iSmashPhone Review – Rage

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One of the best-looking games on iOS right now. That’s Rage for iOS in one sentence. Rage is based on the upcoming console and PC game of the same name, but takes the action to the small screen. Oh yeah, did we mention that it looks freakin’ amazing?

Rage is an on-rails shooter for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad that puts the player in the middle of a game show in which they are forced to go up against mutants. Much like the old Schwarzenegger movie, The Running Man, losing in this show means death for the character.

Because the game is on-rails, you don’t have to worry about both navigating your character and aiming to fire which can be difficult on a touchscreen. This works favorably for the iOS platform in that sense. However, there is a downside: you will often find yourself trying to look in one direction while the camera is trying to move in another. This will often lead to missing power-ups, which isn’t unusual for a rail shooter, but it can lead to frustration for some players. To aim, you move the reticle around the screen with your finger, and sometimes you will feel as if that reticle can’t move fast enough.

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The App is universal, which means it runs on both platforms (you only have to purchase once), and the control layouts are optimized for each device. For instance, the iPad keeps all the controls near the bottom portion of the screen, while the iPhone and iPod Touch version places them in each of the device’s four corners.

That said, you probably find yourself struggling with the controls through the first level. You will get hit by many bricks (Yes, the bad guys like to lob bricks at you) and it will take you a while to get the hang of the dodge move while trying to aim and reload at the same time.

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Luckily, reloading happens automatically. However, there is a reload button, and it’s best to use it rather than wait until you are vulnerable. It’s similar to Gears of War’s Active Reload. In this case, you will be able to deal double damage for a well-timed Active Reload. Messing up, will cost you valuable time and make you vulnerable for a few seconds.

The Good

Once again, this game has amazing graphics for an iOS title. It rivals some of the stuff we’ve seen on consoles. Of course it’s all scaled down to fit on an iPhone or iPad, but it’s able to pull off wonderful things on the platform.

The Bad

You will probably have a hard time getting used to the controls at first. Level One will probably kick your butt, and by level two, the controls will begin to feel more natural as you get the hang of dodging and aiming. Aside from that, the camera will cause some frustration as you take some hits from enemies you never saw while trying to pick up an item such as ammo or health.

The Verdict

This is a short piece, essentially a tech demo taken up a notch. It still manages to show what is possible with id software’s game engine in iOS, and is pretty fun once you get the hang of it. The asking price is not much (99 cents for the standard version and $1.99 for the HD) and because the App is universal, you will only have to download it once to play it on both platforms. Know that this game is geared towards the core player who doesn’t mind a bit of a challenge. Also, if you are prone to sickness, you may not want to pick this one up. Either way, Rage is sure to be one of the Top rated iPhone games on the App Store.

4 out of 5 – Probably the best-looking iOS game we’ve seen. Has some rough edges, but is well worth the asking price.

Standard Definition – 99 cents

HD – $1.99

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