Graphics:
9.8
Gameplay:
9.3
Sound:
9.4
Control:
9.0
Replay Value:
8.7
Online Gameplay:
8.9
Overall Rating:
9.2
Publisher:
EA
Developer:
iD Software
Number Of Players:
1-4
Genre:
Action


There isn’t anything innovative or revolutionary about RAGE . The graphics are some of the best you’ll ever see, but the gameplay is definitely “been there, done that.” …oh, but wait. Is it? Why does very little feel rehashed or reused or recycled from other shooters, and why can’t I stop playing? Well, it’s a combination of entertaining, addictive elements that come together to present us with an irresistible adventure that moves beautifully and captures your interest from the start.

You’re going to see some perfect 10s in the graphics department for this game. That’s because it’s just… insane . The detail and clarity is absolutely astounding and when you take into account the size of the world, it’s even more mind-boggling. Characters are meticulously designed, animations are unbelievably fluid, and the landscape, while stark and mostly barren, is still jammed with a ridiculous amount of pinpoint detail. In short, this post-apocalyptic environment is so gorgeous and effective, you just can’t stop staring. The only slight downside is that the aforementioned sharpness can take a moment or two to kick in; blurriness (and clipping) can be spotted.

The audio features plenty of great voice work from multiple characters, a soundtrack that feels a bit too subtle but ramps up during hectic sequences, and sharp, “impactful” sound effects. The ambient sounds of a town – mostly generated by citizen chatter – works well, and enemy groans, roars and exclamations are plenty intimidating. The orchestral score selects the correct moments to swell and enhances the experience, while the crack of your shotgun and the icy crispness of a machine gun cement a solid and diverse audio presentation.

Perhaps the best way to describe id Software’s latest effort is to say it’s Borderlands …only a lot more robust. Not only does it look downright amazing, but there’s usually plenty to do. This is where the role-playing feel comes into play; accepting odd jobs, performing delivery tasks, doing side quests, and stocking up on goodies made it feel a bit like Deus Ex: Human Revolution . However, we don’t have experience in RAGE ; it’s all about money, items, and racing certificates.

However, there is depth within the gameplay as well. Your engineering skill allows you to take various raw materials and combine them into something useful. You can make Bandages, RC Remote Cars (which go boom), Lock Grinders, and various pieces of cool ammunition, like new rounds that turn your shotgun into a grenade launcher. Furthermore, you can purchase new “recipes” from shops, which will let you make more stuff. You can also buy upgrades for your weapons, like stabilizers and ammo capacity enhancers.

Now, you should probably be aware that driving is a big part of the game. Walking around outside towns is almost pointless; you’ll never get anywhere if you aren’t driving. This may sound like the world is massive – and it is, to some extent – but it’s mostly comprised of roads for your vehicle, so it’s not like a huge, open landscape to explore. Some may find this a little disappointing, as it cuts down on the freedom and makes the game feel a bit more linear. It also sometimes feels as if there’s little to do besides jump your vehicle into authority drones.

But id spices things up by tossing bandits at you; they drive around in their own vehicles and attack you on a routine basis. So, you can outfit your vehicle (there are four in the game) with all sorts of equipment; you can increase its armor and add weapons like miniguns and rockets. It also helps to use the turbo a lot ; you don’t always want to fight and the turbo comes in handy when you just want to reach your destination. Combine this with the well designed towns and extra stuff to do, and this one will take up a lot of your time.

Initially, I was worried about the driving part. It’s difficult to get all aspects of both control schemes – FPS and driving – exactly correct and while I still say the buggy is just way too loose, and the normal handling of your character is a tad touchy, the developers do get it right. It’s always a blast to drive around, and it’s always a blast to play. The shooting elements are almost perfect, as the weapons are cool, the enemies – ranging from mutant to heavily armored human to giant monster – are diverse and challenging, and the collision detection is exact.

You can also enter races to earn racing certificates, the only way to upgrade your ride. If you really sink some time into these, you might say there’s too much of an emphasis on racing and driving. But most all of it is optional; it’s only for the purpose of upgrading your vehicle, which isn’t essential. And while the competitors in the Rally events cheat (it feels like you’re competing against ten other cars rather than three), it’s still fun. And it adds another dimension to the gameplay. In truth, the game would feel a little bland without it.

I should also mention the interesting approach to death. Thanks to a built-in defibrillator, you can resurrect yourself if you succumb. You enter a brief mini game that utilizes both analog sticks, and then you press the R2 and L2 buttons at the right time; getting close to the indicators will give you more health when you come back. It also releases an electrical charge that fries enemies standing too close to your fallen body. Later, you get a second defib to help; if you don’t have any and you die…you die. So keep some bandages handy.

