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Rage: Performance Analysis On The PC

Rage: Performance Analysis On The PC
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Equipped with new id Tech 5 graphics engine, Rage is an ambitious game that tackles first-person and vehicle combat. We take a close look at performance with different graphics hardware and CPUs, so that you know exactly what you need for smooth play.

If you’re a gamer, there's a good chance that you’ve heard of Fallout 3. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, this brilliantly-executed title set a very high bar for detailed open-world RPGs. On the other hand, far fewer of you likely remember Interstate ’76, released back in 1997. That landmark game combined vehicle combat, upgrade resource management, and a great story-driven narrative years ahead of the curve. Why am I talking about two older games in our exploration of Rage's performance? Because, if you take Fallout 3, twist it into a shooter instead of an RPG, and add Interstate ’76 auto combat to the mix, you end up with something like Rage. And that, my friends, is a good thing.

War Changes, so Get Outta The CarWar Changes, so Get Outta The Car

No, I didn't forget Borderlands. That's another good game in its own right, which appears to follow the same formula. But Borderlands has a very different feel than Fallout 3, and vehicles play a much more limited role. On the other hand, Rage invests heavily in both first-person shooter and vehicle racing/combat play styles. Despite the split focus, it strikes an excellent balance. It may be a shooter at its core, but outfitting and upgrading your ride is vital.

The premise? Swap Fallout’s nuclear war for a meteor, and Vaults for Arks. You play a volunteer preserved via cryo-sleep for just over a century, awakened to find yourself the lone survivor in your Ark. You emerge into a painted desert of mutants, bandits, and crumbling structures. The game hands you a friend, and from then on you fight to make your way in what’s left of civilization.

Rage does a fantastic job of mixing it up and keeping things fresh. Sometimes you need guns to survive; other times you need to win races. Towns are full of folks with spoken dialogue and colorful personalities, many of whom have missions or mini-games for you to spend time completing. This is a really well-crafted game, and, to be honest, it’s not what I expected from the development team at id. The Doom and Quake franchises are irrefutably successful, but ultimately one-dimensional. Rage is cut from a completely different mold.

It's not all good, though. The enemy AI algorithms do nothing to further the genre, though they do make a valiant attempt at dodging attacks. Once in a while, you come up against a foe who’d rather flee than die like his compatriots, which is nice to see. Vehicle combat is very simple, and the focus is on choosing upgrades and equipment more than your ability to actually maneuver. For those of you who enjoy an open world to explore, Rage’s outdoor environments are somewhat restrictive compared to the Fallout series. I’ve hit a ton of invisible walls. The game shows them to you on its mini-map, but it’s still irritating to get yanked out of immersion when you run into one.

Despite the game’s beautiful environments, Rage quickly earned itself a bad reputation on the PC for glitches and problems on many machines. To be honest, I didn’t run into any serious issues on my Intel or AMD test boxes, regardless of graphics card (Ed: I did; it was bad enough for me to stop playing, in fact). Admittedly, that's after installing hotfix drivers from both AMD and Nvidia, though.

In any case, I remain adamant that Rage is worth playing. If the genre appeals to you, give it a shot. If you didn't like Fallout 3, don't bother. Now, let's get down to why we're here: performance.

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    dlsmoker , October 21, 2011 5:43 AM
    You missing that console games too are downloaded "illegal", don't think that only pc games are.
  • 17 Hide
    MasterMace , October 21, 2011 5:07 AM
    This is an instance of a company making a game for consoles and expecting it to work in PCs. This company will be abandoned by PC gamers, and it will settle in on the consoles. Eventually, they'll die off or change, just like the Red Faction series. This applies for the graphics and the quality of the game.
  • 15 Hide
    dbonetrain , October 21, 2011 5:29 AM
    Quote:
    Piracy doesn't make the PC world very atractive. Thats the only reason why game developers turn away from the PC, they dont make money.


    Carmack said they make for the consoles is for money. You are mistaken if you think piracy is what drives developers away from the PC.
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    MasterMace , October 21, 2011 5:07 AM
    This is an instance of a company making a game for consoles and expecting it to work in PCs. This company will be abandoned by PC gamers, and it will settle in on the consoles. Eventually, they'll die off or change, just like the Red Faction series. This applies for the graphics and the quality of the game.
  • -3 Hide
    amirp , October 21, 2011 5:18 AM
    I believe there may be a typo, 6570 should be 6670 in the charts? I'm not sure though.
  • 3 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , October 21, 2011 5:28 AM
    mmmm... poorly optimized console ports... does a body good.
  • 15 Hide
    dbonetrain , October 21, 2011 5:29 AM
    Quote:
    Piracy doesn't make the PC world very atractive. Thats the only reason why game developers turn away from the PC, they dont make money.


