I played through Rage on the Nightmare difficulty, and I didn't rush through the game, play more than a few hours per day, aka I didn't burn myself out playing it. I did what I believe would be all of the side-quests, and if I missed one my bad.
Rage is a really bad game, and it makes me even more sad that it got much better reviews than Duke Nukem Forever, a truly great FPS game of our time. It is also saddens me that the people defending Rage are the same ones who picked apart Duke piece by piece for the same reasons they are defending Rage on.
Rage is far too easy. The enemies deal little damage, you have infinite health, healing pads are everywhere, and even if you die you resurrect in-place with half~ health using a defibrillator which resets every 5 minutes. It is also very easy because the game has no AI at all. Half the enemies are pre-scripted to do something, and the other half literally hide behind something like a barrel or box and stay there FOREVER AND EVER until you kill them. The pre-scripted AI is very over-acted and obvious. It is like the developers want you to notice how `smart` their enemies are so the enemies over-act everything so it is SO noticeable you couldn't possibly miss the enemy doing something `smart`. But the enemies aren't smart, they're just doing what they are scripted to do, and once the script ends, usually after 3-7 seconds, they resort to the hide-behind-object-until-I-die AI.
The game also has annoying pace. Walk into next room, doors lock, fight scripted action scene, win, doors unlock, walk into next room, doors lock, fight scripted action scene, win, and at some point the game is over. Oh you race in a buggy from time to time. That is cool once, average twice, annoying the other 500 times you need to drive somewhere to talk to someone for 1 minute only to have to drive back to town.
The buggy racing is pretty bad as well for a company like ID. The physics of the vehicle are terrible, they make Halo's vehicles look like they are from Forza/GT5. The racing is also pre-scripted. No matter how good you drive, the other cars will lock to your speed and always stay a few feet behind you. If you mess up and drive really bad, they will lock to your speed and will never be too far ahead. This means that to win any race, do nothing at all until the last lap, then halfway through the lap use your weapons, boosts, shields, and you are guaranteed first place, every time, even the supposed "hard" races. Don't even bother upgrading your vehicle either, just do what I said, it always works.
The game has no story. I swear to you it literally has no story. The game spends a few minutes showing you a video that shows some people getting into a ship, and an asteroid crashing into Earth. But it doesn't tell you anything. The game loads, you are in a ship, you get out, and now the game begins. Some guy picks you up and says you are special and that you need to move on. After doing a few trivial tasks you join up with The Resistance and fight The Man. The end. This story is like the footnotes to Fallout 3 and around 40 different 80's action movies staring Steven Seagal, Mel Gibson, and Jean Claude Van Damme.
Notice I haven't talked about the graphics of Rage? That's because graphics don't make or break a game. Rage's graphics are nice and they fit the setting great. Some people had texture issues, but by the time I got around to playing they were mostly fixed.
The music was repetitive and the music loops weren't even seamless either! Every time I was in an action sequence, the game played special action music to set the mood. But it was a short loop and you could hear where it ended, and where it began, because they didn't even bother to make a seamless loop! Sheesh!