Road Rage Review: Broken

“Road Rage” crashes just about as much as you will be when playing it.

“Road Rage,” developed by Maximum Games (Troll and I,) is an unfortunate attempt at what has already been perfected before. The game presents a world of unforgiving motorcycle gangs on the prowl for money, women, and power. Little irony intended, the concept is harmless enough, but unfortunately everything else isn’t. From game-breaking bugs to limited gameplay, this is a project that is fundamentally broken.

In “Road Rage,” you play as a motorcycle gang member trying to survive in a world where the law is second to authority, and it is your job to gain power and street cred by completing missions. The story takes a backseat to the rest of the game, and the only time the story is brought up are through phone calls in between missions. These calls include the worst voice acting of any game this year. The exaggerated accents and stereotypes destroy any subtilty a good voice-acting performance is supposed to have. The audio is too low for phone calls, so if you raise the volume during these segments, be prepared to get an ear-blast full of in-game music when ending the calls. Speaking of the in-game music, be prepared to listen to the same five or so tracks throughout the game’s entirety. The soundtrack consists of stock rock band music. If you’re not hearing the same song, you’re hearing one similar to it. This really drowns out the experience and further emphasizes the game’s incredibly bland overworld.

No amount of patches can save this game technically. Right out of the gate you will experience graphical glitches, frame drops, and wall phasing. Cars will load quite literally out of thin air. The presentation makes for a buggy, incomplete disaster. The game was originally intended for a 2016 release but was instead delayed to late 2017. It seems that another year of development would’ve saved this game on a technical level. They could’ve also added more music choices, and definitely more mission types.

There are 42 story-based missions and 56 side missions, however you’ll soon realize that you’re essentially playing three mission types about thirty-three times each. This includes police chases, assassinations and races, and they all have exclusive flaws. Police chase missions have no real consequence; the A.I is extremely poor. You have to be caught, or in this case rammed into, three or four times in order to be busted. However, you only have to be away from their line of sight for thirty seconds, so there’s no real threat. On the flipside, games like “Grand Theft Auto” offers a perfect example of how to design these missions where the suspense of being caught is real, because the police were adaptive and the risks of getting busted were significant. With a fixed A.I., only having to be busted once and a longer required escape time, these chaotic missions could have been a lot more fun.

Assassination missions require you to take out an assigned amount of motorcyclists. With a poor hit detection, hitting your enemy feels completely randomized. On top of that, targeting on a specific enemy creates a disconnect from the world around you so you’ll likely ram into a wall before you’re able to hit your target. These maps aren’t linear either; you’ll be making lots of turns so your chances of hitting something and exploding skyrockets. There is a slowdown effect when hitting innocent civilians, which should be implemented for enemies as well to possibly fix this problem.

Lastly there are the races. The maps are a selected area of the overworld. However the races drag on for too long. Top this with the game’s technical issues and you’ll find yourself losing these drawn out races without it being your fault. This really puts the ‘Rage’ in “Road Rage.” Making the laps shorter would help, but fundamentally speaking there’s no reason to go to this game for its races. Games like the “Need for Speed” series, which also includes well executed police chases, has continued to perfect the racing genre thanks to its unique storytelling and engaging race tracks. For “Road Rage” to have even competed, they would need to have done something spontaneous. It instead barely holds up as a basic racing game.

“Road Rage” is a bad game, period. You can try to patch the game’s glitches, but it doesn’t change the mediocre gameplay. It simply isn’t fun; the maps are frustratingly long and all feel the same, the visuals are reminiscent of PlayStation2, the mechanics aren’t engaging and technically speaking it feels far from finished.

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