There are only a few significant issues. Firstly, it doesn’t feature a great story, and that storyline doesn’t really end with a bang. It’s not the plot-driven shooter that Resistance 3 was, and I also think Insomniac’s shooter has the best weapon arsenal of the generation. It often feels as if there aren’t enough weapons in RAGE , although all of them are effective. Secondly, the loading times can get a little irritating, especially if you do a lot of racing. Thirdly and lastly, the AI isn’t the smartest. It's competent but not top-tier in this day and age.

I’m referring to the human enemies, by the way. They’ll take cover and even run to a better position, but they’ll often stick around long enough to get nailed. The mutants are a different matter; they’re about as challenging as rushing foes can be. They’ll dodge and roll and avoid a lot of gunfire from a distance. But they do have a pattern and they’re easily dispatched once you learn it. That all being said, the various element of the game are so fantastic, and so wonderfully designed and implemented, it’s a joy to play. You just can’t stop.

The campaign is definitely the focus but the multiplayer is fun, too. You can unlock new stuff like cluster bombs and pulse cannons for your vehicle, and I’m a fan of the not-too-serious arcade-y nature. Remember, this is id Software. So don’t be surprised to see power pick-ups like 4x damage, even if you remain surprised at the vehicle element in the multiplayer. You also have the option of co-op play, but only for missions that don’t involve the main plot. With multipliers and tremendously paced action, going online with the game is definitely an invigorating experience.

RAGE doesn’t really do anything new. I’ll repeat that for those who are looking for the innovative and revolutionary. But what it does do is pretty damn incredible. It features an excellent FPS mechanic, surprisingly solid (if a bit loose) driving control, competent and diverse foes, unbelievably detailed environments, great audio, and an overall combination of multiple gameplay elements that gels into a cohesive, riveting production. The story isn’t much, there aren’t quite enough weapons, and that huge world seems smaller with roads and vehicles, but otherwise, this game is awesome .

The Good: Best graphics of 2011 (possibly of the generation). Great voice work and soundtrack. Excellent shooter control; solid driving mechanic. Depth and freedom combined with standard elements. Arcade-y, fast-paced online multiplayer. Immensely addictive.

The Bad: Story doesn’t play a big role. Long load times. AI is partially intelligent, partially brain-dead.

The Ugly: “A lot of ugly creatures, but man…they look great.”

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Lairfan
Lairfan
9 years ago

Well, this confirms my decision to preorder was a good one. Can't wait to play it tomorrow!

And best graphics of 2011/the generation? That's quite a feat. That includes exclusives too?

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

No way. The graphics are good but way too inconsistent to be the best of this generation or even 2011. Maybe best graphics for an open world shooter but that's it. Games like Uncharted 2, Killzone 2 and 3 and God of War III still have it beat in texture quality and performance. In Rage everything looks gorgeous from far away but once you get close up a lot of the textures blur pretty bad.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Jawky poo…I disagree with u!

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Ha, can't always agree. 😉

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Jawknee: Er…no. I'm sorry, but the only thing that comes close is Uncharted 2.

FM23
FM23
9 years ago

For real Jawknee…Rage looks better than all the aferomentioned games…it's true

Killa Tequilla
Killa Tequilla
9 years ago

Someone recommend him
A new TV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joking lol

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Sorry Ben, going to have to agree to disagree. Just got done with GoW3 on Chaos. I still think it's the best looking game this gen.

Qubex
Qubex
9 years ago

Jawk, I just picked up Killzone 3 on Platinum for $20 dollars…

I almost cried when looking at the graphics… it was finally what Cell and RSX were made for; throw GoWIII and Uncharted 2 (and soon Uncharted 3), and I am sure all of us wish that every game looked this good…

Gents, simply put, after playing Killzone 3, I realised the PS3 has got some way to ge to being maxed out. Killzone 3 could easily embarrass a lot of PC people…

I was blown away, simple as that… Battlefield doesn't come close!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Indeed. Killzone 3 is a beauty. Nextime you're on let's get some matches in.


Last edited by Jawknee on 10/5/2011 1:49:50 AM

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Yea, just popped Killzone 3 in to compare, Rage's open worldiness aside, Killzone 3's texture work is better. It just is. Everything from the ground to the chain link fence I'm looking at is high res. No texture loading and with better lighting and self shadowing. Hardly any jaggies as well. I respect your guy's opinion but I just cannot agree that Rage is the best of 2011 let alone this generation. Not on consoles anyway.

