Game Review: Rage (Xbox 360)
Rage is a first-person shooter set in a futuristic world of mutants and bandits in a fight for survival action game. 106 years after being put in stasis you awaken in an Ark, a vessel intended to preserve humankind. You were one of several hundred selected to continue on after the asteroid impact with Earth nearly destroyed it in 2029. The only problem is that I am the only survivor of the Ark I was sleeping in. As I awaken and make my way to see the world in front of me, I realize things haven’t been going so well. Mutants and bandits make life hard for the pockets of humans that have continued to survive. And for this group called The Authority? Who knows what they are up to…that is until I expose their dastardly plans.
I am pretty excited as I start out on my adventure. The story seems like it is going to be deep. I remember a lot of hype surrounding Rage when it was about to be released. The initial story seemed to be pretty cool, worthy of a good Hollywood plot. As I emerge from my stasis I am immediately attacked by some thugs who call themselves Ghost clan. After a battle with them, Dan Hagar (played by John Goodman), a wasteland settler brings me to his humble establishment. He gives me minimal information as to what is going on. Before too long, I find myself doing him favors such as transporting things to other settlements. For these favors I am rewarded with money, cars, or weapons. As the game moves on, I find that my time 106 years after I was buried in an Ark underground has been reduced to being somebody’s bitch. Once I have done all I can for Dan, I end up in Wellspring for more of the same. The sheriff and the mayor have nothing but favors to ask of me. Again, more of get this, help them, and deliver that. Still, at this point I have no idea why the world has turned out the way it has…other than an asteroid caused some significant global changes and The Authority is up to something
The graphics and the gameplay are cool; probably best part of the game. I spend most of my time running and gunning; getting between the settlements gave me the chance to drive some dune buggies and blow up other dune buggies for cash. In addition to running errands for the local townsfolk, I got to rescue people by providing sniper cover. I also got to go find missing persons for which I also got paid for my duty. When I got bored doing missions, I took a few spins around the local racetrack to increase the size of my wallet or get some perks for my rides. With my earnings, I beefed up my weapons. I recommend creating some explosive tips for your crossbow. They really ruin other people’s day. Still, after all is said and done, I am nothing but a go-to guy; a total bitch.
The mutants were creepy and there as a sense of desolation in the cities I visited running favors for people. The scenery definitely gave the apocalyptic sense that our comfortable world has really gone to hell. The creators did a really good job capturing the feel of what life could be like after an event such as a deadly asteroid impact. Though I don’t believe huge mutants will be crawling around, those mutants did add creep-factor to the game, but weren’t terribly hard to defeat. As mentioned, with the right weapons (explosive-tipped arrows), killing mutants was a bit easier.
The game came on three discs which lead me to believe this was going to an epic mother lode of post-apocalyptic terror. However, my life of running errands and stopping The Authority from what they were doing took about 13-hours. The third disc was a stand-alone disc for online play. The overall game is fairly linear. When you are partaking in one of the main missions it is difficult to get lost. If you are careful from start to finish, you should be able to cover all of your mission objectives. The things you need to find in the game are usually highlighted so the chance of forgetting something or not finding it is minimal. I didn’t find too many areas that I found terribly frustrating. The one thing I loved best was that during gameplay you have the chance to defibrillate yourself back to life, but if you die before your defibrillator recharges, it is lights out. You can also save anytime. So, if you die and retry your mission, you know where you should save your game, like right before the big battle that got you killed to begin with. I like this save feature better than having to reach checkpoints to save.
Overall, the biggest disappointment was the story. It was so promising, but even after 10-13 hours, I was still just running errands for people who seemed ill-prepared to deal with The Authority. Yet, my rebirth 106 years after the asteroid finds me in a better position to take down those in charge of things in this post-apocalyptic setting. I found that hard to believe. Even after I did what I was asked to do, the conclusion of the story was a way too short cinematic that still barely told me anything. I mean, I assume things would get better based on what the cinematic showed me. I guess that’s the point, but I was hoping for a good 2-3 minute cinematic of a happy ending.
The gameplay is really fun though, it just feels more like an arcade game than a shooter with a story to tell. At 13-hours, I will say I got my $20.00 worth; I would have been upset if I had paid full-price. This is easily a weekend rental or bargain bin game. If it had a more story to it, it would have been leaps and bounds more fun to immerse myself in. As it stands it has no real depth, but if you like to run, gun, and drive fast then this is a game for you.