Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rage First Impressions

So with Dan busy getting his ass handed to him in Dark Souls it's up to me to check out Rage; IDs new Shooter/RPG that combines elements of Fallout 3 and Borderlands. Unfortunately they aren't always the best parts of those games.

You play as...ah...hmm...a man, who is on a mission something, but first he has to stop things...before...or wait. There's nothing here, there's no story. 2hrs into the game all I've gotten so far is the premise of Fallout 3 (minus the nukes) explained to me in an opening cinema and a few missions that wouldn't amount to more than side quests in most games. I understand games usually start you out slowly to get you accustomed to them but they also have some sort of overarching purpose to your actions. A goal or as some nerds like to call it "a main quest". Your purpose is simply to exist, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing (it is a harsh wasteland after all) except there's no struggle for survival. Instead you're giving this empty void of a character, who doesn't even talk, and the NPCs aren't much better. They merely exist to give you menial tasks and tutorial information. Not to mention the talents of John Goodman are completely wasted.

You may think I'm bitching about this too much, it is a shooter after all, who cares about the story, but I disagree. Sure you don't need a good story to enjoy a game, in fact, despite what you've read so far I am enjoying Rage, but few interesting characters, and I dunno, maybe an actual PLOT, can go a long way. It just feels like a lost opportunity. Especially for a game that's touting itself as part RPG.

That said once you get into the mission areas and start fighting bandits the game gets a lot better. The enemy AI is solid, nothing revolutionary yet, but definitely more engaging than your average shooter. The game also runs extremely smooth and fast, giving it a bit of an old school vibe. A lot like Doom not surprisingly. Unfortunately to get that speed id made some sacrifices with the textures. For the most part it isn't noticeable but once in awhile you'll get too close to an object and it just looks like shit. I took a shot of my screen with my digital camera so you could see what I'm taking about. Luckily the art design helps make up for it. The environments are definitely more interesting then anything fallout or borderlands had to offer.

I think that's supposed to be pavement.

Overall I'm still having a lot of fun with this game. The combat is definitely the highlight so far, and there are some cool weapons, vehicle racing and crafting skills to keep things interesting. I'll post more when I finish the game.

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