The Games Of Christmas ’11: Day 17

What’s for dessert? Probably some kind of pudding that we cobbled together from elements gathered while we were out exploring. It’s lucky people left all this stuff laying about or we’d never satisfy this raging hunger…

It’s… Rage!

Alec: It’s not been the best year for straight-up action games, but at the same time we’ve been unusually spoilt for choice with (quasi)open world games, which left Rage in a bit of a funny place. I think I was fortunate to go into id’s latest already expecting it to be a constrained experience, so I treated it as a traditional shooter with a little more room to roam in between levels rather than some glossy Stalker heir-apparent. And lo, the shooting of the men was most enjoyable. As was the purchasing of the ammunition and upgrades, and the hunting bandit buggies for cash prizes.

Despite all the guns and mutants, there’s something pleasantly offbeat about Rage. It doesn’t grab me by the thin shoulders and shout nonsense about war and loyalty and glory and the god-damn dirty foreigns coming over here and stealing our democracy in my face and it doesn’t make me spend most of the time with an NPC’s buttocks obscuring half the screen. It offers me some rooms and corridors full of guys to shoot and things to pick up, waves its hand casually at the whole scene then leaves me to it.

I particularly dig the hub towns in Rage – sure, no-one goes anywhere, but the attention to detail and the earthy there-ness of the characters makes me enjoy my time wandering (alright, sprinting) around shopping, mission-grabbing and upgrading. The artists have had a field day in Wellspring and Subway Town, which makes it doubly a shame that Rage’s PC version seemed so compromised on a technical level. (Those textures! Ugh.) Characters look and sound distinct, rather than the mild variations on a bland theme in Skyrim or even DHXR’s non-plot-critical cast.

It is a shame id didn’t come up with a strong, complete story for its desert argy-bargy. The revolution didn’t have much urgency, the Authority were faceless generics and the narrative wound up with whimper. But I’m not sure I care about FPS plots anymore – it’s all about the setting for me. And the setting I felt Rage nailed – then placed a pick’n’choose playground of action distractions in it. It’s throwaway, relaxed merriment, and I absolutely believe it should be so.

(Sadly, Rage can’t really be mentioned without bringing up the the launch-day technical problems were inexcusable, and blaming graphics card companies for it was poor, poor form. As is the lack of significant patching or updates since release week: the game has clearly been abandoned.)

Jim: I suspect this is going to be one of our more controversial choices, but, despite the rants that spilled from my fingers, I can’t get away from the fun I had with it. The shooting is quite good. There’s been better shooting this year – Bulletstorm, Serious Sam 3 – but the feel and general playfulness of Rage was exactly what I was looking for when it came along. Remote control bombs, spider bots, shotgun rounds that were actually rockets – it kept me entertained. And visually it was just right. I loved the hub towns with their silly post-apocalyptic characters, and I revelled in the racing and super-violent dungeon-crawling. It was just the right side of simplicity, and just the right level of apocalyptic beauty (if it ran on your PC, anyway) to satisfying my need to wander in bleak futures.

In fact in places it was exactly what I needed. The Dead City was a high point. I would say for approximately the first two thirds of the game it was heading into precisely the sort of territory I like to see games explore: vehicular combat, tight gun action, crafting with random junk in your inventory. All good stuff. The nosedive that thing took in the last third was disappointing, and three-pronged: it made enemies have more hit-points, rather than having more tactics to use against you, the story ended with a bizarre fizzle of a non-event, but more importantly of all, it failed to build on the interesting stuff it had created. The hubs never quite blossomed, the world was never quite a canvas for exploration, your motor-action was never really anything more than a sub-game between shooting galleries. As such I think Rage is the most interesting (and most satisfying) failure of 2011.

Adam: In the bubble that I live in, it’s hard to tell how many people actually liked Rage. I know people who held off due to the launch problems and still seem to be holding, eventually unconvinced by what they’d seen and read. The general air that hangs around the game is one of disappointment. True enough, it’s probably the most flawed game I’ve played to completion this year – I never finished Dead Island which is lumbering at its heels – but most of the flaws form where things seem to be missing rather than where they are broken.

