Since it was first revealed back in 2007, Rage has received tremendous attention due to its design and the promise of a good combination of racing and first person shooter elements. At E3 2011, Rage was one of the most talked about games, as the media were finally able to play it. Their feedback? Everyone was impressed by it, and the results earned the Rage a lot of E3 awards.
Based on the gameplay video that Bethesda released for Rage, gamers got the impression that it plays like Borderlands with a racing aspect similar to MotorStorm. Does Rage follow in the footsteps of Borderlands and Motorstorm? Let’s take a look in the HOTs and NOTs in our our review of Rage.
The visuals of Rage are unimaginable. Using new technology from id Software, Rage’s textures and designs are among the best that I’ve ever seen in the entire videogame industry. The locales and the depth of the environments are just amazing. The developer knew exactly how to mix the shadows and lighting of the game, carefully crafting the ambience of the game’s post-apocalyptic setting. In Rage, players can expect to see a steam-punk town and a real post-apocalyptic setting where everywhere they venture is destroyed and only mutants and bandits roam the land.
In terms of voiceovers, the majority of them are done well. There are several NPCs in the game that are really brought to life by their voice actors. The lip-syncing is also well done, and it makes listening and hearing the voiceover much better, players will be able to feel the realism of the game.
Borderlands & MotorStorm on Steroids
It is often said that Rage was inspired by Borderlands and MotorStorm. In Rage, players will see some similarities with those two games. The progression of Rage feels exactly like Borderlands. The very moment players start the game, they are immediately thrown into a mission. The missions in Rage have a lot of variety — they vary from pick up missions, eliminating enemies and a lot more. Following the successful completion of a mission, players will be rewarded with money instead of experience points since there’s no leveling-up required. No health bars exist in this game, as whenever the player gets hit by an enemy, they can recover automatically by lying low and not getting hit.
There are a decent amount of quests in Rage. For those who are worried that the game might be short, expect at least ten hours to complete the main campaign, not including the many side-quests the game has to offer. If the player wishes to take a break from the main quests, there are mini-games that players might enjoy such as cards and dice. Playing these two mini-games reward the player with more money.
Racing aficionados and fans of MotorStorm will be pleased to know that Rage offers excellent racing as well. The primary mode of transportation in Rage is through the vehicles that are built to compete with one another, as players can customize them to have wheel spikes, rocket launchers and mini-guns. The vehicles that are available in the game are similar to the ones that are in MotorStorm, and they can be used in a variety of game modes, such as Road Rage or a simple race. In the campaign, players can compete in races and get tickets to upgrade the parts of their vehicle. If the players wish to play multiplayer, there’s a separate mode for that and it’s mostly Road Rage.
Another highlight of Rage is the co-op mode. Similar to other co-op modes, players can team up in a new mode called Wasteland Legends and help each other out. The game can be a little bit hard and teaming up with a friend is necessary in order to survive. Don’t forget that your performance are evaluated depending on the headshots, number of kills and a lot more – at the end, you’ll be awarded with ribbons and badges.
Let’s Make our Items
As mentioned earlier, Rage will offer gamers the ability to make an item from different kinds of loot scattered throughout the game. Before a player can build an item, they must acquire a blueprint first. These blueprints are scattered throughout the Wasteland. Building items are helpful especially if money gets a little tight later down the road.
Story not as Engaging
Players who were disappointed by the core story of Borderlands should expect the same thing from Rage. From the start of the game, players will have a little background on the story. Rage starts with a prologue scene that shows how Earth was decimated by an asteroid. The asteroid that hits Earth was somehow related to the main character of the game, and after arriving in the Wasteland, everyone was out to get him. There starts the journey of the unnamed character throughout the Wasteland. The story progression is slow in Rage but for this game, that’s not where the game is focused but instead on the gameplay.
Lack of Customizations for the Character
At the start of the player’s game, there will be no option to customize the main character. If players were hoping that Rage has a solid RPG element in it, they won’t find it here. The customization of the character is lacking and it can be difficult to find a good piece of armor. However, there are a decent amount of weapons and ammunition in the game. Players can buy different types of ammunition for each gun. For example, the shotgun can use the regular bullets or can be equipped with explosive rounds. The collection of weapons is decent, but it all falls short from the lack of customization for the character.
Between the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, players should expect more texture popping on the PlayStation 3 despite the game’s hard drive installation. For the Xbox 360 version, Bethesda highly recommends installing the game data on the hard drive to lessen the pop-ins. The frames rates are equivalent on both systems. If the player decides to purchase the Xbox 360 version, save at least 22GB worth of HDD space on the hard drive, as it will come as a three disc set.
Quests can be Boring and Repetitive
While there are a decent amount of quests in Rage, most of them tend to get boring. The first hour of Rage, players will have a lot of fun as they will enjoy the graphics and the gameplay. As they play through the game for another three hours, they will notice the majority of the quests will become dull and repetitive. The objectives of the quests make them dull but thanks to the racing feature the game has to offer, it somewhat helps ease the repetition of the game, as shooting down bandits vehicles in the Wasteland is fun.
Rage will meet the expectations of most gamers — it’s wonderful and many players who followed id Software beforehand will be thankful for this game’s creation. The new id tech 5 engine that id Software used for Rage works quite well and if the graphics are used towards the next Doom or Quake game, it would be one of the games shooter fans should look forward to. While the game is not perfect due to its flaws in the story and the lack of character customization, it all comes down to how great the gameplay is. The mixture of racing and first person shooter is new and overall, it is a must-have game for this year.
[Editor’s Note: Rage was reviewed on the Xbox 360 hardware. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]