Rage PC has some rough edges

After four years in development, with pre-release drivers officially supporting the game, you'd expect Rage to be relatively free of bugs and kinks. Well, sadly, that isn't so. I ran into some vexing problems when trying to play late last night, and according to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, other users are reporting similar issues that severely impact the game's playability. Here's a list of reported bugs from the Steam forums:

  1. Texture Streaming is bad and slow resulting in always reloading the same textures thus causing the textures popping in effect - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Ch6TX-Cbs&hd=1
  2. Missing/blinking textures...
  3. Game crashes when exiting the Arc.
  4. LoD issues(popins dispersing items)
  5. Crashing after intro video
  6. Audio stuttering and not blending properly.
  7. Occasional Artifacts appearing- http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/9...0322215294.jpg
  8. Low Frame rates with occasional fps spikes
  9. Loading saves causes videocard drivers to crash...
  10. Game Fails to start with error code #51.

On top of that, the game has no graphical settings to speak of—just resolution, antialiasing, gamma, and an option called "GPU transcoding."

I ran into several of the aforementioned problems last night on my Radeon HD 6870-powered PC. Moving the mouse rapidly caused very consistent and noticeable level-of-detail shifts, with textures appearing very blurry before becoming sharper. On top of that, the screen seemed to flash white every so often, visual artifacts flickered into view at random intervals, and screen tearing was pretty awful. Those issues persisted even after a clean installation of the AMD Rage Catalyst drivers that came out last night.

I eventually gave up and swapped in a GeForce GTX 560, which got rid of the flickering, flashing, and screen tearing. (While there's no vsync option in the game settings, vsync appears to be supported in some form.) The texture pop-in problems remained, though.

For a $60 game from a company like id Software, launch issues like these kinda sting. John Carmack went on record recently as saying id has a closer relationship with Nvidia, which could explain why the game seems to be somewhat ill-behaved on Radeons. That's certainly no excuse, though. Titles from less illustrious studios usually exhibit a greater level of polish at launch—and, in a number of cases, better support for PC gamers, including unfettered access to advanced graphical settings.

Update: In case you didn't see our other update, AMD is recommending that Radeon users skip the October 3 Rage Catalyst driver because it "includes very old [OpenGL] files" that are purportedly causing some of the image corruption issues we've mentioned.

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