Rage In Peace (PC) Review with Stream
Not too hard to rage quit
Anyone who plays video games knows that the character you control is almost constantly haunted by the grim reaper and is guaranteed to die at some point, usually many times. We are very used to this fact, but it’s not often that you are haunted by the ACTUAL grim reaper. However, in Rage In Peace you are trying to die your own way in the safety of your home, in the comfort of your bed. But to do that you need to escape death until you can kick the bucket the right way.
The “hero” of this story is Timmy, a 27-year-old actuary that apparently wants to die the right way, and must listen to Blue Oyster Cult, since he does not fear the Reaper. However, the Reaper gives him powers like double jump to make it through the hellish maze home and you will meet elevator zombies, and monster-ized bosses along the way. Having a hero with a death wish is different admittedly, but it’s not adequately explained as to WHY Timmy wants to die in the first place, and for a 27-year-old to year for death is a seriously dark place to start a game even if it has a comedic undertone.
The visuals of this dark, deep, yet comedic memorization game evoke the flash games of the past, or something like BattleBlock Theater of which it seems to get quite a bit of “inspiration” leaning even toward confusing the two companies for each other. Also the backgrounds and comedy that they are reaching for seem to be more from “No Time to Explain” or earlier flash games. It does reek of nostalgia, but not in a good way, but in a way that says that we aren’t seeing the originality that we were hoping for.
Unoriginal designs, aside, it’s actually a pretty fun game. It’s still hard as nails in some spots, with lots of “where did that come from” moments. But with the advent of brutal Mario, or even Mario Maker levels that border on impossibility, along with the growing speed run community have this game absolutely filling a need in the gaming world. While of course there are some deaths that feel unearned, there is a real sense of accomplishment when you remember exactly how you got killed last time but have the brains not to repeat that. When compared to many of its contemporaries, Rage In Peace doesn’t really feel that unfair as there are a multitude of checkpoints that are logically arranged by the design of the level, like the length of a hallway, or right before a boss.
While combat was never a true focus for a game like this, instead leaning on reaction time and memorization, there are bosses to battle. However, I was very displeased by the lackluster attention given to them, as they are hard to read, and feel very unfair. The first boss in particular just rushes you seemingly out of nowhere, without any kind of small discrepancy in their movement, or some kind of “giveaway”. I believe this was done to make it harder, but it feels entirely random. Even after find the right amount of seconds to dodge to kill him, it in effect makes it much easier because it’s always the same, robbing you of any delight you got from the “challenge”.
I wanted to play this game mostly because it enticed me with visuals that were far too “inspired” by better games, and the “deep story” comes off as far too edgy and trying to get more out of a flawed game then was possible without that hook. Its missing the originality that so many crave from Indy developers in the modern landscape, which is too bad, since I really wanted to see what they could do. If you like brutal memorization games though, this is still fun, especially for the cheaper price.
Also available on Nintendo Switch.