Road Rage, the spiritual successor to Road Rash (a game every 30 something plus gamer has fond memories of) is not a good game. It’s not even a mediocre game. It’s bad. It’s very bad. In fact, it’s the kind of bad that you just don’t expect in physically released games these days. Which is an achievement in itself if you think about. Thankfully for Road Rage, it’s the kind of bad that veers strangely off into the realms of fun – like a dodgy Roger Corman Swords and Sorcery 80s flick that you know you shouldn’t watch, but it’s just too damn hilarious not to.
Where to start? Road Rage is a quazi open-world experience, with story missions that all boil down to racing and literally beating your opponents to first place. One of the first titles to be developed in-house by relatively new publisher Maximum Games, Road Rage belies its developer’s small budget and lack of experience at every turn – the controls are too loose, the brawling lacks impact, the looks lack sparkle and the game generally needs another few licks of polish.
Its heart is in the right place though, and studios don’t go out to make bad games (despite what some corners of the internet may tell you). Open-world games are tough to get right by the most veteran of studios (hello Bioware and Mass Effect: Andromeda), and there’s a feeling here that Maximum Games bit off quite a lot more than they could chew. It’s an interesting way to update an older title, that frankly, no-one was asking to be updated but the execution is severely lacking. However, there was a perverse fun to be found during the play through. There are laughs to be found, but your mileage will vary if those laughs are to the games merits or failings.
Look, we can’t recommend people to go out and buy Road Rage – there’s just too much good stuff around at the moment. If someone were to buy it for you, say a misguided parent/grandparent/partner this Xmas, you could play it for the easy gamerscore or trophy haul before you trade it in and mine what fun there is to be had from this unwittingly retro experience. Just make sure your expectations are rock bottom.
Better luck next time, Maximum Games.
Special thanks to Carly Moxey from Dead Good Media for providing this review code for the PS4.