Rage Debut Marred By Performance Issues, Dubious Reviews

id Software's Rage has launched for PC and the various consoles, but the game comes loaded with a laundry list of issues. Most of the graphical problems appear to affect ATI users, but not all--texture pop-in is reportedly a huge issue for both Nvidia and ATI. Texture pop-in, for those of you who've somehow missed the phenomenon, is that split-second delay between pig-ugly visuals and actual graphics that's invaded PCs since console ports became the norm. We've borrowed a pair of screenshots from Duke Nukem Forever, where the effect was particularly egregious, to illustrate.

ATI released a Rage performance driver, then yanked it and released a new Rage performance driver, claiming that the first package contained an old OpenGL driver that was causing a lot of the problems. If you decide to grab the game and own a Radeon, make sure you've downloaded the latest software. Graphical issues (according to the Steam forums) include:

  • No Custom settings for Video Cards
  • No Console command Read here to enable the console key: http://forums.steampowered.com/forum….php?t=2154191 & via config file here http://forums.steampowered.com/forum…7&postcount=89
  • No Vsync options – Results in screen tearing – Forcing Vsync causes the game to crash the drivers and game(AMD)
  • Unable to skip intros??? To disable the intro videos put this “+set com_skipIntroVideo 1″ in the launch options of Rage Via Steam.
  • Mouse acceleration?
  • Can’t use Crossfire or SLI..
  • Bad FoV for PC’s – Short-term solution: FOV adjustment howto
  • Bugs:
  • Texture Streaming is bad and slow resulting in always reloading the same textures thus causing the textures popping in effect – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Ch6TX-Cbs&hd=1
  • Missing/blinking textures…
  • Game crashes when exiting the Arc.
  • LoD issues(popins dispersing items)
  • Crashing after intro video
  • Audio stuttering and not blending properly.
  • Occasional Artifacts appearing- http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/9…0322215294.jpg
  • Low Frame rates with occasional fps spikes
  • Loading saves causes videocard drivers to crash…
  • Game Fails to start with error code #51. (thanks to RockPaperShotgun for compiling this list)

We Haven't Even Mentioned The Game Ye

Even flying cars may not be enough to save it

Game reviews (most, though not all, are based on the XBox version) vary widely. One thing everyone agrees on--the game is short. Playtime is in the 8-10 hour range according to reviews, even if one goes to the trouble to complete every side-quest. Joystiq writes "Id's labor feels like a scaffolding for a game of bolder ideas, ideas which, for whatever reason, aren't realized." Ars Technica's Ben Kuchera is more scathing: "Imagine Borderlands with the fun stripped out, or Fallout without actual choice, characters, or consequences... This is a great tech demo for the engine, and that's all. It's merely competent, but never special."

PSXExtreme, to be fair, rates the game a 9.2 and states that while Rage "doesn't really do anything new...  But what it does do is pretty damn incredible." Gamespot comes down somewhere in the middle, with an 8.0 rating. Between the mass of graphics issues and the poor ratings, it's hard to see Rage as more than a let-down. We'll have our own take on the game ready in the not-too-distant future, but with a title this hot, wanted to get the word out as early as possible.