PC Gamers Rage Over Numerous RAGE Issues

Subject: General Tech | October 5, 2011 - 07:18 AM |
Tagged: rage, PC, id, gaming, carmack

Many of the PC Perspective staff members have been testing out RAGE this week, and were among the countless fans that had been waiting impatiently for id software’s RAGE (to be released) since the first Mega-texture screenshots surfaced of the first person shooter a few years ago. As the game finally unlocked (on steam) on Monday night; however, the game’s enemies were not the only thing catching fire. The Steam Users Forum started lighting up with numerous complaints, bug issues, crashes, and graphical woes and rolled into an uncontrollable wildfire.

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id Software's RAGE, when it's working

The major issues of RAGE include the trusty “CTD,” a crash to desktop, after the initial cut scene in the campaign as you emerge into the game world, screen tearing, mouse super sensitivity, and texture pop-in.  According to Maximum PC, Bethesda has stated that this error is caused when using AMD’s Battlefield 3 Beta performance drivers. I experienced this issue myself when testing out RAGE, and switching to these RAGE performance drivers fixed that particular crashing issue. There are also reports of crashing during other parts of the game; however, they are more varied than the previous crash issue and do not manifest themselves on all systems.  On the mouse super sensitivity front, using a mouse on in game dialog menus can be problematic as well. The mouse sensitivity seems to skyrocket, making it difficult to hit the “accept” and “decline” options compared to the mouse speed when using guns or walking around in the game world.  The same physical motions seem to be greatly magnified on the in-game menus, as shown in the video below.

The remaining major issues do not necessarily affect gameplay; however, they can be distracting and certainly can interrupt the immersion factor of the game. Specifically, there is currently a texture streaming problem such that when the player turns too fast (or at all in severe cases), the textures of the game “pop in.” What this means is that the game looks blurry and missing detail until the engine is able to “catch up” and present the gamer with the (correctly) detailed textures. Bethesda indicates that this texture lag/pop in problem is due moreso to driver issues than problems with the engine. It remains to be seen whether updated drivers will be able to fully fix the texture streaming issue, however. The video below shows the texture pop in issue quite well.

The texture issue is not only a PC issue, however. Giantbomb noted in their Quick Look of RAGE that the Xbox 360 version of RAGE also experiences the texture pop in issue, though not to the extent of the PC. Beyond texture pop in, the PC version also succumbed to screen tearing issues. As an example, when entering the Wasted Garage level, the left two-thirds of my screen became filled almost completely with a solid yellow color where the image was torn in multiple places. This image below is of another user’s screen tearing experience which was less severe than mine but still enough to cause problems in playing the game.

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GameFront is having RAGE screen tearing issues as well.

Finally, RAGE does not play nicely with FRAPS, which saw a massive slowdown in framerate when recording (much more than the normal dip experienced in other games). (UPDATE: the new AMD driver (updated Rage Performance Driver) seems to have fixed this for the most part.)

Some of these graphical issues may be attributable to the automatically adjusting nature of the game’s graphical settings as the game may not be able to cache/reuse textures it has recently loaded if the engine determines that the graphical settings need to be lower or higher, resulting in the engine needing to reload textures, and thus having what feels like lagging textures even in areas you’ve recently looked around. The extent to which it happens though is likely caused by a number of factors, that many hope a patch will mitigate.  On the other hand, Bethesda is indicating that the texture issue is not due to the engine but rather is due to graphics drivers.

Either way, gamers are not happy with RAGE and are waiting impatiently for drivers and/or a patch to fix the various issues, whichever the case may be.  It may be prudent to take a "wait and see" approach to the game before jumping in, if you haven't already purchased it of course.  Are you running RAGE right now, and if so what sorts of issues (and hopefully solutions) have you run into?  Vent your rage about RAGE in the comments below!

October 5, 2011 | 08:29 AM - Posted by pdjblum

Why do you think there is such a divergence between consensus user reviews and critic reviews on metacritic.com? User reviews average around 3.2 and critic reviews around 8.5. Are many of these critics compensated in some fashion?

October 5, 2011 | 08:55 AM - Posted by Coupe (not verified)

No. Many Demo'd the game on Premade rigs that ID provided. The game itself is great. It just has some launch blues.

