Rage is the latest first person shooter developed by id Software and mixes first person shooting with driving sections.
id software are known best for their first person shooters. They created big titles like Doom and Quake and have always taken gaming to a new level. Their latest title Rage might not do anything to spectacular that we haven't seen in a FPS before but it sets a whole new standard in the visuals category. Rage is without doubt the best looking FPS on consoles and that's thanks to the new id Tech 5 engine. You are treated with crisp and smooth graphics that might just blow your mind. Getting close to objects can be blurry but at a distance the game is absolutely stunning. id has spent a lot of time making this a good looking game and they have certainly pulled it off. There's a lot of texture popping though and it seems to do it even when the disks are installed.
You might think of Rage as an RPG game but it's not to the extent of games like Fallout. There's no level up system for your character but you can upgrade vehicles and weapons with different ammo types. You first start off with a pistol but not be for long you are given a much larger arsenal. From shotguns, a sniper rifle, crossbow and many more. You are always given something new to play with in Rage and it keeps the game fresh and enjoyable throughout each mission. It does take a while to get used to when given different ammo types for your weapons. Holding RB allows you to switch between different weapons and ammo types for them. For example, you might wish to change your shotgun ammo for more explosive rounds.
Some of the most fun weapons in rage are the wingsticks and explosive RC cars. Wingsticks are just like a boomerang but not made of plastic. These are deadly and will cut heads and other parts of enemies bodies clean off. It's great to stock up on them because not only are they silent but they also save on ammo.
Some items like the explosive RC cars and bandages can be built with parts lying around the wasteland. Once you find the required parts you can go to the engineering menu and build them. Finding parts to build a lock grinder will become very useful. Lock grinders are used to break through locked doors throughout the game and inside them you will find ammo, bandages and other items to help you survive.
When you first set eyes on the wasteland you might be expecting an open world experience but it's not as open as you might think. Rage is a very big game and there's lots of environments to visit but each location is joined to paths, similar to parts in Borderlands. This is what makes use of the driving sections. Getting around the wateland is done by driving a selection of vehciles. You are first given a quad bike but as you progress you receive a buggy which is much stronger. Driving around the wasteland is dangerous and you will be fired at in most of the places you cross. Later on you can add turrets to your buggy. It's a lot of fun gunning down enemies but you need to purchase ammo frequantly before setting off. There's also additional purchases you can make for your vehicles to add more firepower and protection. There's a bubble shield, mines and many more.
The enemy AI is some of the best I've seen in a first person shooter. They react extremely well and it can be tricky lining up a shot to kill them. They move around the environment in unpredictable aways, like swinging across the ceiling, leaping over objects and circling your every move. It keeps you on your toes and delivers an intense and exiting experience. You will be faced with a few different types of enemies, some small and some extremely large. Each type of enemy creates a great amount of challenge in defeating and they will try everything to stay alive.
If I had one bad point to make about Rage it would be about it's autosaving feature. It hardly ever gets used and you might find yourself playing for hours on end and it not save your progress. I was so immersed in the game at times that sometimes i forgot to save and would have to start all over again. The saving system is similar to Fallout so it's best to save regular. If you die you only get so many chances to get back up. If you die you are given a life Defibrillator and it acts like a mini game where you must press certain buttons within a certain time. Do it correctly and you will be back on your feet and also electrocute nearby enemies.
Apart from the singleplayer experience the game also supports multiplayer. Road Rage allows up to four players in a set of vehicle combat modes. These modes consist of capturing rally points to score or free for all combat. You can customize your vehicle load outs and it's a nice contrast between the first person shooting. The other multiplayer mode available is called legends of the wasteland. Here you can play in co-op splitscreen or online with a set of challenges missions that feature a scoring system.
Rage might not have the strongest plot but with it's mind blowing visuals, fun and varied gameplay, this one of the finest games to grace our consoles.
Review by Gareth Smith