Rage Review (PC)
Rage has a simple premise. A giant asteroid is plummeting toward the Earth, and you, because you’re special in some way, get to hide in something called an Ark, where you’re put in cryosleep and kept safe from the fallout of the impact. Fast forward 106 units of time, and you wake up, and the world is in ruins, and everybody else in the Ark is dead.
You stumble out into the daylight only to be threatened by bandits. A nice person shoots the bandits and drives you back to his house. Once there, he gives you a pistol and tells you to go to the bandit hideout by yourself and kill everyone there, because otherwise the bandits are going to make trouble for him, he says.
Umm, OK? Am I a soldier? What about me makes this guy think he’s not sending me to my death? Why would I even agree to do this? I know this is a shooting game, but you should at least make an attempt at giving a plausible reason for me to start killing people three minutes after I crawled out of an underground tomb I had been sleeping in for years.
Assuming we can accept this absurd premise, it’s time to start playing the game. And it becomes obvious very quickly that Rage is, basically, is Borderlands without the co-op or RPG elements. You’ll meet people, and everyone you meet will have a job for you that consists of delivering something or retrieving something else or just killing a bunch of people. You will drive from place to place. You will do all these things because that’s what you do in games. You become a killer for hire because somebody declared you to be a killer for hire. That is, apparently, the life of the outsider in the world of Rage.
Without co-op (although it does have a separate totally OK co-op mode) or RPG stuff or a truly interesting story, Rage really has no hook. It becomes Just Another Post-Apocalyptic Shooter. It’s a competent shooter, to be sure, but it never becomes compelling. You continue playing because it’s a thing you do, and because the gameplay isn’t really annoying or anything, aside from its odd lack of checkpoint saves and the bizarrely fast mouse acceleration in in-game menus that make it hella difficult to change ammo types on the fly since the game doesn’t pause when you press ctrl to pull up the gun menu.
The game is fine. It’s not bad. It’s not good. It’s just fine. It’s cool that it has driving in it, I guess, but that doesn’t add anything to the game aside from another thing to waste time with.
And that’s what Rage is: a timewaster. It might have some very cool design — like the most disgusting hospital in history and the spectacular meteor crater, among others — but very little else stands out. And on top of that it’s missing compelling multiplayer; just some co-op side missions and dune buggy deathmatch, which is best described as “whatevs.”
At the end of the day what I’m going to remember about Rage is its myriad glitches that hampered my experience. For a game from the studio that invented the first-person shooter genre on the PC when I was a child, I couldn’t possibly be more disappointed with both the game itself and the fact that they made such a poor effort on the platform that made them what they are. I think now might be the time to stop giving id the benefit of the doubt.
- Well designed environments
- Plenty of graphical glitches
- No aspect of the game stands out.
- Weird mouse acceleration
- Aimless story
Final Score: 40/100
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