A lot of it comes down to the fact that it’s easy to dismiss the game for being this Rage instead of another, imagined Rage. That’s not to say the problem is entirely one built around preconceived notions, because even someone going into the game blind would be likely to butt their head against every wall and outcrop of rock in an attempt to see more of the scorched earth stretching in every direction.

Then they give you a bloody buggy to bounce around the place in. All-terrain tires and suspension – check! A tank full of petrol – check! A smidgeon of speed – check check check! Rev the engine and head for the horizon, skipping and scraping through craters and the bleached bone of the desert. Except, no.

Vehicles are for driving between very particular places on tracks that, despite first appearances, are clearly delineated. Just as most missions take place in what are essentially broader corridors than those of old, with walls and ceilings less obvious.

But in those tracks and corridors, and the hubs that give the world so much of its character, there are enemies that squirm and crumple in just the right way when you fire both barrels into their chest. There are a hundred bits and pieces to collect, and sights to discover, all the detritus and decor of a scrapyard future.

The guns pack a real wallop, which shouldn’t need pointing out, but it’s remarkable how often, elsewhere, there is too little sense of impact. Even Serious Sam 3 suffers at times from enemies that show no reaction, other than producing the requisite bucket of blood, when shot at point blank range. That’s because Sam lives in a fairground – with his sledgehammer at the game’s beginning, he’s playing whack-a-mole and later he sidles up to the shooting galleries. Rage, for all of its boundaries, is id’s strongest attempt at world-building and give us an interesting world and we’ll naturally want to explore it. But at its heart, Rage is still a shooter.

It’s a shooter that sometimes looks like it’s mutating into something else. It’s also, despite attempts to write it off as generic, visually distinct from the other shooters out there, which is something we so often ask for. Now that its mistakes are so well documented, the New Year might be a perfect time to indulge for those who held off. It’s a game with a bit of driving, a bit of talking and a lot of shooting. Sadly, it doesn’t quite succeed at being that for its entire length, but when it does, it’s a damn fun ride.


  1. Felix says:

    It’s a good game. A pretty game. A game-y game. I enjoyed it immensely and I hope to see either a sequel or something that uses its formula and expands on it.

    • McDan says:

      Yes, exactly this. And for me it was one of the most interesting, but the most disappointing games of this year. A shame.

    • xavdeman says:

      I think Carmack and his company really disappointed a lot of people with the game and the engine. id used to be on the forefront of graphics and sound capabilities, but I guess EA/DICE has taken the throne, with even Crytek taking a back seat. That’s why this quote is really awkward to me:
      “There’s been better shooting this year – Bulletstorm, Serious Sam 3 –”. What about Battlefield 3?

    • Jonesy says:

      Basically, the developers tried something new. They took a hit on overal graphical quiality in order to build a world with corridors, canyons, and city blocks that looked unique. Thusly, I found it refreshing to go new places in the game, rather than overly repetitive because I wasn’t seeing the same recycled textures everywhere.

      Kudos ti ID, now expand on the weak points of the game, and you really got something.

    • Ruffian says:

      my big problem with Rage was that it almost felt cobbled together – like they gave you all these cool gadgets and gizmos with which to solve certain problems. Which is a fine concept in and of itself but my qualms about this in relation to rage comes with the fact that the problems or obstacles that I was supposed to solve with my gizmos and such never really felt organic to the world, they felt mostly like an afterthought. like some designer was like hey I got a cool idea! Bombcar! So they threw in like 3 tunnels to drive through with your bombcar, and then after that the only real use for the bombcar was novelty. It felt even worse with those damnable balloon nades. Like, sweet balloon nades! I can’t wait to use these in the singular dungeon – if you can call it that – that they were designed for – the only one in the game with any sort of vertical layout, and then never again! because they’re useless everywhere else! And it felt like about half of the items/weapons in the game were like this, at least for me. Too many ideas with not enough thought put into how they would actually work together. Also the scope and length of the game was pretty “wtf?!??!” And why the F was there no boss fight at the end? they shoulda took that giant outta dead city and saved him for the end, and put the stupid super mutants in dead city lol.

  2. rocketman71 says:

    Rage?. OMG. If SpaceChem doesn’t end in the calendar while Rage does, the hive and I are going to have words. Strong ones.

