Review: Road Rage? Not Quite.
Heading back a fair few years, one title that stood out for many of us older gamers, was Road Rage. Point to point racing on bikes with melee combat. An addictive game, and also rather good. Now we have Road Rage, and many people are calling it a spiritual successor to the series hoping that it can reclaim the glory days of Road Rage. Let’s find out what it’s actually like.
From watching the game boot up, I saw the Unreal 4 logo, which got me quite excited, as Unreal 4 is a powerful game engine, which many AAA titles tend to use rather than mid range to Indie games will. Still, I had high hopes and couldn’t wait to get stuck into the game. Then I started playing Road Rage, and it didn’t go too well. In fact, it was pretty much a downward spiral until I finished the game.
From the word go, the game looked and felt unfinished in all aspects. Washed out textures adorned the sandbox world, bad physics plagued the bike and cars filling up the roads, and it felt devoid of life. Sure pedestrians could be seen walking around, but for what’s supposed to be a city, it looked empty. Mostly due to the short draw distance. You’d need to get fairly close to have the people spawn in. Speaking of spawning in, I had many an instance where cars could be seen falling in to the map from mid air. Causing many collisions for myself.
The sandbox itself is actually diverse with 7 completely different and unique locations throughout Ashen City. You’re free to explore to your hearts content at any point in the game, but if an area isn’t open to you yet, prepare to receive a maximum wanted level. The story itself is progressed via texts received on your phone, which has some bad damage to the screen, which gets in the way when viewing the world map on your phone.
Aside from the story, which to be honest want the most exciting experience, there are side missions which are entirely optional for the most part, and you could essentially get away with ignoring them. Making them totally inconsequential to them game. Several different variations are available, from circuit racing to time trials and several others. They can be used to grind cash out for purchasing new bikes, upgrades and weapons. The upgrades do feel useful, except for the nitrous which doesn’t offer that sense of sudden speed you’d expect from a burst of power. Especially on a motorbike.
The physics for the vehicles within Road Rage just don’t feel right one bit. Then there was issues with the bike randomly getting stuck in the road and surprise explosions resulting in being respawned and facing the wrong way every time. Making a crash during any event time consuming to correct.
Having completed the game, and hoping for something along the lines of the Road Rage series, I was left feeling bitterly disappointed. The story behind Ashen City’s downfall and the resulting chaos didn’t grab my attention and left me wanting to rush through the voice acted cut scenes, where the quality of said acting was far from convincing. Road Rage quickly devolved into a drive here do that montage which continued throughout and I felt bored quickly, as I repeated the same missions over and over.
The audio was a generic rock music mixture, which whilst not the best in terms of quality, was also far from bad. It got repetitive due to a lack of variety, but I have certainly heard worse. One issue here, was that it overwhelmed the quiet sound effects of engine noise from bikes, and I don’t think I heard much from other vehicles. Unless they were up close and personal.
The amount of content in terms of bikes and weapons to unlock as the game progresses is generous. Each bike has its own set of stats, and plenty of upgrades to make races easier. Weapons seem to be just a cosmetic addition to the game, although I preferred to use the hockey stick due it’s long reach. Although the hit boxes of other vehicles and pedestrians especially, are well off. Often I’d see my weapon pass through unsuspecting civilians, or watch my bike explode when hitting nothing. Even scenery isn’t left out, with lamp posts giving no resistance, and sometimes the floor wasn’t even solid, allowing me to fall off the map.
To say Road Rage is unfinished and a disappointment is an understatement. I had high hopes for the game, and was looking forward to it from the moment I heard about it. Sloppy gameplay mechanics, poor textures and an uninspiring story combined to let me down. A crying shame, not only for me, but potential buyers.
Overall Score: 3/10
Publisher: Maximum Games
Release Date: 14th November 2017
File Size: 1.92GB
Available in Physical and Digital format
Available on: Xbox One, PlayStation 4 & Steam
Xbox One version supplies for review