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Drinara's gameplay for Rage (PC)

Drinara played Rage

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Drinara said...
  • sad
  • Completed
I finally finished this game. I stopped playing it a few days after launch due to all the bloody bugs that made it pretty much impossible to play.

It's now mostly playable. I did still get one annoying issue. Every now and then the screen would start flashing at random. Making it impossible to see anything, forcing a restart of the game.
I never figured out what caused it as it could start at any moment and anywhere in the game. I'm guessing the game still does not like Radeon graphics cards (I'm running two HD6970's in crossfire). It could be driver related, although I'm using the latest WHQL signed drivers, or perhaps it has to do with crossfire. At any rate I could not be bothered to troubleshoot it.

As for the game itself, it was decent. Not great and not terrible either. The gun-play is pretty good as all the guns and all the ammo seems to have a purpose and if you select the right combination for the job it works out fine.

The story however is of the 13-in-a-dozen variety. In short humanity has been all but wiped out due to a meteor impact with cataclysmic results. Luckily the government at the time this happened had the foresight and the technology available to put select individuals in stasis chambers around the planet and wake them up a few hundred years after the incident.

Of course some wannabe dictator dickhead managed to rig his and his allies chambers to wake up a bit earlier so he could have a head start. He used this head start to found and oppressive government, called "The Authority" (how very original -_-). Needless to say a resistance has formed and you are lucky enough to be found by them when you stumble from your stasis pod.

This mostly means that you're apparently the only competent man on the planet as every one you meet needs you to either "Go here and kill that" or "Go there and fetch this". Most if not all of the quests boil down to either of those and it starts to wear thin by the time you get to the second mission hub.

There are races and minigames, probably, designed to break the monotony. But I did not find any on them very interesting. There was a dice rolling game where mutants advanced towards the played in the center of a board on each round. The player got 1-4 shots based on the dice trow. Shoot all 4 in the first round get a 10x return, on the 2nd round a 4x return, break even if you manage it on the 3rd round. If you haven't managed it by then you lose your bet.

There is a, semi interesting, collectible card game. This however only gets you anything if you bother to turn every level upside down to find the collectible cards and I really did not feel like bothering with that.

The last two minigames were even less interesting. A stab the knife between your fingers game that has you hit spacebar at the right intervals and a banjo strumming game that has you repeat a sequence of button presses (a bit like Parappa the Rapper, but without the rhythm requirement).

The races were competent at best. I think it's best described as a crossover between destruction derby and a (Mario-like) kart game. Most of the tracks are uninspired and pretty easy. I only played enough of them to get the cars I needed for the campaign and enough racing tickets to buy the upgrades I wanted.

In my opinion, all this extra crap could have been cut from the game without consequence. This game would have been pretty good if it was a linear shooter focused on the shooting part. Whenever I cot to shoot I was actually enjoying myself. The guns feel good, the enemy animations are also pretty good. The AI is decent, but can be somewhat single minded, but hey what can one expect from mutants and brainwashed soldiers? If anything, the enemy variety could have been a bit better. Enemies either blindly charge towards you, shoot from cover or shoot from sniper range.

The bosses are okay I guess. None of them took me more than a second try (on Hard difficulty) and none are really anything that has not been done before. Most just have a lot of health and require you to dodge their ranged or charge attacks, one adds a "weak spot" mechanic to that.

Now for my biggest gripe on the game, the ending. From the last few missions I get the feeling id Software was forced to push the game out before it was done. It seems like there is at least a few hours of content that was intended to be there missing.
Once you get to the third and last mission hub your first order is to gain the trust of the locals by doing their dirty work. Ok, this is getting pretty bland in this stage of the game, but at least it gets you to interesting shooty parts, which by this stage finally become somewhat challenging. Once you complete the mission that should lead to them trusting you however all of a sudden the Authority shows up and takes over more of the town on every mission you complete thereafter. They are looking for you, but for some reason they don't know what you look like even though you've been scanned by their bots multiple times and you have blown up some of their installations already.
The final mission has you go into the Authority base to upload some data that was liberated form a few of the Stasis Arks. This data contains the locations of all the other arks that have not yet surfaced. The goal is to send out a signal to awaken these arcs so the resistance can then add these super soldiers like yourself from the past to their forces in order to fight the oppression.
The problem is the game does not actually end as much as it bleeds to death. The final mission has you kill a bunch of soldiers and mutants on the way to the uplink tower. When you get there you insert the data and fight off some mutants while aligning the satellites. Once that's done you get a cinematic, showing the emergence of the buried Arks and then it cuts to the credits. That's it, no final boss battle, no resolution to some of the side story lines.
One of the NPC's was doing research on the mutants. She tells you the mutants were not the result of the radiation but of experiments by the Authority. She says she's working on a possible way to reverse this. It sounds like there was supposed to be a mission or two there helping her achieve this, but they never came.

All in all the game leaves a bit of a mixed feeling. The shooting is fun and all, but of the 13-ish hours it took me to finish the game less than half was spent actually shooting stuff. I feel like id should have left out the whole "RPG-lite" element of the game and should just have made it a linear corridor shooter. That would not have been original, but neither is this. At least it would then have been an enjoyable experience. As it is I mostly felt I was running around helping a bunch of incompetent toddlers in order to get to the fun stuff. If over half the game is filler time to extend the experience those parts should have been cut so more development time could have been spent on extending the good parts.

Anyway, if you've made it to the end of this long winded rant, thanks for reading and have fun with whatever game you're currently playing.

- Drin

Rage (PC)

Genre/Style: Shooter/First-Person Shooter
Release Date: 03/JAN/11
337 minutes
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