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RAGE Patched

Steam News has details on a new patch for RAGE that's now automatically available to update id Software's first -person shooter. The lengthy patch notes go into extreme detail on what the patch does, as it offers access to many graphics settings not present in the release version of the game. Here's the into which explains this:

RAGE defaults to lower video settings to allow the game to work on a wide variety of hardware and software configurations. Unfortunately, it is not possible to anticipate all possible graphics driver issues in combination with unique end user hardware and software configurations. For this reason RAGE does not automatically increase video/graphics settings as this could result in negative side effects on specific hardware and software configurations. The original release of RAGE does not expose many video/graphics options for people to tweak because some of these settings, although desirable from a quality perspective, simply will not work on specific configurations either due to hardware limitations and/or driver bugs. Due to popular demand for more video and graphics options, this patch updates the video settings menu and exposes several quality and performance settings. However, not everyone may be able to increase the settings due to hardware limitations and/or driver bugs.

The Bethesda Blog summarizes the patch notes:

  • Implemented workaround for AMD driver crash right after intro cinematic on Win 7 32-bit systems.
  • Disabled UBOs because they are causing animation issues with AMD drivers. Don’t allow swap-tear to be enabled on AMD while the extension is not exposed because it may crash.
  • Support for new video settings: “texture cache”, “vsync”, and ”anisotropic filter”
  • Automatically adjust vt_maxPPF based on the number of available cores.
  • Improved performance for SLI cards when GPU transcode is enabled.
  • Fix for GPU Transcoding option being disabled after exiting gameplay.
  • Added safe mode to restore video settings to default values.
  • Allow g_fov to be changed from the RAGE launch options in Steam.
  • Server now forwards text chat from clients to all other clients while in-game.

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94. Re: RAGE Patched Oct 13, 2011, 10:56 Creston
CreamyBlood wrote on Oct 13, 2011, 02:54:
Or will it disappoint me like Crysis 2 and innumerable others, and not really be an FPS after all the effort? I really don't care about the graphics but just want to play a fun FPS that isn't nerfed down to complete boredom. My keyboard still has S and F keys, I don't need to hide behind boxes and play shooting gallery games disguised as shooters. I just want to run around and kill stuff while being stressed out.

It's a pure FPS. There's really nothing more to Rage than that. Yes, there are a few minigames, and there's an actually decent racing system (though apparently id are of the opinion that Rocket Rally is the shit, and thus the large majority of races are rocket rallys which has shit-all to do with racing), but the core is just plain, old-school shooting.

The shooting is fun for awhile, but I'm getting really bored with it near the end, mostly because the AI is just so utterly DULL. It will do one of two things to engage you:

1) Run straight at you. (melee enemies always do that, and very occasionally a ranged enemy will do it.)
2) Sit behind cover and peek out/fire in the exact same three animations, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. And again. And again. And again.

Get the idea? In areas where you're engaging three/four dudes at the same time, you'll quite often see them all do the exact same animation behind cover at the same time, which makes it more like synchronized ballet than anything else.

From time to time they'll switch from one area of cover to another, but mostly they do this at a random interval, not because doing so makes any kind of sense whatsoever. The AI will happily run from great cover to an area of cover where it's 80% exposed. While it's nice that it abandons cover so things speed up a little, the knowledge that it did so purely arbitrarily does make you frown a bit.

So if you play at a reasonable difficulty level, most battles wind up with you ducking behind a wall, coming out, taking a few potshots at enemy A who is behind cover, watch him duck back behind cover, wait until he comes back out, take a few more shots, repeat until he's dead (which takes around 20 hits, no joke.) then move on to enemy B. Then repeat that for literally 20000 enemies. And enemies come in exactly three varieties:

1) Bandits
2) Armored bandits/Authority.
3) Mutants.

Bandits are of the 'id-bullet-sponge' variety, never mind the armored bandits one. You do have several options for armor piercing ammo, but even when using AP rounds, enemies still take a good dozen hits before they die. Every enemy requires at LEAST three shots right in the face from an assault rifle to die.

Fighting mutants is actually really awesome because they'll try to swarm you with large numbers, and they don't sit behind cover and wait, and they die from about half the shots the bandits do. So they're just infinitely more fun. Sadly, they tend to all attack you across the same waypoint, so just standing at the end of that waypoint path with 200 rounds of buckshot means that you'll mow down entire hordes of mutants without ever breaking a sweat.

And that's really the whole story of Rage. Even at higher difficulty levels, unless you rush forward and deliberately run into a group of enemies, you're never really in danger. There's never really a sense of "Oh shit, I'm so fucked..."

There was one area where I got locked into a small area and two armored bosses came at me, and that was the first time (and only time) that I genuinely was a bit scared, because those guys kill you pretty quickly, and it was damn hard to avoid them in cramped quarters.

Everywhere else, the AI just sits there, waiting for you to potshot it to a very, very, very, very, very, very slow death. For an id shooter, it's just weirdly static. Where's all the run and gun that was the hallmark of Doom and Quake? If you ever stood still in Doom, you'd wind up being fragmeat. Here, you'll be standing still 99% of the time.

The crafting system is fun and it does make battles more varied. You do have a staggering variety of weaponry at your disposal (Blessedly with no weapon limit and an absurdly generous ammo limit, hurray!), so you can definitely use a bunch of different ways to engage your enemies. Unleashing two armored spiderbots is fantastic, as is setting up multiple killzones with sentry turrets, then sneaking an RC car bomb around the battlefield to nail enemies in the back.

The problem is that you never HAVE to do this. You'll do it because it's fun and because you want to, not because you ever feel that you need to use everything at your disposal just to survive.

I think, in hindsight, Rage would be a lot more fun if you put it at the lowest diff level, and just run and gun into every battle, throwing bots and wingsticks, blasting rockets and tossing grenades.

At a higher diff level, it just gets bland and forgettable.

Rage is the first game in YEARS where I'm doing missions and I'm like "Shit, is it not over yet?" Which, for me, is crazy. I LOVE 100+ hours games. I normally never want them to end. My first DE:HR playthrough took ~65 hours, and I was sad when it was over.

I'm 17 hours into Rage and I just want it to be over already.


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