It’s always nice to see older developers come out with something new. id Software, the company credited with creating the first-person shooter genre, has come out with their version of a post-apostolic future. RAGE takes place after the real life asteroid, Apophis, hits earth and wipes out almost everything. Yes, Apophis is a real asteroid but its not going to hit Earth, just past really close in the year 2029. RAGE takes place in 2135; you awake in your Ark and are quickly saved from a group of bandits by Dan Hagar (voiced by John Goodman). RAGE’s bread and butter though, is shooting and killing.
I haven’t played a shooter this polished in years. It may take a few minutes to get used to the controls but after that, it’s smooth sailing. You start off with only the pistol if you didn’t get the Anarchy Edition, so make sure to loot every body so you don’t run out of ammo. There are many different bandit tribes; some are more acrobatic while some build RC Bombs. Mutants are the more generic enemy. These guys can be killed easily, but give no loot. The Authority is the new government and has the best weapons and armor. There are so many different enemies, weapons, and ammo types, the combat will stay fresh for a while. Sadly, there are a lot of weapons but you can only equip four at a time. I found that I stuck with my Crossbow, Double-Barrel Shotgun, Machine Gun, and Sniper Rifle.
The Level Design was very unique. At first glance, it seems very linear. With most doors being locked, you might feel trapped on a single path. id Software did this on purpose, closing off some path ways then opening them on later levels makes it feel like a new area to explore. The Wasteland is where they bring in the vehicles. For the most part, vehicles are only used to get from quest to quest but they are fun to drive. At first you start with an ATV. It doesn’t have guns on it but you do need it for an achievement. Later you get a buggy that you can upgrade with machine guns, rockets, and pulse weapons. In towns, there are races you can do for extra cash, but you will find that most of that cash will go towards your vehicles to do more races and make more cash. It’s a vicious cycle. Towns also have plenty of places to gamble your money away.
With so many good aspects in RAGE, it’s easy to over look the bad, but it’s there. The only competitive multiplayer is demolition derby. You have to race from marker to marker collecting points while shooting others. It’s a nice change of pace from all those games that just throw multiplayer in to get sales. The co-op is a fun but short experience for you and one friend. The missions are different than single player but you play through the same areas. The co-op also keeps track of points so you can be competitive if you like. With everything id Software did right in this game, I find that the small problems fade after you realize you’ve been playing for five hours already. A great game that I will be playing over and over, but it’s not perfect.