Publicada: 24 de fevereiro
I only know one thing for sure about this game - I enjoyed playing it.
This game, at least to me, seems like it wanted to be so many things, but it just didn't know what to focus on.
My review focuses only on the singleplayer campaign. I don't plan on trying coop/multiplayer.
(Some spoilers from this point on, though I'll try to be as vague about the plot as possible.)
Rage started off with a strong Borderlands 1 vibe - and a third of the way in felt like it turned into Fallout: New Vegas/Half-Life 2, with an ending so tunneled and abrupt it left me wondering where the hell the amazing game I was playing went. This game is frustratingly short; I did every main mission and sidequest I came across, and beat this game in under eight hours. Probably under seven, as I left the game running for a while by accident (hence the 12.6 hours).
Because that's the thing - id did it again, and made a fantastically solid game as far as gameplay mechanics go. Enemies are diverse in their actions and are fairly intelligent (usually); the weapons are standard but diverse, and they all feel great to use; your character's movement is fluid and feels smooth and fast, even though many enemies tend to be faster than you; selecting inventory and finding things is simple after a little exploring, including the game's crafting system (which, although not particularly noteworthy, has its uses, and the items you craft are mostly useful throughout the game); and the minigames scattered throughout each have their own cool little thing.
Visually, this game is pretty well up there. I heard a lot of complaints about terrible pop-in textures; I noticed the popping in, but it actually was on par with most other games that are more optomised for console's data streaming. Most of the time I didn't notice it, and when I did it wasn't that jerking of a sight. (I should note, the opposite was true when I enabled Detail Textures - apparently this utilizes the CPU for texture streaming along with or instead of the gpu, and this caused the texture pop-in - and framerate - to be ridiculously slow. With that off, and GPU encoding enabled, I had no issues, and it looked just as good.) Up close, it's obvious that the textures are not of the greatest quality, but there are some scenes, actually a fair number of them, that made me pause and just take the view in for a moment. Anything that is further than fifteen feet from your character looks great, and the scenery is fantastic... in a desolate wasteland sort of way. There are a multitude of various environments, each with their own kind of eye candy, if you just take a couple steps back to appreciate it.
Which brings me to the next point - linearity. This game... like I said, it seems like it wasn't sure where it wanted to go. There is a fair amount of open-world exploration, but each area outside of the "hub" areas has one path, and one path only, that you can follow, the way from which you came often being blocked off. And given the expansive environments, I wanted to explore this wasteland more, even by just hopping up on that ledge that I... that I... that I apparently can't hop on, even though it's chest-level, and there's clearly stuff (not anything I can pick up, just stuff) beyond it. The game gently pushes you to explore for loot and hidden items and secrets, but only gently and occasionally. id did a good job at not making me feel too frustrated about the exploration constraints by keeping me just as interested in things on the path, like enemies and plenty of items to pick up and work with. Occasionally, of course, there are points in the game where you have to progress via hitting a switch rather than walking through that next corridor, and the button just seems to elude your sight. Even though you literally rubbed against it eight dozen times.
The soundtrack's not terribly notable, but it's a good score nonetheless, fitting in with the game and giving an otherwise more serious Borderlands a slight Quake flavor. Appears that id is still composed of metalheads, since the score features a lot of electric guitar, even just as background. And yes, there are some rock bordering metal tracks. Which normally only take place during racing events.
Yup, you read that right. Racing events.
Much of the game involves you running around shooting things in traditional id fashion; the hub areas, however, feature expansive swaths of land that would take you a good half hour to travel from one place to another; these hubs are also filled with bandits and other crazies in armed vehicles. The fast way to travel here, and the best way to defend yourself, is provided with your own vehicle. This vehicle can get upgrades for speed, handling, defense, weaponry, even a couple decals, but there's a special currency that only works for those upgrades... and is the only way to purchase those upgrades.
These credits are earned by racing. And not just the kind of racing where you just 1v1 another driver and see who's better - these are full on sponsored competitions that draw a crowd and three other competitors.
And not only that, but those hub areas have jumps and events that suddenly turn a drive for a serious mission into a race against time to pick up stuff, or to make a super cool stunt jump and hit that floating machine to get an in-game achievement, for no other reason than to say you did.
Did I mention this game seems confused as to what it wants to be?
And while we're on the subject of cars... driving (at least with a mouse and keyboard) actually feels really good, especially after you've gotten those vehicle upgrades. It's slightly annoying though that your view stays fixed in front of you, and you can't check out that cool cliffside you're blazing past without slamming the brakes and turning the car to face it. Not to worry though; the weapons you bought aim themselves for the most part. All you have to do is fire.
The characters are not terribly memorable, but they're also not ones that you forget about instantly once you've turned away from them. Each npc has their own personality, even if they do happen to fall into some small stereotype, and it breathes a little more life into the game. Anyone who played Doom 3 or other titles on that version of id tech engine will recognize some voices though.
id is more than willing to once again give some other games a nod. There's a few references to previous id titles such as Doom, a couple lines pulled straight out of another dystopian game (you'll know it when you hear it), and an entire minigame and npc dedicated to a well known and beloved movie sequel. Again, you'll know it immediately when you see it. These are just a few that I've spotted.
The plot itself is not that in-depth, but it tells the basics of an interesting take on the apocalypse and what happens during and after. It feels a bit... empty's the wrong word, but not expounded on at times. This still doesn't have much negative impact on the game from my view. (However, I was very sad to constantly come across books with interesting titles - "To Serve Mutant," "Travels Vol. 1-6," etc. - and find that I could only sell them, not take a peek into their contents. I would have greatly enjoyed this. </3 ) Some things make more sense than others in context of the story, and some elements, such as glyphs and diagrams of some sort scattered across various walls, are never explained, and are not ones that I recognize from other media or real life. As mentioned before, the ending leaves a hell of a lot to be desired, as most cliffhangers do. It is still inof itself pretty neat though.
All in all, a good game, and honestly worth $20 in my opinion. I just wish they could flesh this out more than they did.
The single DLC adds some story and extra content to the game, and gives a nice wrap-around to the product. I'd highly recommend getting that with Rage, or purchasing it if you already have Rage and want more of it.