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Video Game / Rage

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They were going to name it Apathy, but it just didn't test as well.

"Go for burial. Atlas control signing off. May we live to see another day."
Atlas control, the opening cinematic

A First-Person Shooter-slash-Driving Game hybrid by id Software, RAGE is based on the idTech 5 engine and set on Earth in the year 2135, over a hundred years after a collision with the real-life asteroid 99942 Apophis. The player is cast as a survivor who awakens from cryogenic preservation to explore a post-apocalyptic world populated by mutants and raiders.

Early gameplay videos focused on the vehicular combat aspect of the game, leading to speculation that id was Playing Against Type by releasing a non-FPS game. More recent information clarified that the game is primarily an FPS with significant racing, free-driving, and RPG elements. And yes, comparisons to Borderlands 1 are inevitable.

It was released on October 4, 2011. After a year of inactivity, ID released a DLC for the game, Rage: The Scorchers, with new missions focused on battling the Scorcher clan, and the ability to continue playing past the game's ending. Has a 2019 sequel, Rage 2.


RAGE contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Hospital: One of the earliest and creepiest levels takes place in one of these.
  • Abnormal Ammo: Almost every gun has special types of ammo aside from its standard type, with a variety of effects. It can be as simple as armor-piercing rounds, or as outlandish as dynamite-rigged crossbow bolts.
  • Action Girl: Sarah, the new bounty hunter ally introduced in the Rage: the Scorchers DLC.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the novelization the Mayor and Sheriff of Wellsprings are much more antagonistic and possibly corrupt than they are in the game, where they are relatively Reasonable Authority Figures.
  • Advertising by Association: The game's box points out that it's "from the creators of Doom and Quake".
  • After the End: Set a century after 99942 Apophis crashed into Earth.
  • The Alcoholic: A whole bandit gang of them, who are named the "Wasted" clan.
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  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you run out of rockets during a certain boss fight, more will spawn in a chute near where you found the rocket launcher.
  • Apocalypse How: In the backstory Earth suffered Planetary/Societal Collapse due to an asteroid impact.
  • The Apunkalypse: The setting.
  • Armor Is Useless: Armor essentially counts as a secondary health layer. Each piece has to be broken off to cause actual damage to the limb beneath it, unless you have armor piercing rounds or explosives to get around it. There's a version of the club mutant clad in bony armor, which can take much more punishment than its unarmored cousin.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Authority soldiers will operate in teams, taking cover and moving from cover to cover, soldiers without an energy shield generally moving behind those with shields, often trying to flank the player if possible, and if the player retreats, will seldom chase blindly, but instead remain in cover and throw grenades at the player's last position. If the player flanks the enemy squad, one of the soldiers will sometimes warn the others with "target is flanking". The last member of the squad will often try to retreat instead of continuing a hopeless fight.
  • Artificial Limbs: Many of the people in the game have these, though they never really get any focus. Then again, if the bandit clans that appear can make attack drones and turrets out of junk and scrap, it's probably a safe bet that this sort of advanced technology is commonplace in most settlements.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • If the player shoots a soldier from a great distance with the sniper, and it takes more than one shot, the soldier will not try to take cover or flee, and instead will just keep standing there as a sitting duck.
    • If the player can alternatively flank a waiting enemy squad, moving hidden between the two positions, the soldiers will be just sitting there facing the player's last position until the player shoots them from the side or someone sees him, in which case the soldiers will turn that way, and do nothing else (other than throw grenades) while the player flanks them again. And so on.
    • In general, enemies behind cover have a set and easily exploitable pattern: poke head out, find target, lean further to shoot, repeat. They may mix in a grenade with that. By nailing them with a headshot at step one, you'll interrupt them and they'll restart the pattern, occasionally blind-firing in your direction before doing so. Winning these battles is mostly patience.
  • Art Shift: The final mission forgoes the game's Borderlands meets Fallout aesthetic for a sci-fi futuristic look. This is compounded by the mission's being littered with ammo for the BFG and Authority MG's AV9X rounds, both of which have a blue muzzle flare and "pew pew" type noises instead of the more traditional gunshots.
