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Rage – XBox 360

RagePlatform:  XBOX 360

Release Date (NA):  October 4th, 2011

Developer:  id Software

Genre:  First Person Shooter

Rating:  8 out of 10

Raise your hand if you first saw Rage in Breaking Bad.  Keep your hands up if pumped up about using a light gun with the 360.  I’m betting that no one put their hand down.  If you think about it though, you’ll realize that the real version of Rage is much better than the light gun version of Breaking Bad, because with only a light gun there’s no way to move around or control anything except cross hairs.  Not really sure who decided to pull such a strange stunt with product placement, but nonetheless I did buy the game because of the show and a fantastic game it is.

RageRage is an extremely involved game with a ton of stuff to do.  Besides the main FPS gameplay there’s also opportunities to race vehicles, play an interesting card game, and even gather important information from NPCs in the style of RPGs.  The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic future ruled by the Authority with small bands of rebels called the Resistance as well as a multitude of bandit clans, mutants, and other rogue factions with no affiliation except to themselves.  The main character known only as the “Ark Survivor” is being hunted by the Authority, a technologically advanced faction bent on controlling the new world.  Gradually the player learns all the specifics of the plot while moving through various clandestine settlements and undertaking a wide variety of missions.

RageThe Ark Survivor spends the first half of the game in a particularly ruined portion of the earth known as the Wastelands.  In this area the character encounters a couple of settlements and in order to gain material and informational advantages, is tasked with doing a few favors for members of these settlements.  Many of these favors revolve around locating and eliminating a group of outlaws.  The second half of the game is spent closer to the mechanized world of the Authority, first in Subway Town and then to the inner sanctum of the Authority itself.

RageControls relating to FPS portions of Rage are flawless.  Aiming and moving is simple and intuitive and with the wide array of weapons available, killing enemies is pure satisfaction.  Some levels involve a certain amount of strategy be it something as simple as finding a clever spot to pick off foes or using objects in the environment in a very specific manner to progress.  (Those little RC bomb cars come to mind.)  Besides the assortment of firearms there’s also a few grenade-like items that come in handy as well.  As if that wasn’t enough, the player can collect bits and pieces of seemingly random junk throughout the game and then obtain blueprints to build all sorts of helpful objects such as an auto turret that will blast away at anything that moves.  There are way too many weapons, explosives, and gadgets to list (or even remember) in Rage, but such variety ensures that any number of enemies can be killed in any number of creative or conventional ways.

RageControls pertaining to other aspects of gameplay are a little more hit and miss than the FPS portions.  I find vehicles to be especially difficult to control precisely and the “jumps” that are required for 100% completion are almost impossible.  Vehicular combat sections are still pretty fun overall, and my lack of control might have something to do with me not being great at driving in any video games.

RageAlthough the missions in Rage need to be completed in a certain order due to how they drive the story line, the world itself is open-ended and any part, once accessed, can be returned to and replayed ad infinitum.  This is especially important when one is attempting to reach 100% completion.  In addition to completing all the necessary mission, one must make all the “jumps,” answer all the “wanted ads,” excel in all the races, defeat the two computer opponents playing the card game (which I find pretty cool), and perhaps a few other things I’ve left out.

RageThe attempts to make Rage look as real as possible are a total success.  This game conveys the perfect vision of a ruined earth.  Every area looks great; hollowed out buildings with remnants of everyday objects such as phones, beds, etc. in extreme decay, the infected city with broken roadways and blood spattered hospital rooms, the steampunk feel of Wellspring, the gloomy eternal night of Subway Town, the cold mechanical aura of Capital Prime (the center of the Authority)…it is all the impeccable interpretation of a shattered world littered with reminders of a bygone era and peppered with whatever can be salvaged and re-purposed.

RageEach batch of enemies is truly unique, keeping gameplay fresh and exciting.  The first batch of bandits that is encountered jump and crawl around walls in in insect-like fashion.  The infected zombie-like inhabitants of the large city rush at the player with no fear, relying on sheer numbers for victory.  The most technologically advanced of the outlaws rely on stealth and specialized weaponry.  The Jackal clan uses ranged and overhead attacks to catch the player off guard and distance themselves from direct combat.  The Authority uses heavy armor and heavier firepower to confront the Ark Survivor head-on.  Having such diverse adversaries requires the player to constantly re-evaluate his or her strategy and no two areas can be cleared with exactly the same tactics.

There is so much to see and do in Rage that I’m overwhelmed with trying to hit the highlights.  There’s plenty of replay value due to not only the side-missions required for 100% completion, but also because Rage is lengthy enough to where large parts near the beginning of the game will be almost forgotten by the end.  One can finish the game and begin again without the missions feeling all that redundant.  There is also so much more to notice the second time around.  Sometimes it’s simply the scenery, sometimes it makes perfect sense when to build a never before used gadget.  Rage is difficult enough to be taken seriously, but similar to many modern FPSs no significant set back is incurred after a death.  The load times on the 360 are surprisingly long but otherwise I don’t have much to complain about.

Reviewed by The Cubist

Written by The Cubist

The Cubist

Co-founder, Head Author, & Site Technician

Find out what these ratings mean and how I rate video games.

I collect as much video gaming paraphernalia as I can get my hands on, especially when it comes to hardware. With over 40 systems including oldies like the ColecoVision and Intellivision, obscurities like the CD-i and 3DO, and the latest and greatest including the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, and PS Vita, I get easily overwhelmed. Most of the time you can find me firmly nestled sometime between 1985 and 1995 when it comes to my games of choice, but I’m also having a great time seeing what the 8th generation has to offer.

Currently in love with: Mortal Kombat

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