Rage is a game that I have greatly been looking forward to, given id Software’s previous pedigree including Wolfenstein 3D, Doom & Quake.
Okay, so they did also have Daikatana but that can’t ever happen again, can it?
In Rage, the year is 2029, you live on Apophis and there aren’t a lot of people left after an asteroid collision. Naturally, you only know this when you come to, having woken up inside an Ark, as one of the VIPs buried underground in cryostasis pods as part of a plan to rebuild the Earth. That said, the Ark you’re in has malfunctioned and everyone else has snuffed it.
You’ll encounter other humans along the way, but also a great deal of mutants who need to be blasted into next week. For a first-person-shooter game, however, there’s a considerable amount of driving about which puts this on a level with a game like Red Faction: Guerrilla.
Okay, so that’s the basics out of the way and then comes playing the game itself. Now, to have loading screens inbetween sections is annoying, especially when they drag on for ages, but while the game does give you the option to save the entire game to a hard drive (22Gb) or even one disc at a time (7-8Gb), this does not really work if you only have a 20Gb hard drive that’s pretty much completely full. I had to clear out a load of my stuff to make some space so I could install disc 1, but even then I still got some loading screens so I was beginning to wish that I hadn’t bothered. Note that the game comes on three dual-layer DVDs, with the campaign game on the first two, and the multiplayer on disc 3.
Rage – Gameplay footage video 1 (720p HD)
Another gripe I had is that you can’t interact with the enviroment. There’s a lot to look at as you run around, but once you try to hit or shoot at something that’s not running about or is meant to move, then you won’t get any reaction out of it, so that distances itself from the Red Faction series, in terms of interaction.
And when it comes to things to look at, I have to point out that close-up, scenery definition isn’t great, but a lot of the scenery does look amazing from afar. It also suffers from “locked door” syndrome, meaning that there’s in addition to corridors to run down, there’s hope that you can duck into a room to escape the baddies but… it’s not a proper door, so you can’t go in. I do hate that.
Need to know about anything else annoying? Kill a baddie, then unlike any other first-person-shooter, you can’t just walk over their dropped weaponry and pick it up. You can’t even bend down and/or press a button to get it either. It’s just inaccessible to you. Why?
And make sure you save regularly. While even the “Hard” difficulty setting wasn’t hard for any seasoned gamer at first, the enemies did get harder to beat later on and there are so few auto-save points in this game that from time to time you’ll meet too many baddies, you’ll get bumped off and will then end up having to traverse a long distance to get back to where you left off.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the game.
Rage – Gameplay footage video 2 (720p HD)
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.