  • Ascended Extra: Loosum Hagar, who in the game is found solely in the beginning and only has a few lines, is given a much larger role in the novelization, sort of being the not-quite love interest. A much older Loosum Hagar becomes a major supporting character in Rage 2.
  • Attack Drone: You can build and use Sentry Bots to aid you in battle. The Gearheads gang also use them.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The massive mutant that appears during the dead city level. The only way to kill it is with the nearby rocket launcher.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The Gearhead Boss is equipped with a grenade launcher and can take more damage than even a Giant Mook, requiring more than 160 basic assault rifle rounds to put down. A handful of advanced wingsticks to the face will do him in pretty quickly, though. Pop rockets get the job done fast, as well.
  • Auto-Revive: One of your character's augments. The defib unit takes a hell of a time to recharge, but will revive you and zap everyone in close range when the battery is filled. There are two upgrades: double battery and increased recharge rate.
  • Automatic Crossbow: It's a weapon from the future and the Desert Striker crossbow's technology makes it a semi-automatic weapon for sniping and having a variety of bolts to use.
  • Axe-Crazy: There's a lot of this going around amongst the various bandit clans, particularly the Wasted, Ghosts, and Jackals. The Scorchers in the DLC take this Up to Eleven.
  • Bald of Evil: The "Ghost" clan and the mutants.
  • The Berserker: The Jackals are much more aggressive than other bandit clans. Even their members wielding guns will charge you rather than take cover.
  • BFG: Plenty around (this is the developer that invented the BFG, after all), but the name of the Authority Pulse Cannon's alternate ammo is BFG.
  • Big Bad: General Cross of the Authority, supposedly, who's known by the much more Evil Overlord name of "The Visionary" in the novel. You never actually see him, much less fight him. You only hear his propaganda blared through Authority radios in occupied Subwaytown near the end of the game, and even then his speeches are rather short and uncommon, unlike, say, President Eden.
  • Bland-Name Product: Some of the sellable items you can find combine this trope with Easter Egg, such as Quayola Quayons (in 64 shades of brown!) and Pinkies snack cakes.
  • Brick Joke: An unsettling one. In the beginning, Dan Hagar rescues you and drives past some Ghost Clan bandits who are busy menacing some other Wastelanders. Dan, outgunned as he is, does not intervene. On your second trip through the Ghost Clan hideout, you can see the woman they were capturing dead and strung up by her arms.
  • Car Fu: Highly effective, and made more so by ramming plate upgrades on some cars.
  • Collectible Card Game: In hidden corners throughout the towns and dungeons, you can find cards to be used during a betting card game.
  • Cool Airship: The Scorchers have one. It serves as the final boss of their DLC.
  • Cool Car: Your buggy, which can be outfitted with all manners of parts and weapons, both for racing and cruising around the wasteland.
  • Cozy Catastrophe: Despite the Earth having been hit by a giant meteor, people still have power, drinking water, and apparently tons of gas. Really life seems almost unchanged aside from everything apparently being desert, mutants running around, the Authority, and bandits.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: The only on-foot multiplayer mode is Co-Op. Given id's long history of competitive deathmatch modes, this took many fans by surprise. There is competitive death racing, however.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Your vehicle's homing rockets trail enemies loosely, and are easy to miss with if your opponent's swerving at all. Meanwhile enemy homing rockets can trail you indefinitely, follow sharper turns than your own do, and can only be thrown off by a wide turn around a wall / object in the way or by using a Shield. Opposing racers will abuse the hell out of this in Rocket Races and Rocket Rallies, since otherwise they're at a sharp disadvantage against a competent player. On the flip side, however, you take less damage from rockets than enemies, and if both of your rockets hit a target, it's nearly an assured One-Hit Kill.
  • Cryonics Failure: When your character wakes from stasis, you find all your buddies dead from damaged pods.
  • Cyber Cyclops: The Authority's helmets give them this appearance, complete with Red Eyes, Take Warning. They aren't actually cycloptic, of course.
