id Software's first original IP since the launch of Quake back in 1996, RAGE, officially hit stores shelves as of early Tuesday morning/ late Monday night at the stroke of midnight. John Carmack (CTO), Tim Willits (Creative Director), Matt Hooper (Design Director) and many other key members of the RAGE team even camped out at the Gamestop store in Mesquite, TX to sign the game boxes of numerous giddy fans.
But not even 12 hours later, PC gamers are already lashing out (Steam, NeoGAF), calling RAGE a "broken mess." The biggest complaints describe intense screen-tearing, poor texture loading and numerous other glitches. Most of the problems reportedly revolve around AMD customers, but Nvidia patrons are also having their fair share of issues as well. Even Alec Meer from Rock, Paper, Shotgun says that he's seeing quite a few technical problems on his PC to the point where he isn't even sure he can keep playing.
"Sounds like I’m not alone either," he writes. "The ‘megatextures’ streaming texture system is horribly noticeable. If I spin to camera to look 90 or 180 or more degrees in the other direction, for a split second half the world is blurry and featureless, before the impressively detailed textures pop into sight. It’s really, really distracting, I must say."
Naturally the first thing out of id Software's mouth early Tuesday morning was to make sure the GPU drivers are up to date. Apparently that's the default damage control statement even though most of us have enough intelligence to install the latest drivers when they're released (unless you're on a laptop and installing drivers directly from AMD or Nvidia screws up the entire system, forcing you to wait on the OEM to maybe perhaps someday update their OEM drivers -end rant).
"Everyone, make sure you have latest Nvidia/Ati drivers to play Rage!" John Carmack commands on Twitter.
On the AMD front, the company has actually launched a new, off-schedule graphics driver called the "Catalyst Rage Performance Driver." This release supports Radeon HD 6000 and HD 5000 series cards and is supposed to bring "significant performance gains for single GPU configurations." Unfortunately, this driver is only for Windows 7 users, and there are reports that it hasn't resolved any of the current issues. So far Nvidia hasn't released an optimized driver for its GPUs, but stay tuned.
Despite the issues, the game seems to be doing reasonably well with the critics, receiving an 82 average across all three platforms. "This latest game delivers a huge, exhilarating and gratifying adventure - but a few technical glitches and missing multiplayer modes prevent it from being a perfect pick," reports USA Today.
Seen below is actual footage uploaded to YouTube by a Steam forum member. It shows slow texture loading as he looks left and right. "This is just plain ridiculous," KnaveSkye writes. "I don’t have a beast of a machine, but I can run most games at near maximum settings with a decent frame rate. The fact this game gives you almost no options for graphics makes this kind of performance pretty unacceptable."
Unlike previous games released by id Software, RAGE doesn't offer options to tweak the game's graphics. Instead, the engine reportedly benchmarks and tweaks "invisible settings" to suit the hardware and overall performance. Users can only tweak the resolution, anti-aliasing and gamma.