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[Review] Rage |

When Bethesda and id Software, revealed the game Rage, everyone, including myself, was thinking or hoping, that this would be the next Borderlands or Fallout. Well, it does share some similarities to both, however it is unlike them as well.

Check out this video, then hit the jump for my take on this great game.

Rage, was built using the id Tech 5 engine, which provided a very memorable and fun experience. Rage is one the best looking games I have ever played. The amount of detail in the environments is so good, that it looks remarkably realistic in places. At one point I set the camera angle toward the sky, looking just above some cliffs, and had my wife look at it. She thought it was a real picture. The graphics are truly stunning.

Although better graphically than both, the scenery does have a familiar look to both Borderlands and Fallout. The cartoon-esque style of the buildings and characters has a similar look to Borderlands, and the plot of resembles that of Fallout. For a while anyway.

You play as Raine, an ex marine and special forces agent, who was cryo-frozen in an underground vault know as an Ark. The Ark program was started to preserve life on earth, after the 99942 Apophis asteroid collides with Earth in 2029. This asteroid actually exists.

99942 Apophis ( /əˈpɒfɪs/, previously known by its provisional designation 2004 MN4) is a near-Earth asteroid that caused a brief period of concern in December 2004 because initial observations indicated a small probability (up to 2.7%) that it would strike the Earth in 2029. Additional observations provided improved predictions that eliminated the possibility of an impact on Earth or the Moon in 2029. However, a possibility remained that during the 2029 close encounter with Earth, Apophis would pass through a gravitational keyhole, a precise region in space no more than about a half-mile wide, that would set up a future impact on April 13, 2036. This possibility kept the asteroid at Level 1 on the Torino impact hazard scale until August 2006, when the probability that Apophis will pass through the keyhole was determined to be very small. Apophis broke the record for the highest level on the Torino Scale, being, for only a short time, a level 4, before it was lowered. Its diameter is approximately 270 meters (885 ft). As of October 7, 2009, the probability of an April 13, 2036 impact is considered to be 1 in 250,000.

Raine’s Ark suffered a cryogenics malfunction as a result of seismic activity, and everyone on board died except you. You awake in 2138, escape the arc, and after a few seconds of accommodating to the sun light, begin to be attacked by bandits. You are immediately helped by Dan Hagar, voiced by John Goodman, who takes you to his very small town. He then explains some things to you, and sends you off on some missions.

Most of the single player campaign involves running errands for the various people you meet in the towns scattered across the wasteland. Go from point A to point B, fight enemies through this dungeon, find an item, then bring it back to A. Although that sounds repetitive and boring, it isn’t at all.

First off, getting from A to B is best done in a vehicle. When driving a vehicle, RAGE changes from a first-person shooter, to a third-person vehicle game that is actually done really well. You start with a basic quad, but can quickly obtain a dune buggy that allows for weapons and upgrades. These weapons and upgrades become important as the game progresses, because the wasteland is filled with bandits driving other vehicles, bent on killing or capturing you at all costs. There are also vehicle races, delivery missions, and even arena battle modes, that provide both rewards and hours of entertainment.

The controls and mechanics are surprising very good as well. This made driving itself fun, and I often found myself trying for bigger jumps, spinouts, and tricks, even when not in combat. The driving is necessary to travel long distances in Rage’s vast world.

Although open world to some extent, the game actually looks more open world then it is, and with the exception of side quests, is very linear. There are not a whole lot of directional options when traversing a location, but that is fine with this type of game. Rage is definitely a FPS with some added bonuses.

You can have up to four weapons ready for fast swap, but can hold all the available weapons in your inventory. One thing about the game that really pleased me, is that when you were carrying a gun and pointed it toward a friendly NPC, you would point the gun to the sky, rather then aim it at them. This is a pet peeve I have with most other first person shooters, so I was happy they addressed it in Rage.

With a few exceptions, the guns available, although unique designs, fit your standard pistol, shotgun, assault rifle, and sniper rifle profiles. A very cool crosbow, a rocket launcher, and even a plasma rifle will also come into play. Different types of ammunition can be crafted or bought for the guns, giving each weapon a few choices. There is also a weapon called a wingstick that can be thrown at will. This was probably my favorite weapon in the game.

These wingsticks act as a very deadly boomerang, and will return to you, destroying everything in its path, if thrown just right. A lot of the time however, it will be broken up and you will have to deplete your inventory of the available wingsticks. It is not equipped instead of a gun, rather it is equipped alongside a firearm, such as a grenade would be.

Wingsticks, along with many other items, can be produced in the game from looted components and an associated schematic.

Other notable items include lock grinders, RC bomb cars, sentry turrets, and my favorite, the sentry bots, a spider like robot with a deadly machine gun. You can have up to three active at one time to help you in the heavily fortified areas.

The enemies in Rage are done very well. When under attack, they will cover, blind fire, and even switch positions to try and get a better shot at you. Some will even hide behind other enemies holding energy shields. Other, melee type enemies will run at you in a zig-zag pattern, ducking and dodging your bullets, and even jump on walls, and swing from the ceiling, making them almost impossible to target.

