Rage

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Rage also has a driving element. At first glance, you might think this was just an add-on thrown in without much thought, all just bells and whistles. You would be wrong. ~Louis Edwards

Rage

It’s the year 2029 and our planet faces impending destruction by the Apophis asteroid. Unable to stop it from impacting, groups of people are sent underground into cryo-pods, known as Arks, where they are frozen in suspended animation. Here they are to wait out the destruction above and to resurface at a later time to rebuild the planet. You are one of these people. Upon your awakening you find that your Ark has malfunctioned and you are the only survivor from your pod. Over 100 years have passed since your cryo-sleep began, and it’s now time for you to face the New World.

Rage - PC Game

The story is well written and original, with many unique characters and a deep storyline. The opening sequence itself tells the entire story of the impending doom and how the people of Earth dealt with it, and is worth the time to watch. The story is continued with dialogue from different characters and does not disappoint.

The world of Rage is separated into several different towns, and all are separated by the vast Wasteland. Each town has a unique set of characters that will want to send you on a task that will have you blasting through bad guys, or racing and shooting your way to the finish line. The tasks will vary, but each one ultimately will have you shooting your way towards a certain goal.

The tasks vary in difficulty and length, but all are fun and non-repetitive. Throw in some boss battles, and you can easily kill 12 or so hours in the campaign. Difficulty can be set to one of four settings depending on your skill level. If you are in the mood for a real challenge try Nightmare difficulty. Fair warning, it does live up to its name. Always be sure to check corpses to see what they may have on them. Ammunition can be hard to come by early on in the campaign, so taking money and ammo from dead bodies is to your advantage. It’s not like they need it anymore.

Rage - PC Game

The Wasteland is controlled by six different clans that you’ll have to come up against.

  • The Wasted Clan is a dim-witted bunch that enjoys mechanics, home-brewed alcohol and fighting. They would rather grab a club than a gun.
  • The Ghost Clan is fearsome and fearless. What seems like a nod to the roots of Doom, they deal in the occult and stage gruesome sacrifices in order to gain power in the afterlife. They use the environment to their advantage while fighting and can be seen climbing around walls and hanging from beams. Their wingsticks provide both melee and ranged opportunities for them to cut you to pieces.
  • The Scorcher Clan believe the asteroid Apophis was the horse of a demigod. They believe that tapping the energy of the asteroid will make them invincible. The Scorchers like fire and cover everything they can in its images.
  • The Shrouded Clan are deserters and are a combined group of all other clans. They use a mix of fighting styles, ranging from clubs, to guns, to exploding RC cars.
  • The Jackal Clan are a vicious clan that covers themselves in fur and look and act more animal than human.
  • The Gearheads are the most intelligent of the wasteland’s factions. These bandits have built advanced machinery and weaponry that make them a force to reckon with.

The cities and the Wasteland are detailed nicely and well designed. Tasks will have you fighting your way through dungeon style rooms reminiscent of Doom and Wolfenstein 3D. iD Software definitely knows how to make a first person shooter. Flanking can be used effectively, if you are aware of the side paths. These aren’t always easily spotted, so keep a keen eye out for them.The number of enemies isn’t overwhelming and they use frags sparingly for the most part.

Rage - PC Game

Your path will be mostly linear, but there are a few offshoots where loot can be found and collected. Loot can be just about anything from collectible playing cards to dress shoes in a box….. WTH?….. Dress shoes in a box?….Really?….Why do I need dress shoes in a frickin box??!!….

In each city there will be a shop of sorts where you can purchase upgrades and ammunition. All of the strange items you may find along your way can be sold at these shops. Be careful what you sell though, as some of these items can be used to make helpful items. While shoes can’t be used for anything other than cash, there are plenty of other things that can be used to make useful items. A bunch of rags can be used along with some antiseptic for a nice little health boost, and those are always handy. Blueprints are acquired by completing tasks and these tell you what is needed to build different items. Shops carry everything you may need.

Rage - PC Game

Rage’s weapon system and inventory system turned out to be more RPG than FPS. There aren’t too many weapons to choose from but each weapon can be enhanced or changed by changing it’s ammunition type. You main weapons are the pistol, shotgun, AK style assault rifle, M4 style assault rifle, sniper rifle, crossbow and a rocket launcher. To give an example of how a weapon can be changed, load up some explosive rounds for your shotgun and it’s now a grenade launcher. Throw some electric bolts in your crossbow and you have a perfect weapon to take out a group of bad guys standing in a pool of water. The ability to change ammo type takes your modest arsenal and turns it into a vast array of weapons with exponential choices.

