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I think I should have road rage after playing “RAGE”.

Yes, I have taken a “break” from writing any recent blogs on this site. The last time I wrote something was back in May 2011. That being said I did want to take a few minutes to discuss the recent video game from the well-known “Bethesda” firm. First let me say that “Rage” is not “Fallout” and if you accept this fact then you will not get upset about my opinion. Rage is a first person shooter with driving capabilities. It is impressive as far as graphics go and the video screen is truly awesome when playing it…….

The concept of Rage: A large meteor is found heading for earth. During the time before this large objects slams into our planet the United States sets up the “Ark program” were selected individuals are treated with small computer like chips into their blood stream which will allow them the ability to deal with whatever happens after the world cease to exist. You are put to sleep and then as expected the meteor hits earth, killing a large portion of the world’s population. After a hundred plus years you are awoken to the new earth and as it happens the place has changed a little bit. There are numerous heavily armed gangs and small outpost of civilians maintaining basic functions. The “Authority” is the one controlling the entire area and they give little room of sympathy to those who venture from their guidance. The “Authority” wants to collect and capture all of the former “Ark” survivors for unknown reasons. Across the battlefield is another smaller group called, yep you guessed it, “The Resistance”. The resistance wants to get the needed intelligence and information from the Ark locations to free the last remaining Ark survivors which could swing their ability to engage and carry out a large-scale war against the Authority and reclaim what is left of the United States and begin rebuilding under a democratic model.

So recently I picked up the “Anarchy Edition” which gave me a code to download the sewer maps, a sawed off double barrel shotgun, and some upgraded armor. There are three discs in the game. One disk is for the wasteland which includes the town of “Wellsprings” the other disc is for the “Subway” wastelands, and the final third is just for multi-player for auto-combat on-line. The manual states that to have the best game experience you should save the game to your systems hard-drive. This is going to be at least 22 GB of memory so ensure you have that much free space before wasting the 45 minutes it will take to load this up.

If you are thinking that the actual campaign will take that long think again. I played the game under 18 hours and free the world and destroyed all the bad guys on “normal” mode. Here is where I find “Rage” lacking a few items.

  1.  There is limited “free roam” areas. Yes, you can get in your selected mode of transportation and drive around the two wasteland areas but you are limited in the areas you can go. There is a downloadable map which grants the user the means to search through several underground sewer systems and battle some evil bad guys but that is it. You are tasked to conduct a few side quest like transport parcels and letters for a person who is wanting to act like UPS. These are time driven and you can get some needed cash if you drop off the parcels before the time runs out. But most areas are not accessible and you are bound to follow the planned path regardless if you want to go check out other locations. You can drive around in a few open areas and blow up some vehicles that are being used by some of the criminal gangs operating near the large towns, but that is it. This is not like “Fallout” so please do not think that you can jump out of the car and walk around for hours and find tons of gear and ammunition, it just is not the case with this game.
  2.  Extremely short story line. When I mean short I really mean short. There are three discs in the game. One disk is for one area of the wastelands and the other is for the subway wastelands. The third disk is for strictly multi-player and that is just for auto-combat. I think the game could have taken me a little less time but I got caught up just driving around and blowing enemy vehicles up to gather more money and racing points. You need to race to acquire racing points to purchase vehicle upgrades, advanced weapons, armor, tires, engine, etc. If you don’t like to race than just deal with a few of them to gather some much-needed equipment.
  3.  A lot of focus on the vehicles in this game. I think really the designers went overboard on the custom approach for the cars on multi-player on-line version that the actual game. There are dozens of ways to upgrade your car during on-line play.
  4.  Buy the guide-book if for nothing else a larger map to find equipment. There is no map in the game while you are driving around. There is only a small mini-map that gives you the general idea where you are supposed to be heading. The guidebook at least will grant you the ability to see where you might want to go and conduct your directions through the use of visual references.
  5. Limited access to weapons. Pistol, Shotgun, AK47 assault rifle, sniper rifle, advanced assault rifle, rocket launcher, crossbow, and multi-barrel chain gun. You have some hand grenades and a throwing stick that will knock out of kill your enemy if you hit them in the head. Not much more. You can not collect weapons from the dead you can only collect ammunition from killed enemy combatants. Some of the mutants will just dissolve after you kill them which leaves you with no ammo to collect. You can create some specific rounds for increased stopping power but for the most part ammunition can get pretty pricey to purchase on a regular basis. Don’t go toe to toe with some of these bad guys unless you have several High Explosive rockets for your launcher. You can switch different rounds for different situations. For example, one group of gang members wear steel plated armor which takes forever to go through with your standard rifle round. You can load up armor-piercing rounds which still take some time but can kill the enemy if you get them in a head shot. The key is to maintain fire discipline and shoot in short bursts not to waste vital ammunition but also to place your rounds on target. Don’t waste ammo, because it isn’t cheap if you are short on cash.

Overall the game is fun to play but too short for my liking. There might be additional downloadable content for this game but since the game ends so quickly for the campaign mode that the DLC may be more geared for the on-line auto-combat piece. This might be a means to keep you tied over until November & December 2011, but I doubt it. Yes, it is a fun to play but I was a little disappointed on how long it took to beat the game. I think the game was rushed out too soon and could have added several more maps to explore and bad guys to take out. This is a Bethesda game but don’t think because of this that this is another Fallout clone because trust me it isn’t. I think I should have waited until it went on the used game section.


What do I think about “BRINK”?

Thursday I picked up Bethesda’s newest game entitled “Brink”. I was hooked from the cut scenes and limited game play I viewed on the TV screen at the local Game Stop store. It looked pretty interesting as a first person shooter and I liked the style that the game allowed a person to move and jump over obstacles. So like everyone else I bought a copy and took it home to really get some game time in before the kids learned or became aware that I bought it.

One Player for Campaign Mode. On line Game Play can go from 2 to 16. You can On-Line Co-Op from 2 to 8 players.

Story Line: Basically the world’s oceans have risen to a point where the land masses are no more. Prior to this tragic world event, a country built a large city in the ocean called “The Ark” and for a while it was capable of maintaining life. Now the area is run down and falling apart, to make matters worse there is a growing collection or heavily armed resistance fighters that are trying to destroy the Ark and seek the possibility of leaving the city in search of possible dry land. You have a choice to either play as a member of the resistance group or as the security forces ordered to maintain law and order in the chaos of a really bad situation.

Game: There are 8 different maps in campaign mode. Each map has at least 3 to 4 additional sub-missions one has to complete in order to move to the next mission. You can switch back and forth between playing as a resistance fighter or a military security officer. It just depends on you. Characters can be adjusted with specific emphasis on custom facial expressions, body type, scars, camo face paint, uniform, head-gear, etc. Weapons can also be customized depending on what you want and what type primary and secondary weapon you prefer.

Weapons: You start off with the basic automatic rifles and pistols with no frills. In order to obtain weapon rail systems, scopes, extended magazines, grenade launchers, etc. You have to complete specific game challenges in the “Challenge Section”. There are four challenges that focus on different skill sets for the player. Like for instance, one challenge you are required to protect and defend a checkpoint from several waves of enemy soldiers at different locations and different amount of personnel. You are playing as a combat engineer and must repair any damaged equipment while fighting off the enemy soldiers who are sent to destroy or capture the checkpoint. If you win within a certain period of time you get various scope mounts which can be added to your primary and secondary weapons for campaign mode.

Class Types: You can either be a Soldier, Combat Medic, Operative,  and Combat Engineer. As a Soldier you can carry additional ammunition and hand out ammunition to your fellow team members. You also can carry High Explosive charges. As a Combat Medic, you will maintain the health of your fellow team members and can hand out injection kits for your Soldiers if they are wounded. As an operative you can take the uniform of your enemy and attempt to infiltrate into a location to gain vital information. Combat Engineer can place land mines in possible foot paths of your enemy, repair damage equipment, and build auto-tracking machine gun turrets. As you progress your experience points will increase which will allow you to purchase additional skills.

Game Play: This game is built for the person who likes to “run and gun” through maps. You need to work as a collective fire team in order to maintain a better movement through the various maps. Hanging back in order to perform rear security will most likely leave you exposed and get out flanked by several more heavily armed individuals. I found myself getting frustrated with running at the edge of the battlefield only to get mowed down in an ambush or multi enemies appearing out from well fortified positions. Stay in the middle and let the other guys become cannon fodder. If you want to ramp up really quick then play as a medic. Saving your team mates lives will give you some serious XP.Moving with at least 2 medics, an engineer, and a few Soldiers will give you an edge. The computer AI during game play will change from difficult to plain obvious no clue. Some enemy Soldiers will move directly in the line of fire while others will race around your exposed flanks and roll up behind you. There are numerous routes you can take for most of the maps. The graphics are decent and the game is rated “Teen” so there is not much signs of blood. No graphic headshots, or anything like that. So if you are looking for destruction and death then this is not the game you would want to purchase. It is a pretty fun game to play so long as you don’t mind moving from one position to the other. This is not one of those type games where you can camp all day and just wait it out with a sniper rifle and make shot after shot with no worries. The game will move further into the map as certain objectives are completed.

Is it worth $60.00 plus dollars? Answer is, “Yes and No”.

Yes I like the game, it’s very cool as far as the customization mode. The No part can be attributed to I personally think that they should have added several more maps and not place the challenge mode to pick up the additional weapons pieces. It should have allowed the player to purchase weapon upgrades through experience points or as one leveled up a new bracket of equipment could become available. I would say hold off on making it a now purchase and wait a few weeks and buy a used copy. There might be some up-coming downloadable content in the near future. More to follow.