I remember first getting my hands on Rage at Eurogamer 2011, and although I was blown away by the visuals, I didn’t think much of the game itself. Now I’ve had to sit and play it in my normal enviroment, I actually enjoyed it.
This game was apparently seven years in the making, and I can see why. Visually this is one of the prettiest games I’ve seen on current gen consoles for a long while. There were a number of environments that were genuinely jaw dropping, and if this is what the current hardware is capable of, then next gen is going to be amazing. The game only took me around 14 hours to complete, and this came on three disks, giving you an idea of just how much data and effort was in the game.
The AI for me was what made this stand apart, enemies wouldn’t just run at you so could be easily taken out with a headshot, they’d duck, roll, and even swing from the roof to avoid being shot, which made some of the levels quite challenging.
The story itself was….ok, it was quite basic with no real depth, which I think was the only real downside of the whole experience. Quite simply, you are this dude, you turn up at the post apocalyptic little town, and you spend your time doing little jobs for people. A lot of them were fetch missions, or quite simply, go here and speak to <person>, then return. Now I have to be honest, I played for the first couple of hours, got very bored with the ‘go here, shoot things, pickup x, come back’, and stopped playing, however after a good six month break it seemed all new and refreshing and I was able to complete the rest of the game in a couple of sittings.
When you’re not out doing missions, you get to walk around a town, you can buy/sell items that you’ve picked up along with way, and even craft new items. The crafting system is quite simple, pick up the required parts while doing your missions, looting bodies, exploring, or even buy the parts from a vendor. Once crafted these can either be sold for a profit, or simply taken out with you and used.
The best way I could describe this game is, a HD’d version of Borderlands. The game design was similar in the way you would pick up jobs, go out and do them, then pick up more. Like Borderlands, you get a vehicles quite early on in the game, and you use this to get between mission point, however is the wasteland there are a number of bandit cars, adding a little ‘car battle’ mini game between missions. You start off with quite a basic buggy, but if you spend some time doing races, you can earn points to upgrade your current vehicle, or even buy a new one.
Onto the weapons, yeah you get your standard pistol, SMG, sniper, assault rifle, rocket launcher and all the ‘normal’ FPS weapons in the game, but you also get a few ‘different’ ones. There’s one where you can control a remote control car that explodes, one that can take control of enemy soldier…and make him explode, and my personal favourite the ‘Fists of Rage’. The Fist of Rage is quite simply a pair of studded gloves, with you can use to splatter your enemies, great if your being overrun by mutants.
One thing ID Software did which in my opinion was very smart, was making the world feel very big and very open world, when they actually channelled you through quite a linear path. Yes you had the option to pick up side quest, yes you could explore the wasteland, but as far as going into an area with enemies, this was very linear. There were many of times when my OCD would kick in and I’d think ‘oooo, I wonder what’s behind that car…loot?’, only to find that I could get nowhere near, and all paths were blocked by ‘something’
All in all, a very interesting game, and can only hope ID release a Rage 2 for the next generation consoles and make it truly open world, that would be a game I’d be happy to sink many, many hours into.
Approx Time taken to beat – 14 hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:4/5]
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