Friday, December 16, 2011

Rage Does Everything Right

ID Software has come a long way. They became a household name in 1992 with the release of a little title called Wolfenstein, and have since become synonymous with the first-person shooter genre. Prolific titles such as Doom and Quake set the standard for innovative, unique, and fun games, and allowed for a relatively small company to reach a large audience.

In a time where FPS (first person shooter) games are a dime-a-dozen, id Software took it upon themselves to create a game that would simultaneously fill all the necessary quotas, but also reach outside the box. That mindset gave birth to RAGE, a post-apocalyptic shooter that, for better or worse, does exactly what it's supposed to do. The graphics are gorgeous while running at 60 frames-per-second, and the weapon selection is acceptable, though some may find it a tad sparse when compared to other games in the genre.

The selling point for RAGE comes in the form of vehicular combat. Players are able to acquire vehicles through races, bets, and quests, and subsequently outfit them with an array of weapons and gadgets. If guns on your car isn't your thing, you're more than welcome to invest in a beefed-up grill to ram your opponents into pieces. But whatever you decide, you will never feel like you are selling yourself short.

Unfortunately, for all of the things that RAGE does well, it never really reaches beyond the typical confines of the average FPS. It is very much an on-rails shooter, and, except for the moments when you're in a vehicle, you'll never feel like you're free to do whatever you want. From the very beginning of the game, the paths are linear, and the item needed to finish a whatever quest is in progress is always straight ahead. This eventually becomes repetitive, especially when the enemies being fought look and sound exactly the same.

This is not to say that RAGE isn't fun to play - it is. However, some players may yearn for the open-world feel of a game such as Borderlands, which, much to id's chagrin, RAGE has been compared to liberally. What ultimately makes this game stand out is that, at its core, it has "id Software" written all over it: the bosses are huge, the enemies are disturbing, the guns are crazy, and most importantly, there is a ton of fun to be had.

Grade: B

Everyone has a little bit of nerd inside them dying to come out. Release your inner nerd.

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