Little dune buggy in the sand.
In the not too distant future, Earth has been struck by an asteroid. Before the apocalypse occurs, however, the government created the Ark program and selected groups of individuals to be buried underground in pods until it’s safe to roam the Earth again, with the hope that these individuals will restore humanity. Or what is left of it.
Rage is an FPS-intensive game with a profound storyline in a visually appealing world, even if it is plagued by the lingering effects of an asteroid impact. Throughout the wasteland, you find survivors: bandits, mercenaries, and mutants, which come in many different shapes, sizes, and personalities. There are many missions throughout the game—giving you 15 to 20 hours worth of overall gameplay—and naturally, you must come across these mutants and bandits in order to progress.
One bandit clan called The Wasted is a cocky bunch who uses a guerrilla style of combat, often taking cover or attacking you when you least expect it. Other types of enemies pack on hefty armor, but it doesn’t stop them from bum-rushing you at first glance. Bosses, too, have a unique way of fighting and as a result, you must find or put together a crafty way of defeating them. Luckily, you do have some assistance.
Weapons are lethal and they all have varying effects on the enemy, which means this isn’t the game where you throw away weapons, often switching them out for better ones. Instead, upgrades and attachments for each weapon move the gameplay forward and make each kill more devious and satisfying. Vehicles have an upgrading system too. When you earn your first buggy, fragile and unarmed, you slide and zip through enemy vehicles to dodge their fire, but once you earn upgrades like mounted turrets, evading is no longer your first go-to option.
While Rage is a first-person shooter, it will appeal to many players. There are vehicles for the car nuts, engineering for the builders, a storyline for RPG lovers, and even mini-game puzzles for the thinkers. (And hopefully, you're all of the above.) A few mini-games include card collecting, five-finger fillet, and one that appears when you die, which doesn’t sound too pleasant.
There are many times where you face hordes of enemies and sometimes the pressure is just too much. You fall to the ground and your screen turns red. In the background, you still see enemies gathering around you, but your focus is on the command prompts on the screen that asks you to direct your controller’s analog sticks to specific highlighted areas. The quicker and more responsive you are, the more health you receive when you complete the mini-game. As a further reward, the surrounding enemies are killed. Who knew a mini-game based on death could be enjoyable?
Single player has a lengthy campaign and multiplayer will have several options. Legends of the Wasteland consist of side missions that take place alongside the single player campaign, emphasizing more on the background story. You and one other player can co-operatively complete these missions over XBL, PSN, or Steam. Another multiplayer mode called Road Rage is exactly as it sounds: vehicle-on-vehicle combat. Suited for eight players, it’s fun to imagine the chaos that can ensue.
This is but a small written taste of what is to come, as Rage packs a heavy glove full of missions, crazies, item collecting, weapons, puzzles, and buggy racing. It is sure to entertain anyone in more ways than one. Look for it to release this year on October 4th.