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Posts Tagged ‘Rage’

"Rage" Fuels The Bloodlust, Lacks Strong Storytelling Elements

If there’s one thing you can always count on id Software to do, it’s make a first-person shooter that will leave your heart racing. With an impressive resume under their arm (Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake) — along with a company like Bethesda backing them — it seems like a no-brainer that anything id Software does will hit one out of the park. At E3 this past year I was blown away by what I had seen of its latest baby Rage, which had me at the edge of my seat as I tackled its demo. However a semi-bitter aftertaste was left in my mouth after playing the full version of this beast.

Players take control of a person known as an Ark Survivor, who must rid the desert of mutants and other bandits that wish to harm the rest of what remains of the human race. Ranging from collecting data to simply blowing away enemies in your amped-up dune buggy, gamers partake on various missions in order to find out the truth behind the goings-on in this post-apocalyptic world. While taking on these missions you also take part in races to earn points & cash to upgrade your vehicle and purchase more weaponry; the latter, of course, being most important.

Rage has the honor of being the absolute best-looking game currently on any console. Moving at 60 frames a second, the characters and worlds simply jump out at you (sometimes literally). Not even most computer-animated films look as good as this title, as there is heavy detail in just every person you run into; the mutants and nasty creatures are even more frightening than any zombie found in Dead Island. The areas you roam through like Wellspring and the Dead City look almost too real to be made by any sort of coding, giving way to much character in just about every room you step foot in.

There are times where it took some time for a room to be fully rendered, though, so some patience may be needed before you run through every since room; not to mention the loading times can be a pain. There is also a small drawback to a game running at 60 fps: the enemy AI. Since there is no lag at all in the single player game these mutants and bandits will come out at you without any sort of hesitation. In laymen’s terms: you’ll find yourself shooting all over the place and missing your target at least half the time.

Fortunately id Software has not lost its old-school FPS roots when it comes to ammo and items. With the money and racing points you earn you can buy just about an unlimited supply of guns, secondary weapons, ammo, and other items needed to make more powerful weapons. You can also find items laying around the various levels, and can pick them all up without having to worry about running out of space in your bottomless carry-on pack. It may take away a bit from the strategy aspect of the game, but you’ll be thanking Rage for letting you keep that rocket launcher to thwart off a gang of mutants in the long run.

As mentioned the high frame-rate in the game will make it tough at times to aim at your enemies, but you have a strong advantage on your hands thanks to its control scheme. It should be noted, first off, that you have the option to change the control scheme to however it feels comfortable the most while playing; something that I had to do while in combat mode. Taking aim at your enemies hiding behind a rock has never been this simple, as the game rewards you for taking your time while looking for the sweet spot on your opponent’s body. Using secondary weapons such as the remote controlled bomb and wingstick come in handy during intense moments, also rewarding you with bloody hilarity if you use them right.

Rage isn’t also just a fun first-person shooter, but also a great racer. In the town of Wellspring you’ll be able to sign up for various races to earn points, cash, and street credibility. The mechanics found in these races are almost as good as the ones you see Codemasters and EA Black Box creating in their franchises. Yes, these races can be pretty straightforward (beat a specific time, get first place, be the last vehicle standing), but thanks to its gameplay elements and control scheme they are also a lot of fun to tackle on.

There is, unfortunately, an Achilles’ Heel found in Rage: its storyline. For the life of me I have not been able to figure out what is really going on in this game. Why was I chosen to be a survivor when the asteroid was about to hit? What’s this special gift that these people claim I have? What is it about these survivors from the past that make them wanted by The Authority? I found myself asking more questions about what was going on in this game than there were answers, and for that Rage made me feel like I had no real purpose playing this game.

Rage has a run time of about ten to twelve hours, depending on which difficulty level you have it set on. There are also a few side quests to go on while the main game happens, but they’re quite miniscule. Wellspring also hosts some mini-games that range from speed-stabbing to an RPG-styled card game. There are also two online modes: a free-for-all vehicle race battle mode and a co-op mission mode that explains some of the back story going on while the main game is happening.

PROS:

  • Best damn looking game ever made
  • Strong gameplay elements, control aspects are heavily regarded
  • Racing is more fun than it is let on

CONS:

  • Story is very uninspired
  • Enemies are a bitch at 60 fps
  • Could’ve used more side quests, online modes

FINAL THOUGHTS:

There is no better looking title out there on consoles than Rage, and it plays like a true beauty. Unfortunately its uninspired story will probably leave you forgetting this game existed as soon as you finish it. A shame, considering it’s the type of first-person shooter gamers have been wanting companies like DICE and Infinity Ward to create for their storied franchises. Definitely give Rage a spin to see how id Software does FPS gaming right, but also bear witness to how not to tell a worthwhile tale.

FINAL GRADE: 8.0 (out of ten)

Episode CV: The Elite Gamers Of The Benevolent Press

What’s better than have the Issues Program dudes show up to talk about the first half-year in gaming? How about having pro gamer, reviewer and model Raychul Moore joining the roundtable?

In a special episode the Bastards welcome Issues Guy, JC Sergeant and Raychul Moore to the program, as they dissect the current goings-on in the gaming world. Find out which games have already made it to their best-of 2011 list, and which upcoming titles they’re looking forward to most. Plus the gang chimes in on the true nature and style of Duke Nukem Forever, and figure out if L.A. Noire is a title that deserves to be on the pedestal that other gaming sites seem to put them on.

It’s all right here on this super-sized episode of the Boston Bastard Brigade. It’s Episode 105: The Elite Gamers Of The Benevolent Press!

E3 Lets The "Rage" Boil In Gamers’ Blood

Rage is one of this year’s most hotly anticipated titles, and after going hands-on with it at E3 there are plenty of reasons why.