  • Daylight Horror: The hospital in the "Dead City" level. Entire rooms covered in blood and organic matter. Its like Dead Space meets Fallout with that eerie light shining through all the broken windows.
  • Deadly Game: Mutant Bash TV, run by J. K. Stiles. The Wasteland Races also count, even if the player can only actually die in the former.
  • Deadly Remote Control Toy: The RC Bomb Car, also referred to as RC-XD (Remote Controlled EXplosive Device), is a quick-use item. It is a small radio-controlled car loaded with explosives. Nicholas Raine, as well as other people using them, can drive a bomb car through ventilation shafts or behind cover and then detonate the car.
  • Death by Adaptation: In the novelization, Kvasir is killed by the Authority for assisting the protagonist, while Loosum Hagar is last seen fighting in a Last Stand situation near the end of the book in order to save the protagonist and Captain Marshall from the Authority: her death isn't explicitly shown, but her situation was pretty hopeless and all the characters assume she's dead.
    • Because Dr. Kvasir and Loosum Hager are alive in Rage 2, however, the canonicity of the novelization is disputable.
  • Death Is Cheap: Provided your battery's still charged, you don't actually die; you just need to execute a "defibrillator" minigame to shock yourself back to life right on the spot, stunning anyone who might be standing over you. Unlike, say, BioShock however, it is possible to die for real if you get killed while your defibrillator is still recharging from its last usage.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you happen to be blown up in the competitive death racing scene, you respawn a second later with a full health meter for your vehicle and no ammo or items lost. All you lose is your speed, which may or may not be enough for opposing racers to catch up on. This applies to your opponents too - which makes Rocket Races all about delaying your opponents to steal first rather than about eliminating them entirely.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: The assault rifle can make use of Feltrite-infused rounds, granting armor piercing capability.
  • Destroyable Items: While most loot items are sturdy enough to avoid being destroyed by careless fire the many beer and wine bottles scattered about the levels will shatter upon impact of pretty much any weapon.
  • Developer's Room: There's a secret "Developer Graffiti Room" in one level with the id Software logo made out of scrap parts and the signatures of the game's dev team all over the walls.
  • Disadvantageous Disintegration: Killing an enemy with explosives will destroy whatever loot they may have had on their body.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Starting a new game with the Scorchers DLC installed gives you access to the Nailgun very early on. When loaded with sharpened rebar it can One-Hit Kill virtually every standard enemy in the game, brings down heavies with two headshots and lets you reuse spikes by taking them from the bodies.
    • The video poker game in the casino introduced in The Scorchers DLC is basically a license to print money as long as you understand the basics of video poker, as the payout odds are massively in the player's favor due to the game allowing you to draw twice per game. This easily gives you enough cash to max out all your ammo and supplies.
  • Doom Troops: Authority Enforcers.
  • Door to Before: Rage has these in almost every level, although along with doors it also has ziplines and elevators that work this way.
  • Easter Egg:
    • A room styled after Wolfenstein 3-D with a "Wolf Goblet" inside is hidden in one of the first levels. Another secret room is modeled after the first level of Doom and has a Doomguy bobblehead where the armor used to be, and yet another is modeled after the difficulty selection room in the original Quake and contains a plush Shambler.
    • There's also a Vault Boy Bobblehead that you can find on the Mayor of Wellspring's desk.
      • Its location is similar to that of the medic bobblehead in 3, on the corner of a work desk.
      • Ditto one for NBA star Blake Griffin on the mayor's desk in Subway Town. Griffin was heavily featured in the advertising.
    • One of the TV's behind J. K. Stiles' chair has the Id Software logo running on it.
  • Elite Mooks: The Authority's Enforcers are this compared to everyone else in the Wasteland, equipped with high-tech weapons and armor significantly more advanced than the cobbled-together stuff everyone else is using, and fighting with professional military tactics. The Gearheads and Jackal Clan are likewise significantly tougher and more greatly feared than any of the other bandit clans.
  • EMP: Sentry Guns, Sentry Bots, and certain Authority generators can be disabled by this, inflicted through EMP grenades or Pulse rounds from the shotgun.
