id Software's latest FPS gem, RAGE, is in stores now and we've had plenty of time to play through the games single player campaign, co-op mode and competitive multiplayer modes, and its time to share our impressions!
RAGE is split into two primary modes; Singleplayer and Multiplayer. In the solo campaign mode, id Software has crafted a compelling and exciting story that we absolutely loved from start to finish. The campaign features vibrant characters, breathtaking environments and a healthy smattering of id Software charm.
On the multiplayer side of things, the game features both a competetive multiplayer mode where you can challenge friends and strangers online for total domination and a cooperative mode where you are able to play alongside a friend online or locally, running through a variety of missions. The co-op mode was a particular favorite of ours, as it added a little extra substance to the single player storyline; all of the co-op missions are created separately from the campaign missions, but follow the same general story arc.
Here's a closer look at RAGE and its various game modes and nuances.
From The Ark
Before we can truly jump into the single player portion of RAGE, here's a brief synopsis of the game's backstory, which paints a vivid alternate history. At the beginning of the games events, in 2004, the asteroid 99942 Apophis is discovered on course to crash into Earth. By 2025, it has become apparent that Apophis will strike Earth and the government begins to stockpile armaments and the 'Ark' program is born, designed to preserve knowledge, genetic samples and other essential items to further life after the asteroid collision. The Ark pods also contain human inhabitants in a suspended sleep, intended to surface after the threat is over. Flash forward to 2135, Apophis has struck the Moon and Earth, extinguishing nearly all known life. You, the player, emerge from your Ark as one of the last survivors. The world is completely changed and the remaining life has mostly banded together in small clans or communities with only about two major 'cities'.
RAGE's Wasteland, Characters, Dungeons and Environments are a gorgeous testament to id Software's ability to create a game with distinct spirit and originality. After playing RAGE, if you see a screenshot of the game ten years from now, you will instantly recognize it as a RAGE screen, such is the uniqueness of the game.
The game merges open-world exploration with a clear, linear campaign. There are plenty of moments where you are able to travel the wasteland in one of the many vehicles you have access to while other times, you will be assigned locations based on your current quest or objective.
An assortment of mini-games again separate RAGE from the pack, bringing addicting card-based games or in-game board games that you can gamble your in-game currency on. Players can even participate in a post-apocalpyse game show, Mutant Bast TV, where you will essentially run a gauntlet of multiple arenas with each section featuring different enemies and even multiple bosses. There are more than a few games that have taken players to a post-apocalpytic society but there is only one RAGE. It is the story, characters, dungeons and amazing array of weaponry (mind-control bolts for the crossbow!) that sets the game completely apart from the crowd.
RAGE wouldn't be complete without an amazing multiplayer offering, however, so here's a closer look at that side of the game.
RAGE has two primary multiplayer game modes; Wasteland Legends for co-op and Road Rage when you're looking to compete with friends online.
These are cooperative missions played locally or over the Internet with a friend. The missions are totally aside from RAGE's single player campaign, and yet follow the general story arc. For example, some of the bandit clans that you'll face in the game make a reappearance in Wasteland Legends.
The missions are both competetive and cooperative, as there is a running counter of points earned by each player displayed at the top. More often than not, the temptation to make sure you get more kills than your partner proves too great and both parties end up racing for kills to the finish. The trailer below, released from Bethesda Softworks, gives a good idea of what Wasteland Legends is all about.
id Software's competetive multiplayer mode, Road Rage, is entirely vehicle-based, which is actually a breath of fresh air in the crowded first-person shooter market. There are multiple game modes in Road Rage, where players are able to drive at top speeds throughout different Wasteland areas.
Road Rage features multiple free-for-all game modes, including standard death match using a slew of weapons that either attach to your vehicle or can be deployed at your will. Weapons include miniguns, rockets, land mines and even mortar strikes.
Road Rage matches are frenetic and extremely exciting, we've had a great time ranking up. id Software has built a completel ranking system that lets players unlock weapons, items and even new vehicles that vary in speed, agility and armor strength.
RAGE fits in well with this hectic Autumn release schedule that includes the likes of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic. RAGE offers a completely original take on the first-person shooter scene; fitting for id Software, who essentially built the genre from scratch.
For more on RAGE, be sure to check out http://www.rage.com/!