I said it once, and I’ll say it again.  You haven’t seen shit until you’ve played RAGE.

Not only have id Software and Bethesda Softworks gone above and beyond my expectations for the title, they’ve given new life to the FPS genre in so many ways that it no longer feels stale.  In this day and age, there’s so many first person shooters that try to differentiate themselves from the crowd, but ultimately fail to be nothing more than decent.  However, with RAGE – this isn’t the case.  In fact, it’s safe to say that RAGE is the best FPS I’ve ever played.

RAGE tells the story of how a new civilization has risen after an asteroid strikes, forcing the survivors to build settlements out of what’s left in the bleak world.  At the start of the game, you’ll find yourself being preserved inside an underground shelter called the Ark.  After being released, you’re quickly rescued by one of the survivors from a near by settlement.  From here on out, you must help the resistance against the hostile factions that threaten you and the rest of mankind.  And so RAGE begins.

First and foremost, RAGE is the most beautiful game I’ve ever laid eyes upon.  In no sense of exaggeration, the game is simply gorgeous in nearly every aspect.  It’s very clear that id paid extreme attention to detail as literally nothing goes unnoticed.  The character models in particular are absolutely stunning even down to the slightest details.  I’m not talking about just the main characters, every single NPC in the game is top notch.  There’s dirt in their bloody fingernails.

The overall design of the wasteland, buildings, interiors, characters, vehicles, enemies and weapons give RAGE that sense of realism I’ve been longing for in a post-apocalyptic title.  It truly gives you that feeling of a lone wolf doing whatever you must to survive.  Not only that, but RAGE also runs at a perfect 60 frames per second, making the overall gameplay experience incredible.

RAGE is easily the best looking console game ever made.

While all of this sounds amazing, and believe me, it is – RAGE suffers from one major problem that specifically applies to the Xbox 360 crowd.  You will need to install the game if you want to enjoy the same beautiful, seamless experience I did. Without installation, the game suffers tremendously from an immense amount of pop-ins, sound delays, and frame rate issues.  However, once installed, these issues disappear 100% and not once will you have to deal with anything but a few unnoticeable pop-ins.  So, plan on clearing a ton of room on your HDD if you want the best possible experience.  But I digress…

RAGE is a FPS at heart, but it does offer some RPG type elements that overall make the game more satisfying.  After spending quite some time helping out the resistance, building your first buggy, and acquiring an arsenal, you’ll be offered a choice between three classes that offer unique abilities which favor different aspects of the game such as engineering.  As you venture through the wasteland doing multiple quest and side jobs, you’ll come across various items to collect and enemies to loot. While every human enemy in the game can be looted for items, the mutants unfortunately cannot.

Some items may be junk to simply sell for extra cash, other items can be used to build all sorts of secondary items to use in battle.  These vary from; RC Cars with bombs attached, sentry turrets and bots, healing items, or even lock grinders to bust down inaccessible doors… assuming you have the schematics to create them of course.  Some of these schematics will be given to you, others must be bought or found.  What makes this system so fascinating is how id choose to handle the inventory and buying/selling system.

Upon entering a shop, each item within the store and your inventory will be labeled.  Junk items will be shown with a dollar sign indicating it’s nothing of use and primarily sold only for money.  Other items will specify what they can be used for – such as building an RC Car.  These aren’t basic schematics either.  Just finding an RC Car and a bomb won’t cut it, you’ll need to find wiring and electrical kits as well.  Even if you can’t find these items while you’re exploring, chances of the local shops stocking the parts you need is very high.  However, if you want a load of cash and want to feel safe in the wasteland, your best bet is to explore and collect whatever you can, wherever you can.