There are few developers with a pedigree like Id Software. Being responsible for both the Doom and Quake franchises, Id is certainly one of the founding fathers of the first person shooter genre.
Of course, it has been a long time since titles like “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” redefined the shooter genre. All of Id's franchises are “old school” shooters by today’s standards.
Their newest release, “Rage,” tries to bring Id into the new generation of shooters while at the same time remembering where it came from.
Rage is best described as a “Mad Max” simulator. You'll drive pieced together cars while avoiding murderous bandits, and bringing hope to a barren wasteland along the way.
The game’s set-up is by no means revolutionary, set in a post-apocalyptic world where a meteor has hit the earth and ended civilization as we know it. Before the meteor hit, a privileged few were hidden away in “arks” underground and saved from the blast.
The setting of the story is standard at this point. If you have seen anything set in a post-apocalyptic landscape then you won't find anything new in terms of story here. Worse yet, the game’s setting is eerily similar to recent titles such as “Fallout 3” and “Borderlands,” but what sets “Rage” apart is the combat.
Those who have played Id's past titles will feel right at home, but Id also made several improvements to the way gunplay works in “Rage.”
The standard guns are all here; pistol, shotgun, machine gun and a crossbow to name a few. Where the real variation comes from is upgrading and finding new ammo types for these weapons. For example, the crossbow comes with standard bolts but you will come across dynamite bolts that will blow up after hitting their targets. Each weapon has four different ammo types that are all useful in different situations.
The other major combat additions are the different types of items that can be created. These items range from stationary turrets that can help you when you are outnumbered to a remote control car that can be driven up to the enemy before exploding. “Rage” is a shooter at heart but the few additions help add some variation to the combat.
The downfall of the game’s combat is the enemies. With a few exceptions, depending on the type of enemy, they will either charge with no regard for their own life or cower behind cover. It's a shame that with all of the interesting weapon choices in the game more care was not taken to give the player something interesting to shoot.
“Rage” would have been a major release had it come out a few years ago. With games like “Fallout 3” and “Borderlands” doing many of the same things that “Rage” has done, it already feels outdated. Despite that, “Rage” is a strong shooter and a lot of fun but it isn't a groundbreaking title by any means.
With so many more impressive games coming out in the next few months, “Rage” will most likely be nothing more than just another shooter.
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