This review is for the Xbox 360 version of the game.
I have to say I honestly wasn’t paying much attention to Rage before it was released. I knew that it had the potential to be a great game but I was a little skeptical due to the fact that we just got over the Borderlands high as well as Fallout 3 and New Vegas. Both of these post-apocalyptic shooters did the setting great. I knew Rage could be on par with both of those games but could it do it better?
Rage is a very interesting game. I think if it had come out before the other two games I mentioned then I wouldn’t be so jaded but Rage doesn’t do anything new except look freaking amazing. Stop and look at the scenery is the first thing any player will want to do as they emerge from the underground. It’s absolutely beautiful. I think it’s safe to say that Rage may be the best looking shooter on the 360 but it is also hindered by it’s texture pop-in. If you stop to look around you’ll notice the final textures popping in and it’s kind of annoying. There are times when I would stop to look at the city skyscrapers and they all look plain as if the textures are still loading. It’s dissapointing because Rage is a game that you actually want to stop and look at when your driving/walking through it.
Rage is not an RPG. There is no experience and there are only minor upgrades to armor and weapons. Most of the loot you pick up (which is scarce compared to Fallout and Borderlands) you will use to either build stuff or use to sell and make money. Part of me wishes it was an RPG to give me the thrill of upgrading and leveling up. Rage is not a very open game either. Basically it is a shooter in which you drive to each level. There is no exploring. While there is the occasional side mission it is a very linear game. Linearity is not a bad thing, you just have to get used to the fact that this is not like what you would expect from a game that is “open world”. When you are not working on a mission you are in Wellspring or Subway Town stocking up on ammo. You’ll want to buy a lot of ammo because you won’t find much during missions and some missions can get pretty long. Enemies take a full clip or more to take down as well. Another thing you’ll want to remember is to save often. I mean, save all the time. If you don’t get in the habit of saving often you will be kicking yourself later. Saving can be your worst enemy. While I am thankful Rage has the “save anywhere” feature it doesn’t have enough auto-save points. It only saves when the game has to load an area. More than a few times I’ve had to play missions over again from the start because I forgot to save and ended up dying at the end. This is very frustrating.
While I may have a lot of negative things to say about Rage the game is awesome. The enemy AI is very impressive and the menus are a breeze to navigate which is great. The main thing is that Rage is fun and having fun is the most important thing for me when playing a game. Sure, maybe it’s not what we expect from a post-apocalyptic shooter but it’s nice to see a developer taking a different approach. If I want something more like Borderlands then I’ll just wait for Borderlands 2 to come out next year. I can honestly say that I think Rage is worth $50-$60. There is no reason not to pick this up if you enjoy Borderlands and Fallout. Is it a game of the year contender? Probably not. Is it a great game? Yes, definitely.
*[UPDATE]* – I had a chance to sit down and play the Legends of the Wasteland cooperative missions and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy them. Not only do they give you a behind-the-scenes look to some of the stories of the wasteland they are also very fun and well put together. Basically you play through a mission with a friend, if you die you can revive yourself with your defibrillator. You can do this twice but if you die a third time your partner has to come and revive you. If you both run out of defibrillators and die at the same time then you have to start the level over from the very beginning. I have to admit these levels were a little challenging and we found ourselves restarting them a handful of times. I love the fact that Id Software took the time to include splitscreen co-op. I think more games need to do this. There is also the option to play it with a friend over Live. Overall, the Legends of the Wasteland missions are a great addition to the main campaign and I highly suggest playing through them with friend.
[starreview tpl=46 size=’30’]