I bought Rage the day it was released in Korea. Finally I played it yesterday. And tomorrow I am selling it back to get a discount on Forza 4.
Official game description (to put things in context if you don't know about Rage):
RAGE is a groundbreaking first-person shooter set in the not-too-distant future after an asteroid impacts Earth, leaving a ravaged world behind. You emerge into this vast wasteland to discover humanity working to rebuild itself against such forces as raider gangs, mutants, and the Authority, an oppressive government regime that has a special interest in you in particular. Featuring intense first-person action, vehicle combat, an expansive world and jaw-dropping graphics powered by id's revolutionary idTech 5 technology. RAGE promises an experience like no other. Fearing a planet-wide extinction from a massive asteroid headed towards Earth, world leaders are faced with the inexorable task of ensuring human survival. Left with few alternatives, life-sustaining pods filled with select people are buried deep beneath the earth's surface. You are one of the chosen members of these modern day arks and abruptly enter the RAGE universe after surfacing alone. Leaving you to your own devices to stay alive in a world filled with those who prefer you dead, RAGE combines powerful storytelling with heart-pounding action.
My conclusion after my brief experience with the game:
Graphics from the future, gameplay from the past. FPS with fetch-quests punctuated by fun but under-exploited vehicle rides.
You can continue reading but this is basically just the same thing expressed with more words:)
This game was a title I had much expectation for. It's been a few years since id software released a game. They invented FPS with Wolfenstein 3D, then the Doom series.
Then comes Rage: it's clearly the most beautiful game I have seen running on my Xbox360. And knowing it runs in 60 frame per second is quite astonishing given the level and finesse of details.
That's for the graphics. But to make a good game, you need a bit more than that. Which I didn't find in this game. There are many good ideas, like the vehicles you can use to travel the wasteland, the weapons you can upgrade, etc. But my main gripe is that the game feels like the developers who invented FPS didn't catch up with current FPS and are nowhere near to beating them. The first game that comes to my mind is Gears of War 3: I thought the scenario was just okay but without much surprise and subtlety. Well, in comparison to Rage, it looks like a masterpiece of storytelling.
People often compare Rage to Borderlands and Fallout 3. Apart from a post-apocalyptic setting and a first-person view, these games have not much in common with Rage. Fallout has a real scenario and a vast open environment (not just "dungeons" linked by roads like in Rage). Borderlands has a real loot system, where you can actually pick the weapons and items dropped by enemies (not just items you have to resell to merchants in town to make money to buy ammo). Rage has better graphics than both in my opinion, but if graphics are good to sell a game (obviously...), they don't make a game. And when graphics are that good, it's all the more disappointing that the rest is not up to the same standard of excellence.
I am writing this rant/review because it's the first time I am so disappointed with a game. I was actually bored and could care less for the NPCs, their purpose in life or their requests. It's the first time I feel this total lack of interest in pushing the experience further.
My feeling right now is that I can think of many other FPS or RPGs to play instead of Rage: Fallout 3, Borderlands, Halo Reach, Gears of War and soon COD MW3 and Battlefield 3.
There are quite good reviews for the game from IGN and GameSpot: given how their previews of the game and "exclusive" hands-on previews are advertised on Rage's official website, you have to wonder about their objectivity.
For my part, I find the Joystiq review the most accurate and reflecting the most my own opinion.
[Edit]: I indeed purchased Forza 4 and having a blast with it!... but I didn't resell Rage. I decided (after calming down) that I would keep it and give it another shot later.