Developed by id Software (the same folks that brought us Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake) and published by Bethesda Rage will have players take the role of a survivor in 2038, where a meteorite impact has caused the world to let all hell break loose. Hostels and mutants reek havoc on what’s left of Earth, and it’s up to you to restore order in your area. With your trusty dune buggy you must travel throughout the land to blow away the freaks and creatures that aim to strike fear into the hearts of the remaining survivors.

At E3 I was able to go hands-on with the Mutant Bash TV level. In it your character participates in a game show where you’ll have to kill mutants in the quickest time possible to earn cash. You enter a certain section of the TV studio, and the mutants enter through the floor, doors and Futurama-styled pipe entries. As soon as I walked onto the game show floor the mutants came charging at me, with my initial response being to shoot until everything in the room is dead. Easier said than done, for the AI in Rage is ridiculously hard. I found it took roughly twenty shots to kill the weakest of characters. However when it came to take on the final boss of the level (a Kraken-inspired freak of nature) I wound up destroying him in under a minute, which was quicker than dealing with a regular mutant.

I had a bittersweet experience with the controls. The good news is it’s easy to switch weapons and use the secondary ones, sometimes while in the toughest parts of battle. Meleeing is also far easy than in most games, coming in as second-nature to what you do in the game. However because of the speed of the AI it was almost impossible for me to aim properly at the mutants, leaving me to waste more of my ammo than actually use. Trust me when I said that easy melee maneuver will come in handy when six of those creatures are slicing at you all at once. One big side of Rage features some of the most gorgeous graphics I’ve seen in a game at E3. Everything from the scratches on your dune buggy to the facial expressions on the mutants was heavily detailed, and with the game running at sixty frames per second and no lag it is clear that not a second of the four years it has taken to create the game have not been wasted.

What I saw at E3 was just a fraction of what to expect when Rage is released, a title that will also include two multiplayer modes, weapon and buggy customization and even Burnout-styled racing. With a release date of October 4th on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC id Software is gearing up to show once again why they’re the true kings of heart-stopping first-person shooters, and with Bethesda on their side Rage is looking to blow people away with its stellar graphics and apocalyptic gameplay. Just prepare to use your melee skills to the fullest potential, and savor the bullets for when the right moments come.

E3: Good Can Come of Rage

One fine evening, Fallout 3 decided to go out for a drink.  So, it found a bar and started ordering some drinks.  After some time, a nice game called Borderlands came up and started ordering drinks for Fallout 3.  The next morning the two awoke next to each other with confused looks on their faces.  That is the story of how the newest gem from our good friends at Bethesda and Id entitled Rage was conceived.

Bethesda’s booth at E3 was one of the most secretive of the whole lot.  You could tell that there was a whole lot of stuff going on in there, but only with an invitation could you experience the awesome games that lurked inside.  While there were many games available to experience in that booth, I’m going to be focusing on one in particular today.  Rage has been in production for a good long while, but believe me when I say that this is definitely a good thing because it shows.  With the incredibly smooth 60 fps that Id Tech 5 gives, it not only looks and runs great, but the rest of it is coming together quite nicely as well.

Before I go into all the stuff that I just loved about the demo I got to see, I will get this out of the way.  Yes, the story for Rage is almost to the point of hilariously similar to another game published by the same company.  An asteroid is heading towards the Earth threatening to destroy all life on the planet, so pods are created, filled with people and drilled underground to emerge when it is safe.  You play as someone freshly emerging from the pod into the Wasteland, where the world is now filled with mutants and bandits.  While this story does seem like some kind of hybrid between Fallout 3 and Borderlands, Id promises that we will be treated to a very deep and rich story.  While I have not yet gotten tired of the whole post-apocalyptic wasteland story, from what I have seen, it looks as though they are definitely not kidding.

One thing that really bugs me is when you walk through a crowd in a town and you are greeted by a bunch of slightly different clones.  So, as we walked through the town in the demo, I looked very hard at all the NPCs we walked by.  Not only did all of them look different, but everyone also looked interesting.  This is something that is very difficult to pull off and I applaud Id for making the effort.  The enemy characters are a completely different story.

While they do have some clones coming at you, it’s easy to understand since they’re throwing bunches and bunches of them at you.  What they did to remedy this, is each band of baddies has their own style.  I’m not just saying that one of them wears socks with sandals and another likes their jeans pre-ripped either.  Each enemy faction will approach you a different way in the way that they attack, surround and even simply traverse the terrain.  This dynamic enemy traversal really makes each enemy faction seem like a completely new experience.  While one group might be right up in your face attacking you head on, another sneakily surrounds you and swings around on the nearby pipes.

Another thing they focused on was that it was a big deal that the environments are just as important to develop as characters.  This shined through quite clearly from their presentation.  While the colors are definitely your familiar apocalypse browns, each environment was quite different from the last.

As far as the gameplay goes, it doesn’t look like there be too much ground-breaking going on here, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a ton of fun.  A combination of first-person shooting and driving action is the dominant portion of the game.  The driving seems to evoke a little bit of Borderlands and maybe a smidgeon of Motorstorm.  It looks like they will be giving you plenty of reasons to drive around with the nice environments and baddies to blow up along the way.  When out of your vehicle, you’ll have your guns to protect you, but sometimes a little more doesn’t hurt.  One device they showed as a part of your arsenal was a remote controlled car with an explosive strapped to it.  This adds even more variance in the way that you can be either as stealthy or up-front as you want to be about how you want to combat your enemies.

Honestly, I could go on and on about how excited about I am about Rage.  With the amount a variance they’ve stuck in here, it seems like there will be plenty to experience and it won’t go stale any time soon.  This is one game I won’t be able to rage-quit!