RAGE Review (PS3)

Everything Else is a Little Thin

It’s a good thing that combat is so satisfying, because there’s rarely an alternative to a straight, drag-out style gunfight with whatever enemies your facing as you march through the very straight, linear levels. You’re not going to be setting traps or sneaking around, even though RAGE occasionally recommends you try it; even with silent kills, it’s rare that there’s only one enemy in a given room and they usually spot you anyway. But id Software is known as the creator of the modern FPS, and the developer shows its mastery of at least that one thing in RAGE. Feeling like a badass as you take down each enemy with any number of items at your disposal can be highly satisfying.

But id has always been good at shooters — had the shooting been lacking in RAGE, it would have been hopeless. As it stands, the shooting in RAGE is pretty strong (though far from groundbreaking), but much of the rest of the game feels like the developer didn’t really care enough to make it more interesting. For all the time you spend standing around in towns, talking with people over and over and over again, they have little enough to say to you of any substance. Obviously, as id Chief Technical Officer John Carmack has noted, the developer couldn’t really care much less about the story — so why do we spend so much time interacting with bland, mostly useless characters? Why are we encouraged to talk with everyone in a given town even though three people are the only ones with any assignments for us? Why pretend to have a plot at all when it’s so thin as to be needless in addition to boring?

A similar feeling of too little attention paid surrounds a few other aspects of the game. Though some might tout the game’s “RPG elements,” they’re more like “RPG window dressing.” Sure, you can fabricate things and you’ll buy about three total weapon upgrades — okay, that’s the end of the RPG elements. There’s no character progression to speak of, no real customization, and no branching of the way the game plays, even though it contains a few “side quests.” This is a linear shooter with towns instead of cutscenes.

There’s no checkpoint save system; not a bad checkpoint save system, none whatsoever. This means that if you’re heading into a level to fight some guys, you should save. After a big fight, you should save. Before you round the next corner — go ahead and save. If you’re looking for a powerful way to drop stumbling blocks in the path of a player’s immersion in your game, id, making them stop what they’re doing and save the game every 30 or so steps is absolutely brilliant, especially given the fact that every such save takes about 30 seconds on the PS3 version. The consequences of not remembering are even worse, often resulting in playing a full level over again. You learn quickly to be cautious.

The other big component of RAGE is driving, but it’s mostly just a means of getting to your next objective. Every time you head out, though, you’ll best have stocked up on the necessary items to fight off at least three bandit cars, because you will be engaged. Those enemies will carry: 1. machine guns; 2. shields; 3. heat-seeking missiles. Not every car will have the no. 3 but you can bet on the first two. Usually the third car in a group of three or more will carry missiles. And thus, every vehicle fight will play out in the same way, until near the end of the game.

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14 Comments on RAGE Review (PS3)

Heru

On October 3, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Very interesting. I wonder if the PC version is much different. If not i’ll be waiting for it to drop to 30 bucks.

Apoc

On October 3, 2011 at 11:13 pm

you probably won’t have to wait long if the first spate of reviews are anything to go by. I’m predicting bargain bin within a month or so or at least a massive sale on steam in the upcoming holiday season.

JosephPS3 Dead State

On October 4, 2011 at 6:25 am

Rage $46.49 now at Bestbuy.ca (Canada)

Its reduced to $49.99 ($56.49 after tax) and you also get a $10 reward card. So even if you were to wait a year and get it for $20, you’re really only paying $26.49 premium to play it now and not wait till it drops to $20. I think this game is worth the $26.49 premium to get it now especially if you can still get the Anarchy preorder bonus.

Nick

On October 4, 2011 at 7:21 am

I dunno man your pros and cons make this game sound better than a 7/10, you r reasons for not liking this game are not big issues for me when playing a FPS, weak story, not bothered, I haven’t played a FPS with a decent story since Half Life 2.

I’ve noticed a lot of reviewers are very cranky when reviewing this game for some reason, a lot of crying and moaning about little things. Maybe they were expecting some sort of massive RGG style FPS, I wasn’t, this is pretty much exactly what I was expecting. Not saying it’s a 9/10 or perfect, but I think a lot of reviews are being a bit overly harsh when other similar FPS get off lighter for some of the same faults.

