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)
There’s also a very bizarre system when you get shot and are close to death. You sort-of see your two joysticks as defib paddles that have to be moved into certain positions as many times as possible in just 8 seconds. Then, as the indicators of ‘LT’ and ‘RT’ (i.e left and right triggers), move back and forth over a certain spot, you have to press them at the same time, like a duckshoot. Get it right and you come back to life.
I thought Rage was going to be an all-out action first-person-shooter but there’s too many RPG-style elements such as customising weapons and vehicles, and at some point Janus told me how to mix together a grenade and bandages. I’m not sure for what purpose but something happened with them.
Similarly, with the lock grinder, although at least I knew the purpose for that was to open certain doors, but the premise with those was to pick up specific items all over the place, which will come together to form a lock grinder at the time when you need it. Other small items you’ll collect along the way, such as cans and wine bottles, you can sell to the local merchant once you get back to Dan Hagar’s ‘house’ in order to make a few bucks.
Rage – Gameplay footage video 3 (720p HD)
Overall, I played Rage for a few hours and just found myself getting very bored towards the end of this time. Okay, I didn’t make a lot of headway in the game, but when you just don’t get the necessary buzz from a game, how are you expected to continue? Note that in the footage online the time-stamps don’t appear to have racked up a lot of game time but that’s because I was having to replay the sections due to continually getting killed (Fools rush in, and all that, rather than being stealthy).
If Multiplayer gaming is your bag, then Rage has two multiplayer modes: Road Rage and Legends of the Wasteland. Road Rage features up to four players competing in a free-for-all match that takes place in an arena designed to make use of the vehicles. The objective is to collect rally points that appear around the arena while killing your opponents and stealing their points.
Legends of the Wasteland is a series of two-player co-op missions based on stories that are heard throughout the single player campaign. There are a total of 9 objectives in this game type.
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Rage – Gameplay footage video 4 (720p HD)
- Publisher: Bethesda
- Price: £24.99 (Xbox 360, PS3); £22.99 (PC)
- Players: 1; co-op: 2; online multiplayer: 2-4
- HDTV options: 720p/1080i/1080p
- Features: game content download, leaderboards, voice
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.
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