RAGE's Lack Of Identity Generates Reviewer Negativity
id Software's new effort is averaging somewhere around a mid-8, based on average review scores at GameRankings and Metacritic. We scored it significantly higher.
And in searching all the reviews, you will find quite the discrepancy; a definite lack of parity. A 6.5 and a 7 there, a 9.5 and a 9.6 there. Usually, this doesn't happen. So what's causing this rift? Well, after reading a great many reviews, it has occurred to me that we're really not sure what RAGE is. FPS? Not quite. It has RPG elements but they're definitely RPG Lite. Then there's the driving and racing.
This lack of identity seems to be causing a problem. Some are docking the game for a lack of story focus, while others are saying the elements outside the shooting aspect don't stand up to scrutiny. Still others say the landscape outside the cities is too barren. So what are we really looking for? What if RAGE doesn't fit in any one given category? Why can't it adopt various traits of other genres and still be a fantastic game? It's as if critics are trying to jam it into a particular mold, and it just doesn't fit. We don't really have a mold for this game.
The strange part is that indeed, RAGE doesn't really do anything new. Perhaps some were expecting some sort of revolution, so they're disappointed. But at the same time, if you consider the entire scope of the experience, along with each individual element of the gameplay, it's difficult to find glaring flaws. It's because essentially, there aren't any. I think it all comes down to expectation and what you think RAGE should be. If you're seeing a few of those RPG elements and thinking it should've included more, you're trying to say it's an action/RPG.
If you say the driving elements shouldn't be there, you want a straight FPS. But if we simply let the game breathe; let it just embrace us with its great assembly of mechanics, we'll be happy. Above all else, there's one common trend in the negative reviews: they admit that not much is "wrong," per se, but that the game succeeds in other areas while floundering in others. ...that sounds contradictory to me, and it also proves that too many people are trying to categorize RAGE. Let's not do that, shall we?
Related Game(s): RAGE
10/4/2011 9:14:55 PM Ben Dutka