Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rage HD (iPhone) review

What, has Id Software's new video game been leaked a year before the release!? No, but you will get a great preview on your iPhone.

John Carmack is a genius. What he does with his programming is nothing you can teach or even force out. He has a very rare talent whom few have. We have seen the results of it ever since Id Software became famous with Doom, revolutionized multiplayer with Quake and won every German game award for "Most Polygons" with the third game about the horrors of hell. Now, he intends to change the mobile market.

I read an interview with Carmack a few years ago where he described the happiness of finding his way back to his code roots, siting alone with a project and let your fingers do the magic with very limited basis. He also said that it would be very difficult to do a good shooter for mobile phones but with Rage HD he surprises everyone, probably also himself.

Rage HD is a full blown gaming experience and with classic Id-style, they push the technology without mercy. The nameless and always silent main character moves by himself, leaving you to control the sight which is done at the absolute best way I've ever experienced on the platform. To tilt the phone and let the gyro do the work sounds like a bad solution in advance, but once you get started, it feels very natural. It's also possible to control the sight by dragging your finger, which works great as well. In the corners of the screen, you will find buttons to shoot, reload and switch weapons. Simple but very effective.

With that information, you're ready to participate in the show Mutant Bash TV. The game is based on that show, and each track is a new episode. At launch, there're three levels: an apartment complex, a madhouse and a bunker. I wouldn't be surprised if more is released in a future update. On paper, the content may seem slim but since you are looking for high scores and reviews rather than to clear the tracks, although that in itself can be a challenge at first, it will last for a very long time.

Points can be scored, not surprisingly, by shooting the mutants that will crawl and jump out of all possible places. There're bags to pick, ammunition to collect and stationary targets to hit so you can count on that you will be busy from the start. During my first play-through I didn't do much more than shoot mutants. The entire process is on time so if you want to end up at the top charts you need to hit everything at a very fast rate. It simply smells Id and it's a taste I'll never get tired of.

The Texas company also shows tremendous confidence when they release Rage first on mobile phones, we're after all one year away from seeing their first major game in 14 years.

Overall: Rage HD is a must have for all that wants to play an awesome FPS on their iDevices. With great controls and impressive graphics make this one of the best games on the iPhone.

Review: Rage HD (iPhone) XXXX [4/5].

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