I think the last thing anyone was expecting to close out the year was a RAGE DLC pack. The game came out more than a year ago and, not to sound harsh, but after the game’s mixed reception it seemed id and Bethesda just kind of swept it under the rug and started working on DOOM 3 BFG Edition and DOOM 4. It was kind of just assumed no one would talk about RAGE again and people like myself who actually enjoyed it were expected to just suck it up. Well no more, we finally get some DLC and just like the main game, it’s actually pretty good.
It’s a short, sweet, and simple pack of content but what it adds and for the price it adds it at is pretty nice. The actual new content of the pack is a short 5 mission story arc involving a new bandit clan called the Scorchers. The story is very much action movie fare (bandits be evil, go investigate, find doomsday plot, stop doomsday plot) but it’s fun and stupid and fits well into the world of RAGE. In fact just the way it’s integrated into the main game is quite nice, you just get a new mission to go check out a cave in the Hagar settlement and then things proceed from there. You can start it at anytime and you don’t have to go through it all at once, it’s all just built into the standard quest structure and world map so you can play it at your own pace rather than being trapped in the DLC box like in the Fallout DLC packs.
That said despite taking place in the regular world map there are a lot of new assets on display here; new enemies, new maps, and even a new weapon to play with. The enemies are a mix of a couple new mutant breeds (at least I think they’re new, RAGE was a while ago for me) and of course the Scorchers themselves who rock jetpacks, super strong armor, and flamethrower machine guns. They also spout a lot of dumb pop culture catch phrases, I can’t remember if the original clans of bandits did that but regardless it’s a nice touch. The new maps are a nice change of pace too; there are some bog standard caves but you also get a new episode of Mutant bash which takes place in a canyon kitted out in campy decorations as well as a big crazy Mayan temple with some really nice vistas to look at while you’re shooting dudes into mush. Lastly there’s the new weapon, the Nailgun; its standard ammunition kind of sucks but the additional ammo types make up for it. Basically this gun hates walls, it has rebar spikes that are not only one-hit kills most of the time but also pin dudes to walls. The gun also sports railgun slugs which not only let you see through walls but also fire through them, it’s almost unfair. There’s also a trophy room you get for beating the DLC, it’s a little pointless but it’s nice to see visual representations of your achievements.
Aside from the actual new content you also get some extra modes to add to the post end game experience. First off you get the option to play past the end of the game so you can finish off all those side quests you ignored or just spend countless hours playing the knife game. You also get the option to replay any scenario you’ve already completed through a scenario selection menu; let’s say you really liked that first run through the Ghost bandit stronghold, well now you can play through it to your heart’s content. Lastly they’ve added a new difficulty level, Ultra-Nightmare mode, a lot of people had their complaints about RAGE being too easy, now they can shut up and eat bandit pie (a taste I imagine is somewhere between burning hair and half-tanned leather).
For $5 bucks this a pretty hefty amount of content; some extra modes, a cool new weapon, and 2-3 hours or so of new story content to play through. I know I’ve paid more for less when it comes to DLC, so I’m pretty happy with this pack and what it brings to a game that I felt was definitely underrated. I doubt it’s really going to bring anyone back to RAGE or entice anyone new into picking it up but for those of us still slowly enjoying the game, it’s a nice addition. It feels like this is something they had half-finished when RAGE came out but put aside when reception to the game became slightly cold. I happy to see them finish it off and put it out between DOOM projects and anyone who enjoyed RAGE should certainly consider grabbing it. The Scorchers DLC for RAGE gets 4 out of 5 stars.