Thursday, January 5, 2012

Suppressed Rage

Well, there goes my idea of posting every day.


The end of Rage reminded me very much of the end of Crysis: a sudden change from an environment that was creative, if a bit worn out, to generic, shiny, corridor running. We have seen more than our share of post-apocalyptic wastelands in the last few years, but I will admit that Rage had the best looking one. They looked so good there were enough quests to send you through each one twice, ala Halo. (I guess I feel like game name dropping today) There were drippy, gooey parts where mutants had made nests out of hastily stolen human entrails. There were wrecked buildings tilted to impossible angles. And it all looked noticeably better than Fallout and on par with Gears of War 3. I don't understand why the abandoned it for a climax set in the levels that Bungie threw out with the breakfast banana rinds and used coffee grounds ten years ago.

Ok, time to stop talking about a game by talking about other, better games.

Rage was so hollow that when it was done all I thought was 'that's is?' Three discs, a terabyte of uncompressed data in the final build (according to Cliffy B, at least) and all they managed was around five different areas across less than twenty hours of gameplay. It wanted to be big and free roaming, but there is just not enough content there to make it work. What you end up with is a corridor shooter strung together by driving sections that are actually more entertaining than the shooting. Not a recipe for success, much less a reason to make a second game to use the engine it is trying to sell.

And yes, Chance, the shotgun was good, but not that good. The weapons were so pigeon holed as to what they were for killing that the combat became paint by the numbers. The shotgun was for killing mutants, the regular assault rifle was for killing unarmored raiders, the authority assault rifle was for killing the authority, the sniper rifle was mostly useless as the handgun did the same thing when combined with half a binoculars, I never used the crossbow or the glaive that looked like a refugee from Krull and the rocket launcher was for anything big. Perhaps I was spoiled by Resistance 3, but boring.

No, it wasn't cool then either.

I have seen just enough best of the year lists now to have my opinion of Bastion validated. It is a nice warm feeling that every once and a while my opinions line up with the rest of the gaming populace as opposed to being in stark opposition. Everyone liked Bastion, and for mostly the same reasons. Best of all it was a self contained experience. It tells a story from beginning to end, and while it's action may not keep up with Outland, the other downloadable heavyweight from last year, it never got in the way of anything either. An excellent game, regardless of delivery method.

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