Rage has got to be kidding me

, | Games

This is not a review of Rage (that will be along shortly and it won’t be pretty).

This is instead a list of absurdities I noted while playing. Some of them are minor. Some of them are flat-out nitpicks. In a better game, I might not have cared about or even noticed them.

After the jump, the times I went “you have got to be kidding me, Rage”

I do the 22GB install and I still have to swap discs when I want to go from single player to mulitplayer. I even have to swap disks at the transition from the game’s first half to its second half.

So many loading screens, and as near as I can tell, they aren’t appreciably shortened by installing the game to the hard drive. Worst. Use of 22GBs. Ever.

The following tooltip appears on one of the loading screens: “Mutants are fast, never stand still and give them an easy target”. There is at least one other tooltip featuring comma abuse, but that’s the funniest one.

J.K. Stiles is the freakish host of the Mutant Bash TV show. He sits in front of a bank of TV screens. On one screen, conspicuously placed behind his head, the id logo plays on a loop. Is it an Easter Egg when it’s in my face like that?

I can save anywhere until I get to the annoying gladiatorial combat, where my only option is to restart. Killed on the fifth round? Too bad. Begin again at the first round. I wouldn’t mind if Rage were tuned to be a checkpoint oriented game. It clearly isn’t.

A defibrillator minigame to determine how much health I have in a game with Call of Duty’s fast regenerating health? What? It takes me longer to do well with the defibrillator than it would take me to skip it entirely and let my health regenerate on its own.

One of the weapons you get during a scripted vehicle race is a wave of blue energy that simply destroys all the cars in front of you. Period. There is no explanation given for this weapon. It will never appear again.

At certain points that Id must have thought were supposed to be dramatic, music plays even if you turn off the music because you couldn’t stand the Duke Nukem-esque soundtrack for the races.

Not only does the quest tracker not tell you where a quest giver is located, it sometimes doesn’t even tell you his name. When you come back to Rage after being away for a few days, have fun talking to everyone in town to see if they’ve given you one of these quests you have yet to turn in.

You have to stop moving to change weapons. There is no controller configuration in Rage that lets you simultaneously walk and pull out a pistol.

You can carry as many weapons as you want and swap them out freely. However, you can only assign quick select options to four of the weapons. To equip any of the others, you will need to pause the game and go into an inventory management screen. Which you’ll be doing frequently since a lot of the combat is based on ammo limits. So when those shotgun shells or sniper rifle rounds run out, time to mess around in the inventory screen to rejigger your quick select options.

You know the part in a game when you come into an area through a one-way entrance? You have to fight it out against whatever enemies are going to appear, however they’re spawned, until the end of the fight. At that point, the exit will appear. Maybe a helicopter fires a missile that blows up a wall so you can get out or a giant robot busts through a wall. Rage has its share of those moments. At one point, you’re suddenly locked into a pair of boarded up rooms in a ruined building. Mutants start smashing through the walls and crawling up through the cracks in the floor. It’s actually a pretty cool sequence. And you have to ride it out until its all over, at which point a crooked door falls off its hinges for no apparent reason. There’s your exit. Not the holes the mutants smashed into the walls, but the precariously hinged door that survived the mayhem until it was time to fall open.

Want to climb down a ladder? Ha ha ha.

There’s a pretty nifty collectible card game called Rage Frenzy. As you play, you find cards that model specific characters, creatures, items, and vehicles in the game. However, if you want to check your deck, you’re out of luck. You can’t look at your cards until you’ve actually bought into a game back at the bar in town. What kind of collection can’t be admired?

It’s 106 years after human civilization has been decimated by an asteroid. Some of the survivors have built a settlement in subway tunnels. Would the idiom “word on the street” still exist for them? According to Rage, yes.

I hope it’s not a spoiler to tell you that armored monkeys show up for the supposedly thrilling finale. This isn’t nearly as cool as I’m making it sound.

At one point in Rage, you’re fighting some guys who live in a shantytown inexplicably bolted onto the sides of cliffs and strung together with ramshackle bridges. As you work your way down to your destination, the bad guys tie sticks of dynamites onto balloons and float them up at you. Wait, what? What the heck kind of trap is that? I’m not sure what the bad guys thought it was going to accomplish. But I can imagine the meeting at Id when someone thought this up. “So the dynamite is floating up around you and exploding everywhere. On balloons! It’s like dropping grenades from the ceiling, but backwards. How cool is that?” Not in the game are anvils dropped onto heads and rockets tied to rollerskates to help coyotes catch their prey.