Parent Talk: Rage is rated M for mature by the ESRB, as it features brutal action, much gore and extreme violence. Player discretion is highly advised. There’s also strong language and mature themes.
Plays Like: Fallout 3 without the RPG elements and V.A.T.S. Also Grand Theft Auto in terms of progression.
Review Basis: Finished a wide range of side-quests, online races, the campaign, and everything else I could get my hands on. Spent about twelve hours, and still didn’t experience everything the game has to offer.
After years of building their new engine, id Software is back with its latest FPS. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, Rage has more in common with GTA than Doom, but the world is so beautiful and inviting that players shouldn’t mind the new direction.
A fresh and original id Software product. No one element stands above the rest in this package, and it’s nice to see id do something different. The results speak for themselves.
+ The graphics…part I. The outdoor environments are breathtaking. Enemies animate with life-like realism and every NPC you meet has unique facial features. This is one of the most stunning games released this generation.
+ Towns and characters are a delight. Everyone has something to bring to the table. Towns, while on the verge of destruction, offer players so many new ways to interact with people. You can participate in races, try your hand at a bizarre holo-board game or play cards with the local gambler.
+ Exploration is rewarded. Without spoiling anything, players who explore this vast and impressive world should be delighted to find all kinds of easter eggs. Most are from memorable experience of id past.
+ Progression is tried and true, but works well. Rage doesn’t tread new ground with its GTA-inspired open world. You take quests by visiting people in villages, drive to wherever necessary, and either clear out a group of mutants and/or bandits, or find whatever the villager lost.
+ Shooting remains the name of the game. This is a shooter, so there are countless weapons, ammo types and unique ways to kill anything that moves. The toys are heavy and feel just right, as is expected from id Software.
+ Racing. Once your buggy is unlocked, you can add parts increase the speed, strengthen weapons, and add personal decals. All of this is attainable by completing in-game races. The real fun is when you take your buggy online and race human opponents.
+ Creativity. Players can create new gear from the plethora of garbage scattered about. Eventually you can build lock-grinders to access areas otherwise impossible to enter, RC car bombs (essentially RC vehicles from hell), and so much more.
+ A new take on health. If you’re hurt, hide to recover your health. If you’re near death, a mini-game begins where you can be revived and send a shockwave to stun all nearby enemies. Be incapacitated again too quickly though and it’s goodbye Charlie.
+/- A good, but not great tale. While simple, the story introduces players to a world they’ll want to explore. The cast is memorable, but your journey involves too many fetch quests before things really take off. The expected climax also doesn’t really come, but the game is intriguing enough.
+/- The AI. Bandits use cover and try to flank, but mutants always run right at you. They employ a few surprising maneuvers to dodge your attacks, but after long I noticed that they’re based on old Doom enemies from years ago.
+/- Co-op isn’t traditional. You and a buddy can tackle any of the nine specifically created missions. They’re a fun diversion, but don’t add much to the experience.
– The graphics…part II. With Rage’s technical prowess, it’s a little silly that a small cardboard acts as an invisible wall. Background objects such as televisions are textured into walls and look plain ugly, especially compared to everything else.
– No auto-save. After every quest, make sure you save, or you might have to start all over. Another questionable aspect is that you can’t save mid-mission. For some reason, doing so and returning later requires you to start at the beginning anyway.
Die already! Why does it require six headshots to take down an unarmored bandit? The death animations are great, but amount of ammo you need for kills borders on the verge of absurd.
Rage looks, sounds and plays like it’s been in the works for years. All the time and effort id Software put into this new engine has proven well worth it. Rage offers an exciting and well-rounded experience that any FPS aficionado can jump into and enjoy.
Average Score Scale: 8.0 (+/- 0.5) out of 10
Personal Final Score: 8.5/10 (Inflated)
Reason for +0.5 Inflation: Incredible art direction, lengthy campaign, something new from id Software.
Reason for -0.5 Deflation: A somewhat shallow story. GTA-inspired progression and open world may not appeal to everyone.