There was a time when I sat dumbfounded in front of Wolf 3D… I was fresh outta SNES playing Super Mario & Contra and had never seen a game played in first person. Wolf 3D just blew me away..it was a shareware version of the game but I played it over and again. id became my first favorite game developer..though it was only a start. Doom, Quake and Quake 2 followed closely to my likes and played it for hours..didn’t even stop with a teary eye. I remember I went on a 2k fragfest playing Quake 3 Arena…stopping only for pee breaks. Doom 3 was hailed as the next big thing in gaming though it got overshadowed by Half-Life 2. Doom 3 was considered the ‘Crysis’ of the time failing to run in ultra high settings in the most beefed up PC. But still Doom 3 is still considered one of the scariest games of all time…albeit with monster closets and in your face cheap scares. I enjoyed playing Quake 4…but it was more like ‘I HAD TO’ just coz I was an id fan. I better get back to the topic here else I’d go on about how much I love id’s games.
Fast forward to 2011…I found myself the same way when I first saw Wolf 3D. I was sitting in front of RAGE this time though…sucking in all the details from a colossally detailed canyon with life like clouds (but most of the time static) and the sun rays piercing through my cornea into my brain..numbing my senses that I forgot to close my mouth. YES, its that gorgeous. id’s Tech 5 engines delivered what it promised and the Megatexture tech really worked wonders saving on a lot of loadtimes. Though PC gamers had to wait a while before they got the patch for the texture loading issues…I got my hands on an already patched version and I say again its one of the most exquisitely graphical game in recent times. You can just gape at the environments for a long time…at least I did so. The dusty canyons, the particles indoors, the wonderfully animated beings of the game…id has always pioneered in their games technically and RAGE is a fine example. The game was so graphically stunning that when I went back to play some other games..I couldn’t stand the now-obsolete graphics..*cough* New Vegas *cough*
First of RAGE’s flaw is that its got a non-existent storyline…a game teased for years and burdening with this much hype should at least have a decent storyline. RAGE’s storyline is typical and ho-hum…but its no reason why you shouldn’t play it.
For sometime I wondered why RAGE was made a FPS/RPG hybrid. The market is already saturated with them these days…Fallout 3 and Borderlands among the best, and was irked at the idea of playing just another post-apocalyptic FPS/RPG but RAGE more of a true blue FPS with the right amount of RPG to be enjoyed. Being the granddaddy of all FPS’, id, without doubt, really pulled off a great FPS experience. RAGE gives us a well refined, fluid and harmonic first person shooting experience. Unlike modern shooters, where you can only carry 2 rifles and a pistol at time, RAGE lets us carry all 9 weapons with a plethora of innovative ammo. Ah old school rocks! The ammo varies from the extremely powerful Fatboys for the pistols to electric arrows for the crossbow. My favorite being the mind control arrows and a guided pistol ammo. The SHOTGUN is back with a bang and is extremely powerful and I found myself getting through most of the firefights with it. The Wingstick is super sweet! In the engineering tab, with the right schematic and parts salvaged from the canyon you can even build Exploding RC Cars, Advanced Wingsticks (with which you can kill 3 enemies in a row) and the usual Gun turrets and Turret bots. Wonder whats with id’s obsession about spider-like turret bots…it was there in Doom 3, Quake 4 and now in RAGE. The firefights in RAGE is splendid and orgasmic. Though I was disappointed with the melee attacks..or maybe its just me used to the melee in Crysis 2. 😛
The fast paced FPS sequences are abridged by racing vehicles through the vast canyons and open landscapes to reach your destinations…and id has done it so well. Your destinations, if on foot, would take hours to be reached and thats where vehicles in RAGE comes in. The idea is not..well…innovative..but id’s perfection has been stamped all over it. The dune buggies and cars can be rigged with machine guns, turrets, rocket launchers and pulse cannons along with drop mines, shields and such. The driving deathmatches were responsive and enjoyable and challenging when played in hard mode. The dirt trails the buggies on nitro leaves are just some of the tiny details id took care making this game all the more sweet..GRAPHICALLY! I was reminded of a racing mod for the original Quake, a TC (Total Conversion) which used the Quake engine to make an excellent driving sim.
