id Software has finally unleashed their new FPS into gamer’s hands, but is it any good? Thankfully it is, although it isn’t without its share of controversy. As a life-long id fan, I couldn’t possibly bring myself to play Rage on a console, so I played the PC version…and that just so happens to be the one that’s causing fits of nerd rage across the internet. Rage is affected by the annoying “consolitus” that so many PC games are faced with these days; although id has just released a patch that addresses some of the complaints.
As the game is really being pushed on the consoles, the PC version shipped with no graphic options other than resolution and anti-aliasing. That right there is a big problem for PC gamers who like to be able to tweak their games to run perfect on their systems, while also being able to crank the setting to the max to show off their systems to people on internet message boards. id has patched Rage this past weekend that adds a much-needed VSync option, Anisotropic filtering, and Texture Cache to the graphics options. You can still use a .cfg file to tweak the game, but hopefully id will add some of those popular .cfg options to the game itself soon.
The PC version, as shipped, was faced with some problems with both Nvidia and AMD cards. Both needed new drivers, and AMD eventually released a Rage-specific driver release for their cards. On the AMD side, the game (without VSync) featured screen tearing that nearly made the game unplayable, which forced people to make a .cfg to turn on the option prior to the patch. However, once you get everything tweaked and configured correctly, Rage takes you on a hell of a ride.
What you should know is that despite whatever you may think from seeing previews of the game and early screenshots; Rage is not Fallout. It is, an always was, a classic id shooter. It just has a little added depth in the form of quests that direct you to where the action is and a small crafting/upgrade system. The real meat of the game is the shooting, and when you look at that; it really feels like an id shooter (as it should) and not just another Call of Duty rip off. The feel of the guns, especially the shotgun, takes you right back to Doom and Doom 2, even more than Doom 3 did.
Much as been made about id Tech 5, which Rage introduces, and if it’s true that future Zenimax releases will use the engine; I drool at the thought of an Elder Scrolls 6 or Fallout 4 running on this engine. The megatexture id has been preaching about for the last few years creates a post apocalyptic world that is stunning. You don’t see repeating rock textures as you explore the wasteland, and the entire world has a very handcrafted feel to it. You really don’t run into two areas that look alike, and that really makes playing through the whole thing less tedious than other games where one house is repeated a hundred times.
The only big complaint I can level against Rage is the lack of a traditional multiplayer deathmatch. It’s something id is known for helping to invent, and Rage is currently missing it. I hope they do some kind of patch or DLC to add it to the game’s multiplayer options, which right now feel a little lacking.
Rage continues the id tradition of trying to advance the FPS genre. Unfortunately it lands at a time where the genre is pretty saturated and those raised on Call of Duty may not take to what is really an “old school” shooter wrapped in a modern, and incredibly impressive, graphics engine. If you’re an id fan, Rage is a must-play.