There are a lot of things about RAGE that will make you rage. In both the good and the bad way. Rage is one of those words like “bad” or “no” that can sometimes mean the opposite of what they are implying. For instance, if somebody gets ebola, that is bad. But if somebody swings through a window with two deagles blasting time traveling nazis, that is badass, which is good. Rage can mean getting angry, for instance getting angry at the horrible texture pop in issues that plague RAGE. But according to Urban Dictionary, Rage:

To party extremly hard: Excessive drinking, taking of pills, boozing or any combination of the three. 

As in, the texture pop in of RAGE will make you rage so hard that you rage, raging until you alleviate your rage while you play RAGE. Get it? I didn’t think so.

Anyways, when RAGE came out it was billed as id’s answer to Fallout 3/NV, which is really the worst comparison this game could have had. It is a linear shooter that combines the looting aspect of FO3 minus the actual loot. You know how in New Vegas and 3 you have to check every damn trash can and drawer out of habit because you might need a Sunset Sasparilla or a box of smokes? Well they added that feature in RAGE except you never find anything except for tin cans and useless junk. You will never find a cool weapon because that just doesn’t happen. Why is the looting system in this game? I have no idea.

The actual shooting is fine. It’s actually pretty good. However, there is regenerating bloody screen health, which is always just the worst. Quite frankly it makes me RAGE. There is also some driving and it’s just fine and dandy. Aesthetically the game pulls off a nice enough post apocalyptic world. But man for a company that’s built itself on making badass engines this one is so bad.

This is how Americans view all English football fans

 RAGE is currently on sale for 75% off, it is $4.99. This game goes on sale from time to time. If you really like linear single player shooters, the action here is enough to keep you interested. And although there is regenerating health, at least you can hold more than 2 guns at a time. $4.99 for a AAA title is pretty good though so it’s up to you. For diehard modern FPS fans: Verdict: Buy it

Deus Ex Human Revolution

Deus Ex Human Revolution: Director’s Cut was the Steam Daily Deal back in March or something and I wrote about it then, things haven’t changed too much. Check it out. Even the price is the same, $4.99. I like cyberpunk and I like FPS RPGs but something about the way this game plays doesn’t sit right with me. I prefer EYE Divine Cybermancy for it’s god awful 99 cent scifi paperback story French voice acting that I can’t even understand and the ridiculous cyber medieval setting. I don’t much like the sneakin and I don’t much like the shootin in Deus Ex Human Revolution Director’s Cut but I definitely think I’m the minority when it comes to that believe.

In case you forgot, you play as an Oakley-sunglasses wearing IT specialist named Adam Jensen, who gets a radioactive robot wang or something that he has to use to repopulate the future by making love to cyborg women. Just kidding, the game is actually about an Oakley-sunglasses wearing IT specialist named Adam Jensen who decides to fulfill his dream of becoming arm wrestling champion of the world while simultaneously winning back the heart of of his estranged son, and in order to do so he gets an unbeatable, radioactive robot super arm. Just kidding, you actually play as an Oakley-sunglasses wearing IT specialist named Adam Jensen who one morning gets a strange message on his computer telling him to follow the white rabbit, and he does and finds a sexy kung fu-wielding elite hacker who opens his mind to the fraud of the world around him, the fraud being that the world we all live in is actually a computer program and the real world is a miserable place where robots raise humans for food.

