I've had Rage for about a week now. I was never a fan of Quake and haven't tried Doom much, so I wasn't sure what to expect from Rage. All I knew was that it was a first person shooter with driving sequences, and it was set in a post-apocalyptic world.
Let me begin by saying that if I could buy Rage again, I would. Actually, I'm going to do just that because my current copy is a used copy I picked up from Gamestop and I'm literally going back today to trade in the used copy and buy a New copy just because I want the whole package.
This is one great game. Borderlands, obviously, is the best possible game ever. There will never be another Borderlands. But until Borderlands 2 arrives (assuming it will be any good anyway), Rage is where it's at. Aside from just replaying Borderlands, of course (and there's nothing wrong with that)!
If you can imagine Borderlands and Fallout 3 merging, then you'll have some idea of what Rage is like. You start out as a relic from the past who's just awakened and emerged, I think, from a Vault. You get rescued from bandits by John Goodman and taken back to his little slice of civilization, where he puts you to work. So you go on quests, and mostly they're Fallout3 type of quests. Errands and odd jobs that not only give you experience but lead you into new realms of the world. Eventually, you work your way out of that town and move on to bigger and better places.
There are lots of side-quests, so if you take on a lot of those then you can start to fool yourself into thinking it's an open world game. You find new weapons, you can craft new weapons and tools, and earn different prizes and rewards.
So far it sounds like every other post-apocalyptic first person shooter. But now mix in a little Mad Max. Yes, there is really fun driving action in this game with vehicles you can mod and drive around and raise all kinds of hell. I was very resistant to it at first, and it was introduced early on in the game. I didn't start to love the racing element until I got to the actual Racetrack in Wellspring; then it gets fun. No, it gets addicting.
The races feel like a mix between a podrace, grand theft auto, and mario cart. It's just plain fun. The very first time you fail in a race, you'll be hooked because you will want to do better. And then better. And then better. And then you realize you're collecting racing certs, and racing certs buy you vehicle mods. And vehicle mods let you frag the bad guys.
Oh yes, this game does fragging right.
The one thing this game doesn't do right is audio atmosphere. The visuals are stunning, the action is fun fun fun, but the audio is plain embarrassing. John Goodman is great, and I wish he were in more of the game, because everyone else is just reading their lines. The mutant voices, which should be haunting my nightmares every night, are laughable instead. There's no sense of character to anyone, no personality, nothing unique. Even the character design itself is pretty drab, like Id raided Railroad Tycoon.
The soundtrack is so unoriginal that I can't even remember for sure that there is music. I'm pretty sure there is, but I don't remember it. And all I listen to lately are video game soundtracks. When you have Skyrim and Borderlands and Dead Island soundtracks, the generic hard rock of Rage is not just boring, it's actually a little upsetting...in all the wrong ways.
But hey, as I said, the game itself, aside from unremarkable voice acting and music and soundscape, is really good. I'm not a fan of first person shooters, usually. But there are exceptions, and this is one of them. If you haven't tried Rage yet, and you liked Borderlands and/or Fallout3 and New Vegas, then pick this one up. I have a used copy if you're interested ;-)