Rage 3 Game

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The Chaotic Stickman is Back & He's Angrier Than Ever

Having played the preceding title of ‘Rage 2’, I am almost certainly more well-versed in the violent stickman-related arts than the average person who spends just that little bit too much time on the internet to to justify exactly what they do all day. Embarrassing quantities of consecutive minutes (spilling into hours) invested in playing the previous title has provided a benchmark against which I will compare all future stick man-based action titles, which is a very specific and exclusive genre of flash game in itself. I’m going to attempt to inform you about ‘Rage 3’, its contents and gameplay as well as positioning it comfortably into the context of its predecessor. 

I couldn’t have been researching (a word that sounds productive than ‘playing’) the game for even a minute before I was instantaneously convinced that I was experiencing a vastly-improved and highly polished version of its past counterpart. From the moment I picked up my first weapon (a jumbo-sized battle-axe; decidedly generous and unwieldy for a man’s first killing tool), I was smacked around the face with some altogether smoother gameplay and bombarded with a generally more well-rounded experience. Someone appears to have identified, rectified and improved upon the small mistakes and flaws that plagued the previous version and made it a slightly less enjoyable game to play than it perhaps should have been. I somehow knew that this game was going to offer me more in the way of entertainment, and here’s why.

Firstly, the thing that stands out the most when playing as our angry stickman is the greatly improved provision of movement of your character, particularly when encountering and battling to the absolute death with your fellow enemies of wiry and emaciated appearance. In ‘Rage 2’, the fighting itself felt at times like an almost fruitless act in which you would furiously mash as many action buttons as you could in trying to beat your foe to death, when all the while you experience the nagging feeling that you just aren’t getting anywhere.

No matter how often you attack, you used to feel as if your input was being ignored by the game, with your enemies in full knowledge of this as they tear you stick from bloody stick. ‘Rage 3’ has a much-improved and more yielding touch where you actually feel as if the game is hugely more responsive to your controlling input, and is no longer the equivalent of using the DVD section of a universal TV remote from the nineties to control the action. The fighting just feels easier and the combinations considerably more satisfying, not to mention the greatly-improved arsenal of terrifying weapons which are available to ensure the most brutal passage through the land of stickman fantasy as is allowed without requiring special legal permission or the reclassification of the age rating system to play .

Another feature which allows the game to stand out from its predecessor (and indeed most other games which involve brutal slaughter and such progressive animation style) is the generous expansion and imrpovement of the available weapons. Beginning with a small pistol and your bare hands, you feel almost helpless against the relentless attacks of your enemies, but the tables soon begin to turn as the melee weapons you can collect range from mildly damaging to being devastating on a near-biblical scale. The trusty Scythe-on-a-stick is the first and (to previous players) familiar innovation, excalating gently up to a machete and a more terrifying super-machete, then onto the don’t-wield-this-at-home ultra-machete that looks as if it could cause the kind of blood loss that would make Quentin Tarantino himself a little light headed and in need of a lay down .

 

I almost forgot to mention the light-sword which makes the traditional lightsaber look like an environmentally-friendly energy-saving bulb suitable only for use as a baby’s nightlight. As if the choice of meelee weapons didn’t have my jaw on the ground (it didn’t since I’m not a cartoon, but it’s extensive nonetheless), the projectile weapon catalogue looked to be as rich in choice as the basement of a member of the organised American militia. The choice looks a little something like this: Small pistol, big pistol, dual-fire pistol, the straight-up fire pistol (which shoots fire in case that wasn’t clear), triple-shot green-firing pistol, the mult-shot five-shooter, shoot-from-the-hip machine gun and its alien-like equivalent (it shoots green; this is a perfectly acceptable description), flamethrower and your last-but-not-least classics, the grenade and rocket launchers. The weapons allow you a multitude of choice for tools to sacrifice your enemies to the cause of, well, completing the game. It always feels worth it in the end.

We are gifted the shiny (and vibrantly-coloured) new feature of experience points, which are accumulated in the same way as health and rage  simply by going about your murderous business and collecting the spoils once your enemy is no longer. Collect enough and your experience level will continue rise as you progress, its maximum level standing at 20, which takes considerable time and effort to get to. Don’t worry, it serves a purpose; various checkpoints throughout adventure mode actually require you to have progressed to a certain level of experience before allowing you pass, thus justifying the exertion of effort that took place to collect them in the first place. 

The enemies encountered are of greater variety than ‘Rage 2’, coming in a range of different colours and levels of potential danger to your own health. In an escalation from the enemies of ‘Rage 2’, Mr. Stick (you) is faced with a collection of disgruntled enemies that prefer carrying meelee weapons of their own such as baseball bats and various swords which simply fail to measure up to the sheer ferocity of your collection of death tools. Fighting these enemies feels more rewarding in this game; rather than an almost- vertical climb up an impossibly-high mountain, it feels like a challenging yet conquerable feat in which many (stick) people end up being less alive than before they met you.

All-singing and all-dancing is how I would describe this noticeably-improved sequel in general; with everything from the greatly-refined gameplay down to the very sound effects and visually-pleasing impact of the blows you deal to your enemies feeling punchier, sounding more gruesome and generally doing a damned good job of actually being better. Previous experience of this game has led me to believe that in this third offering I would be subjected to relentless and hectic stick-battles which are both bloody in nature and large in quantity; I was no way disappointed and was in every way filled with ferocious excitement.

In addition to the familiar format and layout of the game, ‘Rage 3’ generously offers greatly-improved visuals which border on big-budget production. Of course this is a purposely exaggerated description for dramatic and literary effect, but the game looks better, feels better and dare I be as bold to say that is simply is better. One could be forgiven for thinking at first that you are playing Rage 2 without glasses on since the changes between the two are subtle but substantial enough to make you feel that the game has moved on significantly, with all changes being for the better and the good of the action.

The game’s appeal is potentially universal (to those old enough or who are good enough at lying to their parents about their browsing habits) and particularly appealing to those possessing previous stickman-format experience. Play at your own risk but be prepared to be showered with both blood and entertainment: this is liquid gaming, and it’s fresh from the tap.

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