Road Rage Review
Road Rage – How not to remake Road Rash
Road Rage is an open world motorcycle racing and fighting game. On paper it sounds like a worthy successor to Electronic Art’s Road Rash. Sadly, in reality it falls very far from that.
This could be forgiven if Road Rage was a good game in its own right. After all, what game holds up to our childhood memories? However, dropping all comparisons to any other game Road Rage is frankly the worst game I have played this year.
Upon loading Road Rage it instantly went into windowed mode, a small 1280×720 window dead centre of my TV. As soon as I could, I paused the game and checked the options, I discovered there are no graphics settings. I expect that on my PlayStation games however, on PC I expect to tweak my settings how I please and at the very least set a game to fullscreen. The graphics of Road Rage are more akin to the PlayStation 3 than the hi-resolution graphics we have come to expect in modern day gaming. In addition Road Rage has no atmosphere to it, a repetitive and annoying soundtrack loops while you race around a poorly populated and designed map. I always say gameplay is king and graphics matter little if the gameplay makes up for it. Sadly, graphics are only one of many issues facing Road Rage.
Once the game starts, you are thrust straight into a race. There is no explanation of the controls, no tutorial. Thankfully, with the Xbox One controller the controls are pretty standard. The non-standard controls, turbo, hand brake, hit left and hit right, do not take long to find.
The actual bike handling is pretty good, and I soon got the hang of it. Bike controls and handling in Road Rage are enjoyable and it is a real shame the rest of the game lets it down. Though given the lack of weather effects there is no variety in the handling from race to race.
The free roaming map is broken up into districts, from the start you are able to visit them all. However, if you are not allowed to be in one you will get police attention immediately. Police chases in these types of games are usually fun, I can spend hours evading the police in Grand Theft Auto (GTA). In Road Rage they just keep spawning and there is limited places off the main road or side streets to lose them in. The districts are small but will unlock a handful of races once you complete its main story missions of that district. Each story mission can be accessed after listening to a phone call. These phone calls are cliched, full of bad, fake accents and frankly some of the worst voice acting I have heard. The story missions are ranked easy, medium or hard but on the most part they were all too easy due to the AI.
The AI, bot racers, often hit cars, walls and other objects and were of little threat. Doing the missions unlocks access to new weapons, bikes and districts. Missions also earn money to allow you to upgrade your bikes. Since all upgrades are specific to the bike you purchase them on, it is a good idea not to spend all your money on one bike. Certain races require specific bikes and a number of upgrades, you will be forced to grind missions if you do not have the money to buy them.
Combat can be done by ramming bikers off the road or hitting them. Road Rage features an impressive range of weapons, but, all feel really unsatisfying and the collision boxes used are very hit and miss. I often got taken out when the AI was nowhere near and got hits myself that I should not have. One of the most fun things in Road Rash was the back and forth fighting with another biker, hitting each other until one of you are knocked from your bike, in Road Rage it is a dull one hit knocks them off affair (this makes assassination missions particularly boring). Collisions with cars and being smashed off your bike by another rider have no flair. There are no little cutscenes, damage effects or fun ragdoll events.
Road Rage does have some unique multiplayer options. Road Rage has a 4 player split screen mode. Which like its online component has full bot support. Both these features are a rarity in today’s games, though it should be noted that the AI bots are just as bad as the single player equivalents.
There are only two modes available in online multiplayer;
Circuit race: Your standard racing mode.
Knockout: Last place gets eliminated at the end of each lap.
I tried at multiple times to find online games to give the online a proper test but I was unable to find a single session. Checking Steam Charts (a site dedicated to showing the number of players on a Steam game) I saw that very few people are currently playing Road Rage. Suffice to say the game does not have a multiplayer community.
This game is at the high end of the indie game price bracket and is not worth anywhere near that. If the game was free or one dollar, I would say give it a try but it is not and so I will not.
Disclaimer: PC Aficionado was provided with a code for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions expressed in the review are the writers own and are not influenced by the developer and/or publisher in anyway.
- Local split screen multiplayer supported.
- Bike handling controls.
- Bots in multiplayer.
- Upgradable your bikes.
- Voice acting.
- No graphic settings.
- No tutorial.
- Map has no gps or path to next mission settings.
- Combat is very subpar.
- Unimaginative and poorly designed levels/map.
- No multiplayer seasons found on testing.