  • The Empire: The Authority seems to want be this, though there's plenty of opposition. The Enclave meets The Combine.
  • Enemy Chatter: Each of the bandit clans usually have a group of mooks who talk among themselves if the player doesn't alert them to their location. For example, a couple of Wasted clan mooks will discuss Mutant Bash TV while a third can be seen sweeping up their hideout.
  • Excuse Plot: Big rock hits earth. You survive. You get lots of cool weapons, blow some shit up, do odd jobs for various people, then fight against a totalitarian regime.
  • Expy: Feltrite to Tiberium. A crystal come to earth via meteorite that can be processed into metal, enhance weapons, and be used to produce power. Certain areas of the map are dominated by Feltrite Monoliths, and feel very Yellow Zone.
  • Faceless Goons: The Authority Enforcers all cover their faces with featureless red helmets. And beneath those helmets are black skull-like masks.
  • Fingore: The Ark Survivor can play "Five Finger Fillet" at the local bars in the different settlements. Messing up results in a first-person view of him stabbing himself with a knife. Ouch.
  • Firing One-Handed: The survivor uses the Settler Pistol one-handed when using the monocular, no matter which ammo he's using.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The nano-trites and their ability to revive you from death is mentioned several times in the story, and there are at least 2 occasions in the main plot where your character is killed and then revived by his nano-trites.
  • Gang of Hats: Each bandit clan has a theme: the Ghost Clan is a Religion of Evil that practices stealth and human sacrifice, the Gearheads are a bunch of Russian Gadgeteer Geniuses, the Wasted Clan consists of drunken, British thug-sounding Boisterous Bruisers, The Scorchers drive flame-colored cars and worship Apophis, the Shrouded are all hooded exiles from other clans, and the Jackals are pelt-wearing Wild Men.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Some enemies sport this look.
  • Gatling Good: Car-mounted Gatling guns aplenty. For bonus points, the gatling-style Authority Pulse Cannon obtained near the end of the game.
  • Genre Blindness: Atlas control fits this like a glove. They admit that they have no idea what state society is going to be in so they put their best and brightest in burrowing cryogenic chambers. This wouldn't be so bad if they hadn't also injected them with Nano-trites and failing to provide so much as a pistol. The predictable happens when you kick a bunch of recently awoken survivors into a post-apocalyptic wasteland with no weapons and no clue, they get kidnapped and killed for their nano-trites.
  • Global Currency Exception: To buy race parts you need Racing Certificates, so you'll need to win races to get things like a minigun mounted on your buggy. You can also earn Racing Certificates from Sally for destroying bandit cars out in the wasteland, but since you only get 1 per vehicle it's much easier to just win races. She's there for when you've finished every race and need to make up the difference.
  • The Goomba: The Ghost Clan and the Wasted Clan are the first enemies you fight in the game, and compared to later bandit clans they have low health, no armor, and inferior equipment. The Ghost Clan in particular are Fragile Speedsters in that they can acrobatically navigate the environment impressively, but can't take much punishment at all.
  • Giant Mook: The Shrouded Clan, the Gearheads, and the Authority all have heavily armored, minigun-wielding big guys that serve as mini-bosses. The Gearhead version has even heavier armor than normal, while the Authority ones have super-heavy power armor and a pulse cannon.
  • Green Rocks: Blue ones, actually. Feltrite, brought to Earth by Apophis, can be used to upgrade your armor and ammo, toughen your vehicle, build certain types of grenades, create explosives or even fuel a giant floating bandit gunship.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Authority Enforcers wear a suit of hardened combat armor that allows them to soak almost a full magazine of assault rifle fire before falling. Gearheads wear makeshift metal suits which serve the same function and give them similar durability. In both cases, armor-piercing bullets are a big help against them.
  • Hand Cannon: The normally puny pistol becomes this when loaded with the right ammo.
  • Harder Than Hard: Nightmare difficulty, in the id Software tradition. The Scorchers DLC also adds an Ultra-Nightmare difficulty level.
  • Hide Your Children: Children are never seen, heard, or even mentioned in the game and no explanation is given for their absence. What makes this especially odd is that your weapons are disabled every time you enter a settlement, making it impossible to hurt any NPC's anyway.
