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Ship Date: 
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

There is a point in Rage when it stops being a solid FPS and becomes a great one. That moment occurs about two or three hours in, just when our recent hands-on preview ended.

Up to that point, we had been ushered down narrow paths and asked to do routine objectives. It was a confident introduction to the game, and it did give us a good grounding for what was to come later, but it felt like it was keeping a tight rein on us.

It starts to loosen its grip once you reach Wellspring. There are many small settlements scattered across Rage’s vast wastelands, but Wellspring is one of two major ones. It is a vibrant and busy town, where you can play mini games, spend money in shops, accept side quests and even race.

However, before we could do any of that we had to prove our worth to the mayor, who wanted us to perform a couple of small task. He basically asked us to flex our trigger muscles and find a less conspicuous outfit. Completing these tasks increased our influence, which in turn made us more appealing to the locals. Afterwards, they were happy to trade with us and offer missions. Bonus.

In this sense, it’s quite like that other Bethesda game, Fallout. Characters alter their perception of you throughout the game and there is no pressure to stick to the main story . It’s not as deep or as complex as that grand RPG — there is only one narrative and the range of sidequests is limited — but Rage is unquestionably freer and more flexible than the majority of FPSs around.

Rage offers a mission-based structure with its main story arch developing at a slow and steady pace. It takes you through several small steps before you even make the slightest dent in the story. In Wellspring, for example, we’re told we need a better car to survive in the wasteland, and that we can get one by winning a race. We need more money to enter this race though, so we need to find a sponsor. This sends us across the wasteland to speak to JK Stiles, owner of Mutant Bash TV, who is happy to sponsor us on the condition that we star in his show. As we said, lots of small steps.

Rage Mutant Bash TV e1318201254117 Rage    the PS3 Attitude review

Is it called Mutant Bash TV because the mutants do the bashing?

For Mutant Bash TV, contestants take part in gladiatorial battles across a series of gory circus-themed arenas. Each stage unleashes a new wave of aggressive mutants and other quirks like spinning spiked gorillas. It is intense, challenging and more than a bit insane. It’s essentially the first time Rage really embraces the madness of its wasteland, and it is better for it.




Review by Seanoc