I’m one of those people that consider id Software to be the father of the modern day shooter. Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake all raised the bar for the genre with their respective releases. Each game had a new 3D engine created by John Carmack that pushed the bounds of technology. After more than six years, we’re finally seeing a brand new game and a brand new engine from the studio - which is now part of Bethesda. But is RAGE the game and engine to move the genre forward once again like it’s older brothers before him? Not quite.
There’s no doubt in my mind that RAGE is one of the best looking games on a console, as well as the PC. What’s truly masterful about the game’s graphics, especially on the Xbox 360 build we played, was just how smooth everything ran. There wasn’t even a hiccup through most of our gameplay, just silky smooth 60 frames per second first person action with beautiful textures and character models.
RAGE puts you in the shoes of an Ark survivor, one of a group of humanity’s last hopes as a giant meteor came crashing into the planet. Waking up years later you find a world that’s filled with roving bandits, mutant creatures, and plenty of people that just want to kill you. It’s here you get a taste for something completely different from for id - driving. You’ll spend a large portion of the game driving your customizable vehicle across the deadly wasteland en route to different dungeons
These dungeon-like missions are gathered from hub areas, small towns, and settlements. While on the surface it appears to make the game a bit like an open world RPG, the reality is, it’s a pretty linear progression. There’s a lot of go here, get this, bring it back kind of missions - but the end result is still moving forward and killing everything in your path while doing so. Sure, you’ll find side missions that can help your character, but this is far from the open structure of something like Fallout 3.
That’s not to say there isn’t some solid and interesting RPG elements here. There’s a crafting system which uses random objects you find laying around in the environment to build things on the fly like grenades, bandages, lock breaking devices and my personal favorite - sentry bots. These spider like creatures follow you around, shoot enemies and jump on their unsuspecting backs as an AI buddy in combat. There’s are other mechanics like being able to upgrade your armor or tweak your weapons with different upgrades like laser sights or larger ammo clips.