  3. gganate says:

    It’s hard to want to buy a game that’s had so many technical problems and seems to have been abandoned. Oh ID, where art the company of lore? I’ll probably pick it up in a sale someday.

    I wonder if Crysis 2 is making the list. I think we’ve all forgotten about it, for better or worse.

    • Monchberter says:

      I think Crysis 2 has indeed been forgotten. Given that the Yerli’s seem to have gone all out for the console money and delivered a less ambitious game than it’s predecessor that was depressingly generic.

      That said, and the huge faux pas of removing it from Steam meaning that frankly most PC gamers realised that they were better off sticking with Crysis 1 and Warhead. Both of which still stand up today.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      I loved Crysis 2 and consider it twice the game Rage is. Even watered-down Crysis is more open and intriguing than pretty much any other shooter released in the last 5 years.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      Crysis 2 was great, and I think RPS agreed. I expect it’ll turn up before the end o the list

  4. Meat Circus says:

    I read lots of people saying that “Id are capable of so much more”.

    The evidence is, they aren’t.

    • Echo Black says:

      I do believe they are…I’ll be surprised if Doom 4 isn’t much better than Rage (which was not bad itself).

    • Phinor says:

      I actually think Rage is the best game ID has ever made. Only the lackluster ending is disappointing but as mentioned in the article, the first two-thirds of the journey through the game is the most fun I’ve had with an ID game. I mean, Doom was a lot of fun too back in 93-94 but I think Rage is simply the better game. I also had (nearly) zero issues day 1 with an ATI card but I must have been in the minority. Only save game crashing was present but at least it didn’t happen too often.

      All that being said, I’m not waiting Doom 4. Not at all. I think Rage is the concept ID needed to continue their games with, not Doom or Quake.

    • Jimbo says:

      ‘Lackluster’ pretty much sums up the whole experience for me.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      If I were rating Id’s catalog, I’d have Rage at #1, Quake 1 at #2, Doom 3 at #3, and everything else ranked somewhere below “stuff I liked” level. Doom 3 is barely at that level, but man I love me some Rage and Quake 1.

    • scatterbrainless says:

      It’s true, id have done very little to make games that live up to the ambitions of post-half life/ deus ex game design. Rage really frustrated me at first, with its invisible walls and “no don’t touch that yet” doors and objects. Its constraints felt very artificial. It felt like a stupid person’s game – “here, have the freedom to wander around, just don’t do anything with that freedom unless you’ve been told to”. After I got over that though, it was pretty fun to play. Heads exploding are funiferous.

  5. eulescu says:

    feel free to rage about it

  6. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Sadly I found myself abandoning RAGE for the simple reason that I found it boring and repetitive. There was nothing that really pulled me in, and it had a sense of plastic shallowness that was hard to shake off. Progress in the game seemed more tied to whether you remembered to go to the ammo supermarket before the next mission, and there were few challenges I really WANTED to pit myself against. After a time it felt like a chore, which is a real shame. Maybe I had high expectations for it, thinking it would be an awesome open world shooter with DOOM 3 shooting mechanics. It had some of the latter, but I think what killed it for me was the lack of variation, with enemies mostly feeling like insubstantial re-skins of one another. Still hopeful for future releases, however.

  7. The Mechanical Aggressor says:

    I really like what I’ve played of RAGE, but since it has a 50% chance to crash on any loading screen, I haven’t bothered to play more than a few hours of it. I wished I’d waited for the sales before buying it, instead of buying it on release day.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      I’ve tried literally dozens of ATI driver and configuration file permutations and STILL can not get this game to function for longer then 20 minutes at even a basic level on my pretty modern rig. I chew up every AAA title out this year on ultra @1920 but RAGE remains broken, and I finally uninstalled it. Most disappointing game of the year frankly, even after Duke Nukem.

      Even epic craptastic releases like STALKER and Magika would have been fixed by now.

  8. Jockie says:

    I struggled with Rage, it felt like ID were trying to hide the fact it was a straight forward corridor shooter, with a load of pointless bells and whistles, that actually detracted from the experience for me. Talk about a damp squib ending too, it fizzled out with a whimper (i don’t necessarily just mean the story either).

    The fact that it takes up 20gb on the ole hard-drive means it has little chance of being revisited either.