Jensen displaying the flight augmentation

If you like the color orange and semi-interesting ethical/philosophical dilemmas regarding the positives and negatives of mechanical dongs, Deus Ex Human Revolution Director’s Cut is the game for you. Otherwise, the Verdict: skip it.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Welcome to XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Except we know the enemy, they are aliens. A bunch of jerk aliens that want to come over here to Earth and charge us taxes on necessities like tea. Well the humans of Planet Earth have had it with those imperialistic bastards and now we’re dumping that tea off of our ships. We refuse to pay your outlandish tariffs, you greedy aliens! XCOM is the name of the elite team of 6 people or from all over the world who are given the responsibility of protecting the entire planet. These 6 people are rotating in and out of a slightly larger group, depending on who gets killed or injured. Unfortunately, the shadowy “government” has only given the team a budget of a couple hundred simoleons a month. Which is just absurd considering you are the last line of defense for the entire world but whatever, that’s totally just like the government, always trying to screw us.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown basically plays like Oregon Trail. Except instead of your poor, loving sister who dies of dysentery, it’s Corporal Santiago who dies of a laser blast to the face. He was the heart of the team, dammit! I don’t see how we go on anymore. And for that reason I refuse to play the game for several weeks until I can forget about his poor, sad, dying face. I let him die. It was my fault, and I feel bad about it. And such is the XCOM experience. The key to the game is to name the people in your squad after your friends. And if you don’t have any friends, well, then your squad will become your friends. You will become emotionally attached and you will not what to put them in harm’s way. But you will have to and it’s pretty sad when they die, because ultimately IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT.

As long as your squad members survive, they will remain under your command for the whole game. They level up and you can give them special abilities and outfit them with cool new weapons and armor. Eventually you get to the point where each unit has a specific specialty, and this will give you a balanced attack. Until the sniper that you strategically placed on the rooftop to flank the enemy gets shot in the back by a half robot/ half corpse that just teleported behind you. Back in the day we called that cheesing. Now they call it artificial difficulty or some crap I’m not really sure. But it’s all part of the game, baby, because on the next turn with the way karma works that alien’s face is going to have a 3% chance of getting melted off but you’re going to take that chance anyways and BAM! Captain Michelle Rodriguez came through and blew him away, game over, aliens lose, you win.

This game is addicting which is a great quality, and it is difficult. You really have to be strategic with your moves. And make sure you have a support class with a ton of medkits, they are totally underrated. The problem is it’s only 50% off and it’s $14.99. This is a little steep- it was on sale for less than that several months ago. But the game is really good, so if you don’t want to wait and hope for the Summer sale then you should probably buy it. Verdict: Buy it.

Race the Sun

Race the Sun is the true sequel to the hit game Dark Souls. It is set far into the future and places you in the shoes of the brave knight Solaire of Astora. Solaire has long been praising said sun but apparently he decided now is the time to finally try and catch it, which is why he got this spaceship in the first place. At least this is as much information as I could possibly gather because in true Dark Souls fashion the story is more about picking up clues from the environment rather than having it shoved into your face by cutscenes.

The game is one of those endless runner-type games. I’m not sure what the genre is called exactly. So your only true opponent is your own reflexes and flight skills. That and a bunch of polygonal shapes that threaten to fall on you, or worse, stand completely stationary in your way and then you fly into it but it wasn’t anyone’s fault except for your own and you really can’t blame this inanimate object but it’s much easier to do that than it is your own incompetence but in the end it doesn’t really matter because you’re just going to try it again anyways. So yeah, it’s kind of like that.

Race the Sun is also procedurally generated so you can fly your ship in any direction and the world will build itself around your flight path. This is good and bad because luck is now involved. And unless you are Han Solo sooner or later flying your spaceship around a bunch of spiky triangles is going to get you killed. Repeatedly.

race the sun
Return to Anor Londo as Solaire Himself!

Although the graphics have inexplicably taken a few steps back from the original Dark Souls, Race the Sun still has its own simplistic charms. The gameplay is familiar but it is finely honed, much like a blade pounded out by Andre. The game is currently 66% off and $3.39. It might not cause you to lapse into a marathon gaming session but it will force you to play and replay it many times. Verdict: Buy it.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut

In Deus Ex: Human Revolution you play a security guard named Jax. You have been entered into a tournament with the best fighters in the world, a tournament in which you must fight to the death. This tournament is called Mortal Kombat. Your background is as follows:

After failing to convince his superiors of the coming outworld menace, Jax begins to covertly prepare for future battle with Kahn’s minions. He outfits both arms with indestructible bionic implants. This is a war Jax is prepared to win.

