Fun fact, I actually completed Rage about a week before Flower. BUT TOO BAD I WROTE ABOUT FLOWER FIRST.
Shelf-time: Around a year and a half.
Time to complete: Roughly 20 hours, all things considered.
Price: Technically free, but I had to buy two $25 games to get it, so really like 17 bucks.
So, Rage. What can be said for Rage? I bought Rage after seeing it for cheap in a generic trade-in shop when I was visiting my mum. I intended to buy it a weekbefore but backed out and bought Borderlands 1 instead. I later watched some gameplay and regretted that to a degree, but that’s another story. I cleaned it up alongside the first and third Uncharted games (Then I had a quick run across to Target and bought the second Uncharted game as well). It sat on my shelf for quite a long while, as when I went to play it, it seemed too similar to Borderlands, which I had just finished.
But it’s not really. It has its similarities, but my initial assumption of ‘Borderlands, without the cel-shading-sorta-business going on’ was largely inaccurate. Rage stands nicely as an excellent FPS game, with a side helping of driving. Now, I’ve never played any Doom or Quake, so I don’t have that drawing me in, I’m just a normal dude with some background with all gaming genres, so no nostalgia vision or callbacks to those two series.
Rage is pretty damn awesome. With some large things giving itself a massive punch in the face, but I’ll talk about them in a sec. First, the good things. It’s good, it’s fun (Very important for a game, I hear), and there’s a large chunk of things to do and things to see. Of the FPS’s I’ve played, it’s one of the nicest to look at, though the only environments you’ll see are deserts and old factories (With a small stretch in some new futuristic factories towards the end), they look lovely. Speeding through the overworld in your dune-buggy looks very nice and it was always a pleasure to drive to and from destinations.
The combat is fun and the hideouts you visit are fun to explore and have some nice little things hidden away. Shooting people in the face is quite satisfying (Very important for any shooter) and watching the bodies fall is always good. Using the little gadgets to dispose of people works well, and scavenging for parts to build them is a nice feature.
Onto the story, one of the most important things I look at in a game. The story is pretty dang awesome. I’m a big fan of the dystopian future storyline, and mixing it with the massive evil corporation taking over the world storyline was a treat. But here’s where I turn the tables and I go into the previously mentioned massive bad things holding Rage back. The story ends so abruptly. Your enemy is named and talked up, the Authority is on your doorstep, you’re raiding Capital Prime, you storm the base and reach the top of the tower and prime yourself for a MASSIVE BOSS FIGHT AND... Nothing (I mean, come on, Borderlands had a final boss, it was dreadful, but it had one!). The credits roll. You win. Yay? No. A massive let down at the end, especially considering the last boss was an hour ago and against a gang leader you toppled in 20 seconds with wingsticks.
Wingsticks. The kill-all. Seriously. Bandit? Throw a wingstick. Mutant? Throw a wingstick. Authority? Throw a wingstick. Wingsticks, a very cool invention, and one of the many things you can craft (Hint: It’s the main thing you’ll be crafting, so hang onto them blades). They function as a gadget, one of the little bonus weapons and are massively overpowered and the solution to every problem. So easy to dominate with them, and it just gets better when you upgrade them.
Though I suppose the bandits do occasionally win and they kill you, and again, and you’re dead. And you haven’t saved in an hour.
This is the final main fault, and it may be me being a pansy. The checkpoints are brutal. I’m not asking for a save every five seconds, but jeez. You’ll tackle a bandit hide-out or a new area, get 90% of the way through and die, and only then realise there was no save point in that entire hour or two you just did. That’s the point I stand up, eject the disc and throw in GTA V or whatever other game had my fancy at the time. And it happened a lot. A half-way save, even, would be better than me having to remember to save every five minutes. A few of the hide-outs I couldn’t stand to see and when I went back to do another mission there, oh god.
Behind all these massive problems, though, there’s one hell of a game there. The shooting is awesome (Though I glossed over it, it is, trust me), the driving is awesome (And the races you can enter are even better) and the story hiding away is brilliant (Unfortunately it disappears in the middle of the night without so much as a note). It’s all awesomeness, but these things just made me not want to play, hence its massive shelf-time. I think the thing I’m getting at, is with a sequel, I could really get behind a Rage franchise. But I’m hearing that that ain’t happening, which is a real shame.
Final rating: Try it, it’s like five bucks these days.