Your Daily McMaster: two scoops of Rage comfort food

, | Games

I’m one of those people who avoids information about the games I want to play. Rage was one of those titles. Despite seeing it at two different E3s, I had paid so little attention that I had no idea how the story even began.

After the jump, pinning down how Rage stacks up

The opening sequence, while pretty cool, was heavily…cribbed from other games’ stories. The setting is nothing new — a post-apocalyptic world full of mutants and savage gangs — and yet I find myself compelled to wander through it. Perhaps because I’m an apocalypse junkie. I buy and play every post-apocalyptic game. That makes me kind of a post-apocalypse aficionado.

So how does Rage stack up? That’s hard to pin down. While I’ve really enjoyed my time with it, I’m hard pressed to say why. It’s not a new and interesting setting. The action isn’t new. The style isn’t new. So what is it?

I think it’s comfort food.

Id took a bunch of elements proven in other games, developed an awesome graphics engine, and slapped it all together. Tom would agree, but he would probably say something about how the parts don’t work together. I think they do. I had a blast racing around the desert, throwing wingsticks into guys, and playing the card game.

The downside, as I see it, is that Rage is too long. I can even pinpoint when I started to hit fatigue. It was right around my second trip to Dead City, near the end of the first disc. The shooting game is entertaining but doesn’t do enough interesting or new to keep me going. I’ve found myself anxiously awaiting the end of certain shooting segments just to get back and race or play the card game.

Maybe it would hold my interest longer if every quest didn’t feel like a “go get me this dongle or the flippyflap will blow up and we’ll be out of hair gel for a week!” Of course, the dongle is deep within an abandoned insane asylum populated by the twisted remnants from times of yore.

One of these days id is going to couple their technology with a well-crafted story. That will be the day that the world will end. It won’t be able to take that much awesome.