Rage First Impressions – Quick Hits

It’s well-known that id Software generally takes it’s time making games, so when they’re about to release one, people take notice.  In their recently released shooter Rage, the story begins in the near future when the comet Apophis comes barreling into the Milky Way Galaxy, smashing its way through on a collision course for Earth.  You play a person selected for Project Eden, basically placing humans in a vault underground, to save humanity from extinction after the comet hits.  Unfortunately, things don’t go quite to plan.  You awake to a badly damaged Ark and are immediately attacked by bandits as you exit.  You’re saved by a wastelander known as Dan Hagar and your adventure for answers begin from there.

Much has been made from marketing and the pre-release hype of comparing Rage to other post-apocalyptic games such as Fallout or Borderlands.  I would agree, but only from a visual and style perspective.  Both games feature dusty landscapes, ruined structures, and people scavenging just to make it in a broken world.  That’s honestly where the similarities end.  Rage is not really an RPG at all like those two games.  There’s no experience and leveling, no stat managing, no skill trees no looting for better items, and there’s no perks or abilities.  You’ll gain access to new weapons, but for the most part, what you get is what you’ll have the rest of the game.  Quests, side missions, and ambient things to do are indeed here for you to find but for the most part, you gain money for completing them.  Not that this is a bad thing by any means, I just feel that the game was a little mismarketed as an RPG/FPS. 

In fact, Rage seems more alike to a game such as BioShock than those two I mentioned.  Looting can be done through bodies or flashing items around the world, similar to what you had in BioShock.  Both mostly shooters where looting consisted of health, consumables, and also spare parts to create items for future use.

Alright, enough rambling, here are some quick thoughts in bullet format.

-This is easily one of the most visually breathtaking games I’ve ever seen.  Seriously, id Tech 5 can really produce some wonderful looking vistas and a skybox to die for.  Go look, the clouds and sky look absolutely phenomenal.  Yes, there’s some texture pop in at times, but it doesn’t really bother me.

-I chose not to install the game like recommended primarily because I just don’t have the HD space.  Initially worried about the game’s overall performance, I quickly found out that the game runs beautifully.  Don’t worry if you can’t install it, it looks and runs wonderfully.

-Enemies seem to be pretty intelligent.  Instead of running in a straight line at you, they may zig zag, jump off walls to avoid fire, and even hunker down behind something and take shots at you.  Plus, you can sneak around and use an item like the Wingstick to take them by surprise.

-Speaking of weapons, they feel great to use, especially the boomerang like Wingstick.  Not a surprise though since id Software developed this one.  They know their weapons.

-The world so far isn’t as big as I had originally thought.  The wasteland is semi-open though the “dungeons” if you will are pretty linear.  Originally thinking this would be an open world game like Borderlands or Fallout 3, I was a bit disappointed by this.  It’s still quite fun though and doesn’t detract a ton from the overall experience.

-One thing that may start to bother me as the game goes on, is the fact that when communicating with people, they say a sentence and then you have to “talk” to them again to get them to continue speaking.  It feels very old school to have to keep clicking on a person to finish their thought or comment.

-Animations that the NPCs have and use during conversation are extremely fluid and lifelike. 

-I haven’t tried the multiplayer elements yet, but I’ve heard it’s basically like an apocalyptic version of Mario Kart.  If true, this makes me very happy.

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