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iPhone/iPad game of the day: RAGE HD

Game: RAGE HD
Price: $1.99/£1.19
Size: 743MB
Buy it now in the iTunes store: US / UK 


Above: Time to buy an iPad

Look at this screenshot. LOOK AT IT. Now, imagine it’s not a still image but a smoothly animated first-person shooter with rich sound and tight controls. Imagine, in fact, that it appears technologically superior to any game from the PlayStation 2/Xbox/GameCube/PSP generation. Now imagine it’s not just a tech demo, but legitimately fun. And finally, imagine you can get it on both iPad and recent-model iPhones (it’s a universal app) for only $2. Still think portable gaming is only for soccer moms and babies? The creators of Doom, Quake, and Castle Wolfenstein beg to differ…

Before the gush-fest gets further out of control, let’s get one thing straight. RAGE HD is not the same game as RAGE, the amazing-looking PC/360/PS3 shooter/vehicular action adventure that has hardcore gamers everywhere drooling all over their HD screens. It’s a much simpler down-to-basics shooter based in the same game world. And it’s really good.

On consoles, first-person shooters require sophisticated controls – one stick to look, the other to move, and triggers to fire. And a PC keyboard and mouse is even better. The iPad and iPhone have literally none of those things, so RAGE HD utilizes a unique control scheme and makes one big sacrifice to create a very playable experience.

The control scheme finds you sliding one thumb around the left of the screen to move your targeting reticule – just pretend there’s an analog stick there – and tapping buttons drawn onscreen to fire, reload, dodge momentarily to the side, and swap between pistol, shotgun, and machine gun (there may be more – these are just what we’ve found thus far). It works remarkably well too, though we had to bump the thumb-look sensitivity all the way up on both systems, and we liked the iPad's button arrangement better.

The sacrifice, in case you haven’t sussed it out by now, is that this is an on-rails shooter and not a free-roaming FPS. So you can look around pretty freely, but your feet are beyond your control. But to be honest, we didn’t care. As a 360/PS3 DLC title, this would cost $5-$10 and still score respectably. It’s one of only a handful of iPhone/iPad shooters that don’t make you feel like a martyr for playing it.

Ultimately, RAGE HD is a total victory, and the perfect example of why portable gaming is going to keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger – because the games are getting better and better. Mobile games are becoming more and more relevant to serious gamers – we’re not getting soft; mobile games are getting hard. And we love that.

Nov 18, 2010

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13 comments

  • severalnasty - November 19, 2010 4:53 p.m.

    This producer is very good. I love it. My first game is Doom!!! its very x9999999 good :D
  • WickedSid - November 19, 2010 4:43 p.m.

    @ Pretty much entire comment thread Seriously dudes? Its on a fucking phone, and you're criticizing it because "You don't like on-rails shooters?" Big fucking whoop, man this is a major step forward in the mobile games industry, soon we'll have Reaches, eventually a PC Version of Crysis, on your phone. Think of the home versions when those happen.
  • brentsonier - November 19, 2010 2:10 p.m.

    @ventanger I 2nd that motion, we need some video
  • db1331 - November 19, 2010 1:17 p.m.

    Actually it looks like ass, and no doubt plays that way as well. I'm sure the only reason people think it's difficult is because you are trying to play an FPS with touch screen controls. If this was a DS or PSP game that looked exactly the same, you wouldn't be shitting the bed over these graphics, but since it's on your iPhone it's just AMAZING. I mean look at the blurriness of the final screen, and the gun texture. LOOK AT IT. You're going to tell me that none of those systems mentioned had better looking games than this?
  • tareq - November 19, 2010 11:17 a.m.

    Cannot wait for this to release on the app store here
  • Joco84 - November 19, 2010 9:03 a.m.

    Downloaded it last night and I have to say it's one of the best on-rails games I've ever seen. The GFX are up there with the Fallouts of this generation and extremely impressed by the look of it all. When the game starts you get a small video of the gameshow host. Well, I thought it was a video, until I saw that it was the game HD GFX that were in the actual game. For £1.19, I highly recommend every iPhone4/iPad owner to pick this up, if only to show it off to your mates!
  • icbacomingupwithapropername - November 19, 2010 7:28 a.m.

    Was wating for this from the moment I saw rage in the app store , I would buy it but my Internet is slow as hell so it would take years to download 700 mb
  • yoyoguy - November 19, 2010 5:30 a.m.

    purchased
  • The_King_of_Nothing - November 19, 2010 4:43 a.m.

    I have it for my iPod Touch. It's difficult, but it is amazing. Definite buy if you own one of the devices that supports it. Graphics are awesome and sounds are really good. I am enjoying right now.
  • Jesse1066 - November 19, 2010 4:04 a.m.

    It looks great for a portable game, but I don't think it looks "technologically superior to any game from the PlayStation 2/Xbox/GameCube/PSP generation." Doom 3, for example (by Id), looked better in my opinion. So did Halo 2.
  • IcelandMaelstrom - November 19, 2010 3:52 a.m.

    i had an iphone once. i found it on the ground at bonnaroo. later that night i stepped on it. now i mourn the loss
  • Imgema - November 19, 2010 1:55 a.m.

    Imo, just because a game is cheap (not a waste of money) it doesn't mean its not a waste of time. i would prefer something else to do with my time than playing a mediocre game only because its cheap. I'm not saying that RAGE is a mediocre game (I just don't like on rails shooters unless you control a spaceship ala Starfox). I'm just commenting on the fact that the reviewer doesn't mind the on rails thing because its cheap. If you don't like on rail shooters in general will you enjoy one because its cheap? Anyway, great graphics, maybe i would download it as a tech demo, to see what my machine (if i had one) is capable of.
  • ventanger - November 19, 2010 1:47 a.m.

    Needs a video to believe

Showing 1-13 of 13 comments

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