Note: This post was written well after the one that came before it but long before it is to be posted.
I’m currently right between 30 minutes and an hour of play time on RAGE and I decided to pull myself away from it to give my initial thoughts on the game.
This game looks amazing, graphics-wise. It doesn’t look real but I don’t want it to look real. It’s a game. The appearance of the environment is a little cliche but well executed. There seem to be a lot of different assets used in design so I’m not seeing the exact same objects or images or walls or floors everywhere and that’s good.
The opening of the game will leave you a little confused if you don’t know a lot about the setting (I know only a little) but that’s good. It seems designed to leave you a little disoriented right off the bat because you should be; You just woke up from over 100 years of stasis, everyone around you dead, and emerged into a very different world.
A negative point is that you don’t get to create your character. You don’t decide how they look, you don’t name them, you don’t even get to pick your gender. That isn’t terribly important but it’s something that I like games to have, especially if the cut scenes aren’t going to be showing the main character.
The controls are fairly intuitive and easy to pick up if you have any FPS experience. The movement is smooth for the most part, though it handles much better on foot than on a vehicle. Vehicle controll isn’t bad, though. It beats the hell out of trying to drive anything in Halo. This is one of those games where you have the realistic up and down movement as you walk. It takes a little getting used to for some but I think it’s a nice touch and the magnitude of it here is less than in the Riddick games. The controls are very responsive and fast.
The tutorial is worked smoothly into the campaign bet spread out over quite a bit of time. That’s probably a good thing but some people might feel as though they’re being treated like they’re stupid or that it’s stretched out too much.
The crosshairs are not great but they’re not really bad, either. They serve their purpose well enough. The iron sights on the settler pistol are, likewise, not great but they are a bit better then the default crosshair. Collision for bullets seems to be spot on since I made one very impressive shot on an enemy that barely had the side of their arm visible around the side of a machine. I made that shot using the settler pistol iron sights. Crosshair firing using the scatter shot on a double barrel shotgun is a bit messy but it should be. You get a pretty wide spread and that’s nice when you have 5 enemies coming at you at once, wanting to bash your skull in.
A very nice touch is that enemies are very responsive to where they get shot. If you want to slow an enemy down, shoot their legs. It looks like they may even drop weapons if you shoot the arms or hands but I can’t be sure of that. And, of course, head shots will take them down more quickly. You have to be quite good to pull this off, however, and I’m not there (yet).
The first mission is easy and you will know all the basic controls when you are finished with it. Story-wise, the setup for it is really stupid. It’s pretty much like, “Hey, guy, I just happened to be in the right place to save your life and I was there for no reason at all. Saving you also goes against who I am and what I have always done to keep myself, my family, and my friends alive. [Insert hints about the larger setting.] So now you owe me, even though you didn’t ask me to do any of this. Here is a gun, person I do not know, go kill ALL the people that belong to the group that one member of nearly just killed you.” Long winded summary, I know, but it says it all. It was that bad. Fuck that, though. I want to play a game that is fun to play. If I just want a story, I will read a book. A great story is a nice bonus but not needed.
AI, at least on Normal difficulty, is decent. They are a little predictable but at least they take cover and attempt to move to better locations sometimes. Enemies will usually not just stand out in the open for you to shoot them. There may be a couple of bugs, however. I encountered a pair of bandits backpedalling around a corner that didn’t even seem to notice me when I started shooting them. The second one didn’t even turn on me when the first one fell. That left me expecting an even more threatening enemy (the Authority?) around the corner but they weren’t there.
I’ll give you a tip now; You can collect money from some vending machines. You can’t just activate the machine to do it, though, you have to be looking at the part where the money goes in.
In simpler terms, and for points of comparison, I think that RAGE plays a lot like Borderlands (though much lighter on the RPG elements) meets Red Faction Guerilla.
That’s all for now. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this game before long.