It has been what it seems like eons awaiting console iteration of Rage. John Carmack has had this jewel within arsenal now poised to strike consoles with its amazing physics dynamics and visuals. When I think of Rage i see the wonders of mega textures and beautifully animated mutant psycho paths chasing you around with various weapons in an plethora of detail. Id Software’s debut for IOS is finally here allowing us into a peak of there twisted world and its visually stunning. It seems Id Software was very critical with giving due respect to its bigger brother iterations soon due out engine wise and it shows.“Rage HD” initially struck me first time I saw it in motion, giving the player a hasty story line from Mutant Bash TV which is the station that captures everything in the PC version of Rage. Think of them as your one way news station for the abomonations The atmosphere of Rage HD is a bit different then the PC iteration, in Rage HD you follow a scenario that reminds me of the episode of Mojo from the X-men series where a “contestant” aka slave must play a gladiator style game of kill or be killed to gain money and freedom. Indeed the plot of the game is rather thin but then again does it have to be in depth?, in reality you’re here to shoot everything on screen and for the most part you’re in for a great ride , and that’s where it may be Rage HDs biggest let down.
Rage is a FPS, as we all know but it’s hard for me to regard Rage HD in the same aspect. When you take a look at the screen shots , you want to instantly be there running around dodging mutants hurling random bricks at you. This insanity is best served by shooting their guts out with the best weapons you can pick up or obtain during the transition scenes ( be prepared because transition scenes happen fast). If you remember my Infinity Blade review this game shares the same “shock in awe” appeal of amazing HD visuals blessing an IOS device but alas restricted movement based on a rail system for movement. So when I say you’re in for a ride, well ….you most definitely are whether you like it or not. This aspect of the game doesn’t make me feel like I’m playing an amazing FPS, rather it makes me feel like I’m playing Virtua Cop or something of that nature. This to me is the biggest let down of Rage HD. I often wonder if as im playing if this game had freedom of movement it would’ve caused me to have a conniption. I do remember the quotes from when this game was released stating that it was as experimental release, so in that respect I guess one could state that it’s a great showing of what may come in the future. The engine in this game is as amazing as Infinity Blade and thus far dwarfs all others in the same FPS genre on IOS.
To be honest the first thing i noticed about Rage HD is the beautiful engine that has blessed IOS yet once again. The frame rates are smooth even when going back & forth with multitasking. Frame rates are consistent and being the HD version (I phone 4) everything is very sharp and the atmosphere is rendered really well and superior in detail to many games i have played on my PSP GO in some aspects. Rage as a title has always had a huge niche in the rendering of enemies coming at you detail wise, and im pleased to say that in this game you will be impressed that this is on a iphone just as much as Infinity Blade when you first saw it. The enemies have very impressive animation characteristics from the initial jumping on the screen to the actual attack , the animations are very impressive from a mobile standpoint . It seems that other developers seem to have forgotten great animation when it comes to 3D AI on a mobile phone platform, kudos to Id Software for there talents in this respect. One of the things that set this game aside from games like NOVA and the BFBC games on IOS is the sound.
The sound in this game is beyond impressive for a mobile title. It does a great job of getting you immersed into what seems to be a chaotic repeatative turn based shoot em up. Regardless of what you’re doing from the start up menu to engaging mutants, listening to the game on any decent bass driven headsets like my Skull Candy Full Metal Jacket or Bose Noise Cancelling headphones will make you admire the gun shots and numerous grunts. The grunts from the AI due tend to become redundant as you replay this game over and over, but in that same respect its replay value is in my view medicore after all is done and witnessed. Rage HD is one of the first FPS IOS games have seen that has paid attention to great sound design by far for a mobile title.
Rage HD is no cake walk when it comes to gameplay. This has to be one of the hardest short games I have played in a while on my IOS device. The issue I have is that you can’t block an attack or deflect everything that comes at you, so your left with the basic instinct of shooting everything strategically that comes at you that takes the most health and then address the other lesser enemies. Certain baddies have you literally dodging rocks while some charge at you from mid distance while close enemies pop up right on the screen for a devestating blow. Its the chaos we all come to accept as fun and more importantly a challenge for those who care to really get into this games scoring system. With the scoring system you are always in competetion with the clock vs your kill ratio. During the missions you collect money by using the shooting button to collect everything from ammo to bull’s eye markers which give you extra points and perks. The game has been updated to include gyroscope support and tweaks including museum mode which I almost thought I was going to get some freedom of movement. It doesn’t allow that but it does give you some time to enjoy the world of Rage HD without getting hounded by mutants. One thing to highlight about Rage HD is the pace of the game. Just like its bigger brother version, the speed and intense think fast moments is one of the main aspects of game play with the world of Rage HD. This will have you making fast descisions honing your skills on what weapon is best for the scene and what power ups to get before the transition scenes take you somewhere else.
My short video synopsis of Rage HD ( View in HD )
Rage HD is a great game/demo and a sign of whats to come from ID Software on the IOS platform. I must also mention that on a Ipad someone may think your streaming Onlive or some form of remote play when they bask in the visuals that seem to have transcended current specialized portable gaming platforms in every respect. Battling foward for achievements, I myself replay episode 3 daily and I can honestly say it’s an awesome purchase. These premier titles for IOS are really raising the bar to unrivaled visuals not found on any other mobile hardware from Android devices to the PSP & DS scene. It’s amazing what Bethesda and ID have done with this experiment. And from the amazing sales of Rage HD earning the top spot in the app store pretty much until Infinity Blade was released, I can only imagine what is to come. But while I’m waiting I do hope that these premier titles all do not just take us for a ride on rails, it’s a beautiful thing to be on a tour to witness that amazing sites of the wastelands in Rage HD, but for some gamers it would be even more enjoyable if one was able to get off the bus and chase down a mutant with your shotgun.
Rage HD is available in HD (1.99) and STD (.99) flavors in the iTunes store
Update – V1.11 Features Game Center Leader boards to compare your daily, weekly and all-time scores with friends and global leaders. Game Center Achievements with more than 50 unique unlocks with career, map and difficultly specific challenges. Gyroscope support (iPhone 4 & iPod touch 4), Museum Mode, 2nd Display Support and Mirror Mod
Tech & Development Links John Carmacks Blog on Rage HD devleopment http://bethblog.com/index.php/2010/10/29/john-carmack-discusses-rage-on-iphoneipadipod-touch
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