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An Id Software Employee holds the newly printed copies of RAGE before release.
Installed and Played on Xbox360
SCORE: 4/5

RAGE is a FPS from the creators of DOOM and Quake; Id Software. RAGE consists of fast-paced and explosive combat, intelligent AI, and free-roam driving and races.
Engine- Id Tech 5

Story:
You are an ARK Soldier. A member of an elite force that used to protect Earth. After an opening cinematic you realize that Earth was hit with a massive asteroid and the world as we know it is no more. All that is left is desolate wastelands that resemble Tuskan Raider territory, bandits wielding melee weapons, and the Authority; the evil force in RAGE that is trying to erase the memory of the ARK soliders; namely you, one of the last of your kind.

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Id Software knows how to make a FPS, but using characters as story points, emotions as motivation, or a sense of completion seems to be something they weren’t worried about for RAGE. NPCs are dull, unmemorable, and their faces do not sync with their dialogue. Missions are exciting in combat but their’s no method behind the madness. I never was truly motivated enough to really care about the missions I was completing or the people I was saving. Internal rewards mean a lot to hardcore gamers RAGE simply relies on bland FPS realities. 

Graphics:
RAGE is gorgeous. Running at 60 FPS (Frames per second) you can truly be immersed in the environments and enjoy all the beautiful splendor of creepy caves, abandoned buildings, and huge metal strongholds. Movements are rarely blurred and everything is rendered in real time so that all the color and atmosphere keep you on your toes. I recommend that you install RAGE onto your 360 or PS3 for maximum performance. The reason for this is that instead of using so much power and processing data to pull graphics, enemy AI, weapon schematics, etc off the disc it can simply use the installed cache of data from your system. Running an installed version of RAGE will allow you to play it the way it’s meant to be played.

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Setting:
After Earth gets hit with a massive asteroid nothing is left but rundown buildings, broken highways, poor towns, and the Authority. Driving around starts out fun, but there is nothing to do but the task at hand and the always annoying and persistent  bandit horde trying to kill you. Buildings are large in scale but only let you travel a set path. RAGE is a very linear game and rarely lets you stray from the path.

Navigation:
Awful. Out in the wastelands you have a compass that directs you to your mission objective but beyond that you’re left only with your memory of the places you’ve already been to. If you forget where a settlement is you’re left wandering around waiting for bandits to find you. While in town there is no compass. Wellspring isn’t hard to navigate but Subway Town…Subway Town is a bitch. Missions in subway town force you through each of its three levels and tell you, “Talk to Portman,” or “Find Avani.” The NPCs are hardly memorable and if anything stands out from searching around towns it’s the fact that Id Software made sure that everything looks great; because you’ll be wandering around town a lot. Your only help is the little maps in the manual.

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Gameplay:
RAGE is flat-out a gorgeous fluid FPS. Nothing more nothing less. If you want a creepy challenge in the shooting department to be played on your huge tv with your surround sound at full blast RAGE is your choice. Combat is quick and intense. AI learns from your tactics and will do its best to kill you. Bandits dodge your bullets and force you to aim wildly; shooting back and forth across the screen. Authority troops will flank you and use their brute forces to push you backwards. Every mission is a challenge.

Inventory is a big part of RAGE. You’ll be equipping, hot-keying, and creating objects about as much time as you’ll be firing bullets and throwing your wingstick. Oh! The Wingstick; my favorite weapon. The Wingstick is the flagship weapon of this game and for good reason. It houses a nano-targeting core that can find enemies near you. That core in incased in a deathly trio of razor sharp blades that can cut through metal and flesh. That’s not all; the throwing weapon can come back to you boomerang-style. Think of the little wolf kid from Mad Max.

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Weapons have upgradeable parts and special types of ammo. All weapons have their own specific uses but I usually only used the Assault Rifle and the Authority Rifle with it’s scope. 

Final Thoughts:
SPOILER SKIP AHEAD TO PASS SPOILER
In the end of the game you’re given a huge cannon of a weapon and an ammo type called “BFG” rounds; indefinitely an homage to DOOM. The game’s scope and NPCs urge you to stand strong for the end will be the roughest part of your gaming experience. The last level of gameplay is mediocre and unchallenging. The ending consists of defeating three waves of crawler creatures with mounted miniguns on their backs. My bundle of advanced wingsticks took care of almost all of them and I barely had to squeeze of any rounds from my assault rifle. Activating three computers that initiated a satellite to awaken the other ARK Soldiers was the end of my RAGE experience. No big bad boss, no lengthy fight scene, and I didn’t even get to use the big gun with the BFG rounds…

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RAGE is a great game but it doesn’t last forever. It will keep your attention but you’ll be left wanting more than it can give you. You may feel accomplished after it’s missions but you won’t remember much about this game in years to come. Id Software made another great FPS, period.
RAGE SCORES 4/5.

Review scores
Publication/ Score
1UP.com B
Edge 7/10
Electronic Gaming Monthly 9.5/10
Eurogamer 8/10
Famitsu 35/40
G4 4/5
Game Informer 9/10
GamePro 4/5
GameSpot 8/10
GameSpy 3.5/5
GameTrailers 9.0/10
IGN 8.5/10

 


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