AMD Radeon HD 5550
Living in the past is something the gaming industry knows oh so well. Whether it’s a name of a franchise, developer, designer or whatever else, we gamers sometimes tend to throw senses out the window and just go for something because that something carries the familiar name or seal that we associate with quality. ID software has without a doubt left a mark on the industry with classics like Wolfenstein, Quake and Doom under their belt. A first person shooter that promises awesome graphics, action and even RPG elements coming from them is a reason enough to be excited – too bad Rage is anything but that.
In 2029 a huge asteroid hits Earth. It shatters civilisations, kills most of the world’s population and creates a giant hostile desert out of our beloved planet. Prior to that scientists grabbed few exceptional people and put them in Arks, metal-self sustaining shelters, where they will remain in stasis to be awoken later in order to rebuild civilisations and repopulate Earth. Not all is well though and where most of the Arks still lay dormant, those that open barely have one lucky survivor. You are that one lucky survivor.
You don't wanna know what that stuff is...
This is where the story of Rage pretty much ends. Sure, you will get to explore several towns, learn about several factions and meet a dozen characters, but from the moment you exit the Ark it’s one fetch quest after another. The main protagonist has no voice or personality and while he is revered as the ultimate hero/trouble solver by people, he is also a wanted criminal. Rage not only misses an opportunity to use the setting to it’s full potential, but it also goes through cliches and even fails at delivering them. Almost all characters that matter in the game are stock characters from 80’s movies and you can just look at them and see what they are. There is a grumpy but wise sarge character, hot girl who is also a doctor, guy with robotic legs that talks fast who is also a hacker, a small sleezeball who is obviously a thief/rogue and so on. In a way you can just look at characters and understand their shallow nature.
Then we have the mutants and the Authority. Big evil corporations control the Authority and mutants are army experiments. You catching on? But like I said that is not the main problem, rather how Rage handles information. Mutants are revealed to be army experiments and you get this information by non scripted non important dialogue that you could completely miss just by not standing next to the character. If you did stand next to it, the character will turn, talk about mutants being army experiments and then just go back to his business. I am saying this a lot lately but if the game treats it’s story, plot points and elements like they are nothing, you know that there is nothing to look forward to on that front. The ending is especially disastrous – I haven’t seen such pathetic and sudden ending in a long time.
Allow me to say something straight away – Rage is not really open ended and it’s not an RPG. I know we had a lot of ARPGs that are essentially action games with some RPG elements but Rage doesn’t really have those either. In a nutshell Rage is a first person shooter that has vendors where you can buy ammo and weapons, very simple crafting system and the ability to play side missions between main missions. There are no skills, experience, inventory system (that is not used just for looking at what you have), modifying damages or dialogue unless we count people giving you missions and you either accepting or declining as dialogue. If you want me to put it bluntly, it’s more closed and less of an RPG than Borderlands.
And the winners of the least practical armour awards are!
To give you of an e alxample of how Rage is linear and closed imagine an apartment with 4 rooms. You are free to roam the hallway that is completely empty where occasionally some pesky annoyance might spawn but if you want to enter any of the rooms (that are naturally linear) you have to get a mission from one of the residents that sits in the corner of the hallway. Now replace hallway with desert roads, rooms with linear levels and residential corner with a city and that is Rage for you. I shouldso mention that side missions have a tendency to return you to places and levels you already explored (Dragon Age 2 style); so at the end of the day Rage feels like an unfinished project that just happens to be functional.
In between side and main missions you can waste some time, earn money and vehicle upgrades in several mini games and races. While these are fun distractions (especially races and the card game) they don’t really amount to anything. Money is plenty in Rage unless you are really determined to have every ammo type on maximum and vehicle upgrades that you get from races are mostly going to be used in those same races (you will get better cars in side quests).
- Length: Lengthy game if you play both main and side missions
- Combat: Solid combat system when it comes to weapons and gadgets
- Mechanics: “RPG” elements in terms of inventory, vendors and side missions
- Structure: Linear throughout
- Difficulty: Very easy
- Visuals: Some segments look great, others either average or bad
- Multiplayer: Co-op and Interesting but unconventional MP
- Settings: Bare bones video options
- Story: Almost non existing story with unexplored setting