It’s been awhile since I’ve played a game and thought it was a game changer in the industry for one reason or another. To be short Rage is a visual marvel which needs to be experienced by everyone! From the creators of Doom and Quake it has been some time since we’ve seen anything from id software and for good reason. The new id Tech 5 engine used for this game puts together some of the best visual styling and smooth gameplay I have ever seen.
Rage is a first person shooter that puts you in a post apocalyptic world hit from a asteroid. Your character was put in a cryogenic sleeping pod before the impact, only to be awoken in a world where most of everyone and everything is trying to kill you. As you progress you start to figure out why this is happening. From the start the world around you and people you encounter seem to tell it’s own story which lend to your progression. Cities are desolate, bandits are on the loose and deformed creatures are everywhere. This is the new earth.
While it is a First Person Shooter there are many more elements that benefit you along your travels. Your weapon arsenal includes multiple ammo types for different weapons, grenades, an RC car that acts as a bomb and a boomerang with blades that can be thrown to name a few. The weapons in the game feel, look and sound powerful. From the moment they gave me my first shotgun I knew that I hadn’t seen something this good in a long time. Items for various tasks can be crafted with certain ingredients that are picked up when exploring, along with different armors. Much of what you do is build a strategy surrounding your next objective.
The enemies you encounter in the game vary in difficulty and combat type. Some will try to straight attack you, while some have guns and will shoot at a distance. The AI was very clever when encountered. Shooting at some enemies will make them run scared behind cover, shooting some in certain areas on their body will make them clinch while still trying to fire at you until they eventually bleed out. Every new enemy felt fresh, also given that ammo is not easy to come by. I found myself using almost every weapon then sticking to one which I don’t do very often in a shooter. Enemies also lend to their environment, narrower spaces vs big corridors are different and they know that.
Fortunately it’s not always you against the world as there are a couple of towns while navigating that have people trying to get by with what little they have. Vendors and people needed someone to get a job done for them is what you will find, so there is no shorter of side quests. As towns and territories seem to be spread out in the open world the use of a buggy or other type of vehicles are preferred for travel. Bandits in towers and vehicles are constantly trying to intercept you so upgrading your vehicle will become essential.
Like Quake and Doom id software really knows how to create a certain fear element in their games. This game isn’t necessarily scary but the mutated creatures are done so well that they do seem frightening at times.
Car combat actually takes a large role in the game which all offer something different. Aside the 4×4 in the beginning of the game which seemed a bit robotic, all the vehicles handle well in the terrains. Missions involving your vehicle, car combat and races are all apart of the games overall package, never feeling like an attempt but more like a good break from the FPS mechanics every once and awhile.
Surprisingly your standard online components do not make the rounds and have been traded for car combat modes. Free for all is a deathmatch with vehicles, while the other two focus on you collecting objects and taking it to goal or collecting objects consecutively. They all work well with the ability to unlock higher vehicle types, weapons and models by leveling as you go. There is also a co-op mode which will let you and a friend go through mini missions mowing down enemies for points while reaching the end goal. This is done with the FPS mechanics of the game.
Rage is easily one of the most impressive games I’ve ever played. While the story never gave me that element of entertainment I was looking for, it is only because everything else is so good. Great weapons, open worlds, multiplayer and car combat keeps the game going. Drop dead gorgeous graphics in 60 frames per second outside of Call of Duty this console cycle. Other multiplayer modes would have been nice as well but more for the future. Rage is a perfect way to showcase what this generation of consoles can do with a new engine and if done correctly could be a standard for games to come.