That said, I understand there is a difference in the game design and that's part of what makes Rage so impressive. But it comes at a cost as Temji points out below.

lupus
lupus
9 years ago

first time I agree with jawknee it don't beat god of war 3 and uncharted in graphics

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

no way this game looks better than kz3. texture work in kz3 is superior with hardly any jaggies. i am seeing some blurry textures upon close examination in rage plus some aliasing issues. maybe we can all pitch in and buy ben a new tv or lasiks surgery…i'm just kidding. it is a great looking game. definitely best looking multi plat.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Everyone is far too focused on textures. It's only one aspect of graphical analysis. RAGE crushes KZ3 when it comes to overall detail, which is the crux of all visual presentations. Character detail is quite literally twice as good, for example.

Killzone 3 looks amazing. RAGE is a full package from open-world to up-close intricate detail that we haven't seen before.

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

Going to have to agree with Ben. Textures aside, the game just LOOKS better than anything I've seen or played on consoles this generation.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Pop Killzone 3 in and check out the junkyard map. It's just as detailed if not more with a gorgeous vista. Rage looks awesome but crush Killzone 3 it does not.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

…you really won't get any critic to agree with you on this, Jawknee. It's simply a different style of visuals.

PAKINIPS
PAKINIPS
9 years ago

Impressive that a game of this graphics is on the 360 as well.
So all they have to do is use multiple DVDs

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

And install a 22gb install. Not sure if it's optional or not though.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
9 years ago

22GB for the 360 version?
A bit RAGE don't you think?

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

It's optional Jawk.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

That graphics are great except when your in closed areas and up close, textures can be inconsistent. Some look good while others look blurry and pixelated. As Ben said though, the land scape and vistas look awesome.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
9 years ago

Is there split screen for this game?

Lotusflow3r
Lotusflow3r
9 years ago

Yes, local co-op is included and should be mentioned. A very important feature and one that has me most excited for it.

Jalex
Jalex
9 years ago

I must say, Ben, while I enjoy reading your reviews, I rarely make any purchases based on any review(s). And I was going to buy this eventually anyway, but after reading this, I'll likely pick it up by the end of the week.

bluedarrk
bluedarrk
9 years ago

I still feel like this game will take a backseat to all the other great games coming out in the next two months. Batman,Uncharted 3, Skyrim, BF3, MW3. I hope it does well just don't want to see it have the same fate as R3.

SolidFantasy
SolidFantasy
9 years ago

Seriously!? The graphics are that good? Wow!
Are there any bright colors? Or is it pretty bland. Most developers shy away from vibrant bright colors when there going for the graphics award. U2 and Crysis 2 are an exception to this.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I think the colors are pretty good for an post apocalyptic shooter. They're not Uncharted or even God of War III vibrant but they get the job done. The sky is especially pretty.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Jawk have you seen this game on the PC? I normally agree with you but not this time. I'd say the texture quality in Rage exceeds anything I've seen on the PS3 that you've listed.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I haven't seen it on the PC but if you're comparing the PC version to the PS3 version I believe you. I just don't think console versions are better than some PS3 exclusives. I will have to pop Uncharted 2 in again to double check but I just got done playing God of War III again and I still think that game, for the most part looks better. Granted they are different types of games. For a game as open as Rage is, it's a pretty amazing feat.

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
9 years ago

I love the fact how so many ATI/AMD card users are kind of annoyed with Rage right now, since apparently it released with the wrong drivers, so it's horribly butchered right now graphically and more it seems. Don't know if that's the disc version, steam version, or what. But oh well, doesn't matter to me with my nVidia.

Geobaldi
Geobaldi
9 years ago

Works perfectly fine with my ATI card, so it's not an issue for all gamers. But of course the ones that are affected make it sound like it's a common issue for everybody.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Thanks for the review Ben. Far better than Joystiq's IMO. I'll be getting this next year since I'll be getting my FPS fix from BF3 for a while.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

BF3 is an FPS. RAGE…not quite.

booze925
booze925
9 years ago

i was kinda excited about this game and read multiple reviews… and i learned something.
a game can have the best graphics in the f***ing planet, but if the story is lacking then i lose interest. i personally love actually feeling for the characters and feeling hate when betrayed or sadness when losing some important character.
we need more of those…

Lotusflow3r
Lotusflow3r
9 years ago

Agreed Tamjin, how they did 60fps and then created such a beauty in graphics is something of an innovation itself….but that's ID for ya.

Truly phenomenal.

PS3 exclusives need to now step up!

Lotusflow3r
Lotusflow3r
9 years ago

Well that replied to the wrong chap!

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

This looks awesome. Can't believe how good the game allegedly looks while running at 60fps. I think Carmack and co. deserves mega props for making their multi-plat game one of this gen's best lookers.