Sounds pretty badass, right? WRONG. Well, kind of. Admittedly I came in to this game thinking I was going to be sprinting around punching peoples’ faces off. In actuality I was forced to use guns (!) even though I had metal arms. In fact the game encouraged me to sneak. Sneak. “Stealth is sometimes the best option,” the game says. I would rather just rip off someone else’s non-mechanical, fleshy arms and then beat them with it. Now that is a stat I would like to invest experience points in. At least you can still punch the ground to be a nuisance to people. Unfortunately you have to jump off a building to do it.

I’ve got to get to that noodle shop. Quietly.

The Director’s Cut of Deus Ex Human Revolution apparently changes some things for the better. For some people. One of these changes is that the boss fights have been “reworked.” You can now have an easier time defeating bosses using stealth and hacking. I’m sorry, but I thought I was roleplaying as someone with metal hands that would simply crush a computer terminal if I attempted to type on it. So that change doesn’t really benefit me. It also includes the DLC which has become a part of the story.

Human Revolution – The Director’s Cut is currently 75% off and $4.99. It’s not the game for me but it might be for you. Verdict: Skip it.

Galactic Civilizations II

Galactic Civlizations II is a 4X game. Which is a term coined in the 90s when everyone was obsessed with changing words starting with the prefix ex- to just X. Xtreme, for instance. X games. That video game virtual reality movie that you’ve never heard of but should totally watch called eXistenZ. Well 4X is apparently a both a tasty Australian beer. And also it describes strategy games like these in which you “Xplore, Xpand, Xploit, and Xterminate.” Which really kind of explains a lot of different types of games but you have to admit, it’s pretty catchy. And it’s apt.

Did you play Civilization IV and find yourself wondering what this game would be like if Ghandi had a space jetpack? No? Do you wonder if Stalin and Montezuma would still try and screw you over even in another galaxy? No? Me neither. But somebody wondered that, and then they made this game. Only they changed Stalin and Montezuma to some strange horsefaced tentacle man. I don’t know what civ that is but I know I don’t want to be a part of it.

If you have never played a turn based strategy game before, I don’t know if this is the right place to start. It might be a little daunting. And it is. It isn’t confusing so much as there is just a lot of information and a lot of micromanaging. But that’s what makes this type of game fun. If you like 4x games, however, you will probably enjoy this one, and it’s one you could get hundreds of hours out of. There is no multiplayer, however, which is kind of a bummer.

Galactic Civilizations II is currently on sale 75% off for $4.99. So let’s decide based on whether you should purchase this game, or a Subway sandwich. I am currently looking at what the featured five dollar footlong is…and it is a Meatball Marinara. Which I simply cannot recommend. In that case, Galactic Civilizations II it is. Verdict: Buy it.

Mars: War Logs

In Mars: War Logs you are a space marine stranded on Mars and a fiery Inferno awaits you on the Shores of Hell and your only way out is to wade Knee Deep in the Dead. But watch out! You don’t want to get Thy Flesh Consumed by zombie space marines, imps, and the terrifying cyber demon in this gritty, next-gen re-imagining of Doom. And now that I have your attention, let me elaborate.

Gone are the Demons and in are the stories of planet wide political intrigue. Rocket skeletons? No thanks. This fear is a little more plausible, and it comes in the form of an oppressive government. Now THAT’S what I call scary. But you can fight back! With a series of guns, clubs, and electricity spouting fingertips. Which you can upgrade. In third person. And it looks pretty damn good.

Let’s be honest. We all wondered what was on Mars at one point. Until they sent us those pictures and it was just really dusty and red. And honestly kind of boring. Well the Mars in Mars: War Hogs Dogs Logs is still pretty dusty but in a cyberpunk, post apocalyptic kind of way. Meaning that it is digitally dusty from being passed over by many people on the Steam digital shelf. And it’s not boring. It’s pretty cool.

Bakersfield, CA

The game is far from perfect. The voice acting isn’t great and combat can be a little clunky sometimes. But it’s an interesting addition to the genre and it’s currently on sale for only $3.74. You’ll get some hours out of this game if third person action RPGs are your thing. Verdict: Buy it.