  • Heart Container: Apophis Infusion, a craftable item that boosts your character health by 10/11 points.
  • Human Popsicle: Humanity's best and brightest were sealed in subterranean Arks to wait out the apocalypse. The protagonist's Ark malfunctioned, leaving him as its only survivor.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: By the end of the game, the player has acquired and is carrying a pistol, a shotgun (two if you have the Anarchy Edition DLC), an assault rifle, a sniper rifle, a crossbow, a sub-machine gun, a rocket launcher, and a minigun. And that's just the weapons. You're also likely be carrying a load of quick use items, Item Crafting components, and a bunch of Vendor Trash.
  • Infinity Plus One Gatling Gun: The Authority Pulse Cannon is only obtained before the last mission of the game. It has a high rate of fire, a large magazine, good accuracy, and makes absolute mincemeat out of any foe. The only possible downside is that ammunition is expensive and you only find it for free inside the last level (by which point you can't turn back), but the cost is largely irrelevant unless players plan to take it out into the Wasteland and stall the final quest.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Averted. One of the major features of the game is the wide and extremely flexible assortment of enemy animations, including death animations. Instead of simply going rag-doll as soon as they die, enemies have a variety of death animations that flow fluidly with their movement, momentum, and actions at the moment of death, including going into Last Stand. Headshots with weaker weapons, like the Settler Pistol with basic ammo, are not a One-Hit Kill, either.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: This was one of the biggest complaints in the whole game. There's a good chance that this will cause the player to die at least once or twice per game.
  • Interface Screw: Some of the stronger mutants can do this. These same mutants also have ranged attacks and can deal a lot of damage in a short amount of time.
  • I Own This Town: The mayor of Subway Town makes it clear right from the start that the settlement is his and he won't think twice about throwing you out on your ass unless you make yourself useful to him. Then The Authority show up and take over near the end of the game.
  • Item Amplifier: Shopkeepers offer various upgrades that improve aspects of your weaponry (an extended magazine for your combat shotgun, semiautomatic fire for your otherwise bolt-action sniper rifle, spread reduction for your assault rifle, et cetera).
  • Item Crafting: You'll find a lot of junk in the dungeons, which can be combined to make more useful stuff like healing bandages, lock-grinders (think lock-picks, only in the form of a giant drill) and other doo-dads. Some of the more powerful ammo types are only available through crafting.
  • King Mook: The Large Mutant and Kraken mini-bosses which appear in a couple of levels.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the game you can meet a wastelander who wears a Doom shirt, buy an id theme for your car, and play a collectable card game... starring the actual characters. None of these things are part of the storyline or side missions and can be easily overlooked by people who are eager to play through the main quest.
  • Level in Reverse: There are several instances of having to go back to previous areas in order to retrieve something not gotten the first time, such as the two visits to Dead City. Once for an upgraded defibrillator, the other to get info on The Authority.
  • Limited Loadout: While you can go into your invetory and select from all of your available weapons at any time, you only have four "quick-use" slots.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Not terrible overall compared to other games in the 360/PS3 generation, but simply booting the game from the title menu takes roughly a minute, as well as entering other areas. Loading other save files take about the same duration. Saving the game can also take a bit of time. In one particularly obnoxious case, simply entering and leaving Wellspring by accident takes quite a while to finish. Individually, it's bearable, but have a string of these moments, and it can get quite annoying.
  • Lost Technology: The Nanotrites injected in all the Ark residents. And The Authority will acquire any Ark resident found either by payment or by force, to extract the Nanotrites for use in their experiments.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Some of the more powerful weapons and ammo can do this. The downside is that, unlike Fallout, you can't loot the corpse bits that remain.
  • Magical Defibrillator: And how. The revive ability of the main character's Nanotrites is explicitly identified as a defibrillator, and beyond merely being able to resurrect the character from absolutely anything, it releases enough electricity to fatally electrocute nearby foes at the same time.
