Single Status Update
* The beginning of the game is better than I remembered, but the end of the game is worse. This is the opposite from when I played Doom 3 recently, where the beginning of the game was worse than I remembered but the end was better.
* The megatextures generally look TERRIBLE. I can see a lot of artistry went into the world but everything looks like a blurry low-resolution overcompressed JPEG. Carmack's reach clearly exceeded his grasp with it. Too bad we'll never get a "high resolution pack" - even a texture pack that just made all the textures less compressed, even without a resolution boost, would probably help a lot.
* The further you play, the more clear it is how desperate they were to reuse content. Basically every "side mission" in the game has you go back to an already-played level that has been repopulated with enemies and you play through it backwards. After a few instances, it gets real obvious what they were up to.
* The car combat stuff is so fucking tacked-on and pointless. I'm glad I could basically ignore it for the most part.
* Several levels are almost exclusively populated with "mutants" which are melee-only and go down with one shotgun blast. Playing through those levels is the worst sort of generic shooting-gallery garbage.
* That said, the actual physical level design is probably the best aspect of the game. It's all 100% linear but it's done very tightly and organically with lots of looping around and seeing areas behind / ahead of you as you go.
* I saved up a bunch of money and bought the materials to craft literally 500 pop rockets, which are explosive grenade rounds for your shotgun that kill every normal endgame enemy in one direct hit, which made the last level hilariously trivial. In general, the ability to purchase 999 rounds for a weapon makes the weapons super unbalanced and many of them largely pointless. Why use weapon XYZ when I have effectively unlimited sniper rifle rounds and can just creep through a level killing everything from a distance?
* The BFG SUCKS.
* I had forgotten just how hilariously sudden the ending of the game is. It's super clear that the game must have originally had a three-act structure, where Wellspring was Act 1, Subway Town was Act 2, and then... something else... was Act 3. But then they realized they were running low on time / resources and so they decided to cut all of Act 3 and just sort of graft the final level onto the Subway Town world map. It's like if you were playing Half-Life 2, and at the end of Nova Prospekt where you and Alyx go through a teleporter, that was just the ending.
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The hard work, of course, is making this happen smoothly / automatically.
...which is something I don't think they ever truly figured out with idTech 5, unfortunately. Texture streaming was a huge issue in Rage -- especially when it first came out -- where you'd see textures pop in around you just from looking around. Still seemed to be an issue in newer titles like The Old Blood, albeit to a lesser extreme.
Rage had the voice of Spike, heh.
One good thing I can say about Rage was the movement patterns of the melee enemies; it was cool watching them climb the pipes, railings, and walls like monkeys on their way to you.
The reuse of areas a second time and the ending were the biggest turn-offs to me. The reuse of areas wasn't inherently bad, but reusing every one the exact same, except backwards was more an insult than bonus content, lol. The TV show was fun the first few times around, but as with most things in the game, once you got used to the enemies' movement patterns (and of course the thing never changed) it became way too easy, even on the hardest difficulty. The ending would have been a bit better if there were a boss or something climactic to kill instead of small waves of enemies you've already fought; the use of the second CD just for that final area was... a cruel joke, heh.