Tuesday, September 18, 2012

RAGE

I started this post after about 3 hours into RAGE, but I am writing it now after 6 hours in. 

I was going to write about how generic the world felt, how generic the story was, and how generic the weapons are. I was going to say how disappointing RAGE is for a id Software and Bethesda product. In truth... I still am telling you most of these thoughts, but also tell you much more.


I'm going to start with the technical technical issues. Being a long time PC Gamer, I am no stranger to needing to tweak a game to get it to run amazingly. However, I do not enjoy a modern game on modern hardware having frame rate issues. Even after massive tweaking, performance is way worse than in it should, but only for 10-90 seconds of <10 FPS after exiting an interior area. After that, 60FPS+ with great graphics. I tried the config files on the Steam forums, I tried the tweaks you'll find on Google, and I even tried dropping graphics settings way down. No change...


My Gaming PC specs
Intel i5 2500k - Water Cooled
16GB RAM
nVidia GeForce GTX560

The opening movie was cool, short, and to the point. Your exit of the Ark(read "Vault") is pretty much the same as when you exit the Vault in Fallout 3, except this time you are greeted by John Goodman!

You go on to start missions and tasks that serve as tutorials. You will be sent around the n00b section of the map and become familiar with the world and game mechanics. I think, due to the length of the n00b area, this is the barrier that people had trouble with.

I was just passing up the 3 hour mark, then something happened. I started having fun. It started when I went to clear out a sewer of mutants. This was in fact a good deal of fun! It feels like the creatures in Pandorum are in my face! They don't just run straight at you, they will jump up in a door frame with their feet on the door jamb to avoid your shot. They will roll and wall jump, all while letting out this shriek. The visuals and audio tied very well together at this moment to pull me in. I succeeded in clearing my first sewer, proceeded to exit said sewer, then F-F-F-F-raaaaame Drop! The immersion was broken... but I had just had fun, so I kept moving forward.

I made up my mind to take this seemingly generic post apocalyptic shooter and make it my own. I started checking out the job boards, and subsequently taking on missions, such as acting as sniper cover for workers repairing a water pump. This also ended up being fun.

Driving is a boring and feels kind of retarded until you get to your third vehicle, which you have to win a race to get(part of the story). This feels shoehorned in.

I moved along in the story and came across a gameshow/arena/SmashTV story element. This was a blast. There are 5 sections to live through. I have the first section, and the first time doing it, below. This pulled me in further.




After the Arena, getting your fun car, and immersing in the world a bit more. You are able to take it for what it is and just have a good time. The game grows on you.

I will not tell you "OMFG go buy this game"... I bought it on a Steam sale for dirt cheap and am getting what I paid out of it which is about $8. If you are willing to deal with a performance issues here and there, the longer than usual getting started period, and the fact that Bethesda and id together should have blasted this out of the park but didn't issue, then you'll enjoy this. 

Slideshow of my progress through the game