  • Magikarp Power: The Settler Pistol stars off fairly weak with its default ammo. Once the player finds (or crafts) alternative ammo, however, it becomes one of the best weapons in the game.
    "If Mama can't kill it, run."
    "Big Mama" pistol bullets flavor-text
  • May Inca Tec: In the DLC, the Scorcher's base is a giant temple with this design aesthetic. Presumably they had a long time to build it.
  • Meat Moss: Some of this shows up in the Abandoned Hospital part of the "Dead City" level.
  • Mêlée à Trois: The various different enemy factions are hostile to each other as well as to the player, though they are almost never encountered in the same area.
  • Mighty Glacier: The minigun-wielding Giant Mooks are very powerful and take a lot of hits to kill, but they cannot run and have to stand still while aiming/firing. With even a small amount of open space to circle around them, they're practically incapable of hitting you.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: Feltrite ore, brought to Earth by Apophis and by the occasional meteor. It appears to have a variety of applications, but you mostly just sell the stuff for cash. The game tells you in a loading screen how valuable it is and how it should be saved for something really awesome, but there's only one instance when you can trade twenty shards for a defibrillator upgrade... and despite being supposedly one of the most potent and valuable energy source on the planet, it's just higher-tier vendor fodder.
  • Mutants: They're disorganized, but plentiful — and some of them are gigantic. The mutants were a by-product of the Authority trying to use the Nanotrites to control humans and turn them into super soldiers as a means of controlling the post-apocalyptic Earth.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Various signs for Mixom Corporation can be found throughout the wasteland. Mixom was one of the major equipment suppliers for Mars Base in Doom 3.
    • Your character loads the shotgun two shells at a time, even though the animation only shows them loading one shell, just like in Doom 3.
  • Nail 'Em: The Nail Gun added with the Scorcher's DLC is basically a submachine gun with the biggest ammo clip in the game. It even has two alternate ammo types available as soon as the player gets it: rebar spikes (that can pin enemies to walls) and railgun bolts (that can pin enemies THROUGH walls).
  • Nanomachines: The Nanotrites.
  • Nice Hat: Many different wastelanders have one of these. Jani, one of the vendors at Subway Town, has a particularly nice one with a red skull on it.
  • Obvious Beta: The PC version of Rage is filled with so many graphical and engine glitches, seen on a wide variety of hardware, that it seems it wasn't even play-tested for anything other than the consoles. The fact that it apparently wasn't designed to work at all with ATI video cards (which are half the cards in existence) doesn't exactly help matters, either.
  • Obviously Evil: One NPC unintentionally lampshades this when he said that the people of the Wasteland believed in General Cross and the Authority as beacons of hope and civilization... until their soldiers actually showed up, and the settlers saw what they looked like. Black-and-crimson armor, faceless masks, and beneath those, balaclavas that look like skulls. The Authority even occasionally puts a skull at the center of their already ominous-looking emblem.
  • One-Way Visor: Authority Doom Troops and Shrouded Mooks wear these.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Quite a few things:
    • Many of the trading cards can only be found during a level that is closed off once you complete it. To make matters worse, many of them are well hidden in the environment and extremely easy to miss.
    • When you first arrive in Wellsprings, you choose one of three outfits that give you different bonuses. The one you pick is the one you keep and it cannot be swapped out for another. The two left over can't be bought or traded for either.
  • Pistol-Whipping: All weapons have a melee function which allows you to hit enemies with the butt of the weapon. Effectiveness varies per weapon, depending on how heavy it is, with the shotgun having the best balance of attack speed/damage. It's useful for a finishing move on enemies near death or to knock out the weaker mutants without wasting ammo.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: The much advertised Wingstick, a tri-bladed, nano-cored throwing weapon that tracks and deals extreme damage to the target, often decapitating it on a headshot. You can carry many of them, as they have limited durability. If they don't break on contact, they fly back to you or can be retrieved from the body. They can be upgraded to Advanced, dealing more damage and able to hit multiple targets.
  • Pun: "Feltrite" is pronounced "felt right".
  • Ragnarök Proofing: The protagonist wakes up 106 years after the Apophis impact, yet there are still things like rubber tires, wrecked automobiles, paper books, glass bottles and intact circuitry lying around.