I'll get to try it soon enough.
I have this game installing on the PS3 in the background while I work this Calculus problem for a Java module. Yeah, might be no Rage love'n from me tonight =p

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

It's definitely the best looking multiplat game this gen. It runs smooth as butter like you said but at the cost of some consistent texture loading. For example, there is a file cabinet in this room I am in, when I leave the room and come back a second later the texture loads again. Does it every time but it loads pretty fast.


Last edited by Jawknee on 10/4/2011 11:14:40 PM

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Yeah, I see the texture grow-in stuff for sure. Before I nitpick more, I'll just get this out of the way. It looks real nice. Strong art direction for both environment and characters go a long ways to make this a stand out title. Much of the animation looks great, too.

But back to the nitpicking,the texture grow-in bugs me when I look for and pay attention to it. But even when the textures do grow in fully, the texture samples are lower than most 30fps games. I suppose the question here is, what do you prefer? Finer close-up texture detail or fluid 60fps play? Because there is a trade off when leaning for one and not the other. That, or take a hit to resolution(CoD opts for this)
I do notice a general lack of self-shadowing effects. Right from the onset while riding with John Goodman, there's no cast shadows from the buggy cage etc. In fact, there's just a general lack of self shadowing altogether. I don't necessarily feel opposed to that, though. Most cast shadows on console games have really defined aliased edges that remind me that, yes, this is a video game pretending to present real shadows. A handful of games, like GoW3, can do cast shadows well. My last nitpick is directed at the motion. I tried shooting a hanging nest of skulls. Skulls that are held only by a rope. Well, if this was Resistance 3, they'd more than likely dance around and clang against each other upon firing at them. In Rage, they're stiff. Never moving no matter what I do. Disclaimer, I've only played like 20min of Rage, so in the coming many hours I may see a lot of stuff to change my mind. Like the lack of dynamic post-processing effects seen in Resistance 3 or Killzone2-3. Essentially, the game rides heavily on very controlled, but static, art assets, yet, with minimal processing allotted to layered filtering effects. In fact, the blur effect that happens to the viewer's vision presents noticeable mosaic tiling of the transparency filter.

As it stands with what I've seen so far, while Rage looks great, GoW3, Uncharted 2, Gears of War3, and the Killzone's, and yes, even Crysis 2, appear more impressive in my eyes. To me, what's most impressive, is this game even dares to compete at 60fps. That's a heavy burden to bare by any developer, and I think we're all lucky to have a game looking as good as Rage does for as smooth as it moves and plays.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 10/5/2011 1:39:10 AM

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Well put Temji and I agree with all of it. Nice analysis. As far as what I prefer? I'd rather take consistently high quality texture work with a lower framerate. 60fps is great and all but I don't find it to be a necessity. Some of the textures in Rage close up approach Residet Evil 4 territory. Not a trait the "best looking game this gen" should have.

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

which do i prefer? better texture detail vs 60 fps? how about both? that's one thing that makes me look forward to next gen. i love how a 60 fps game feels, but i also love highly detailed textures. hopefully next gen there won't have to be a trade off and we can get both.

i still think kz3 is the best looking game of this gen. god of war 3 looks nice but its using a fixed camera on tiny little maps.

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

I'll take smooth frame rate over texture resolution (or other aspects of "pretty" graphics) every time, but I'm not remotely a "graphics whore".

Most important, though–and I think Jawknee will agree with me–is v-sync. This generation's screen tearing is out of control. I just played the ME2 demo again and I could barely tell what was happening in the intro, the screen tearing was so bad.

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

oh i agree on the screen tearing deal. it's something that we ps3 users have been plagued with on a lot of multi plats in particular for some reason. ac2 had lot of screen tearing. i would point out the me2 demo sucks. the final game is way better. i have not seen any screen tears in the final game. but yeah, screen tearing is an issue this gen and it does seem to be out of control. bf3 beta anyone?

as for this graphical debate. absolutely nothing touches kz3. i'd question the judgement of anybody who says rage is better looking than kz3.


Last edited by Excelsior1 on 10/5/2011 6:33:58 AM

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Indeed Fane. How tearing makes it past the quality control department is beyond me. If I made games, I would never let one of my games hit the shelf with tearing in it.

The Real Deal
The Real Deal
9 years ago

Wow,

Wish Dark Souls review was this good, lol!

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

Well, it's a better game so it deserves a better review.

(Sorry I just had to ;))

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

/facepalm…
Your face, my palm = *THWACK*

Oxvial
Oxvial
9 years ago

Sorry but not, Rage is just the flavor of the month because of the graphics and being open world. Dark Souls already a cult game that is above reviews.


Last edited by Oxvial on 10/5/2011 7:25:27 AM

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

Yeah I wish Dark Souls was good enough for a 9.2, as well.

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