    • deke913 says:

      Been wanting to try Rage, but will wait for a much cheaper version.

      I believe I would enjoy it based on how much I enjoyed Bulletstorm. (which I got for sale)

      It was on rails as well, but the character animations and tricks made it a fun break from my rpgs.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      I think that’s a good comment. I felt the open world stuff and the car sections made the game worse, since at its core it was such a linear shooter. If they just made the linear shooting stuff the focus and maybe a little better the game would have been more fun for me.

      That said I like standard shooters like Quake 4 while other people rally against them in modern times, so what do I know.

  9. Duckee says:

    Do not get this unless you can get it for cheap. I still have so much problems with this game, more so now than at launch. It ran quite smoothly at launch, but after the numerous patches I have stupid screen tearing all the time. Not to mention the patch that made everything blue!

    The cheif culprit is apparently ATI cards, but I do not think that you can keep blaming a video card brand this long after launch.

    Bugs aside, this is just a tech demo branded as a game, that is at least what I think every time I play. The more you play the more you realize this is a fairly generic game with a lot of pointless fetch quests. They did not even bother to flesh out the game properly, but instead has you going through previous areas over again, but in reverse.

  10. Yosharian says:

    Another awful game. I’d rather play Quake than this.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Meanwhile, it’s actually been a good year if you enjoy shooters. I think it’s binary nature of these sort of comments than depress me. Competent, entertaining games with some flaws are “awful” or “terrible”, rather than simply not matching up with expectations or perceived values for the genre.

      If you *actually* play some bad games – of which there are still plenty – then these sorts of comments look pretty vacant.

    • Lambchops says:

      Unfortunately forcing everyone to play Will Rock to get some perspective would just be a wanton act of cruelty.

    • Jim Rossignol says:


    • Duckee says:

      The question is would you recommend people to pay £30 for it? Let us hear the value for money perspective.

    • Chris D says:

      I wouldn’t recommend people pay £30 for anything with a Steam Christmas sale only days away.

    • qrter says:

      Ah yes, the ‘volume for money perspective’ aspect, also known as the consumer review – this is basically what all the large gaming sites do in bulk, which makes it a kind of an uninteresting and redundant thing to do for RPS.

    • battles_atlas says:

      For me the abiding lesson of Rage is the toll that preview hype takes on impressive but flawed games. Rage is exactly that (assuming you rolled a six in playing it on an nvidia card not ati). It did shooting very well, it looked superb in many places, particularly Wellspring, and the NPCs were full of charm, more so than any non-Valve title I can think of. I know though that my positive memories of it are dependant on the fact that i really didnt expect much when I picked it up half price. Its for this reason that I now do my best to avoid reading previews of any game I’m not convinced will be perfect.

    • Jhoosier says:

      The price kept me away. Why the hell would I pay US$80 for a game? It’s madness, I could buy at least 3-4 indie games, or games on sale. And the technical problems after launch have turned me off it for good. It’s a shame, because I do love wasteland survival games.

  11. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    It was… alright, not bad. But totally underwhelming. I completed it but have little or no memory of it, nothing about it stood out in any way.

    The problem with having 25 slots to fill is they can’t all be great games, so I suppose there’ll always be a smattering of average ones to make up the numbers.