Phil Hornshaw

On October 4, 2011 at 7:32 am

@Nick

I see where you’re coming from. My trouble with Rage isn’t that it has a weak story — it does, but that’s id for you and I knew that going in — but more that it doesn’t make up for its shortcomings with really solid mechanics or gameplay. The shooting CAN be really fun, but it never changes. The first fight is the same as the last fight, but the room has different colors, you know? It lacks good bosses and set pieces, and a lot of the elements feel really shallow.

As for people expecting Fallout — I think that’s the fault of id and Bethesda, saying we were getting things like “loot” and “crafting” and “a huge world.” Rage, realistically, has none of those things. I think the game is marketed toward looking like Borderlands and Fallout and Bethesda and id allowed that to happen when that’s not the game they were making. It’s fine not to be an RPG, but I think people are right to feel like they were misled by the game pretending to be one when it’s really just a corridor shooter.

Steve

On October 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Rage is a strictly linear game. It was sold to us, virally or not, as being something that it is not: a non-linear game. Most of the annoying and repetitive tasks in the game do nothing but provide the illusion that you’re not just playing another id shooter. Unfortunately for id, most gamers who have yet to be lobotomized see right through their cute little illusion.

Despite this, the game is pretty. Needs some patch work on PC. It’s a mess right now.

Louis

On October 4, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Save your money for a while guys. Just downloaded and installed Rage via Steam and all I get for my $60 is:

Problem signature:
Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
Application Name: rage.exe
Application Version: 1.0.27.6901
Application Timestamp: 4e89e183
Fault Module Name: atioglxx.dll
Fault Module Version: 6.14.10.10061
Fault Module Timestamp: 4c33de79
Exception Code: c0000005
Exception Offset: 00761990
OS Version: 6.1.7601.2.1.0.256.1
Locale ID: 1033
Additional Information 1: 0a9e
Additional Information 2: 0a9e372d3b4ad19135b953a78882e789
Additional Information 3: 0a9e
Additional Information 4: 0a9e372d3b4ad19135b953a78882e789

Read our privacy statement online:
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=104288&clcid=0×0409

If the online privacy statement is not available, please read our privacy statement offline:
C:\Windows\system32\en-US\erofflps.txt

- Windows 7 x64
- Newest ATI drivers (updated yesterday actually) 4850HD
- i7 proc and 16GB ram

Faulty graphics and sound issues are one thing. Not getting to a load screen or even an intro video is inexcusable.

Too bad I can’t get my money back from Steam. Guess I’ll have to wait for a patch to see if this game will even run.

Peace.

tiltswitch

On October 7, 2011 at 9:01 am

im pretty disappointed with the reviews so far….having not played it yet i was certainly expecting an oblivion type fps…they without a doubt marketed it as that in their trailer….still it looks great and im a big fan of quake and doom….

Blackdawg

On October 13, 2011 at 7:01 am

Wow, the pc versions review got 40/100 and complaints about graphics. Console version gets 75/100 and graphics are praised. I wonder why

Phil Hornshaw

On October 13, 2011 at 7:46 am

@blackdawg

Specifically because the game looks good on consoles, where you have no graphical options and the hardware is aging, and not on PCs, where there are no graphical control options and issues like pop-up and texture streaming are much, much more severe. Watch some YouTube videos for comparison.

Nick

On October 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I’ve put 7 hours into the campaign and I like it a lot. I think people are being overly harsh on this game, it’s got the best AI for enemies I’ve seen in a shooter this generation. Yes there are parts that can be tedious, but the game is a good length and the combat is a lot of fun. It’s a solid 8.5/10 for me. I’m enjoying it a lot more than most other FPS this gen

Dean Raven

On October 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm

I love the game, great gameplay good shooting etc and love the shop and the buggy!! only just about 2 hours into the game and its really fun!!! after reading about the weak story I realised that everyone is right!! I cant even think what the story is hahaha!!!!! dont let that put you off though

Me

On December 31, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Bangin game just buy it. Sick multiplayer and awesome shooting. One of the best games I’ve ever played

Marquis

On November 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Silly reviews for this game. ‘the rpg elements are pretty thin’… Rage is a fps, seems fairly easy to understand. Does Fallout or Mass Effect get docked 25 % (which it looks like they did here) because the shooting obiously is not up to standard of the top current fps? -Or do reviewers have sense enough..