Raging About Rage PC

Good news! Rage is now on my PC, and I have begun to play it. I am excited to be doing so, based on what I’ve played of the game previously.

Bad news! I’m seeing quite a few technical problems on my PC. To the point where I’m not sure I can keep playing. Sounds like I’m not alone either.

Update: apparently a driver update for Radeons, purported to fix some of the problems, is due later today now here! Investigating now – expect updates shortly. This still doesn’t answer the question of why the game was released in this state, of course – was it not tested on older/current drivers?

Update 2: nope, new driver doesn’t seem to help in any meaningful way. The framerate might be a little better, but the texture/character flickering is awful. Even the map keeps popping out of existence. Gonna have to give up on this game for now, I fear.

Update 3: ATI have fessed up to putting out a borked driver: “All – don’t use the current Rage performance driver – package includes very old OGL files, that’s why you’re seeing corruption etc… New Rage driver with proper OGL component will be posted later today.” And yet they haven’t withdrawn the bad one yet. What fun! Meantime I’ve actually ordered an NVIDIA card so I can get this blinkin’ Wot I Think done without keeling over from a migraine.

Of course, some of these may be down to a specific problem with my PC, although I have not encountered similar issues on any other game. So, you and others may be experiencing different things – if so, please say so below so we can form a picture of what is and isn’t going on here.

Let’s start, though, with something universal to the PC version of the game. There are no graphical options to speak of. Resolution, anti-aliasing, gamma, and that’s it. And this is an id game – y’know, id, masters of technology and all that. There are reports that the game is invisibly benchmarking and tweaking invisible settings to suit, but that’s cold comfort – I want to make my own decisions not have a robot make them for me. And given the game chugs on my graphics card (a Radeon 5850) unless I either drop the res or overclock it, that’s pretty damned annoying. Thank heavens for the AMD Overdrive in my drivers, because that gets the frame rate silky-smooth. Not that this is enough…

First up, the ‘megatextures’ streaming texture system is horribly noticeable. If I spin to camera to look 90 or 180 or more degrees in the other direction, for a split second half the world is blurry and featureless, before the impressively detailed textures pop into sight. It’s really, really distracting, I must say.

Then I started experiencing weird artifacting – a sort of grid pattern across characters (see below) and visible seams between ground textures. I fiddled with every option in my graphics card settings, but it wouldn’t go away.

On top of that, the mouse cursor moves at about twice the speed in menus as it does in the game itself, which makes it crazy-hard to control when you’re flicking through the inventory or accepting quests. And I say that as someone who likes a high DPI from his rodent.

Then the game’s audio started stuttering, and a few frames began to drop irregularly, whether or not my card was overclocked. And then:

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

I wracked my brains. I remembered I was running the beta version of the ATI drivers, designed for the Battlefield 3 beta. So I uninstalled ’em and instead installed the latest finished versions. Lo and behold, the weird grid/seam stuff was gone. Hooray!

Except characters and vehicles kept blinking out of existence for a split second, and occasional very brief stretchy-vertical artifacts appear. Again, I tinkered with driver settings, turned overclocking on and off and on and off and then I quit in annoyance and wrote this post.

I am not happy, and raise my eyebrow at any reviews of PC Rage that claim to have had a clear run of it on technical front. I will continue to tinker and to monitor and to read. What about you guys, if you’re either from the US or have used an IP-spoofing tool to defeat the pointlessly staggered UK release? Is it running fine? Hitting any issues? Is my PC haunted, or have id made a bit of a mess of the PC build of their first game in years?

Here’s the aggregated list of known bugs, via Steam forums:

Issues:
No Custom settings for Video Cards
No Console command Read here to enable the console key: http://forums.steampowered.com/forum….php?t=2154191 & via config file here http://forums.steampowered.com/forum…7&postcount=89
No Vsync options – Results in screen tearing – Forcing Vsync causes the game to crash the drivers and game(AMD)
Unable to skip intros??? To disable the intro videos put this “+set com_skipIntroVideo 1” in the launch options of Rage Via Steam.
Mouse acceleration?
Can’t use Crossfire or SLI..
Bad FoV for PC’s – Short-term solution: FOV adjustment howto

Bugs:
Texture Streaming is bad and slow resulting in always reloading the same textures thus causing the textures popping in effect – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Ch6TX-Cbs&hd=1
Missing/blinking textures…
Game crashes when exiting the Arc.
LoD issues(popins dispersing items)
Crashing after intro video
Audio stuttering and not blending properly.
Occasional Artifacts appearing- http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/9…0322215294.jpg
Low Frame rates with occasional fps spikes
Loading saves causes videocard drivers to crash…
Game Fails to start with error code #51.

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