Rail shooter RAGE shows off iPhone’s capabilities

Nov 28, 2010
Games

The first of hopefully several iOS games set in the universe of id Software’s upcoming PC and console first-person shooter, RAGE, RAGE: Mutant Bash TV is a rail shooter that can make hardcore gamers very hopeful for the future of gaming on the iPhone. The on-rails iOS shooter won’t be much akin to id’s PC […]

The first of hopefully several iOS games set in the universe of id Software’s upcoming PC and console first-person shooter, RAGE, RAGE: Mutant Bash TV is a rail shooter that can make hardcore gamers very hopeful for the future of gaming on the iPhone.

The on-rails iOS shooter won’t be much akin to id’s PC powerhouse when it is released, however – instead, Mutant Bash TV distills that game into one of its key elements. The player takes part in a post-apocalyptic game show, and your only goal is to aim your gun and kill whatever’s coming at you, while occasionally shooting at bullseyes scattered around the map, or ammo, health and cash pickups.

RAGE only includes three guns to do your fighting with: a high-powered shotgun, mid-range useful AK-47 and default pistol. It’s unfortunate that there’s not more you can use, because while each gun has its uses, you won’t switch between them much if you do a good job budgeting your ammo and picking headshots, at least on the middle difficulty setting. That’s a shame, because a little more tactical demand would be nice. You get that experience when you amp up the difficulty, but the tradeoff is an experience that can be tough to be good enough to play.

On the plus side, id has really nailed iPhone-specific tilt controls. The touch aiming is a little infuriating (as your thumb drags over the screen, blocking your view and often accidentally hitting the “pause” button), but the default-style tilt-controlled aiming really takes the game up a notch. It’s tough to master, but oh so satisfying, and it gives the whole experience a much more physical, exciting feel.

The big downfall of RAGE is that it’s short – only three levels – and that makes it feel more like a tech demo for id’s iOS capabilities than a full-fledged game. Buyer beware: Much of the dissatisfaction I’ve been reading about when it comes to RAGE is its length, even though it’s priced really well at 99 cents for the regular version and $1.99 for the HD (iPad and retina-capable) version. Still, there’s a lot of first-person shooter fun to be had here.

Search for more

Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

    Home Apps Games