vehicle. The driving mechanic is bearable, but it’s definitely no Forza 4. It’s very similar to the driving style in Borderlands, although slightly better. The vehicles can turn on a dime and stop dead in a matter of split-seconds, but they do come equipped with rocket launchers and miniguns.
Speaking of driving, players can also enter a number of races at the various towns, which will reward them with special upgrades, money and even new cars. These are easy to begin with, but naturally they do become harder over time.
In terms of combat, the FPS functions well in its purpose, and it’s easy to get to grips with the controls. Although players can carry as many weapons as they can, a small radial menu will allow gamers to map and quick select from up to four different killing machines. Most weapons also have special secondary ammunition which will deal more damage, but is hard to come by.
A slight problem with the shooting is that the hit detection isn’t always on target. A player might be aiming point blank at an enemy with a shot gun and still miss, while players can forget about taking out baddies with a sniper rifle while aiming through a hole in a wall or through crates. It’s a bit of a gamble, as sometimes it will go through, while others might not – which gives away your position.
The sounds in Rage also play a major factor in creating the mood. One of the most nerve-wracking places to go is Dead City – not because it’s difficult -but just because the music and sounds will keep you on edge. The mood is cleverly set with audio stimulation so that players will always expect something to come jumping out at them – and it happens often.
In terms of mission variety, the fair share is fetch-related, but a number of them involve delicate tactics and a good solid approach – while naturally eliminating everything in your path.
Players of post-apocalyptic FPS games will love Rage, and while it’s not the best game on the shelf at the moment, it will keep gamers busy for hours. The game comes shipped on three discs, which each disc being about eight hours long – which is more than any standard game at the moment.
The graphics are good, the sound is excellent and controls are easy to get to grips with. It’s really a must-buy for players who like their Fallout or Borderlands, and while there are a couple of glitches, the game is enjoyable enough to forgive it for that.
Our rating: 8.6/10
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor