Sunday, February 19, 2012

RAGE and that status of RPG games

I'm about 8 hours into RAGE and I have to say that it's not only the best looking Xbox game yet. That's debatable of course, but no one reads this blog, so I'll just assume that I'm right.

Among the things that I absolutely love about this game there are still flagrant annoyances that bug me about every adventure game in the past couple years.

  • I'm getting tired of pressing buttons to talk to people or advance conversations. Let's do a proximity thing that reads a little more into positions and facing people. If I turn to walk away, interrupt yourself and say something like, "...oh, okay. Guess we'll talk later." Or pull a gun and fire a warning shot if it's really a big deal. Let me know you mean business.
  • If a game has multiple locales, stop repeating resources in each one. Parts, weapons, medicine/mechanics, games of chance need to be more organic. Not every town has a parts store or weapons dealer. Maybe a town only has a thrift or pawn shop. If a game is popular, show more/less people playing it every few hours. Those two guys aren't playing that game all damn day. I don't care how shitty the apocalypse is.
  • Stop making side quests something I start and complete manually. Make something happen to me that I can choose to participate in naturally. I don't want to hit a button. I don't want to be singled out as responsible. If someone runs into me with their car, let me decide if I chase them down or not. That's why nothing ever gets done in GTA games anyway, am I right?
  • Stop making me run back and forth. There has to be better ways to repeat use of gameplay areas. RAGE just sent me on a reverse course through a hospital path (and gave me an achievement for it!). You just admitted that you have no game play creativity by doing that. 
  • If you're going to use someone like John Goodman and Claudia Black as a voice actor, use him in the entire game. I don't ever want to stop hearing him talk.
I love that RAGE made graphics one of it's highest priorities. I'm a little bothered by three disks, but I completely accept it for the payoff. I also really love the enemy A.I. and how they approach you. The muntants have multiple abilities from crawling fast to jumping off walls and monkey baring the ceilings to come and attack you. It's creepy and fantastic. The Authority soldiers aren't that smart, but I like their shields and willingness to toss grenades. 

If you liked playing Resident Evil or Dead Space for it's creepiness and enjoy Borderlands or Fallout for it's questing and item building, this game is a perfect mashup of the two "genres". I highly recommend it.