The world of videogames can be an unpredictable place at times. Did we expect RAGE to be receiving a significant piece of DLC some fourteen months after release? No sir, we did not.
Apparently the delay was due to the team being asked to help finish off DOOM 3: BFG Edition. Chances are we’ll never know the actual reason, but we do know that it has taken so long to be released that RAGE itself can now be picked up for around a fiver. That’s not far off the 400 MSP asking price for this DLC.
Rather than take place in a single area, this extra mission sees the hero of RAGE go on a mini-tour of the Wastelands. It starts with a trip back to the tiny settlement of Hangar to investigate a disturbance in some nearby cobweb-covered caves, where it’s soon discovered that a gang of pyromaniac psychopaths who call themselves The Scorchers are up to no good.
Thankfully, help is at hand – a feisty female named Sarah is willing to assist on your quest to put a stop to their plans.
After a brief section that feels designed to reacquaint you with the controls, Sarah lends you her trusty nail gun. It’s the only new weapon available but worry not – it comes equipped with three distinctly different ammo types. As well as standard nails, there’s ‘rebar’ ammo which pins enemies’ body parts to walls and such, while the Eraser-style railgun allows enemies to be killed through solid objects. Both are entertaining to use, and there are also achievements linked to using each proficiently in battle.
Once the Scorchers’ plans have been uncovered the story then moves over to the slightly larger town of Wellsprings. Here there’s a new casino area with two new gambling mini-games to play along with a couple of quests. One of these gives the chance to play through another episode of Mutant Bash TV, which this time offers outdoors arenas in which to battle waves of enemies. I think it’s safe to say that that Mutant Bash was one of RAGE’s highlights, so it’s pleasing to see a new area added to it.
After a jaunt through some mutant-filled sewers, the final mission for The Scorchers takes place on the gang’s home turf, ending with a boss battle. It’s a tough battle but the developers have been thoughtful enough to provide a couple of prompts to save your progress before the action kicks up a notch. A final boss was something that RAGE was sorely lacking, and it helps to end the mission on a high.
As enjoyable as The Scorchers is, it’s recommended that you’ve played through most of RAGE before downloading. Not just because the later enemies put up a good fight, and thus require some heavy firepower, but because if you haven’t unlocked the areas that it revisits then you have to go back and play through the main campaign until you do so.
If you do already own a copy of RAGE and have finished it then no doubt it’s sitting on a shelf somewhere getting rather dusty. 400 MSP is a small price to pay for a chance to revisit Capital Wasteland for a few more hours and unlock a handful of easy achievements in the process.
A well-designed piece of DLC that’s worth firing up.