Posted January 27, 2012 by Jallen (123)
id Software…now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a very long time. Well okay not that long; the last id game I played was ‘Doom 3’ and I prefer to forget it, not because it was bad, but because every time I do remember it I end up spending an inordinate amount of time in the toilet. They’re the team that brought us classics like; ‘Wolfenstein’, ‘Doom’ and ‘Quake’. Although I’m sure the team that created such classics is completely different from the current team. That’s a point, why do we never question it when an old favourite developer reappears from the past? In fact only one of the original founders, John Carmack, is still with the company; all the other key figures resigned/were fired/ disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Maybe it’s like when a band reforms but they couldn’t convince the lead singer to come back; it may be the band in name, but not in spirit.
Got a little side-tracked there, we’re here to focus on a game that is; id’s new IP, id’s new fancy game engine and featuring id’s new owners ZeniMax Media who also own Bethesda Softworks. I am of course referring to ‘Rage’, hint was in the title. Rage has an interesting history; it was originally going to be massive sprawling game with multiple hubs and hours of side-quests and mini-games but id was intent on bringing Rage onto consoles, more importantly onto the Xbox 360. The 360 uses a standard DVD for its games which is a lot smaller than the blu ray discs the PS3 uses. Sadly Microsoft charge companies that put their games on additional discs so rather than pay out (even more) id decided to cut loads of content to make it fit on only two discs (with a third disc for multiplayer). They also decided to universally cut content on the PS3 and PC versions so 360 owners wouldn’t feel left out. Naturally nobody was happy with this decision, but what’s the game that we’re left with? Well let’s take a look.
The game starts out when real life asteroid “99942 Apophis” smashes into the Earth in around the year 2030. Humanity decides the best thing to do is bury all the important people in the world in “Arks” that will emerge decades later when the environment has returned to liveable conditions. You play as an Arc survivor who has just woken up with everybody else in your pod dead. Only thing is that the people left on the surface survived the impact and humanity has returned to hostile tribal groups. It’s an interesting story start; yet it gets dropped almost immediately after you leave the ark. You’re attacked and some random guy decides to save you, he says something along the lines of “I know you have a lot of questions but right now we’ve got to get out of here”. Only once you’re safe nothing is ever explained and your character apparently never bothered to ask.
Instead of giving you answers this “good” Samaritan gives you a gun and sends you off to kill a whole settlement of people. It’s at this point you’re wondering if you’re just being used. Throughout the game you hear about how the government, “The Authority”, are bad news and that if it knew who you were then you would be a dead man. However when you first encounter the Authority you’re an accessory to supplying a terrorist group with chemical weapons and attempting a jail-break. For all we know we’ve been duped throughout the whole game. I’m not asking for an Oscar winning story here but some answers would have been nice and some personal reason to dislike the people I’m fighting against would have been a good idea too.
Gameplay wise it’s a mix between a First Person Shooter and a third person driving game. There are two overworlds (one on each disk) and two major settlements. You get assigned missions who require to you to travel around to different locations on the overworld with the use of vehicles. While you could walk, you won’t, the maps aren’t massive but they’re large enough to make walking unfeasible and house hordes of hunting highwaymen heeled up with homing rockets that are hostile to any heedless hitchhikers. The vehicle controls do seem a little loose, like you’re driving on ice, but this is only at the start. Yes this game forces you to unlock better controls through the use of upgrades. These upgrades also improve the weapons you can carry, as well as the armour and speed of your car, and the length of your boost. To unlock these you’ll need to take part in races which are just tracks in the same overworld you’re normally driving in. I wouldn’t say that these races are good enough to have their own separate game but they’re good fun and have enough variation to keeping things interesting. With races, time trials and demolition derby style events. As far as I can tell there is only one race which you must take part in, so if you don’t like the racing then don’t bother with it.
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