Just add mutants
There is no doubting the visual presence of RAGE. For an iPhone game it looks stunning, even on the 3GS version. The iPhone 4 version is up there with Epic Citadel as one of the most impressive iPhone games so far.
The game is set in the RAGE universe, a near future post-Armageddon world, and essentially within Mutant Bash TV, a TV game show which involves shooting mutants and gathering money for prizes. As such it’s a world within a world and a good entry for presenting the universe of the forthcoming console game, even going so far as the introduction video being an advert for it.
What this actually boils down to in terms of gameplay is an on-rails shooter where you tilt the screen to aim and touch to fire. To help against the horde of mutants you have three weapons, a handgun, shotgun and Machine Gun, which get picked up as you progress along with extra bullets which have to be shot to be picked up. Health packs and bonus cash can also be picked up in the same way, though it’s a constant struggle between shooting the oncoming horde and getting time to shoot the items.
Presentation and graphics allow this game to rise above the millions of on-rail shooters out there. The game show host is constantly commenting on your progress with witty asides as you battle ever increasing waves of mutants. The level design gives plenty of room for surprise attacks and you’ll need to keep your wits about you as one enemy comes from behind while another throws rocks.
With only three sections to play through; Tenements, Asylum and the Bunker, it won’t take long to reach the end of the game on a normal difficulty level. Luckily, there are 4 difficulty levels to choose from and also a score board which allows for some level of replay value. But then the main aim of this game is really to show off the game engine and, if we were being cynical here, to advertise the console game.
Purely as a game RAGE affords good entertainment while it lasts, but it lacks any sort of depth to keep you coming back after you complete it. Using it as a way to show off the iPhone 4’s graphics the HD version becomes far easier to recommend. If you go into this knowing what to expect then you’re going to be far more enamoured by the game. It’s like a roller-coaster in a beautiful looking theme-park, the ride is thrilling while it lasts and the scenery is great but it’s over quickly.
In short, RAGE is a real example of style over substance but entertaining with it.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 10
- Gameplay: 7
- Longevity: 7
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