  12. Blackcompany says:

    I hate first person shooters.
    They’re tightly scripted action fests which leave the player feeling more as if they are watching than actually playing the game. The stories are lackluster political fare snatched from a news reel somewhere and forced into a “game” that plays out like a movie which occasionally says ‘press X to win” at convenient moments. Five hours and its on to the multiplayer mode – if you’re into that kind of thing.
    Which I’m not.
    I thoroughly enjoyed Rage.
    I have a grand total of 25hrs in the game. If Id ever releases their tool set (they claim they are going to do so) I will likely have much, much more than this. Where other shooters fall flat, Rage excels.
    Rage does not require you to be an FPS Expert. If you like to play with a controller, or are less than accurate with your virtual aim, that’s ok. Rage is a little more forgiving than most other games in terms of difficulty. Sure there are challenging areas – downright killers, occasionally. But for the most part this is a game that knows its a game, that it was intended to be enjoyed. Rage will allow you to practice aiming guns at foes as opposed to aiming controllers at your monitor.
    But Rage doesn’t stop there. It offers a wide variety of fun tools. Throughout the game you collect RPG style loot. This you use to craft turrets, explosives, and various other toys. Remote controlled cars can be steered through tight spaces to explode at the feet of your enemy. Spider bots – essentially turrets on eight legs – will clamber over and around any obstacle to viciously attack your enemies either with ranged guns or using melee attacks. Various grenades and ammo types also abound – including mind-controlling and explosive crossbow bolts, which simply never get old.
    Perhaps the best tool of them all, however, is the wing stick. This nifty boomerang will slice through from one to three enemies, depending on the type of wingstick used. Often times it will then return to you after use. Sometimes they break or get stuck, however. But that’s okay, because in a tight spot the wingstick is a handy device. Like the VATS from Fallout, Wingstick pretty much says, “Press this button to kill.” Which is nice, for the non-expert FPS players who still want to enjoy Rage.
    And enjoy it you will. Enemy AI is crafty. NPC’s dodge, leap, swing and jump at you in various clever ways. They take cover, react to getting shot, watching others die, etc. Bethesda could take a real lesson in enemy AI from Id. Sure there is the occasional “why must you force this on me” boss fight. And the story ends so abruptly you will swear it was just an elaborate set up for inevitable DLC.
    But that’s ok. Because with a larger world, and more side missions, this could be the Fallout killer it appeared to be when first advertised. I for one want more Rage. And it cannot some soon enough.

    • Nick says:

      you might like older FPS games before what you describe became the norm then.

    • battles_atlas says:

      I forgot to mention the spider bots. They really are a magnificent creation, responding beautifully to you and the environment. Sidekicks bring so many games to their knees (just see the Skyrim videos), Rage implements them with real aplomb.

    • Dervish says:

      “press X to win” = “I hate first person shooters.”

      “more forgiving than most other games in terms of difficulty” and “press this button to kill” = “I thoroughly enjoyed Rage.”


    • NthDegree256 says:

      Dervish – I suppose those comments might seem incongruous without context, but there’s really no comparison. The “push X to win” games are the ones that feed you a bit of actual gameplay, then seize control in a semi-cutscene, go into slow-motion, and flash a big “LEFT MOUSE BUTTON” on your screen until you click it, prompting the cutscene to continue. Rage’s wingsticks are more like a powerful off-hand weapon – never quite so unlimited that you can just spam them, and still requiring a modicum of aim and timing, but plentiful and reliable enough that whenever you’re in a tight spot, you can bust one out to stop a charging enemy while you reload or clear a couple of mooks while you focus your gun on one of the big fellows.

    • Dervish says:

      Sure, I understand the difference with the wingstick, but if those other games are truly “press X to win,” then why do you want a game that is “more forgiving” that “does not require you to be an FPS Expert?” The implication that those other games DO require you to be an expert doesn’t mesh with the portrayal of them as barely-interactive movies.

    • NthDegree256 says:

      The difference is the extent to which you control what is happening, I think. You could have a very difficult “push X to win” game that gave you split-second windows for the keypresses and was inhumanly demanding whenever it expected you to press a key repeatedly. It wouldn’t be easy and would be very unforgiving, but not necessarily very fun. In contrast, a game that provides a lot of possible inputs (which way are you moving? where are you aiming? are you firing? reloading? which gun? do you have any deployables helping you out? is it safe to use a wingstick or should you switch to bandages and heal up?) can be easy but still feel like they’re asking you to contribute a lot more, thereby letting you feel like you actually did something fun and interesting.

      It’s like the difference between a solid plastic sculpture and a fully-articulated action figure. The sculpture might look cooler, but the action figure is more fun to play with.

      I found Rage to be a very easy game (I played through on Hard and never actually died, not counting defibrillator uses, and then did a second playthrough on Nightmare and died-died exactly once.) The ease didn’t stop me from having a blast with it.

  13. Snargelfargen says:

    So what are these technical issues exactly? Would I be able to play it with an ati card, HD4870, to be specific?

    The summary of the review basically says solid but laid-back shooter, and that’s something I would love to try.
    I had a good bit of fun in Borderlands, but it got quite repetitive. A bit more narrative focus and rail-roading would have helped that game, I think.