Rage - PC Game

Rage also has a driving element. At first glance, you might think this was just an add-on thrown in without much thought, all just bells and whistles. You would be wrong. Your first vehicle in the game is a small, unarmed buggy that is great for getting from point A to point B. Nothing too fancy, but it has a decent boost so you can get there in a hurry. The vehicles drive with power and precision, and can turn on a dime if needed (gotta love the e-brake). As you progress through the story, you’ll unlock better vehicles as well as mini-guns and rocket launchers to arm them with. These make traveling through the Wasteland a much more enjoyable trip. Taking out bad guys in the Wasteland can also earn you cash, so make sure you talk to the proper person in a bar to activate your bounty hunting task that will then be ongoing. Eventually you’ll unlock even better weapons for your ride, so don’t think your weapons will always be the same.

Multiplayer has also been included with Rage and offers a few choices. You can opt to play through one of nine side stories with a friend in Wasteland Legends. Either online or split screen, you can play through missions that you may have heard mentioned in campaign mode. You can choose either Normal difficulty or Nightmare difficulty.

Road Rage offers a mix of different styles of vehicle game play. Meteor Rally has a mix of Zones and CTF styles of game play where you collect meteors and drop them off to capture Zones. Chain Rally will have you capturing Rally Points and chaining them together for an increased score. Triad Rally has you capturing three consecutive Rally Points to score. Carnage is exactly what you think it is. It’s a free-for-all death match where killing the other drivers earns you points.

Rage - PC Game

iD Software introduced us to a genre that has long been a staple across every gaming platform known to man. Wolfenstein 3D took us on a mission to eliminate Hitler in WW II, while Doom took us on a mission to eliminate Satan’s minions. So many franchises owe their very existence to both of these games. For id Software to break away from known franchises and to embark on a brand new one took guts, ambition, and balls of steel. Not only did they succeed in creating an incredible game in RAGE, they also created a story that can easily be built upon and expanded on in this age of DLC.

Where Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake created the bar that all FPS games are measured, RAGE raises that bar a few notches above any other shooter this generation by using RPG elements, mixed in with vehicle combat, and downright awesomeness.

Doom (GBA)

Doom - Gameboy Advanced

Format- Gameboy Advance

Genre- FPS

Doom! Doom. Doom. Doooooooom!

Doom - Gameboy Advanced

This is probably the most well known game i’ve looked at yet, but it’s also the title i’ve put the most hours into, the GBA version in particular, so permit me to talk a little about the game that’s firmly rooted in my top ten videogames of all time.

I own the game on GBA, SNES and Jaguar (expect me to look over each port in individual entries), as well as wasting countless hours watching my dad play it on out PC back in the day.

Doom - Gameboy Advanced

I even recall putting ‘watching my dad play Doom’ on a list of my hobbies back in Middle School – only for the teacher to cross it out.

So to have Doom on my own handheld was a joy, and I completed the game several times over.

The main disappointment is that the GBA version is scaled down version of the PC version, with certain levels missing and replaced with slightly smaller ones. There’s no Cyberdemon or Spider Mastermind showdowns here – a major let down.

Doom - Gameboy Advanced

Still, the game crammed in an impressive amount into the tiny cartridge, and is miles better than the SNES version in terms of looks (probably because of the smaller screen).

When I play through the game it’s odd that some levels i’m more than happy to play through for the billionth time, whereas some I really can’t stand to trudge through, to the point of not wanting to play the game anymore.

Containment Area, the one with all the boxes, is a level I can’t stand playing for example. It just doesn’t feel right, and doesn’t fit in with the rest of the game.

Doom - Gameboy Advanced

Unholy Cathedral is another. It’s the one with all the teleporters placed in sets of four everywhere. Can’t stand that one. There are others, but i’ll spare you the details.

In fact, the game makes me realize how great its sequel is. There’s a huge amount of variety in Doom 2, and even the GBA version of it doesn’t miss anything out (the huge final boss, for example, is present and correct).

The original started off the series though, and for that i’m eternally grateful. The GBA conversion is solid, but falls a little short of offering the ultimate handheld version of Doom.

The iPhone version is impressive though – but despite having a fair crack with touch screen controls, the wait for a definitive portable version of ID’s classic shooter continues…

Wolfenstein 3D: Atari Jaguar

Format- Atari Jaguar

Genre- FPS

Wolfenstein3D_Atari-Jaguar

You’ve no doubt played Wolfenstein, or are at least aware of its existence. But have you played it on the Jag? You really should you know – it’s really rather good.

Remember back in my Power Drive Rally piece I said there were a few reasons why the Jaguar wasn’t completely rubbish? This is another of those reasons.

The Jaguar wasn’t 64 bit, but it could churn out a simple game like Wolfenstein with nary a glitch. The whole thing is super-smooth and one of slickest versions of the game it’s possible to play.

Wolfenstein3D_Atari-Jaguar

Enemies are large and detailed, and their soundbites always make me laugh. Why they say their positions (‘Luftwaffe!’ ‘SS!’) when they strike is beyond me. It’s like they’re Pokemon trained Nazis or something. No wonder they didn’t win the war (check this great Youtube video of Hitler’s reaction to the Wolfenstein story unfolding).

The bosses add a much needed shot of variety as well, and their catchphrases are often repeated by me in real life, i’m that sad. Classics such as ‘i’m coming for yer!’ have lived long in my memory.

Wolfenstein3D_Atari-Jaguar

In many versions of Wolfenstein there are far too many levels between boss stages, and they wear you down at times with their somewhat monotonous layouts. Here though, a fair few levels have been snipped, and this results in a far more manageable and fun experience.

Although it’s archaic in many, many ways the game is still good for a quick shot of retro blasting fun. Talking about it actually makes me want to play it again, which is always a good sign.

Wolfenstein3D_Atari-Jaguar

The Jag version also has the useful feature of three save slots which can be saved to while playing, by tapping either the 1, 2 or 3 buttons on the controllers keypad. No pausing is necessary. Just make sure you don’t press them when you mean to look at the map screen number button. This feature really helps to make the game an even more instantaneous, fuss free fun-fest.

There’s is an oft-cited problem that the game’s enemy sprites were 2D however, and could therefore only be seen facing you. This mean that there was no way to sneak up on them. This isn’t really a problem for me though – who really attempts to be stealthy in Wolfenstein?

Wolfenstein3D_Atari-Jaguar

The only minor annoyance this 2D enemy issue really creates is when you enter a new room. Enemies can open fire on you from the sides, with you having no chance to fire back and avoid damage. This results in you bobbing into a room and quickly back out again, a tactic you have to use for the later, tougher levels.

As with most Jag games it’s hard to find cheap, but if you have the console it’s worth picking up. I’ll be looking at the other retro Wolfenstein titles I have over the next few months, but this is definitely one of the best.

Doom

So here we have a game that needs no introduction. Every other FPS developer today should have a portrait of this game in their studio. Doom changed the way we looked at FPS and turned out to be a classic for the ages. Is it still fun to this day? Lets find out!
Doom - Sony Playstation - gameplay screenshot
Doom as very popular for many things and the music was one of them. With such a great soundtrack, the PC version turned out to be the most played shareware ever. This was even before internet became a household name! Turning to the Playstation version, I was shocked that they took out the soundtrack but instead added a very interesting soundtrack. You mostly hear monsters and what not in the background with a mix of environmental music. It’s quite freaky at times especially when you are in very dark rooms. I must say it doesn’t make me miss the PC version’s soundtrack and gives a twist to an already twisted game.
Doom - Sony Playstation - gameplay screenshot

Graphics in this game are everything you could hope for. The blood is there, levels are detailed, and everything looks to be in place. Overall, you have a very fun and viewable version of Doom that will keep you in pace to the finish line. I’m sure you won’t get lost. Also, I’m glad you can still shoot near the acid barrels to blow up your enemies to pieces. That’s always so enjoyable.

Doom - Sony Playstation - gameplay screenshot

The developers of this game were savvy enough to make good use of the Playstation controller. Not only are not going to miss your keyboard but you’ll also have an easy time getting used to the controller. You’ll be using R1 and L1 buttons quite often as they are the ones that make you move left or right in order to dodge your enemies attacks especially those fireballs. You will be able to battle any enemies with easy movement! In the end, this is Doom! You can’t any better than this.

Doom - Sony Playstation - gameplay screenshot

This is probably one of the most replayable FPS games ever. You can go through it, get your password, and continue later. You then finish the game and start the game again. The thing is that this game has such enjoyable gameplay especially with blowing up your enemies that it becomes addictive. You can always go back to this game and replay each level, discover its secrets, and have a great time. You must find all the secrets period!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TYMI6gD19Y[/youtube]

To conclude this entry, the game is a perfect port of the PC version and would be a great addition to any FPS fan especially from the golden age of FPS. You will have lots of endless hours of fun with this one. If you really want to be mega old school, you can always get another Playstation with another TV set and another copy of Doom to play against each other. This is how things were done back then! Hope you enjoyed this week’s pick!

Doom (32X)

Doom - Sega 32x - Gameplay Screenshot

I will give it a shot and say it anyways, Doom for the 32x is the pick for this week. In fact, I have to write up another session of this series in order to make up for the one I missed last week. Well there is no better way to put it then to say AWESOME! This is what Doom has been and what Doom will always be, no matter what! This game got me hooked to FPS back in the early PC games, which made me addicted as hell! Having Doom on the 32x is really kewl for the day it was released that is(You can get the game online so easily now and play it with good old DOSBOX on your fancy super duper fast PCs and laptops). Anyways, this version of Doom is like any other version of Doom…except a little chopped up and with a bad soundtrack.

Doom - Sega 32x - Gameplay Screenshot

 

This version of Doom suffers from having less levels than the other versions. This is a big mistake and somehow I don’t understand why it would be ripped apart. Did they got lazy? was there something wrong with the port? The SNES version of DOOM is amazing but somehow Sega and the producers of the game fucked up the port that was coming out for an add-on that was supposed to be superior…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN3jedyHBpA[/youtube]
In the end, I say it once more, it’s Doom. You will get your classic addicting gameplay with malevolent monsters and freaks to take you back to hell….then again…aren’t you in hell already? Until next time!

Commander Keen 4

Commander Keen 4 - PC

This time around we have a classic for any PC gamer that was around in the early 90s. Commander Keen IV is what made the franchise complete as it unveiled a game like no other. Commander Keen was what Mario is for Nintendo, a franchise that always delivered but like any great franchise it must have it’s ace game. This game is Commander Keen at its best and it shows. With great graphics(for its time) And awesome mechanics and sound, there is very little to dislike about this game. The plays very simple, it’s your average platformer but with a spark of creativity that makes it very enjoyable. You play as Billy once more and are on a quest to save some old people! Yeah, these old people are actually a community of keepers that have been kidnapped. Your mission my friend is to save these keepers, sounds simple huh? It’s not! Especially in the later levels as the game becomes more challenging than ever before. Overall, the game is just enjoyable from beginning to end although there are many secrets to be found(I haven’t found all of them).

Commander Keen 4

The music of the game is enjoyable as well, if you are lucky enough to play it in true DOS then you will also be able to choose from the PC speaker sound which isn’t bad at all just very retro. If not, you can always use the wonderful and probably best emulator ever released DOS BOX and find yourself a copy of the game, you’ll do fine like that as well. I wish I had my classic PC out so I could be playing it in pure DOS but I will have to settle for Dos box which is not bad but I think most of you know how much I love classic original stuff(Except Famicom, I wuv Famicom pirates).

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFQMVsuzCWg[/youtube]

To conclude, this amazing masterpiece published by Apogee and developed by ID software Is something that any gamer should play period. It will cost you nothing now that the episode is everywhere on the net and in the end, you’ll have a very enjoyable retro gaming time. I’m telling you this for your own good, be sure to pay respects to the roots of gaming and try it out.

Picture of the Day: Rage

Rage Logo
Rage Logo

Today’s picture of the day comes from the anticipated shooter from ID Software, Rage. Rage is an FPS set in a not too distant future of earth shortly after an asteroid had impacted earth. You emerge from the rubble to find humanity fighting to survive and rebuild as they deal with gangs, mutants and more, kind of sounds like Fallout meets Deep Impact.

Rage is set to be released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC in North America on September 13, 2011.

Nikolaus Gebhardt: Ambiera

Ambiera Software Development logo
Ambiera Software Development logo

Name: Nikolaus Gebhardt

Company: Ambiera

Profession: Software Engineer

Favorite Classig Game: Wolfenstein

Quote: Back then, Wolfenstein was one of the first games with ‘real’ 3D graphics, although today this is only considered 2D. I was amazed by that technology, and played though the game countless of nights. When I finished it, I started creating levels and modifications for it, which maybe lead me to working in the game industry.


Juan Benito: Joystick Labs

Joystick Labs logo

Name: Juan Benito

Company: Joystick Labs

Profession: Creative Director

Favorite Classic Game: Quake

Quote: Awesome 3D + Tight Controls (Mouselook) + Internet Matchmaking + Clans = My First Awesome Online Multiplayer Experience!


Harry Miller : Devolver Digital

Devolver Digital logo

Name: Harry Miller

Company: Devolver Digital

Profession: Publishing

Favorite Classic Game(s): Doom 2, and Diablo

Why it’s a favorite:

Doom 2: It was my first PC game to play and I was amazed at the graphics, and over the top chaotic game play.  Encountering the Minotaur for the first time was truly scary.  The best of all was death match, and all of the mods made for the game.  My favorite deathmatch mod was “Dog Tag”.


Diablo: I didn’t realize that I liked it that much and don’t understand how my first time playing got so out of hand.  I starting the game for the first time at around 5pm one day, when I finally looked up and it was 8am.  Where did the time go?  Wow!