Texas developer and fps pioneer, ID Software, responsible for such groundbreaking titles as Wolfenstein, Quake, and Doom, brings us Rage, a disappointingly less groundbreaking post-apocalyptic shooter with various shortcomings. Rage could easily be compared with Gearbox’s open-world fps Borderlands for it’s vehicular combat, mission acquisitioning, and overused post-apocalyptic backdrop. Rage however lacks Borderlands’ main campaign co-op, replayability, and deep dungeon crawling RPG aspect as well as it’s fresh stylistic aesthetic. What Rage is left with is a muddled affair of dated fps action and Mario Kart-style auto racing in a more linear format than expected.
Rage’s story is lackluster and almost nonexistent. Rage’s headlining star voice actor is John Goodman who is wasted on a minor role that is only seen in the game’s first act. Graphically speaking, Rage isn’t exactly a knockout with some fuzzy textures and even an annoying delay in said textures loading at any given time. Any movement in fact will cause textures to degrade and blur until coming to rest for a few moments. From a gameplay standpoint there isn’t anything particularly revolutionary. Damage to enemies appears to be unbalanced and even unrealistic with point-blank headshots in most cases not resulting in death. Enemies will often times not even flinch. Armored enemies are even more resilient warranting an excessive amount of headshots to be taken down (without the use of special rounds that is). Most baffling of all is the lack of an end boss (who could forget Doom 3′s epic final battle with the colossal cyber demon?). Rage also ends rather abruptly with only a ten second cutscene.
With it’s lack of direction, somewhat short and uninteresting storyline, and technical problems, Rage is a hard sell to anyone other than diehard fps fans and diehard ID fans with low expectations looking for references to classic ID titles (there are indeed a few). A return to ID’s iconic Doom series may just be what ID fans are looking for and hopefully is a project in ID’s future.
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