Review: Rage – The Scorchers DLC
Released far back in October 2011, id’s comeback shooter Rage never set the (post-apocalyptic) world on fire despite having great mechanics and impressive visuals. Now, as the game is being relegated to bargain bins across the land, id have surprised fans with unexpected new content to hopefully rekindle the flames.
PEGI Rating: 18
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Version Reviewed: PlayStation 3
Developer: id Software
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: 18 December 2012
Price From: £3.69 PSN, 400 MS Points, £3.49 Steam
There had been rumours about this downloadable content (DLC) for quite some time but, due to the time elapsed and lacklustre sales of the full game, a lot of people had forgotten and given up on the idea. Alas id decided to surprise us this Christmas with the fabled Scorchers clan, a fire-themed faction cut from the main game, which much like their namesake are intent on seeing the wasteland burn. They’re not too different from the existing Rage bandits but their flamethrowers and jetpack infantry are enough to require new tactics as you set out to uncover the mysterious source of seismic activity way back (and this confused a lot of people) at the initial Hagar settlement.
Not long after delving underground (a terrific example of new environments rather than just re-using existing assets) you’ll soon meet up with Sarah, the mutant killing poster girl of the DLC, who bestows upon you a new weapon in the form of a rapid firing nail gun. It’s nice to see this Quake favourite make a return but if torrents of sharp metal aren’t your thing then fret not; slow-loading rebar ammo can be used to pin enemies to the nearest surface while rail slugs add an x-ray scope and a very useful ability to shoot multiple foes through solid walls. This last one becomes a true lifesaver when facing against highly resistant armoured mutants, another new enemy type, allowing you to pierce through their rock-like skin before they slice your head off.
What follows is an action-packed jaunt across the wasteland taking you to ruined oil refineries, besieged Scorcher bases and through another all new episode of the ever-popular Mutant Bash TV series. In addition to the new missions the DLC also adds a few new gambling mini-games, a trophy room to display all previously earned awards and accolades, a challenging Ultra-Nightmare difficulty setting and the much desired ability to continue exploring the wasteland after the original game’s point of no return. Talk about getting a bang for your buck, while The Scorchers may sound an unoriginal, perhaps by-the-numbers approach to new content, don’t be fooled because this is a fantastic example of DLC done right.
Once again the original masters of action games, id software, have given us all new locations, characters, weapons and extra features encapsulated inside a three to four hour campaign at a bargain price. The simplicity is part of its success, reminiscent of the old Doom 2 expansions, and that it perfectly integrates into an already excellent source material is another. It may have taken its time in arriving but with Rage going for as cheap as £8 at some retailers, The Scorchers is very much a case of better late than never. Fans would be burned if they missed out on this one.