Rage Review(Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Mac, iPhone)

Posted: July 7, 2013 in Reviews
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Rage takes place after an astroid strikes Earth causing catastrophic damage, it is up to the survivors to rebuild humanity, but they come across a lot of problems in the process, bandit clans cause terror, and mutants roam the dead cities. The main protagonist is Nicholas Raine, a former Marine who survived in an Ark facility where he was cryogenically frozen, awakens to all of the destruction and does whatever he can to help the other survivors. After completing a few errands it becomes apparent that matters will be complicated further as you have a mysterious government trying to take you down in the process.

As Nicholas, known to many as Stranger, emerges from his Ark facility you’ll notice a lot of detail in the environments and scenery, the clouds look great and so do the destroyed buildings, the destruction becomes apparent rather quickly as you’ll have to walk around and through toppled over buildings. As you emerge into the wasteland you’ll be saved and brought to a safe area by a man named Dan Hagar, and he will set you off on your first set of errand type missions. In each of the safe areas there are also shops where you can buy ammo, ingredients, recipes for items, other weapons and armor, upgrades for the guns, bandages, and other goods, as well as selling useless items you no longer need, the menu will tell you if the items are sellable or something you should keep. Ingredients and recipes become available once the engineering option becomes available, you’ll need recipes to create items and you’ll also need the ingredients, to find them both you’ll need to explore the environments, complete missions, and loot bodies, creating items like bandages and ammo are crucial to staying alive.


The missions are generally straight forward and will have you retrieving items, killing enemies, or destroying equipment, and then making your way to the exit, a lot of missions will have you going back to the safe zone where you got the mission and turn it in, and some will just complete automatically. There are generally a lot of enemies between you and the objectives, nearly every room you enter there will be action, there are a lot of fast moving, accurate enemies on normal difficulty or higher, enemies do a lot of damage so hiding behind cover and using bandages is a must. The action is decent, the enemies are generally pretty intelligent and will put up quite a fight, some enemies will hide behind cover and takes shots at you, the larger enemies will try to overpower you with large weapons, and a lot of enemies will run right at you, dodging bullets as they come at you, these enemies do a lot of damage, and they also seeming come out of nowhere surrounding you in an instant. As you take damage the screen fills up red around the edges until he dies or you get a chance to use the defibrillator which requires moving the sticks to the correct positions and pressing the triggers in time, you’ll heal a certain amount depending on your accuracy during this mode, using bandages instantly heals you, bandages only take two ingredients to make and the ingredients can be found in a lot of locations. 


But you can also create many other items like explosive RC cars and sentry turrets, some missions require you to have these gadgets handy, and will help clear out groups of enemies, plus the RC cars are fun to drive and they make a huge explosion. Other handy items you’ll be able to create or buy are the Wingsticks and Lock Grinders, Wingsticks are thrown at the enemy and will require you to follow the enemy with your crosshairs until it makes contact, hitting the head will generally cause an automatic kill and they come in handy while swarmed, and the Lock Grinders open doors that require them, these rooms usually have a lot of useful items. You’ll basically have unlimited inventory and you’ll be able to carry a lot of ammo for every gun, so collecting everything in sight will not cause problems.


After you complete the first few missions for Dan, you’ll make your way through the barren wastelands via a dune buggy, until you reach your next safe area named Wellspring, where you’ll spend a lot of the game doing errands for mostly the Mayor and Sheriff. But you’ll also be able to compete in races, these can be entertaining, and winning races will at times will win you vehicles, and will always win you race certificates which can be spent at the local mechanic, these upgrade a vehicles performance, vehicle weapons and armor, most of the races have the use of weapons and you’ll need also to buy all of the ammo and other gadgets for your vehicle. Buying ammo is crucial for more than just the races, you’ll also need vehicle ammo and gadgets for when you’re in the Wastelands, enemy vehicles will shoot at you, along with automatic gun turrets. Blowing up enemy vehicles will earn you race certificates once you have activated the proper mission, and as you progress the enemies take and deal more damage, and they’ll use shields and other gadgets, so upping your arsenal will be required. 

Upgrading your characters arsenal is also required, you’ll be able to buy armor upgrades, once you get to Wellspring you’ll get a choice of character types, some will help with engineering and some will have stronger armor, you’ll be able to upgrade your armor to light, medium and heavy, you can buy these at the stores but will require you to get to certain points in the game before they become available. Upgrading your weapons will also require you to buy the upgrade, each of the weapons have a few that will increase accuracy, damage and clip size, to upgrade the gadgets you’ll need to find the advanced recipes for each item. Creating advanced items will do more than just increase the damage they do, for gadgets like the RC Car it’ll add an EMP blast that will take out shields and security grids, and you’ll also be able to create EMP grenades as well.

While searching the environments you’ll also find the collectibles, found throughout are bobble-heads which can be sold for a lot of money, and cards which are used to play the Card Game back at each of the safe zones, the cards have their own powers and are cards are of items and people you’ll meet and fight throughout the game, the card game is fun and has different difficulty levels. There are also a few other mini-games found in the safe zones, another one is a dice game which you have four enemies coming at you with each roll, you’ll roll four dice at a time, rolling cross-hairs will get you kills and you’ll have four chances to kill each of the four enemies. Another game is 5 Finger Filet which you’ll have to guide a knife between his fingers, the knife will increase in speed as you play, and there is also Strum which you’ll have to match guitar strumming patterns. The mini-games are fun and quick, they are a nice change of pace and good if you want to take a break from the action.


With all that Rage does great, there are also many flaws, some can take away from the overall product. While the environments look great from afar, up-close a lot of it looks really bad and unfinished, you can’t see through windows as they are just sun filled even when they are open, everything that doesn’t require interaction seems to be nailed down, if you hit or shoot items they’ll make a smashing noise, but are perfectly fine, and the detail is non-exsistant on unimportant items. Exploring the areas in a vehicle or on foot can be fun, but have a few problems as well, you can get stuck on nothing, with the amount of enemies this becomes a pain when your trying to get to cover, he can’t jump over waist high railings or rocks, and he can’t run for very long. Despite the fact that the vehicles are off-roaders, they seem to get stuck on the edges of turns, and on small rocks, these are especially frustrating in races, and if you crash the quad going fairly slow, your character will get thrown ridiculously far. 


The enemies and action can also be glitchy, even unarmored enemies can take a lot of damage, some can take multiple close range shotgun blasts, and head-shots are not always guaranteed kills, regardless of the enemy. Most enemies can be looted, however, the extra large enemies seem to just disappear not allowing you to loot them, these enemies can take a while and quite a few bullets to kill, so to get nothing for them can be a bummer. Rage is very linear, nearly all the missions just require you to get from the start door to the exit door, grabbing mission items or killing a specific enemy or enemies along the way, though a lot of it is linear, some of the environments can be confusing as there is no map or mini-map inside missions or within the safe areas, you’ll be guided to the mission area, then you’re on your own. The game rarely autosaves, if you forget to manually save you could lose a lot of progress, even when it says it’s saving it does not always do it, and there are quite a few audio and graphical glitches as you progress.

Rage takes about 12-15 hours to complete and to find all the collectibles, so there is bound to be glitches, it’s a really good game that could have been even better. The game is challenging and entertaining, there is quite a bit to it, and a lot of it is well thought through, most missions and fire-fights require strategy and skill. The mini-games add entertainment and so do the vehicle races, upgrading your vehicles gear and being able to easily destroy enemies that would normally have been tough is nice as well. Rage is a very good game, it’s unfortunate you have to start everything from scratch in each play-through, but is still entertaining regardless.

Overall Score 7.8/10


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