id's Rage: Flawed, Flat, But Occasionally Fun - HotHardware

id's Rage: Flawed, Flat, But Occasionally Fun

9 thumbs up
Rage is id Software's first game in seven years and its lead developer, John Carmack, has more than earned a spot in the video game industry's all-time Hall of Fame. Rage, however, doesn't live up to its pedigree*. While it's not a bad game, it's a shadow of what we hoped for. There's no character customization in Rage and the game world, while gorgeous, is fairly small. You'll see plenty of jaw-dropping scenery, but you won't be visiting 95 percent of it.


Tomorrow's weather: Cloudy, with a 100% chance of impact winter

The game takes place 106 years after Earth is struck by the asteroid 99942 Apophis. Prior to the disaster, the US government created a number of Arks as part of a plan to ensure human civilization wouldn't be irrevocably wiped out by the asteroid's impact. You awaken as the sole survivor of your Ark, stagger outside, and are nearly killed by mutants. A local roughneck, Dan Hagar, shoots them off your back, offers to give you a lift to the nearest settlement, and the game begins. Unfortunately, the plot doesn't.

Mission Structure, Plot Holes:


Rage's engine is capable of producing some stunning visuals, both across large amounts of terrain, and in closer environments.
The town of Wellspring is pictured on the right


Rage's Uprising trailer, released in early August, implied that the game is a struggle between the heroic members of the Resistance and the tyrannical Authority. In reality, you won't even encounter the Authority until more than halfway through the game. NPCs make disparaging remarks about the organization and claim that Ark survivors meet a bad end if the Authority finds them but for an evil dictatorship, the Authority plays a very limited role.             


That's a Sand Person Shrouded Clan member on the left, a rather cranky mutant on the right.

Instead of battling an oppressive government, you spend most of your time wiping out local groups of bandits, even when they don't actually offer a believable threat. At one point, the local sheriff tasks you with wiping out the Shrouded Clan due to the number of RC car bombs they've been manufacturing. Imagine the look Darth Vader gave George Lucas when informed that Ewoks would be responsible for blowing up the second Death Star, and you've got an idea how well this comes off.

Other than a few fetch quests and delivery speed runs, Rage's missions boil down to "Go to X and kill everything that moves." The lack of alternate solutions is downright distasteful in some cases—at one point, you're charged with killing off the Gearhead Clan because the mayor of Subway Town doesn't want to pay his electricity bill. NPCs repeatedly refer to your "special skills" when it comes to handling such jobs, until we began to suspect that the player character was packed off to the future as some sort of murderous enforcer.

* Note: If you intend to play Rage on a PC and you own an AMD videocard, you'll need to update your drivers. The game is effectively unplayable on Catalyst 11.9 or previous versions. Some Nvidia users have also complained of texture artifacts, screen tearing, and texture pop-in, but the problem seems more severe on ATI hardware. Nvidia recommends gamers experiencing problems install the 285.38 beta Forceware drivers.

Article Index:

1 2 3 4 Next
0
+ -

Could you guys get some frame rates on a few different hardware configurations so we can know what kind of hardware you need to run this game?

Also, it looks pretty good!

+2
+ -

Unfortunately benchmarking with the game is not easy. You have to use FRAPS and it causes issues with the game. We're looking into it.

0
+ -

"Thanks for the heads up. I admit I was never wild about Rage, but I might just give it a try. It will make a good Sunday day off gaming session. Suck for the bugs, I have a 4870 X2  and I like the better gaming visual it provides over my Consoles. One problem is I'm better at FPS games with the PS3 controller because that was what I was used to before I bought the X2.  great review nonetheless. "

Joel H:
t$60 is a lot to play for a game with a 10-12 hour campaign and the depth of a box of kitty litter.
 

"LOL, favorite quote. Anyhow, @ Joel, what happened to your Battlefield 3 Beta Analysis? I was looking forward to it. Also, what was your test set up for this review, are you still using that Origin Genesis rig with the dual 5970's?"

0
+ -

I have a Radeon HD 4870 X2. The drivers are not presently equip to handle the graphics. Lots of tearing and blocking of texures. I am going to have to get a 2 to 4 gig video cards. I might as well get the GTX 590, the Radeon 6990 is too loud, and the Asus Mars II is to expensive.

0
+ -

The tearing and a certain degree of texture pop-in are present on most cards. More horsepower won't prevent it.

0
+ -

Is there a fix planned?

 

 

0
+ -

Well there's a patch coming to fix the texture issues if that's what you're suggesting.

0
+ -

TaylorKarras:
Well there's a patch coming to fix the texture issues if that's what you're suggesting.

Not suggesting, just asking. Smile

I had already decided to wait to buy this title when it goes on sale somewhere, probably STEAM. It's good, because maybe it will work better when I do end up with it.

 

0
+ -

I had high hopes for this game after the preview. I'm a sucker for eye candy! I guess I'll wait a few months for it to go on sale. Thanks for the review Joel, good work.

0
+ -

I'm liking the game alot myself, but it deffinately fell short of what I was expecting by quite a large margin. The gfx are a mixed bag, the combat is solid though very average and the story... what story?! :p Performance is at least good on my rig with the patch and some config tweaks helping greatly.

Great review guys!

1 2 3 4 Next
Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: