Hoorage! – RAGE Free To Play All Weekend

By Nathan Grayson on November 23rd, 2013 at 9:46 am.

John Carmack has officially packed his bags and taken a rocket car over to Oculus Rift, now his sole employer until he decides he wants to become the world’s foremost expert on Hyperloops or something. So what better way to celebrate/commiserate than by playing maybe the last game he’ll ever see to completion? Answer: there is no better way. If you are doing anything else, John Carmack will probably never be your friend or spend upwards of five hours giving you breathless life advice. Fortunately, RAGE is free on Steam this weekend. Details below.

The open-world-ish shooter will be free as air or that bird Lynyrd Skynyrd will never be able to escape until Sunday at 1 PM Pacific. The promotion is, er, interestingly timed on Valve and id’s part, but it’s probably just a coincidence. For the duration of the trial, RAGE is also selling for 75 percent off. It isn’t exactly id’s finest work, but at that price, it might just be worth the impulse buy.

Or you could just dedicate your weekend to playing through the entire thing for free. Do as you wish. It’s going to be at least another few years before we get a bona fide “Be John Carmack” Oculus Rift simulation, so this will just have to do for now.

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69 Comments »

  1. rustybroomhandle says:

    Free? That’s still too much!

    • feeble says:

      so its not worth trying?

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        Just being facoetious. :) Anything’s worth trying – tastes differ, that sort of thing.

      • TheTingler says:

        He exaggerates. It’s a good game but they clearly kept adding stuff and ended up not being able to give anything its due attention. If they’d just stuck to making a shooter it could’ve been great.

        • Lagwolf says:

          I found RAGE a hell of a lot more fun than Borderlands 2. And Rage has exploding cross-bow bolts ftw. Granted the multiplayer sucked & the driving is a bit wonky. I actually enjoyed RAGE quite a bit as I did the DLC.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        It has some high points – the FPS combat can often feel weighty and rewarding, and if you don’t look too closely at textures the graphics and environments are rather lovely. The story starts well, but peters out quickly. There are some occasional good characters and side missions, like the cash earning Mutant Bash TV mission and its director, JK Stiles, who wants to make you the darling gladiatorial star of his disturbing Running-Manesque televised slaughterthon.

        However, car sections become a chore as you are obliged to spend all your hard-earned on ammo for endlessly spawning raiders, who you must pass by whilst ferrying yourself to the next mission point (the open world acts like a hub that connects the more walled-off FPS sections). Difficulty spikes abound unless you focus a lot of effort on upgrading cars and weapons, which when not really relevant to the FPS part of the game, feels like a waste. Your car can end up rapidly outclassed if you don’t fritter your money on these things, though your driving skills can be put to use earning money in the rather underwhelming racing sections. Its also a disappointment that that open world could not have been put to better use as a first person explore em’up in the vein of fallout 3 – often vast vistas expand outwards within a level, only to be curtailed by the magical invisible wall.

        Personally I abandoned the game in the second act as even the FPS combat becomes very repetetive. For free, yeah give it a go. It may even be worth a a couple of quidbucks in a steam sale, as it can provide a fairly fun distraction for a short time.

        • feeble says:

          ah ok, cheers for the info

          think i’m just going to skip

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            YW :) If you are looking for something in this style that (IMO) does it better, check out the first Borderlands – a game which to a certain extent RAGE seems to try to ape – though does not match.

          • PoulWrist says:

            Borderlands just never really manages to be as satisfying in its combat as Rage, but Rage is still just a weird bastard child where you would’ve really liked something more substantially shooter and less running about. The shooting is always too limited and broken off. I wish the modding scene was available for the game, because that could’ve been great.
            I think I’ll play some Doom mods this weekend instead , thhough.

          • KDR_11k says:

            Borderlands’s combat is limited by its RPG nature, can’t really have enemies go down to a small number of shots when you want damage increases to be something the player has to farm/grind for since then the increases end up not mattering (the killing speed difference of adding 40% damage to a gun in, say, Call of Duty is negligible because everything dies so fast anyway). Hence enemies in BL tend to get bullet spongy and if you didn’t have the big damage numbers flying everywhere and visible health bars you’d feel like you’re doing no damage at all.

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            True, that is a fundamental difference between the two. For me however that was largely mitigated by finding some really good weapons early on – I remember having a fire-effect SMG with ridiculous reload and fire rate, plus a sniper rifle of ungodly underpant-shredding menace. If not for those weapons, yes I could see how the game might have devolved into a sponge-a-thon. I really loved it though. Coming up against a high-level enemy and having to run off until I was strong enough was kind of cool.

        • ordteapot says:

          Maybe or maybe not worth mentioning that there is a separate car-money “currency” for car upgrades, so you’re never left choosing to pick a vehicle vs weapon upgrade. You do have to spend weapon-money for car-ammo, but that didn’t really amount to much of a drain, as pretty early on you get an ongoing quest which will pay you both weapon-money and car-money for each car-bandit killed. My complaint would be that you end up having to ‘grind’ to get enough car-money to get most of the car upgrades.

          My real complaint would be that if you end up enjoying the game (I did), you’re given an abrupt and unfinished ending.

      • MattM says:

        It is an excellent sea sickness simulator.

        • GiantPotato says:

          Haha, yes it was this for me as well. There was a console setting that fixed it, but then it got disabled for some garbage reason and I gave up.

      • Apocalypse says:

        if you are not bother by fixing the ui via ini files and accept that you can literally watch the textures loading, I guess it is ok.

        For me, I would rather play bioshock with mouse acceleration than something that is using such a broken engine aimed for rail-shooters. Turn to fast, and you can see every texture loading. Meh.

  2. karthink says:

    Have the problems with AMD cards this game had on release been fixed? I’ve had the game on Steam forever, but this, plus the 25+ GB download have kept me off the game.

    • Recurve says:

      I played it through with an AMD 5870 with no problems at all about eight or nine months ago.

      The game seems to get a bad rap but I actually quite liked it. If there’s one thing id do really well it’s satisfying and fun weapons to play with and you definitely get that in RAGE.

      I do realise I’m very much in the minority though as everyone else seems to really hate it.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        The shotgun is a very fun weapon to use, and the wingsticks (NO! WANGSTICKS!) are an interesting addition. The little turret-bots are a cool reminder of Doom 3′s cybernetic helpers. It does have high points, they are just outweighed by so many things that add drudgery and busywork IMO.

        I found the opening cutscene emotionally affecting – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFcSXWjo7Jg I wish they could have made more of that in the story.

      • welverin says:

        I had no problems with it shortly after release, and I have a 6870.

        I too quite enjoyed it and it’s too bad it gets ragged on so much.

  3. Yosharian says:

    *crickets*

  4. KDR_11k says:

    It’s fun. Not a genre changer but a fun FPS anyway.

  5. siegarettes says:

    Rage has some great feeling guns, but I found myself actually wishing it was a corridor shooter instead of the semi open world thing it had going on. The racing was only okay, and trekking through the desert with nothing to do just felt like burning play time.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Exactly. The shooting was too broken up and too little at a time. More corridors, more mazes, more shooting. Less driving about. But sadly, that is not how it is :(

    • Awesumo says:

      During the missions much of it is really hemmed in by invisible walls, so the world is rarely more than 10ft wide.

    • welverin says:

      It is a corridor shooter, the corridors are just broken up around the openish world and drivey bits.

  6. Text_Fish says:

    The shooty bits have some really excellent examples of level design that harken back to id’s golden age — it’s just a shame that they listened to the nay-sayers and felt the need to try and do more than just a bog-standard (but actually fun) FPS. In attempting to satisfy everybody, they pleased nobody.

    • waltC says:

      It really wasn’t that–Carmack and pals just put little effort into the game. Carmack teed off a lot of people with his, “Yea, we could have designed the game to run on the 10x more powerful PC, but we weren’t *paid* to write that kind of game–it takes a lot more work [than we were paid to put into Rage].” Uh, well, considering that the game publisher released a *PC* version of the game which Carmack *had* to bless, those comments were just pitiful (certainly not the remarks of a “genius.”) Carmack got his career start on the PC from PC owners buying his games–suddenly, he has to be *paid extra* to write proper games for the PC, else he will only write crummy games for the PC? Wonder what his publisher thought of that? Oh, please…how the mighty have fallen. It’s no wonder the guy has left id and computer games behind–he has nothing left to contribute.

  7. SuicideKing says:

    It’ll probably take me all weekend just to download the thing.

  8. rei says:

    You just defined the kind of free that you mean in both ways that it can be taken, which isn’t very useful.

  9. Licaon_Kter says:

    NOW ( https://twitter.com/ID_AA_Carmack/status/403983210880577536 ) you make it available in my region? Pfft

  10. Carra says:

    It’s a fun, good game and certainly worth buying it at that price.

  11. Awesumo says:

    Still overpriced.

  12. revan says:

    I’ve decided to bite the bullet and bought the thing after trying it out. Since it runs fine, high resolution textures alleviate terrible environment textures, it was worth €6 with DLC. So far so good. Little change of pace from my usual fare of old-school RPGs, Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis IV.

  13. Reapy says:

    Arg long download! I’ve been wanting to look at the game engine for a really long time, not too interested in the game, just a walk and look about at things, so this is pretty timely!

  14. Scumbag says:

    As someone who got annoyed by the textures back when I got it: Is there a fix to boost the resolution of them?

    • revan says:

      There is a high texture option included in the game. It fixes textures rather good. You’ll still get occasional pop in but with good HDD or SSD it should be minimal.

      • Scumbag says:

        Texture pop in is still an issue, however my beef is with the quality of the textures in the end. Everything looks blurry as hell.

  15. defunct says:

    You know what surprises me most about these posts? People STILL won’t try this game even though it’s free, and instead listen to the inane ramblings of people. I thought it was a good game, and WELL worth playing for free. I bought it when it cost just a bit more, and felt it was worth the price even then. I had fun with it. Although I STILL doubt that anyone that’s reading here will bother trying it, even though it’s FREE!

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Not many people want to spend all day downloading a 24GB piece of software that they may or may not play for more than a couple hours. “Free weekends” on Steam often mean waiting even longer due to server overload.

      • revan says:

        I downloaded the game at full speed Saturday morning so I’m very certain server overload shouldn’t be a factor. Although I can understand people with slower connections being hesitant to download this behemoth of a game.

    • malkav11 says:

      Hate for Rage got blown way, way out of proportion. it’s not the game it would like to be, nor is it Doom with modern tech, but it’s a gorgeous shooter with a really solid feel to the combat and some cool levels. There are far, far worse uses of time in the genre and it’s definitely worth $5.

  16. LionsPhil says:

    Gamepad prompts?

    Really? They never patched that, this long after release? The horrendous texture pop-in I can expect to still be present, because it’s probably deeply, architecturally broken, but that? Guess it’s a completely dead product to Bethesda/Zenimax/whoever.

    • neolith says:

      Those annoyed me as well.

      The thing with Rage is that the gamepad prompts are far from being the only problems. The controls are rather unresponsive, the menus have mouse-smoothing, the the textures still pop visibly into view and the loading times are exceptionally long (I played on an i7 with a GTX760, an SSD and 12GB RAM). Some of the graphics really look nice due to every object getting its own texturespace, but many of the textures look ugly and washed down when you get up close. Also IMHO the game is too linear and the combat boring.

      The tech behind the engine is very good though it’s not fully suited for a FPS, but the game itself I found depressingly bad. I stopped playing after 45 minutes.

    • revan says:

      You can disable them in the options menu. Just select controls -> gamepad and disable them from there.

  17. Chaz says:

    I thought it was a fun solid FPS game with a meaty feel to the weapons, as you would hope for from an ID shooter. Plus an excellent array of gadgets to play with too. The boomerang was a very cool and satisfying weapon to play with. Making up your own sentry turrets and ammo types was also quite a good feature.

    The graphics, in turns, looked both amazing and utterly awful. As a whole the sweeping outdoor vistas looked gorgeous, like a grand matte painting. The locations and characters all looked superb too. Up close and personal though, some of the textures looked like they could have been from from the original Half Life game. One second your staring down a beautifully lit hallway in a crumbling ruin of a building at a horde of grotesque looking mutants heading your way; and then you turn around and see a vending machine with smudgy textures that could have been ripped straight out of Black Mesa’s corridors, circa 1998. It really was quite jarring.

    The level design was good, however pretty much each location ended up being used twice but with minor adjustments. Clear out an old refinery of mutants. Then go back and clear it out again, this time of bandits. Each core mission area ended up getting used like this for secondary missions.

    The car bits were OK. Fun enough but nothing special.

    The ending. Abrupt.

    For £3.24 though, it’s well worth it. For free! definitely give it a go.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Do these “meaty feels” include the starter pistol? Because I did not enjoy using that popgun at all. It was noisy, but ineffectual.

      • malkav11 says:

        Nope. But most of the other guns (and I think some of the other ammo for the pistol) are good.

      • Chaz says:

        I’m hard pushed to think of an FPS game where the starting pistol has been any good, with the exception of Halo and Halo ODST, but for the most part they’re always a crap last resort weapon for when you run out of ammo for your rifle/machine gun and shotgun respectively. However as just pointed out you can upgrade the pistol with some cracking ammo giving it real stopping power later on.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Hmm, this isn’t to rub Rage in the dirt, but rather out of academic interest: the UT Enforcers were pretty good. CoJ: Gunslinger has good starter pistols, but it’s probably disqualified for not really having weapon progression. I’m sure there have been a few others…I did a Deus Ex run once where the starting pistol was my primary weapon, because you can mod it (and its silenced sibling) into a pretty nasty little killtool. (I remembered Quake 4 of all things having good basic weapons, but upon looking again the pistol most certainly wasn’t one of them.)

          (Unfortunately other factors ran out my patience before I got to Rage’s other weapons.)

  18. Perjoss says:

    Dont listen to all the negative Nancy’s, Rage is a great game, it does have a rubbish ending though but so do 90% of all video games anyway.

    • Chaz says:

      Yep, by any other standards Rage is a good game. It’s just by peoples expectations of an iD game it is not. But yeah, for £3.50, if you like FPS’s and you haven’t yet played Rage, then get it. As it is actually a very good shooter.

      Sure the car bits weren’t great, but they weren’t bad either, and could be quite fun at times. Besides which, you honestly didn’t spend that long in the cars anyway as the maps just weren’t that big. It’d take a minute or so to drive from the main bases to the furthest quest location. The races weren’t particularly hard and also weren’t that bad either. Compared to a dedicated racing game they’d be a bit lacking, but hey guess what?

      But the actual FPS bits had some great locations and were pretty good.

      Honestly I think Rage gets quite an undeserved bashing. It really isn’t bad. It’s just not brilliant. Which is what everyone was expecting from iD. Sure the megatextures looked crap up close and the ending was shit, but that’s about all you can throw at it really.

      • C0llic says:

        Completely agree. It was just a victim of it’s own hype. It was a solid, fun unassuming fps game. THat actually let you shoot all the baddies instead of being led around by your nose.

        Games like RAGE are in short suply these days, which is a shame.

  19. buxcador says:

    Note: Instead of enjoying the fps, you will be forced to play dumb race games. After races end, your free time will be over.

    Also, you will spend your time picking and configuring your weapons, but after you finally get the guns, and before you can use them, the game will abruptly end.

  20. Apocalypse says:

    This, not matter how fast your internet con is, it is simply not worth the download.

    • C0llic says:

      Nonsence. It does a far better job at being a fun single player fps than the brown men military shooters. It is what it is though. Play it and expect that, and I would be surprised if you didn’t have fun.

      • Apocalypse says:

        I did download it, it was not worth my time, it is broken by design because all of the technical issues it still has. Texture loading, mouse acceleration, meh.

  21. Alistair says:

    Just finished my third play-though, the second being post DLC and this one being post GPU upgrade. Had a great time. The outdoor sections are underused, but the feel (because of the animation quality I think) really is great.

    There was almost zero texture pop-in with both my previous and new GPU (5850/280x) – overall a great looking game, unless you play games to examine vending machines.

  22. Kubrick Stare Nun says:

    This could actually have been a good game if not for Bethesda’s practices of rushing all studios other than it’s own main one.

    • OscarWilde1854 says:

      “Finish your game! You have 6 months!!” Meanwhile: 5 years between Oblivion and Skyrim……

  23. Shakes999 says:

    Rage was pretty awful even with paying only 7$ for it a few months back. Its not aggressively bad but look up the word “Meh” on urban dictonary and if Rage doesn’t show up as the definition, then it should. Lets just say, never before have hallways been disguised with such amazing looking wallpaper.

  24. tasteful says:

    whats rage

  25. Phasma Felis says:

    “All weekend” != “until around noon Sunday.”

  26. OscarWilde1854 says:

    Thanks Nathan… just spent 20 minutes reading about Hyperloops…. My brain is easily sidetracked! And you pointed out a shiny object!

    Was a rather interesting wiki page though

  27. spectone says:

    I tried it but found it less than inspiring. Levels with a single path through them. NPC’s wearing Bikinis in a Post Apocalyptic setting. The graphics are good but the enemies feel like bullet sponges. It was taking up too much space on my SSD, I tried to copy it but ended up accidently deleting it and now I need to download it all again. I’ll try it again but I would rather play Doom at this point.

  28. C0llic says:

    RAGE is good. A solid, fun, pretty shooter. It was just a victim of it’s own hype and the technical issues that plagued it on launch. I bought it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a fun, single player fps.

    Compared to something like the COD games it’s a masterpeice.

    • revan says:

      Agreed. I came to it not expecting Doom or some RPG like Fallout and I’m enjoying it for what it is. Texture pop in can be tad annoying. Textures are low poly up close, except people, but I’m not a graphics whore. People are complaining about car sections, but I find them much better than those in Borderlands. They break the pace of corridor shooting. It’s not a GOTY material but it is a fun game to relax after coming home from work. And compared to the garbage that is COD or MOH, this game is masterpiece.