Review by JonWood007
"A bit underrated, despite its technical flaws"
Rage was a highly anticipated game that was a disappointment to many when released. When I asked around about whether I should get this, many said no, and said that it was not worth the money. It has a bad stigma largely due to a lot of technical issues, and while I do not deny they exist, when you get the game to work, it is very worthwhile in my opinion.
The graphics of the game are pretty good in itself, although riddled with all kinds of technical issues. The environments are pretty detailed, although one aspect of them are pretty bad: the textures. The engine tries not to use the same texture twice, which leads to the game being around 20 GB. Yes, you read that right; the game is 20 GB due to the amount of textures included. Yet, at the same time, the textures do not even look that good. They look washed out half the time. If you look away from something and then look back, the textures often reload themselves, and this is quite evident when looking at them with the naked eye. This kind of hurts the realism. Another issue is screen tearing. While I heard of screen tearing before Rage, I never experienced it until playing it; I am not the only one who thinks so either. Everyone I have talked to about the game seems to feel the same way. So while the graphics do look good, there are all kinds of problems with them too.
The audio sounds just as good as any other game.
The controls are fine for the most part, except for making one use the F1-4 buttons to change one's quick switch item; it is highly impractical in game. Other than that, the controls work.
Game Play: 7/10
The game is pretty good....when it works. As some of you are probably aware of, Rage has all kinds of massive problems when it comes to drivers. ATI/AMD drivers have the most problems. If you do not update your drivers to anything made after the game came out, do not expect to play it. While it ran fine on my HD 5850 with the 11.11a drivers, it would not even start on my laptop with an HD 6520g with its default drivers (upon researching the problem, all ATI cards, all the way up to the HD 6990, can experience this issue for a number of reasons, including drivers). This problem should have been fixed before it was released; while driver issues are not uncommon in PC gaming, failure on this scale is inexcusable.
As for the game itself, it is pretty nice. It is a hybrid of a FPS and an RPG, with some driving elements included. There are hub worlds, which are very reminiscent of RPGs, as well as shops that sell upgrades to weapons and the like. In order to get from place to place, people drive. At first you get an ATV, but as the game progresses, you start getting higher end cars. You can also race, which will give you rewards that let you upgrade your car. The bulk of the game is normal, ID-style first person shooter that is not much different than, say, Quake 4, for example. After you drive to a mission, you get out of the car, and shoot things. While it is relatively easy at first, it gets harder as time progresses. Fighting enemies can get strategic, as different weapons and ammo for weapons is more effective on enemies than others. For example, with the machine gun, normal rounds might work well against lighter enemies, but will not work well against heavier ones; the armor piercing ones work better. While it gets more difficult toward the end of the game, the final level was kind of a let down because you get all of these overpowered weapons to fight enemies that would go down from normal weapons. What really disappointed me is that there was no final boss; just waves of enemies, which went down fairly easily at that point.
As for the plot, it was pretty solid. You are an Ark survivor; one of the few who were selected to survive an apocalypse and rebuild the world afterwards. You were frozen in an underground facility known as an Ark for centuries However, the world you wake up to is much different than the one you left behind; people mostly live in settlements built out of ruins from the previous civilization, and numerous factions are fighting for control, from the "Authority", to numerous bandit groups. Throughout the game, you end up fighting many of these groups for a variety of different reasons.
There are very few multiplayer components to the game. While you can race your cars against others online, almost no one plays this mode; the multiplayer is pretty much dead and should not be considered in your purchase of this game.
Fun Factor: 8/10
If you can get the game to work, it is a very fun one to play. It may not be the best game ever, or even the best by ID, but it is worth playing.
Game length: 9/10
It is pretty long. It took me around 10 hours doing just the main quests. There are also some side quests I missed, as well as some racing components I largely ignored. Moreover, there are some interesting easter eggs to find as well. With them, I heard the game can take up to 15-20 hours. This is a good, solid length for an FPS, especially seeing how the average campaign nowadays lasts around 6 hours.
Learning Curve: 10/10
On normal difficulty, the learning curve is pretty solid. The game starts out easy, but gets more difficult over time, without making it too difficult to play. By the end of the game, it may take a lot of rounds to take down even a basic enemy, but they're not too much to handle. The only exception, as I mentioned, was the final level; compared to the previous four or so levels, it seemed obscenely easy, especially considering how much extra firepower they gave you just for that level.
Overall, despite a lot of technical flaws, including graphical concerns and severe driver issues, the game is worth playing. While it is primarily a single player game, it has a lot of content and is worth the money in my opinion.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/09/12
Game Release: Rage (US, 10/03/11)
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