Doom 3 had the most wells designed monsters of all time..be it the Imp, zombie variants, the Pinky Demon, Hell Knights and all..though in RAGE monsters are scarce instead the wastelands are filled with Bandits, mutants and sentient enemies known as The Authority. I was disappointed not seeing any innovative mutant enemies though it was quickly overcome when the pleasure taken in blowing mutants’ and bandits’ heads off. The enemies are all well scripted and they behave intelligently in a firefight..mutants dash at u with melee weapons, strafing and running over walls all the while avoiding shots though an in-your-face shot..makes the enemy cover his face, stumble a bit before rushing back to you. The Authority and Bandits on the other hand makes excellent use of cover behind inanimate objects or larger enemies..they shift positions when they finds out they can be shot at. Even the injured enemies frantically get back to cover as quickly as they can where they shake it off and revive to get back to the fight. I found all the characters extremely well modeled animated..be it the NPCs or the enemies..their motions fluid and credible.
First of all I don’t know why id named their new IP as ‘RAGE’. If you Google ‘rage’..lots of things pop up including angry people, Rockstar’s Rage Engine and stuff. Remember Quake and Doom? How the name stands out? They’ve made a niche of its own in the gaming history. Though you’d have to say “id’s Rage” to make some people realize we are discussing about the right game. Its not like they ran outta striking names for a game…going for a monosyllable like ‘RAGE’ is inane.
Why Post-Apocalyptic scenario again? Its an over-used scenario and now almost reigned by Fallout 3 and Borderlands. It was all the more reason for RAGE to be compared with those games than a great id title. If it wasn’t for id…I wouldn’t even have touched RAGE coz I was getting sick of games based on PO-AP.
I like the fact that RAGE concentrated more on gunplay than RPG elements but it would have appealed to a more wide audience if the RPG elements had some more depth to it. A bit more beefed up engineering, a little hacking or a some more character customization (than choosing 3 armor types) would have been good. I know with all that RAGE will still go the Fallout 3/Borderlands road..but still RAGE have become a worthy contender to those titles.
RAGE can be finished in about 10 hours…PERIOD! The plot was exceptionally shallow and apart from the gorgeous graphics, fantastic firefights and driving deathmatches there’s nothing much to go back to RAGE. Hell…I found RAGE wasn’t even challenging at times…I felt very much let down after I knew the game had ended. RAGE has indeed a precipitous ENDING! If they did intended RAGE to be old school (nobody said so..but still) why didn’t id put some Boss Fights? Why no boss fights? Why not more challenging mini bosses? A DLC is underway but I doubt it will be able to take away the bitter taste the original left off.
Being a post-apocalyptic world, I thought RAGE would be expansive…and especially when the game was over 19 Gigs in size..I expected it to be as expansive as GTA 5. Though what I got is 3-4 hubs or towns between the deserted landscapes, where you meet people and carry out the townspeople’s tasks and missions. Yes the hubs are ‘lively’ with the remaining human population but still 3 hubs are just not enough..and thats exactly one of the reasons why RAGE felt short.
Another let down is the complete omission of FPS multiplayer…there are no Deathmatches, CTF or any multiplayer for FPS fans. Instead the multiplayer is strictly based on vehicles. I was surprised why a FPS veteran like id included only Vehicular Action in multiplayer. Yes the vehicular deathmatches are good coupled with boosts, perks n quad damage-esque power ups…but it can quickly get tedious. And haven’t we already seen Blur and Crashday?
All in all…RAGE is an excellent and polished FPS. The best in market now and one of the most gorgeous (ie until Battlefield 3 releases :P). It has its cons but if you are an FPS fan…you wont regret playing RAGE. We do get what we waited all these years waiting for it and more. Just don’t compare it with Fallout 3 & Borderlands instead play it as any standalone FPS and I am sure you’ll enjoy it more than you’d have imagined.
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