Rage: A Glitchy Game, Patched, Looks Much Better
It’s a real shame that Rage suffered some significant missteps at launch. It offers satisfying game play, attractive graphics, and meager performance requirements. In that regard, it would have been a very accessible title for mainstream and hardcore gamers alike. However, driver glitches stripped it of much-deserved glory on release.
The information we've seen suggests that id deserves at least some of the blame for keeping testing internal, although a botched driver release from AMD couldn't have helped. Had the graphics card manufacturers been given earlier access to Rage before launch, there's a fair chance both companies wouldn't have been left scrambling to release (and re-release) hardware drivers capable of enabling a positive experience. PC gamers could have enjoyed the title when it hit the shelves, just like console fans. Instead...well, we all know the story.
Even still, I liked Rage. Unlike Doom 3 and most of id's previous releases, Rage includes RPG elements, diverse FPS and driving components, and a solid narrative. In a world where Fallout and Borderlands already established a high standard for the post-apocalyptic open world genre, Rage manages to give its own two cents without coming across like a wannabe clone.
So what's the problem? From a PC perspective, we're bothered by the lack of control over visual results. It’s hard not to be hurt by id’s choices when computer gamers are all-too-often forced to put up with substandard console ports. When the company that put PC gaming on the map does the math and decides that consoles will make up more than two-thirds of its sales, relegating the PC to second-class citizen status, it feels like we’ve lost one of our greatest allies. Yes, we're pleased that the studio went back after the fact to add extra anisotropic filtering and texture resolution controls through a patch. But money talks, and id has shown us the direction it plans to take moving forward.
At the end of the day, Rage is still worth playing. In the days after its launch, both AMD and Nvidia (along with id) greatly improved the game's experience on a PC. Thanks to a fairly modest playability requirements on consoles, you don't need much PC firepower to push this one as far it'll go, too. Just make sure you grab the latest beta drivers, first.