Lasting First Impressions of RAGE from id Software
id Software has been out of the spotlight for some years now with their last developed title, Doom 3, having been released in 2004. While John Carmack, the father of Doom and Quake, and the creator of Wolfenstien 3D, the game that literally ushered in the era of First Person Shooters and was extremely influential on today’s games, has continuously worked on other titles, none held the spotlight like his seminal game Doom. Until now. Enter RAGE, the highly anticipated return of the legendary John Carmack and id Software.
I really had no idea what to expect from RAGE before sitting down to play it. I had seen some screenshots and some teaser videos for the game, but didn’t really get any idea of the actual gameplay. I really expected to find a game similar in play to the classics of Doom and Quake. A straight out FPS brawl fest. I was pleasantly surprised to find that RAGE is much more than that.
The opening cinematic sets the tone for the game: you are the lone survivor of an ‘Ark’, a capsule of cryogenically frozen people to be protected from a global disaster. 106 years after this disaster, you awaken and wander out of the Ark to discover a wastes, brutal and war-ravaged land inhabited by the descendants of the disaster survivors. Sounds like another game we’re all familiar with, doesn’t it? RAGE makes no qualm in admitting it is very much like the world of Fallout 3 and even goes so far as to nod its head to Fallout by including some familiar items as collectibles. Fallout isn’t the only game that RAGE borrows from though, as the gameplay is also quite similar to Borderlands with the included vehicle driving/combat. This is not to say it’s not a game worthy of it’s own merits, but it certainly not something completely new, either. Both Fallout and Borderlands are wonderful games, and having another game in that genre is certainly welcome.
The imagery in RAGE is absolutely breathtaking containing more life and colour than found in the previously mentioned Fallout. The world looks like it was constructed completely first, and then aged and destroyed. The architecture of the buildings found in RAGE are both believable and completely furnished. The environmental effects like water, fire, and wind-blown dust are incredible. The entire ambiance of the world you are thrown into is so lifelike it’s eerie. The immersive sounds and sparse music make it that much more intense a world to be living in.
RAGE is a quest based game, but completing quests isn’t about gaining XP to level your character. RAGE is, first and foremost, a First Person Shooter. It is not an RPG. Completing quests gains you access to new weapons and areas to further the adventure. In my first hour of the game, there was no apparent and distinctive narrative other than going from quest to quest though. Perhaps a specific storyline will make itself known further into the game. Regardless, RAGE is a massively entertaining game.
While FPS is the core of RAGE, there are plenty of other game styles available in this game. The vehicle driving and combat is handled extremely well. I would go so far as to say that driving the vehicles in this game are as good as any racing game out there. It’s unusual for a game with multiple game styles to handle vehicles so well, but it’s apparent that id Software has put some great effort into this development.
RAGE is definitely not what I would have expected from the creators of Doom and Quake and that’s wonderful. id Software has brought its original, core FPS values into a game along the same lines as Borderlands, and has done it extremely well. While RAGE may go relatively unnoticed in light of recent and upcoming juggernauts like Gears of War 3, Skyrim, and Modern Warfare 3, it is definitely worth having in your collection. RAGE will suck you in and never let you go.
id Software, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.