    • battles_atlas says:

      On my Nvidia 560 it looks glorious, and at a consistent 60fps on max settings at 1920*. I had problems with the texture loading but that was caused by having left my nvidia software forcing settings on the game. That option disabled, it ran perfectly. From what Ive read though you’d be a fool to pay anything more than pocket change to play this on an ATI.

    • PostieDoc says:

      I bought it on release and have 6870 crossfire setup. There is still to this day quite a lot of tearing that can be headache inducing.
      I’ve never had any crashes though so it is playable.
      I just found the game to be quite boring.

  14. studenteternal says:

    I find this a really odd choice, did they fix the texture pop in problem at some point to make it actually playable? When I realized that, not only was the performance quite simply unacceptable for a commercial product, but that it was wrapped around a completely static world and a very average shooter, it became the only game I have un-installed from my steam list.

  15. mpk says:

    I was pleasantly surprised by Rage. It’s a good game, without ever being great, thoroughly enjoyable and just long enough that it doesn’t get boring – although the ending was a damp squib right enough.

    I have a Radeon HD5570, so I lost a day of playing due to the technical issues, but found that they were pretty much all solved with a driver update and adding a command line option to reduce the number of threads. The only thing I was left with was texture popup, which was very easy to live with.

    I really wanted to explore the rest of the Rage world but, last I looked, no one had found the no clip option.

  16. vodkarn says:

    I’m honestly surprised at this. I haven’t heard a single positive review (outside RPS) – not all are negative, but the vast majority of people tell me to just skip it, that it’s not worth the money. The ‘aveRAGE’ comment is made so frequently I don’t even notice at first now.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Well, there’s only seven spots left, and it’s now certain that many quality games will be waking up to no presents come Christmas Day. I think it’s safe to say that Dredmor and the Wadget Eye stuff are out of the running now.

    To The Moon
    Frozen Synapse
    Human Revolution

    Outside bets:
    The Stanley Parable (forgot about that one)
    Trine 2
    Dungeons Of Dredmor
    The Blackwell Deception
    Gemini Rue

    That’s got to be the final seven, yeah? For a list which supposedly isn’t ranked in order of quality they sure seem to have saved the best for last.

    • Colonel J says:

      Good list of the final seven but I’d bet Red Orchestra 2 will make it in (deservingly imo). Probably at the expense of Magicka or Frozen Synapse (jeez was Magicka released less than a year ago I thought it was 2010. Aye, 25 Jan 11 says Wikipedia)

    • InternetBatman says:

      I doubt Spacechem since one of the authors forgot it was technically a 2011 game.

  18. Sander Bos says:

    Speaking of slowing your computer down to a crawl, who else is sick off the star wars Flash ads on the RPS homepage. It is very impressive, my Core 2 Duo totally exhausted from what…. yeah from what, some star wars pictures fading in and out.

    RPS actually gets the questionable honor for making me install an ad blocker for the first time. Not that I actually could find an extension that would let me *only* blacklist one site, guess I will just have to wait to December 20th.

    And yes, I do have ATi card, and I did start Chrome with +jobs_numThreads 0. I think RPS clearly abandoned their homepage.

  19. MattM says:

    Rage was the only game I pre-ordered or paid full price for in the last two years. On my system, it ran, but the performance auto-detect was completely broken. It used the lowest possible resolution for any texture more than 4 feet away and unloaded all textures every time I turned around. After about 6 hours of forum surfing, ini editing, and patching I got it to use higher res textures. I played a few hours and the game was such a disappointment. The first few missions are just snore fests. I set it aside and haven’t been back. It was the most disappointing videogame I have ever played.

  20. SirKicksalot says:

    “the launch-day technical problems were inexcusable, and blaming graphics card companies for it was poor, poor form. As is the lack of significant patching or updates since release week: the game has clearly been abandoned.”

    Why was it poor form to blame ATI when ATI were, in fact, guilty? id worked with them for months, ATI promised they’ll have the drivers released on launch day and they fucked up by releasing an incomplete build.

    The game is not abandoned. id is waiting for ATI do deliver their new drivers with improved OpenGL support. Carmack recently bitched about their lack of competence regarding 32bit drivers too. id was burned badly by the launch fiasco and they’d rather play it safe now.

