I spent four all too short hours with Rage in the last few nights and while the storyline feels like a minor sub-plot in Fallout so far, the environments are just amazing. Nothing repeats, nothing is the same anywhere, every polygon surface you see is different from all the other polygon surfaces. There are no patterns. It’s as if someone textured the entire world by hand (which it turns out they did). The level of detail in these textures as well is astounding, even broken bits of concrete in a dark corner have gang iconography all over the place and is crazy with details. The character models are really good, but stylized a bit (like Brink) giving them a bit of a cartoonish look. Everything looked so cool, I can’t help but continuously take screen caps, mostly of those that gots themselves shot. An absolute visual feast. I haven’t seen a ton of machinery yet, but from Doom 3, id has proven that their in-game machine creations are amazing. I’ve seen one so far, but I don’t want to spoil it.
The game play is good, weapons have a solid feel to them, and if you had any worry about the enemy AI after DOOM 3, don’t. I’ve fought most of wasteland gangs and a few hundred mutants so far and the AI is real fun to fight against. They duck, they call out orders to each other, they hide when they get shot, they run away and hide if they get scared and each gang has different tactics and specialties. After only three hours or so, I’m still in the tutorial bits where they introduced the vehicles and racing. Racing and vehicle fighting are loads of fun, it’s not the easiest on the keyboard as it feels (like any racing game) that an analog stick is ideal, but WASD works just fine. My only complaint about fighting in the wastes is that it’s a bit too easy because all your weapons home in on the targeted enemy as long as they are in your forward arc. While this works in the Rage paradigm, if you’re looking for Twisted Metal, this is close but isn’t quite that. What’s more, in races (not in the wasteland) if you get blown up you respawn. Again, this works as races are a side quest type thing, but it’s a little strange to see cars spawn into a post-apocalyptic race track (including yourself).
One warning though, both the bosses I’ve hit ran me completely out of ammo, so when you pick the game up make sure to buy TONS OF AMMO or you will end up doing the ASS PUNCHING method seen here.
Again, the story is nothing that great so far mostly because we’ve played through every possible post-apocalyptic plotline in Fallout 3, though things aren’t as bleak for the people in RAGE as the people in Fallout as they have TV’s and radios and cars and stuff, there is clean water all over. Seems like the people would be fine if they weren’t trying to kill, torture and eat each other, but then they wouldn’t need you to go around shooting hundreds of people and things. The way you get quests is pretty old school RPG, a lot like the Witcher and Fallout where an NPC is hanging out in an area and you talk to them and they give you stuff to do. Unless you are in an inside area, you get pathing on your map to know where to go. With this feature you can get to places extremely quickly, with no searching around at all. There’s good and bad about this, but it seems to be the thing devs do since oblivion. I’m playing Dark Souls at the same time and the contrast between the absolutely remorseless lack of information and the “your quest is here” of Rage (and Witcher, etc.) takes a bit of the fun of exploring. What’s more, the devs don’t have to put stuff between you and the quest to waylay you because you’re going to get to the quests so quickly, it doesn’t matter that much what’s between.
I haven’t gotten into the Multiplayer yet, but hope to this weekend. We all have some tough decisions to make with BF3 and Rage out within weeks of each other. Being and id fanboy, I preordered Rage so took the pain of 60$ a month or so ago. Of course with the BF3 beta ending this weekend, and that’s another must have title. This month hasn’t been wallet rape, it’s been wallet gang rape by the gaming industry and I’m left BEGGING FOR MORE.