When id Software, creators of DOOM and QUAKE announced their latest First Person Shooter “RAGE” it was always going to be a must buy for any old skool FPS fan. id software set the standards for FPS gaming and have undoubtedly inspired many game developers who still to this day use a similar interface template to the one introduced to us in Wolfenstein 3D back in 1992.
You play a survivor of the 2029 Apophis asteroid impact. The world has been left a wasteland ruled by mysterious Authority and roamed by mindless mutants. The Authority’s have build protected, city type areas for citizens to live but life in the wastelands is not easy, resources are low and everyone is out to make living, everyone you speak to seems to need your help making for a healthy number of side missions to expand the life of the game.
The wasteland is a large place and you start off with a much needed dune buggy to get you from A to B, as the game progresses your travel means can soon become a finely tuned tank like motor not to be reckoned with, kitted out with armour, rockets and mini guns……time for mutant buggy chasers to go boom!
As I said, resources are low in the wastelands and things you might normally consider junk become valuable items which can be sold to NPC vendors throughout the game or re-engineered by yourself into new, much needed gadgets, medical supplies, weapons and ammo. The engineering items is a nice touch to the game, you buy ingredients and recipes from vendors which give you the options of transforming your junk into gadgets such as radio-controlled car-bombs, razor-boomerangs (great for removing mutant heads) and static turrets.
The factions vary as you spread across the Wastelands, mutants and clans become tougher, carry heavier weapons and pack more armour so you’re going to need to adapt to keep up with them and avoid losing your head. RAGE is great at making you utilise all the weapons that you might normally never use, you cannot afford to put all your trust into your favoured Authority Machine Gun, even with your upgraded bullets, so make sure your always carrying ammo for your whole armoury.
Mutants can be hard to kill, they jump from wall to ceiling to floor while running at you full sprint….Do not miss your shot! The most enjoyment I have found from playing RAGE is by playing up-close and personal with my combat shotgun at the ready! Nothing feels more satisfying than watching those mutants jumping and sprinting towards you, letting them get within touching distance, so close that they are convinced they have broken you down and you’re the next mutant meal until BOOM! Shotgun blast, sending the mutant flying into the wall falling into a pool of blood! The physics of the game work wonders and a shotgun to the face of a speedy mutant really highlights this.
You can always take a break from the main story by competing in a large number of combat race’s, side missions or, my personal favourite, attending “Mutant Bash TV studios”, you first encounter the studios as part of the main story when you are on the hunt for a sponsorship deal, once you have done this you are free to return to the studios to earn yourself some extra cash or just for the sheer fun of trying to beat your best score. The studios present you with 5 mutant filled arenas, each one getting slightly harder but never less fun, your task is simple, kill all the mutants as quickly as possible. Some serious amount of shotgun shells have fell here, great fun.
Top Trumps RAGE style
As you progress though the game you will find cards which are used to play Rage Frenzy with NPC’s for cash. Rage Frenzy is played in a very similar fashion to tops-trumps and becomes surprisingly addictive so keep your eyes out for those hidden cards splashed about across the wastelands. The downside to the card game is the inability to take the experience online, a good idea might have been to give players the option to agree a betting price and card battle it out over the internet….never mind.
As I mention online, its worth knowing that RAGE is not going to be up with the best of online multiplayer shooters. Online can be great fun but is aimed more towards the vehicle combat and co-op modes, NO team deathmatch…..in fact RAGE lacks any competitive shooter multiplayer, this really surprises me when you think about how successful id software’s” Quake” title’s have been over the years for its multiplayer alone.
RAGE was built using ids new Tech 5 engine, The game from a distance looks stunning with some great lighting (HDR) effects, I would even go as far as saying they are some of the best GFX on PS3 but up close, things can tend to look a little poor with the odd graphical glitch….nothing to noticeable.
My conclusion of RAGE is that it’s a must buy game for any fan of shooters. RAGE is one of them games that you already know how to play, a vintage shooter with no need for instructions or lengthy tutorials. The story is great and keeps you hooked for hours, offering online co-op modes and combat racing but for gamers who want to battle it out over the NET and test their skills against players all over the globe, RAGE will not give you this option. Though unfair to compare RAGE to titles such as Call of Duty MW3 and Battlefield 3 its fair to say that RAGE has aimed in a different direction and if you’re a fan of shooters then RAGE should be added to your collection.
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