    Carmack said they make for the consoles is for money. You are mistaken if you think piracy is what drives developers away from the PC.
  • -2 Hide
    cbeermann , October 21, 2011 5:33 AM
    Any1 know why its running so bad on my PC. I have a Phenom X2 550 3.1 Ghz, and a HD 6950.According to this review, it should be able to run it fine but whenever im playing my CPU is at 100% and it runs choppy as hell. I've installed the new RAGE performance driver, as well as that 11.10 thing, neither helped. I added the cache folder for textures, still choppy. I am curious however, that since I have my Steam on my K drive and not on my C if that could be screwing with the cache, anyone know?
  • 20 Hide
    dlsmoker , October 21, 2011 5:43 AM
    You missing that console games too are downloaded "illegal", don't think that only pc games are.
  • 0 Hide
    Darkerson , October 21, 2011 6:03 AM
    This game was a big "meh" for me. Hopefully they do a better job on the next game they make.
  • 3 Hide
    rottingsheep , October 21, 2011 6:24 AM
    amazing!

    a phenom dual core is enough.
  • -6 Hide
    killerclick , October 21, 2011 6:25 AM
    MasterMaceThis company will be abandoned by PC gamers


    You mean Bethesda? I've already broken up with my girlfriend so I don't have to make up illnesses when Skyrim comes out on 11.11.11

    Or did you mean id Software? In which case you're right, they can go to hell.
  • 3 Hide
    cleeve , October 21, 2011 6:26 AM
    amirpI believe there may be a typo, 6570 should be 6670 in the charts? I'm not sure though.


    Nope, it's actually a Radeon 6570 GDDR5.

    Think 6670 with lower clocks, performs close to the 5670. :) 
  • 3 Hide
    KelvinTy , October 21, 2011 7:12 AM
    I like most of the mechanics of the game, like the little bit of RPG, driving, mixing into the FPS environment we all love.
    ----------------Spoiler-----------------
    However, gameplay-wise, the ending is really bad, the progression was great before you enter the subway town (3rd / final town). Also, it seems like the headshots aren't very rewarding... You can empty a clip of "steel tip" AR rounds into a thug and he just walk it off like nothing... Invisibility frame maybe?? WingSticks are the way to go in harder difficulty... It is very confusing when you can't kill someone with two shotgun shells to the head... but obviously, a wingstick would just one hit ko him... The ending... really? It's like the author died and someone from another country picked it up and finished it... with two lines...
    I played the PC version, and frankly, like a lot of modern games, it's like freaking unplayable... aim assists is always on, next to none (aka console graphics settings) available, and with the original release of the game... just try using the mouse in the menu... you will feel as if you just pirated the developer's pre-release version. It's somewhat like the BF3 beta...
    BTW, it isn't that hard to get work arounds, like enabling consoles to fix some of the problems, but then you would lose the achievements...
    I can't say all other games are release perfectly... but look at COD6, 7, Crysis, warhead, 2, and dragon age 2... They don't seem to have that much problem... IN COMPARISON WITH SinglePlayer EXPERIENCE...
  • 1 Hide
    cactus45 , October 21, 2011 7:28 AM
    AMD just released the 11.10 version 3 driver. Which one was used in this review?
  • 1 Hide
    lokii_0 , October 21, 2011 8:08 AM
    I loved Fallout 3. This game is nowhere near as good. I've played for a few hours, and frankly it's just boring. I feel no desire to go back to it.
    The only good thing about this game is that the engine, with a little tweaking and in the hands of someone competent, could be used to create something awesome.
    Essentially, Rage is the same old boring rehash of several other FPS titles but with nothing especially memorable or interesting. At least Borderlands gave you solid multiplayer. And FO3 gave you great immersion, an actually open world, interesting characters, actual plot choices, the list could go on and on. Actually, comparing this to FO3 is like comparing a Snickers bar to a 6 course chef's tasting menu. Just not even in the same ballpark.
    This game is utterly disappointing, and I will not be buying anything from ID again.
  • 1 Hide
    noko , October 21, 2011 8:34 AM
    How about eyefinity and surround gaming? This game looks ripe for such a setup with the high quality background plus great performance tuning.
  • 3 Hide
    de5_Roy , October 21, 2011 8:49 AM
    one more game that uses multiple cores and plays nice with lower end graphics cards \o/.
    i wonder how much load was on the cpus and their cores during gameplay(core i5 vs core i3).
    imo not all console ports are bad (gta: sa), but some are painfully bad (gta 3). rage seems to be one of the much better ones.
  • 2 Hide
    Th-z , October 21, 2011 8:52 AM
    Anyone else notices all four cards exhibit similar uneven framerate/stutter in the video on page 3. Is this happening when you actually play the game or it only occurs after outputting to video?

    Don, do yo have GPU Transcoding On in your CPU benchmarks (page 8)?
  • 14 Hide
    Formata , October 21, 2011 9:13 AM
    I think all these PC games being released half baked is one of the biggest factors with piracy. Why would you pay good money for something that doesn't work as it should? A few bugs here and there is absolutely understandable, but the last few games I have purchased Rage, NBA2K12, Deus Ex HR were not finished titles on release day. I am feeling like I should download, test, then purchase just to ensure I'm not getting ripped off.
  • 5 Hide
    Goldengoose , October 21, 2011 10:04 AM
    FormataI think all these PC games being released half baked is one of the biggest factors with piracy. Why would you pay good money for something that doesn't work as it should? A few bugs here and there is absolutely understandable, but the last few games I have purchased Rage, NBA2K12, Deus Ex HR were not finished titles on release day. I am feeling like I should download, test, then purchase just to ensure I'm not getting ripped off.


    I feel the same way - i don't feel good about downloading a game i respect, but i know it's a port then i'm not going to risk my cash on a half a job game.
  • 2 Hide
    silverblue , October 21, 2011 10:08 AM
    de5_royi wonder how much load was on the cpus and their cores during gameplay(core i5 vs core i3).


    Good question.

    Regardless of how underwhelming the game might be for those people with multiple graphics cards and higher end processors, I can't help but smile when I think that my X3 710 and 4830 could handle this game.
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