October 7, 2011

RAGE

 
AVAILABLE FOR: PC, PLAYSTATION 3 and XBOX 360
RAGE is an action FPS with some RPG ele­ments, devel­oped by id, that thrusts you into a post apoc­a­lyp­tic world that has been rav­aged and destroyed by a giant mete­or. You take on the role of an ARK sur­vivor, one of a select group of peo­ple cho­sen to guide human­i­ty and rebuild soci­ety after its destruc­tion by a plan­et killing meteor.The only prob­lem is a mil­i­tary com­man­der sab­o­taged  the project caus­ing ARKs of his choos­ing with his peo­ple to open before any oth­er ARK in an attempt to rebuild as he sees fit and become mankinds supreme dic­ta­tor, as a result you awake from your sta­sis pod over 100 years after the impact.
Soci­ety is divid­ed between ban­dit out­laws with a thirst for blood, mer­ce­nary groups, small cities/towns that have cre­at­ed a base of civ­i­liza­tion and the trai­tor­ous mil­i­tary group known as the author­i­ty. As an ARK sur­vivor you have been giv­en some bio­log­i­cal enhance­ments, such as your abil­i­ty to uti­lize a defib­ril­la­tor built into your chest when you die, and auto­mat­i­cal­ly heal when hurt through the use of nano tech.
RAGE is pri­mar­i­ly an action FPS game and fits the genre well. The com­bat is fast paced and bru­tal­ly sat­is­fy­ing, RPG ele­ments come into the game in the form of accept­ing mis­sions from key char­ac­ters and being able to choose side quests from a job board, much like in bor­der­lands, and also in the abil­i­ty to com­mu­ni­cate with most peo­ple in towns and cities. These RPG aspects do a nice job of accen­tu­at­ing the game as an action FPS and throw a unique twist to it. The world is large and semi open, its not entire­ly open world but also alot has been left open should you wish to explore out­side of com­plet­ing quests. Your main mode of trans­porta­tion are vehi­cles, you are set up with a starter vehi­cle and obtain more through­out the game by win­ning them in races. The vehi­cles are cus­tomiz­able and can be out­fit­ted with weapons such as dual mini guns or dual rock­et launch­ers. The vehi­cle weapon sys­tem has been devel­oped quite well, when in vehi­cle com­bat you have a cer­tain field of view that enables an auto aim so you arent wor­ried about dri­ving and aim­ing your weapons at the same time, this method works extreme­ly well and makes vehi­cle com­bat sim­ple and enjoy­able. There is no quick trav­el but the world is just large enough to have a mas­sive scale but is set up so that trav­el­ing does­nt take for­ev­er and drag out. Ground com­bat is a bit lim­it­ed as far as weapon selec­tion, but makes up for it with good cus­tomiza­tion options and a good amount of pow­er that varies on ammo type. Anoth­er perk is the abil­i­ty to obtain “recip­ies” and engi­neer ammo, first aid, adren­a­line enhancers and so on by col­lect­ing com­po­nents as you com­plete mis­sions and find things through­out the world. Even use­less items such as emp­ty bot­tles will get you cash at a ven­dor in town, so it pays to pick up every­thing, and as far as i can tell there is no lim­it as to how much you can car­ry. So a mis­sion can bank you quite a bit of cash for ammo, gear and upgrades.
The graph­ics are seem­ing­ly out­dat­ed with DX9 which is wel­come news for those with out­dat­ed sys­tems who cant afford the out­ra­geous cost of bleed­ing edge PC com­po­nents. Regard­less id has def­i­nite­ly worked a good deal of mag­ic with DX9. The tex­tures are most notice­able as being DX9, how­ev­er the tex­tures still reflect alot of detail and the light­ing and shad­ows look amaz­ing. DX11 would have been ide­al to bring out the detail in the game but all in all the use of DX9 has been imple­ment­ed beau­ti­ful­ly and has been pol­ished to a high degree. Sta­bil­i­ty is sol­id and glitch­es are at a min­i­mum and have lit­tle to no impact on game­play, which is say­ing alot for a new­ly released game. My only gripe real­ly is that the play­er does­nt have advanced graph­i­cal options, you sim­ply have res­o­lu­tion, bright­ness, gpu transcod­ing, and anti-alias­ing. The id tech imple­ment­ed adjusts the advanced options auto­mat­i­cal­ly based on your sys­tem specs and takes full advan­tage the resources avail­able to opti­mize the game for 60 frames per sec­ond, this isnt a deal break­er as it does an excel­lent job of auto detect­ing specs and adjust­ing accord­ing­ly and will also come as a breath of fresh air for those who are less tech savvy and sim­ply want to install and play. How­ev­er the major­i­ty of the PC com­mu­ni­ty likes to tweak it their way and not have it done for them with soft­ware. But not to fret, advanced graph­ics options should be made avail­able in the first patch from Bethes­da that is cur­rent­ly under devel­op­ment.
So far I have put just over 15hrs into RAGE, with quite a bit more to go. This is one game wont be held back by short game­play. As far as replaya­bil­i­ty goes, I dont see that there will be much val­ue in that, while its a packs alot of fun and inten­si­ty, its lack of full RPG ele­ments such as lev­el­ing and com­plete cus­tomiza­tion will like­ly hin­der its replay val­ue. The only rea­son to go back and play it again would be to com­plete side quests not under­tak­en the first time through.
To break it down, RAGE is intense­ly fun with great game­play and good mechan­ics and a grip­ping and intrigu­ing sto­ry line, the graph­ics are imple­ment­ed using old­er tech but done so expert­ly cre­at­ing a beau­ti­ful world and char­ac­ters with rich detail. For a new release is quite sol­id and and for the most part glitch free, a few patch releas­es and any notice­able glitch­es should be tak­en care of.
GRAPHICS:  7
GAMEPLAY:  8
STORY/PLOT:  9
MECHANICS:  9
OVERALL:  8.5
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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