Road Rage Xbox One Review
Vehicle combat is ridiculous
Many Achievements are easily unlocked
Slow motion effect when smacking pedestrians or opponents is kind of satisfying
Loose control takes time to learn
Some of the worst voice acting and scripting ever
Weirdly empty environments
As a resurrection from the 16-bit era, Road Rage 2017 on new gen consoles feels unfinished, broken, and overly simple. The obvious flaws are so glaring that Road Rage is humorous for all the wrong reasons.
The story does not make any sense but serves as the backdrop why the player is riding on a motorcycle trying to club anything that moves. Something about sections of cities being quarantined and everyone on the inside left to fend for themselves. This apocalyptic environment would imply that these quarantined areas are cut off from the rest of the world but cops still chase the player and NPC walk around in business suits instead of being a desperate Mad Max-style setting. Nothing here makes any sense, including the gameplay.
Road Rage is technically an open world game but does not play like an open world game. The player is free to drive around at will but there is literally nothing to do until missions are activated by tapping “A” from the cell phone prompt. This is not an open world like Breath of the Wild, GTA, or Red Dead where there are places to see, creatures to hunt, or ways to level up and gain inventory items. Here, you just drive around in freakishly empty streets with poor draw distance.
When missions are activated, they are nothing more than races to the finish while clubbing the opposing AI. Marred with loose controls and laughable ragdolls physical, controlling each motorcycle is a joke. The right trigger acts as the accelerator whereas left trigger is break. This is fine but the player does not decrease in speed once the right trigger is let go. Coasting at full speed is super weird and does not feel right at all, forcing the player to speed up to full blast only to jam on the breaks at most turns. The stop-and-go acceleration is jarring and isn’t realistic or arcadey and comes off as awkward and confusing.
The gimmick behind Road Rage has always been clubbing other bike riders in the face with baseball bats and other melee items. Unfortunately, combat is nothing more than getting within the enemies’ proximity in which your character will link together as if attached by magnets. Then tapping the attack button causes the game to enter a slow-mo Matrix-like effect to watch the comical, non-blood, attack animation take place. Sometimes, however, the attack triggers gets hung during a turn and will send the player flying into a wall, leaving me to believe there are glitches with combat. Road Rage tries to implement RPG elements by rewarding the player with money by winning events and needlessly clubbing innocent pedestrians, but all unlockables do not change gameplay in anyway. There are dozens of weapons, motorcycles, bike parts, and customization options available from the main menu but they are simply cosmetic. The only thing positive element I can determine about gameplay is that many Achievements can be unlocked with minimal effort if you are still into that.
Missions are also a joke. First-to-the-Finish missions always start off as a concussion-fest since all bikers start right next to each other and mindlessly club each other to death, causing them to auto-respawn in different locations. But once the player breaks away from the pack, which is actually very easy, it is easy cruising to the finish line. Since some tracks cross paths with oncoming traffic, the player will occasional run across enemy racers going the other way, getting stuck on the environment, or floating in the air. The “run away from the cops” missions also make no sense as the only way for the player to win is to actually stand still; driving just causes more cop cars to randomly spawn which resets the getaway timer. There are glitches in every element of the game and the lack of polish actually insulting.
The visual presentation mimics the poor gameplay as well. With thick fog, pop-up, and low res textures, I have seen better looking N64 games. But the visuals are a premium experience in comparison to the audio department. Not only does Road Rage contain some of the worst voice acting in gaming, the writing is god-awful. The narrative and script between characters, which is all exchanged through a broken cell phone screen, is so embarrassing it should win an award. The icing on the cake, however, is the audio isn’t even mixed correctly. The audio dialog between characters is significantly quieter than the rest of the soundtrack making it nearly impossible to hear, which actually works in the game’s favor.
Road Rage is a quality example on how to NOT make a game, let alone reviving a long last franchise. With more bugs than the Amazon, there is not much positive to say about this jokeable experience.
Not As Good As: Burnout
Also Try: The Cloud motorcycle mini game in Final Fantasy VII
Wait For It: Red Dead 2