Rage Review (PC)


OK, so assuming you get everything running correctly, is the game any good? Well, let’s talk about that.

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.

Pros:

  • Well designed environments

Cons:

  • Plenty of graphical glitches
  • No aspect of the game stands out.
  • Weird mouse acceleration
  • Aimless story

Final Score: 40/100

Follow Phil on Twitter: @philrowen

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13 Comments on Rage Review (PC)

JosephPS3 Dead State

On October 7, 2011 at 6:00 am

Rage is such a rental and not a keeper. I bought it for $46 and sold it for $40-$6/week rental. The game is worth a try just to check out what all the hooplah is about but this is one game you can easily wait 1-2 years and wait to hit the $20 bargain bins because that’s exactly where its guaranteed to be headed in 4 months easily.

The game is only about 12 hours long. Not much of a replay value. Not much of a multiplayer. Rage is like just a showcase of what Id’s new game engine is capable. Was this game for end consumers or an ad for other developers to use Id’s engine? I’d give the game 60/100 because I personally enjoyed it a little more and didn’t have the PC headaches but it doesn’t say much about a game when its traded as soon as its completed.

Brandon J. Clark

On October 7, 2011 at 8:28 am

Oh man, WTF? I was soooooo looking forward to this game!

tiltswitch

On October 7, 2011 at 8:43 am

lol….its 6 hrs longer than black ops then…

Phil Hornshaw

On October 7, 2011 at 9:02 am

12 hours is a generous estimate. It’s really more like 8, but a lot of that time is wasted talking to people in towns who have no information, looking for things that aren’t there, and trying to be sneaky or explore. There’s no reason to do any of those things because RAGE is basically a corridor shooter with towns in between levels, but the towns only have about two people worth talking to in them total. If you know who to talk to and don’t wander around Wellspring unnecessarily, the length of the game is pretty heavily decreased.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

On October 7, 2011 at 9:13 am

I’ve managed to make that game into something playable after a few hours of forum browsing, cfg file and launch options tinkering.

There are still low res textures all over the place but they arn’t popping in anymore.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

On October 7, 2011 at 9:16 am

Look at the difference in the textures. The Pic at the top of the page of the ingame character “Ginny” and the Kold-Kong cola machine.

This is what I see in that exact location.

http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/596950510536496354/9EBF85B4C2F01BDFF4B19D6DC66D81887FFF4ECF/

Jimmy S.

On October 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Thanks for the review, Phil and everybody’s comments. I was looking forward to this game a lot too…now the wind is out of my sails on this one. I’m hearing from a lot of friends who aren’t having glitches this game just doesn’t rock like we were all hoping it would. It sounds like I’ll wait for the bargin bins too.

HavoK

On October 10, 2011 at 7:03 am

Horrible review.

This is why you don’t go to gamefront for reviews. The Character Animation is simply amazing. The Enemy Movement is ahead of its time. The game does have its problems, but what game doesn’t?

TheNomad

On October 10, 2011 at 10:40 pm

This review is pretty much what I experienced in the game and I was very frustrated with the release. After the patches and driver updates id had to ruin it for me by claiming that “We do not see the PC as the leading platform for games” just pissed me off. ID, you have lost a fan and you are now on my blacklist.

gordo79

On October 12, 2011 at 7:40 pm

When I first loaded up this game I two have a 6950 with less generous 4 gigs of ddr2 and an aging q9300 processor. I knew enough to force v-sync before I even started playing and it was always playable for me.

I can give you the fact that the story isn’t really the most seat edge thrill ride some games are, but as Havok said the character animation is amazing…the detail in the whole world is amazing. The biggest gripe I have is that everything looks very detailed untill you get close to some items and you can tell the textures are only made to be seen at a distance.

Id should have done a better job than that, but if you want a game that has a little of everything than this could be your cup of tea.

First off who cares what the story is? Its a old school fps with amazing visuals…look at the sky..the clouds even look real. You run around and shoot stuff. Enemies are hard and keep getting harder. Some waves of fast mutants just kick the crap out of me all the time but I barely manage to get by.

I don’t know what this guy is talking about with the customization menue either..the game does pause for it. I have played this game with keyboard and mouse as well as the 360 controler. I prefer the 360 controller. It is really smooth and everything is easy to do.

I wouldn’t give this game a perfect score because they should have delayed the pc version for a week because the graphics options were horrible if you didn’t know how to fix them. Any dummy could google it to find a fix.

I would at least give it a 75. 40/100 this guy needs a new job.

gordo79

On October 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Oh also just to add its funny the ps3 version got a 75 like I would have rated it lol. but this douche gives a 40

People google a new patch is out now anyways to let people do what they couldn’t figure out.

The worst thing I see is when people have i7 processors 16 gigs of ram and I can play this game just fine. I guess I don’t have to upgrade.

Blackdawg

On October 13, 2011 at 6:57 am

Any of you pc gamers or console gamers noticed out there that games written nowadays are crappy? Lets take Crysis. Crysis for pc was great from graphics to open world and even story (it was not bad). Crysis2 the port version was linear and well not so good in the graphics dept. for pc’s but great for consoles. Mr. ID himself has said he does not like programming for pc’s anymore. Funny thing is he’s been programming on a Apple Mac for last few decades but never really release games for the mac in volumes. He now says consoles are the future. We all know it’s because of the money it generates and not every hacker out there is targeting this platform… To me console games has always been a bit childish compare to pc games. Why this is i don’t know.

MinJae

On November 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm

It was a good game – but OMG they SO overcharged for it. Expect to see this going for $9.99 within three months. Too bad – what there was was OK but the single player is VERY short and, in my experience so far, there is almost no one playing multiplayer – so be prepared to spend hours waiting for someone to join. Such a disappointment! I wanted and expected this to be so much more.