    • Sander Bos says:

      My experience:
      I bought the game weeks (months?) after launch.
      Crash on first launch with previously installed drivers.
      Installation of latests ATi drivers, 0.25 frames per second. And that is while it is rendering some animated letters (Eden project blah), I kid you not on either the FPS or what it was rendering.
      So a google search, 3 hours, and +jobs_numThreads 0 and a merge of 10 googled rageconfigs.txt later, and the game runs reasonable (not great, but with relatively little texture popin), well enough to find out it is actually a crappy game.

      Anyway, you blame ATI, could well be their software. But if I can get it a lot better with nothing but tinkering of Rage’s settings, why can’t id put it out the door with those settings by default. Because this was not a matter of the game running poorly, basically nothing appeared when you ran it out of the box. Non of the helpful google results I mentioned came from an official id site.

      They work on a game for 3 years. Then like, 30% of customers cannot run the game properly, and it is possible to fix it somewhat to tinker with the game’s settings, but they cannot spend some time to put those workarounds in an update. Something like if (fps < 0.00001) then addToLaunchOptions(+jobs_numThreads 0).

      Let's face it: id sucks.

    • Shadowcat says:

      Sadly, Rage can’t really be mentioned without bringing up the the launch-day technical problems were inexcusable, and blaming graphics card companies for it was poor, poor form.

      It’s certainly extremely sad that RPS can’t seem to mention Rage without taking some time to blame Id for ATI’s botched driver release. I bet if the release had coincided with Microsoft releasing a DirectX update that broke Rage, that would have been Id’s fault as well. Or if a sound card manufacturer released a driver that broke Rage’s audio, that would have been Id’s fault. I don’t know why you can’t get this into your head, but games depend on code neither written by nor under the control of the game developers. They do. It’s that simple.

      Yes it was a mess, and one suspects that in future ZeniMax will be doing their damnedest to ensure that driver releases happen in advance of their game launches so that their QA team can verify things with the public download before the game launch, but I just can’t comprehend how you can persist in pointing the finger of blame at Id alone, and chastise them for the suggestion that ATI‘s botched release of ATI‘s drivers might in fact have been ATI‘s fault.

      Poor, poor form indeed.

      Sander Bos: If the settings that worked for you were guaranteed to work for everyone, you can be sure they would have been standard. This whole problem in PC gaming land stems from the fact that damn near every PC out there has a different configuration and combination of hardware & drivers.

  21. Angel Dust says:

    Yay! I was thinking that maybe RAGE wouldn’t turn up here but I’m very glad it has. It of course has its flaws (lack of a real open-world, the enjoyably low-key writing and world building giving way to the banal resistance/authority conflict, and a horrible ending being the main ones) but the shooting was the best I’ve played in years, which is mainly due to the freaking fantastic animation. It was pure joy to have the enemies dynamically leap, crawl, clamber and slide around the environment, before unloading a whole heap of buckshot into them and seeing them spin, flip, stagger and duck in reaction. The AI was also excellent, not because it was especially clever, but because it felt smart while still essentially being cannon-fodder. Throw in all the gadgets and ammo types, varied and detail packed environments that, as Alec noted, feels so there and a whole bunch of optional stuff (gambling mingames, races) to use as a palate cleanser from time to time and you’ve got, if not the deepest and most forward thinking game of year, one of the most just plain fun,

  22. d00d3n says:

    Entertaining and unexpected choice for the list. I do agree that the unique character designs in the hub worlds were great, but the hubs were ultimately static, non-interactive and disjointed from the core gameplay
    (shooting). Escape from Butcher Bay and The Darkness are still the games to beat when it comes to interactive, ambient and believable hub worlds in first person shooters.

  23. thatcity says:

    i haven’t buy rage for now but i suspect i will do later on the xmas sales on steam.
    it’s funny to notice that some reviewers praise it and others find it boring..i’m in italy(sorry if my english is not so good) and the magazine that i read gave the game a remarcable 92/100 saying that the engine is quite good but the great thing about the game is that there are a lot of things to do (minigames and buggy races above all) and the shooters mechanics are great,i suspect however that with doom 3 and rage id software became just a very good developer,instead of the one to beat.

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