Besides the main missions and side quests, there are also mini-games to play. I already mentioned the buggy races, but there are also a few easy to learn games. Tombstone is a random dice roll game involving holographic figures. Although simple, it actually became rather addicting.

Throughout the missions, and scattered around the world, you’ll find 54 different cards to use in a Magic the Gathering type card game called Rage Frenzy. It is a fun and addicting game as well. There are also a couple other mini-games, including Five Finger Fillet, and Strum, a Simon Says type game.

Another mini-game happens each time you are close to death. A defibrillator can bring you back to life and shock any nearby enemies. The amount of health returned to you is determined by how well you play this fast paced mini-game. Before using the defibrillator again, it will need to recharge. If you die before a recharge, you will respawn at the last save point, a good reason to save often.

The only real issue I have with the game, is that it ends abruptly without any big resolution. There also isn’t the “big boss” type ending that you would expect. It does however leave you longing for more, and that’s possibly a good thing if there is a sequel to be made. More can also be had in the co-operative play in Rage.

There are standalone missions separate from the main story, that are two player co-op. They can be played on-line, or couch co-op via split screen. These missions tell some of the history of other areas and people, you will encounter in the game. The missions can be played over and over again for high scores, with the levels giving multipliers, and bonus points for headshots, less deaths, time completed, and the like.

Another very fun part of co-op is the buggy races and combat arenas. You can level up, add different weapon and power ups, and customize your vehicle to look cool. This all helps you to further dominate the competition. The combat arena, although not as complex or in depth, is reminiscent of Twisted Metal, and is very fun.

A rush through Rage’s main missions, lasts about 11 hours, however, an easy 40 hours of game play is possible with the side quests and mini-games. The co-op just adds to that even more. With that said, Rage is definitely a great game for your money and I highly recommend it.


Graphics are Amazing
Great Voice Cast
Lots of Action
Fun Co-op Experience
Let Down Ending

This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of Rage provided by ID Software.

  • I can picture you going “Im gonna jump that one more time baby!” lol Great review dude

  • haha wow Oly that was damn quick for you. Great review

  • Really enjoyed this review Oly, good job!

    I’m glad this game turned out to be as good as everyone expected, can’t wait to get my time with it!

  • Fantastic review Doc., makes me consider picking up the game. I am disappointed by the let down ending you mentioned, but the game is worth picking for the lengthy play-through only.

  • dragon290513

    hmm nice perspective, perhaps i need to spend more time with the game. I just reached the point where you got your own buggy. But so far for me the game is rather bland. The visual is breathtaking though, no question about that but so far everything i do is “hey i will give you this but first you got to do this” again and again and again. Unlike other games where although they ask the same but in different manners or methods that make you more excited but here every NPCs say the exact same thing. And the graphic, although the scenery is beautiful, try to examine little details like a lamp or tv set and hit it, with anything. Seriously a bullet mark on a freaking vase? what the heck?

  • I was so hype about this game and then when it came out it ended up being just a FPS not want I thought it would be lol I havent even picked it up yet just read about it and most everyone saying its just ok not great not bad anyway this is a good review.

  • Finally! Thanks for the review Oly, you’ve now convinced me to do some voodoo magic and find an extra $60 to add this game to my collection. I LOOOOOVED Borderlands and Fallout 3 and I just can’t get enough of post-apocalyptic settings…

  • @EdEN yep, those games are amazing, post apocalyptic setting FTW!

  • Everyone who reviews a game nowadays is so harsh and quick to judge… trying to scare people away from purchasing it. Most people we’re complaining that it was going to be just like Borderlands and Fallout, then it wasn’t and everyone got mad. It’s like both, but as a FPS. Everyone also complained that it was too short… I’ve been playing this game for well over a combined 24 hrs… and I’m still not done. There’s a lot to do and trophies to collect. Plus the co-op and online. If you can beat this game and accomplish a 100% of the tasks in 11 hours, your lying.

    That being said, once you’ve done all that, the online buggy racing is not enough to keep you playing RAGE. I understand that the concept of making the online component racing was a cool move. There’s a ton of online shooters, if you wanna shoot… play the campaign and when your burnt out of shooting, you can race and battle in buggies. I commend that idea, but the racing is not so awesome… so you’ll most likely tire of it after a few hours and not return to it, like COD.

    In the end, its a great game, it’s got a lot of things to do and it’s pretty. If you like shooting monsters, it’s for you. I wanna finish it soon, so I can trade it in before the value drops more.

  • Oly

    “Most people we’re complaining that it was going to be just like Borderlands and Fallout, then it wasn’t and everyone got mad.”

    Yup, I’m glad it was its own game!

  • Hmm. Played the Demo and wasn’t too amused. I mean, sure, the game was okay, but not 50 Euros worth good. I however, did not know that it had splitscreen co-op. That makes it a pretty good buy for me since I’m always looking for Splitscreen fun to enjoy with my partner. Hrm. Suppose I’ll wait for the game to get cheaper. On a more direct note, great review! Read through it before leaving for school(yes, that is what I do with the limited time between getting up and heading out). All in all, the pros seem to outweigh the cons..and I do love me the Wingstick..