Review by phugface

"Rage: Successes and Failures"

So I popped into my local game store to buy a game. I didn't know what I wanted but I left with Rage, which came out that day unknowingly to me.

Story
Though the premise is tired, the opening to the game immediately hooked me in. I am a sucker for some post apocalyptic sci-fi... when it at least strays a LITTLE from the norm. The protagonist is a super soldier from the past, sent to outer space in an effort to preserve humanity at the brink of extinction. The story is not it's selling point that's for sure, but the ambiguity kept me interested for a few hours. As the game progressed, I came to find out what I already somewhat predicted. The story sort of fell flat to me, but personally story isn't going to make or break a game.

Graphics
I read a lot of hate concerning the graphics on message boards, mostly the Gamefaqs troll community, but I think the game looks great... from a distance. The closer you walk to a wall the worse the textures get. This isn't really a big deal, since the character animations and 60fps are ridiculously awesome. There are the occasional texture loading issues but the game runs smooth as hell, and even now I still can't believe it's on a console. This gives me a lot of hope for the next Fallout (even though it likely won't be the same engine). I also like how the lighting changes when entering a new room/environment.

Gameplay
I love the guns. I was still rocking out the pistol at the end of the game regularly, which is the first gun you get. The trick is the multiple ammo types that you can gather for your weapons, making every gun somewhat useful in certain situations. The enemy AI kept the combat interesting as they took cover, called for backup, randomly charged me, and relentlessly threw grenades to draw me out. This game strays from the normal 1990's shooter formula in enough ways to classify it as a hybrid. First off, you don't just get thrust into a level via a menu, you actually travel a somewhat linear landscape to complete your missions. This to me, was kind of annoying. The world wasn't vast and open enough to really justify exploration; so I just stuck to the script. Secondly, there are armor upgrades, craft-able items, and a fair amount of loot hidden in levels.

Online Gameplay
I put a few hours into the online mode with a friend. We both had a blast, and found it to be a pretty good addition. You start with a normal buggy and play through a series of racing game modes (with filtering options). I still would have rather had a traditional online deathmatch, but I'll just wait for COD and BF3.

Sound
The voice acting is very well done. There is a personality associated with most NPCs which definitely makes it more enjoyable to go around and talk to everyone in town. The guns sound nice too. One aspect of the sound I did not like was when enemies randomly say things. The voice doesn't exactly match to the location. For instance: I'm coming round a corner, then I suddenly hear a voice so I stop because it sounds like it's close. So I wait, then pop out guns blazing... there is nothing. I continue to hear the voice but don't find him till a few rooms onward... how the hell could I hear him full force from like three rooms away? I feel like I'm nit picking but it was a consistent, but minor, annoyance throughout the game.

Conclusion: 7/10
Rage does a good job of hooking you in, but does not offer the lasting appeal that a shooter should, especially one as short as this one (15-20 hours if you have OCD, and 6-10 if you do main missions). The graphics are awesome and the AI is very fun to fight against, but once I started disc 2 I really started to lose interest. The towns are all practically mirror images of each other and at times felt like too much of a chore to do the side missions. Also, a mini map for the towns would be nice.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 10/11/11

Game Release: Rage (Anarchy Edition) (US, 10/04/11)


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