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Platform: Xbox 360
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: id Software, Inc.
Style(s): First-Person Shooter
Synopsis: Rage is a first-person shooter set in a post-apocalyptic world. You'll battle an assortment of mutants, creatures, and gang members with a mix of conventional and unconventional weapons, from pistols and shotguns to crossbows with electric arrows and an edged boomerang called the "wingstick." Also featured in the game are armored dune buggies and ATVs, allowing players to more easily traverse the deadly environments, engage in car combat, and enter optional races to earn money and increase their fame. The game spans three DVDs on Xbox 360. The single-player game, which spans an estimated 15 hours, is spread across the first two discs, with each disc featuring one main city, expanses of hostile terrain, and several adjacent outposts. The third disc is dedicated to multiplayer content. In "Rage Combat Rally," you'll use the game's vehicles to shoot down rival players, cross checkpoints, collect items, and more. "Legends of the Wasteland" is a two-player co-op mode featuring eight scenarios that expand the game's storyline. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Package Contents: 24-page Instruction Manual
Call it anger mismanagement. Rage could have been a blockbuster hit, taking the best elements from games like Fallout and Borderlands but incorporating improved shooting mechanics and faster-paced action. Instead, id Software's first game since Quake 4 is a disappointment, learning nothing from previous post-apocalyptic games despite treading the same dusty ground. Perhaps the signs were already there -- much of the initial hype was about the graphics engine, the frame rate, and the technology that brings the world to life rather than the game itself. The developer has also taken a risk with Rage, incorporating racing and vehicle shooter sequences, a semi open world, and a quest system that you'd expect to find in role-playing games. You can even engage in gambling and play a neat little Magic: The Gathering-like card game. Sadly, it feels more disjointed than cohesive. The first problem you'll experience is Rage's clumsy pacing. You have what looks like to be a wide-open world to explore, but the world is mostly empty scenery. You can talk to characters, but you can't choose what to say. There are quests, more accurately referred by the game as "jobs," but they rarely go beyond the "go here, shoot these things, come back" formula. There are also vehicles to customize, but the vehicular combat is limited and races offer little challenge. There's simply way too much down time for an action game. You'll enter the nearby town, talk to a person to get a job, accept it, walk to the garage, choose your vehicle, and drive to the point marked on the map. You'll travel toward your destination, hop out of the vehicle, and enter a building or structure. This takes you to the game's "real" content: the classic corridor-shooting the developers are known for. After about 10-15 minutes of shooting, it's back to town. It seems like a lot of busywork to get where most shooter fans would like to start with. Since Rage is not a role-playing game in the same way Fallout or Borderlands is (there is unfortunately no character customization or leveling system in place), the game's repetitive structure ends up feeling tedious and slow. You waste all this time spent leading up to what should be the heart of the game, only for it to be over in less time than it took to get there. It's a shame, too, because the shooting mechanics and enemy AI are strong, and some of the weapons (such as the boomerang-like wingstick) are entertaining to use. The restrictions, however, are immediately apparent. There is a limit to the number of enemies you can simultaneously engage, which is why fights take place predominately in enclosed environments. Areas are also blocked off by rubble, locked doors, and similar barriers. In a game that puts a premium on ammo and equipment -- you are after all a scavenger in a post-apocalyptic world -- you can't take the weapons off the enemies you kill. Weapons magically disappear off bodies after a few seconds, which makes little sense. The fast-paced shootouts and variety of things you can do elevate Rage from an average game, but not as much as you'd hope given the pedigree of the developer. You can't have an open world and not expect players to want to explore, and you can't have a first-person shooter that ditches multiplayer matches in favor of combat racing. Where Rage could have really set itself apart was in creating a world filled with marauding bandits, a world that encouraged relentless combat instead of empty exploration and uneventful travel. In short, less closed-circuit tracks and more Mad Max. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.