October 5, 2011 | 08:52 AM - Posted by Coupe (not verified)

AMD Radeon

If you have OPEN GL triple buffer enabled, it causes CTDs. As far as the tearing issue, you can force Vsync through your drivers, but on complex maps (like Wellspring) it causes severe microstutter.

Hope this helps some.

October 5, 2011 | 09:08 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Thanks for the tips!

October 5, 2011 | 09:00 AM - Posted by Dynotaku (not verified)

I have an ATI 5870 with the BF3 performance patch, but I didn't get the crash on exiting the arc strangely enough, but I did get the texture pop in issue so severely I decided the game was unplayable. The first AMD Rage performance driver had an outdated OpenGL driver which didn't fix anything but didn't seem to make anything worse, then they updated that driver package and I installed it and now I get texture pop in but now with the wrong textures.

http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/577810212105847413/46B0EF361927E2C0F91...

I've cleaned off my drivers, rebooted, reinstalled, verified cache files, defragged, nothing. I'm basically hosed until there's a patch fro id and a new AMD driver, so it may be weeks before I can play this game, but we'll see.

October 5, 2011 | 10:59 AM - Posted by BugSmashR (not verified)

I have been playing this on a Pentium E5200 and GTX465 and I game at 1024x768. With my old eyes, higher resolutions are a waste of time. I barely notice the texture pops. Perhaps because I've set the game to run at such a low resolution and thus I'm using lower resolution textures to start with, is why I don't have as many of these issues.

I've been considering getting the MSI GTX-560ti with an extra gig of ram (2GB-DDR5); do you think that the extra memory would be helpful in pre-caching the textures? (keep in mind, I'll still be playing at around 1024x768, or 1280x1024.

Sometimes I'll game using a projector, which is 1280x768 native DLP, for an 108" screen. When I do that I like to be able to crank the AA all the way up for a prettier picture. At that size, AA and Lots of filtering make a big difference.

October 5, 2011 | 12:38 PM - Posted by Bill (not verified)

Actually, the best way to not have issues with this game is to do what I'm going to do. Wait a month and see if they fix them. By then it will probably be $10-$20 cheaper anyway.:)

October 6, 2011 | 01:13 AM - Posted by Wu Li (not verified)

AMD screwed up the first Rage performance driver, immediately corrected the mistake, and plans to release a second improved version sometime today (Thursday.)

People are not only upset about the technical difficulties which are to be expected with a radically new engine based on openGL, but the often extremely low textures in the game. Carmack has suggested id might release a 75gb super high resolution texture pack, but combined with the 25gb needed for the game itself that would require an insane 100gb download. So that's two serious problems id has to work through, technical difficulties and the limitations of the internet.

I'm just hoping they solve the technical difficulties fast so they can release the texture pack upgrade and start dealing with any new headaches that introduces. The irony is that PC gaming enthusiasts have been complaining for years that new games seldom push the technology and Rage is a lesson in being careful what you ask for.

October 6, 2011 | 03:23 PM - Posted by kingkurt (not verified)

Ok - so after a while I had a ton of continous crashes so had a bit of a play around with settings

I have now set it to run in a window ( in video settings ingame) and it runs like an absolute dream

Give it a try

October 7, 2011 | 05:29 AM - Posted by Batsie (not verified)

Playing in windowed fixed the wasted garage loading screen crash, and it also seems to have upgraded my assault rifle. The magazine now floats above the rifle using some sort of force field, don't see how that could technically work but it sure looks great. sarcasm;

October 9, 2011 | 09:40 AM - Posted by XyKy (not verified)

You can't use VSync when recording via HDMI?

Ryan, you've mentioned your HDMI recording setup on TWICH a few issues back, when it was still under construction. I'm looking forward to a full article on it!

Also, I wonder if you've tried playing from a RAM disk for faster texture loading. There's an interesting post on the subject here:
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=268590

January 16, 2012 | 04:02 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I installed rage but when I attempted to play the game it immediately crashes before anything comes up. It shows me nothing of the game but a crashed warning. The same disk plays on my friends pc. Why won't it run on mine?

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