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Game Review: Rage

Rage is set in a post-apocalyptic world. After a massive asteroid nearly destroys the planet and wipes out all of humanity, the world is repopulated and rebuilt by the remaining members of the human race. Humanity was spared extinction thanks to the quick action of the world’s governments to initiate a plan to place humans in hibernation inside of underground vaults. Not all of the vaults have been recovered however, and your characters vault was one of the many that didn’t open as scheduled. While you’re just now discovering this new world for the first time, it will be up to you to stop the evil plans of the people controlling the vaults for their evil purposes.

While neither a post-apocalyptic setting or a voiceless character emerging into the world unexpectedly is a unique plot, it still works for a while. You’ll immediately be drawn into the story of Rage, but you will soon begin to lose all interest. Rage never builds on the strong beginning by introducing a main protagonist, or even showing you the face of a protagonist, and there are no real plot twists. A few hours into Rage, you team with the resistance that is fighting against the evil group known as The Authority, and that’s your story. Of course you’ll complete missions and side quests to earn renown and work your way up in the world, but you basically know the ending after only a few hours of playing Rage. As it turns out however, you’ll wish you didn’t as Rage has one of the worst endings I’ve seen in recent history.

Rage’s combat is very basic. You gradually receive your basic arsenal of weapons for a FPS game, and you shoot things. You’ll receive different accessories to use in combat as well, but you won’t really need them to complete the game. Some of the accessories are fun to use, such as the wingsticks, and they are one of few nice things Rage has to offer. You can find most of the accessories scattered throughout Rage, but they can also be built with the nice item construction feature.

The graphics in Rage are nice, but it seemed like they limited what Id Software could do with the environments in Rage. The majority of Rage takes places in one of two areas, each of which have their own town. You navigate the larger areas of Rage while driving and fighting off bandits, but there really isn’t much to see in the wastelands of Rage. Unless you are looking for all of the special vehicle jumps, you won’t be exploring much in Rage, and you’ll find yourself rushing from one destination to another limiting the feel of the open world. Rage doesn’t offer waypoints while navigating through its smaller areas such as towns and dungeons. This makes finding your way through Rage way more difficult than is should be.

There are plenty of things to do in Rage aside from the story’s main missions. There are minigames you can play such as 5 finger filet and a card game, but none of them are all that amazing. There are plenty of vehicular competitions for you to participate in as well. There are races as well as other game variants, and you can win prizes to further upgrade your vehicles to use in future competitions. This aspect of Rage is pretty fun and well made, and they can be a nice distraction from Rage’s awful storyline. Storyboard missions and delivery missions can also be completed in Rage’s campaign, but neither are anything special.

Rage also comes packed with two multiplayer modes: Road Rage and Legend of the Wasteland. Road Rage is a variety of vehicular combat modes similar to the ones in Rage’s campaign. These different modes can be fun with friends. There are also plenty of unlockables and a leveling system to keep you coming back for more if you enjoy Road Rage enough. Legend of the Wasteland puts you and another player in a mission of your choosing. The missions have a little storyline, and there is a scoring system that awards multipliers for you and your partner racking up kills while staying alive. Legend of the Wasteland isn’t awful, but there aren’t many missions, and they quickly become repetitive with little storyline to keep you entertained.

Rage feels like it’s in a genre of its own, but that’s not a good thing. People that purchase Rage expecting a wonderful first-person shooter experience will be completely letdown. Rage doesn’t do anything that other FPS games haven’t already done, but the cars can be somewhat fun to play with at times. The multiplayer in Rage becomes boring quickly as well. If you’re looking for something to hold your attention until Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 are released, Rage may be worth a rent. Otherwise, you should stay far, far away from Rage.

Released: October 4, 2011
Platforms:  Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Id Software
Genre: First-Person Shooter / Action

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