Friday, March 27, 2015

Game Review: RAGE (PC)

You know what, for games that have been out for a long time, I think I am just going to put out "Game Review" articles rather than the usual "Full Review."  I just find it easier to talk about how I played the game, what I liked about it than have a set form. . .although that sounds easier now that I think about it.  

Fuck it, game review it is!

The first time I booted up RAGE, I was unable to play it due to the game skipping every two or three seconds, which would make any game nigh on impossible to play.  Only after downloading an update for a number of my drivers was I able to play the game.  Prior playing though, I knew a bit of what I was getting myself into: a post apocalyptic FPS from the makers of Doom that included a driving element that received mixed reviews (the reviews that I read anyway).

Looking back at the game, there didn't really seem to be anything "breakthrough" about how the game played.  It was a basic FPS where you were supposed to kill anything when you weren't in a town and everything in the world was out to kill you.  There were a number of additions though to the standard FPS formula which included a few mini-games such as racing one of your three vehicles against computer controlled opponents and a game show where your kills earned you points resulting in monetary winnings.  The problem with the game-show portion was that you were required to use ammunition you bought and I often felt that the money I won from the show simply paid for the amount of ammunition I used.

There was a crafting system in the game that I used quite a bit and currently, that seems to be the "in" thing for adventure based video games.

There were hints of a larger story what with the Arcs (survival pod/structures designed to allow those inside to survive an near-extinction level event caused from the impact by the Apophis asteroid) that the Authority were trying to locate and who took on the roll of omnipresent antagonist who didn't really show up until the last quarter of the game.  The world however seemed to be a lot smaller and more canyon-like than I would have hoped for.  While you could travel between certain settlements and "dungeons," the paths were all very linear with not a whole lot of room for further exploration.  It was like being shown a map and told that you can only travel along the roads and the mountains are off limits.

Something that impressed me a bit was the enemy AI.  While a lot of their animations were programmed, they were still interesting to watch.  While hiding behind a crate, they would often peer over or around the box to get a better look at where you were then the would either lean out from behind the box and shoot at you, run to another source of cover, or just stick the gun out from cover and shoot in your general direction; or they might throw a grenade if they were written to have them equipped.  Even the different factions would have slightly different fighting styles.  The bandit group "The Ghosts" would often jump, roll and climb via monkey-bar-type bars around the stage while charging you making them more difficult to hit.

94.7% sure this is modeled after  Grand Central Station.
RAGE even managed to get around the disappearing bodies by having some of the enemies be mutants (due to crazy-radiation exposure I think) whose corpses would simply dissolve.  The downside to going up against mutants (who would only be in certain areas such as the game show and sewer/underground areas) was that they would never leave behind any loot.  They were fast little buggers too, but nothing a point blank shotgun blast to the face or a bladed boomerang couldn't fix.

So the driving element, I should talk about that before closing out.

Driving in RAGE is a semi-big part of the game as it allows you to get from one settlement/dungeon back to wherever your home base is.  The controls were pretty easy to get used to (WASD) and later vehicles (everything after the ATV here) had some sort of machine gun or rocket launcher.  There are a number of required driving story elements that while never too difficult (some races required repeat attempts), seemed a little bit out of place, but again, it was a nice element to see in an otherwise straight forward FPS.

The only other criticism I have with RAGE was that it seemed a bit short for the story they wanted to tell.  Okay, so ~30 hours may not seem like a short game, but I felt that the ending came rather abruptly and I was left hanging.  It was like finishing the last stage, being shown that you completed your objective. . .then what?  Was all right with the world?  I wanted to know more, or at the very least see a sequel that allowed for further exploration of the world.  Even with the Scorchers and Sewers DLC, I wanted more.

One aspect of the game that I did not explore was the online multiplayer.  It wasn't my sort of thing and I can only assume that one of the racing formats was included, the other being a deathmatch setup, possibly in the game-show arena setting.  I am just making conjectures here.

In the end, RAGE was definitely worth whatever I paid for it during a past Steam sale even without having played any of the multiplayer content because as you all know, that is just not my bag of Fritos.

Something With A Bit More Of A Beat

And they all lived happily ever after.  Right?

No comments:

Post a Comment