  • Red Shirts: Settlement guards will alongside you in a couple of missions against bandit raiders. They're competent combatants, but in many cases they're scripted to die in the middle of a firefight even if there aren't any enemies anywhere near them.
  • Regenerating Health: One of the thing that makes Ark survivors special is the Nanotrites in their blood that rebuild their body from almost any damage. This is why so many people are keen on sending you out into dungeons full of hostiles, and also why the Authority wants to capture you.
    • Critical Existence Failure: Not mutually exclusive with Regenerating Health, considering the defibrillator recharges. You can take all the punishment in the world, but once you get incapacitated and your defibrillator is empty, you're dead.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The Settler pistol, your starting weapon, is a hefty revolver that holds a whopping twelve rounds. It's not very impressive at first, but it becomes a lot more useful once you gain access to alternate ammo types-the heftier Fat Boys (which are limited to six-round cylinders), all-in-one Killbursts, and Fat Mammas (which act like Fat Boys with the added benefit of penetration). In comparison, everyone else in the game who carries a pistol is limited to a Colt .45.
  • Rubber-Band A.I.: Wonderfully averted in the racing sections. With the right upgrades and decent driving skills, you can leave your opponents in the dust, and the computer won't unfairly give them a speed boost or teleport them behind you.
  • Save Scumming: For the console version especially, players would best save the game every few minutes during the longer missions, because there's no guarantee that the auto save checkpoints will work in between every major area (think FPS games pre-Halo or for a more recent example, the first Mass Effect). Dying after 30 minutes of leisure progress and not saving at all since then is an easy route to frustration when the auto save you rely on fails you.
  • Scavenger World: It's thought that only Ark survivors and their descendants are capable of building anything anymore.
  • Scenery Gorn: The Ark survivor goes on many, many missions that take him inside beautifully destroyed buildings. Many levels even have ruined cityscapes visible in the distance.
  • Scenery Porn: Hagar Cave and its large blue pools of water and lush green plants are a welcome change from the mostly Real Is Brown enviroments in the main game.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: The opening cinematic has some serious scale issues.
    • The curvature of the Moon is visible when the asteroid passes it close enough to knock off material. That should have made the asteroid big enough that A) it would be spherical, and B) Earth would probably have shattered, never mind any form of life surviving, arks or no. The asteroid in question, 99942 Apophis, is not nearly that big: "only" 370 meters in diameter and estimated to mass 61 million tons. Also, the Moon and Earth are way too close together.
    • The asteroid also passes through the rings of Saturn on its way to Earth. Any asteroid getting that close to Saturn would almost certainly be caught in the gas giant's gravity and hit Saturn (or if it's moving fast enough to escape, possibly be shattered by the flyby a la Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9), not continue on to Earth.
    • Finally, while an impact from 99942 Apophis would be nothing to sneeze at (the blast would be far larger than The Tunguska Event or any nuclear weapon ever detonated), it probably wouldn't cause a Fallout-style apocalypse as depicted in the game (the Chixculub meteorite is estimated to have been a minimum of thirty times bigger).
  • Sdrawkcab Name: The achievement "ytiC daeD" for your second trip to Dead City, in which you go through the level in the opposite direction from your first trip.
  • Sentry Gun: You can build and deploy these.
  • Sequel Hook: The game ends with the Resistance triggering the emergence of countless Arks, filled with even more numerous people who would be invaluable against the Authority. In essence, they are both an army and the people needed to rebuild after the army is finished. And then... cut to credits. The Big Bad is never fought, and the Authority is far from destroyed.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In one early mission, you can find a familiar logo on a wall.
    • There's a Doom Marine bobblehead on the dash of Dan Hagar's buggy, and optional BFG rounds for the Authority Pulse Cannon. Crazy Joe even wears a Doom 3 shirt.
    • In the Wellspring Sheriff's jail room, you can find Tuco's grill on a shelf.
    • The highest difficulty level is called "Nightmare". Achievements for completing the game on certain difficulties are named after the difficulty levels from Doom.
    • A Vault-Tec bobblehead is found on the mayor of Wellspring's desk.
    • The double-barreled shotgun obtained from the "Anarchy Edition" largely serves as one to older id Software games, as it is outdated by the time you receive the standard shotgun.
    • By the game's end, the Authority-modified mutants look an awful lot like prototype Strogg.
    • Two instances that appear to pay homage to Half-Life. The first is during the rescue of Captain Marshall, in which the player fights off waves of soldiers coming in from one end of a cellblock. The second comes during the Authority occupation of Subway Town, when one Enforcer orders you to pick up a can on the ground in front of him. Doing so nets you a condescending "Good boy" from him (it's a can of dog food, too), but also a sellable item.
    • "Mutant Bash TV" sounds awfully similar to Super Smash TV, don't you think? Better yet, it's more often called simply Bash TV (the game was called simply Smash TV in arcades and on other consoles), and several pieces of the host's banter strongly resemble lines from the earlier game.
    • One of the books you can find is titled "To Serve Mutant".
    • One of the random items to pick up is Quayola Quayons, whose logo uses the stylized Q from the Quake logo.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: RAGE's shotgun is as effective as you'd expect from an id Software game, able to deal with most threats and with plentiful ammo available. It also makes a pretty good melee weapon.
  • Sinister Subway: Subway Town is one of the biggest and safest settlements in the wasteland. The surrounding tunnels and stations, however, are filled with mutants.
  • Sniper Rifle: Excellent for popping heads, but has the dubious distinction of being the only gun without alternative ammo types.
    • The gun is less practical then the crossbow. The crossbow has multiple ammo types, faster firing speed and more ammo around the maps. A player with a good aim can use the crossbow in any situation that calls for long range fire power. Also, it brings up the question why there is a stand-one scope for the pistol, but not for the crossbow, as it can pull double duty.
  • Sniping Mission: A few side missions available from the Wellspring job board are this.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Frequently. Frag Grenades, the Rocket Launcher or the vehicle-mounted homing rockets, as well as "Pop Rockets", small grenades fired from the shotgun, the classic Dynamite Bolts for the crossbow, remote-controlled mini bomb cars, vehicle-mounted mines, BFG rounds from the Pulse Cannon... this game isn't short on explosives.
  • Surveillance Drone: The Authority Drone.
  • Title Drop: In the ending of the novelization, which describes the protagonist's rage at the Authority and their crimes, and his determination to bring them down.
    • One of the game's trailers opens with a quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne: "The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man."
  • Three-Point Landing: The Ghost Clan bandits after jumping from a great height.
  • Trashcan Bonfire: These can be found in various locations in the game.
  • Trophy Room: The reward for the player completing the Scorcher's DLC is their own house in Wellspring that serves as one of these. Exactly how many trophies the player has depends on what achievements and missions they have completed.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: Killing an enemy with an explosive weapon will vaporize them, along with whatever ammo or money they had on them. If you want to play around with those neat "Pop Rocket" rounds for your shotgun, you'd better be willing to give up whatever items the poor schmuck you just blasted was carrying.
  • Vendor Trash: The wasteland is littered with old bottles, tools, books, and so forth that exist for no other reason than to be sold for cash. Even Feltrite, which is supposedly the most valuable substance around, falls into this category (you can trade 20 for a defib upgrade, but that's it).
  • Weaponized Car: Of course.
  • Wild Man: Members of the Jackal Clan wear pelts, yelp like wolves and talk in complete gibberish. They have the highest proportion of melee-happy berserker enemies. A handful will use assault rifles, but most of the ranged ones just use crossbows.
  • Your Head Asplode: Even the humble Settler pistol can inflict one of these.
  • 0% Approval Rating: The Authority is universally hated amongst the Settlers, to the point that everyone you meet who recognizes your Ark Suit will avoid revealing you to the Authority despite the hefty bounty they've placed on Ark survivors. This is compounded by the fact the Authority have a reputation for failing to actually pay on their deals, which you can experience firsthand in one sidequest where the town of Wellsprings tries to trade with them.


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