rAge, South Africa’s largest gaming and technology expo has come and gone once again – and proven, as it does every year, that video games and the culture surrounding them aren’t just viable – they’re actually big damned business. Gamers from all walks of life swarmed the Dome in Northgate to see the newest in games and technology. Here’s what we thought.

It seemed, on the Friday, to be a somewhat subdued affair this year; there were fewer exhibitors and what seemed like far more space thanks to wider isles, more open stands and a generally improved layout. and then Saturday happened – and once again, the Dome was full to bursting,making for a pretty unpleasant experience for your average claustrophobe. I really think the event has outgrown its venue. 

Was it all worth coming through though? Depends on the gamer. There were quite a number of rad new, unreleased games to play. EA had Battlefield 4, running on some pretty beefy Pc’s, along with FIFA 14 and Need for Speed Rivals on show. I asked EA why there was no TitanFall – and they tried, they really did – but as Gavin pointed out earlier today, Igromir in Russia and the EBGames expo in Australia get preference – which is why there was a relative lack of PS4 and Xbox One games on show; the dev units and display kits are all being used elsewhere right now.

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Both next-gen consoles were on display of course; the PS4 was there, but Sony could only secure two games for rAge; DriveClub and Knack – which are, quite frankly, two of the dullest games in the PS4 launch line up. Warner Bros. had a ridiculously impressive Batman: Arkham Origins stand, thought it was unfortunately the only game of theirs really on show. would have loved for Sa consumers to see how good Mad Max and Dying Light are shaping up.

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Microsoft did quite bit better, I thought, With Ryse: Son of Rome’s multiplayer on the floor for everyone to play, along with Forza 5. Dead Rising 3, the game to own on the Xbox One and the game that’s seriously making me consider switching my Ps4 pre-order for Xbox One was also on show, but not openly playable for all. If you’d sat in the presentation for the game though, you’d have had the chance to see and perhaps even have the chance to play it .

Xb1

Megarom had a host of stuff; Skylanders Swop Force, Assassin’s Creed 4 (running on PS4 devkits), NBA 2K14, WWE2K14, Dark Souls II and Final Fantasy XII: Lightning Returns, plus demos of South Park: The Stick of Truth and Watch Dogs. Rad. Nintendo had some pretty amazing stuff on show; Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D world – and that new Legend of Zelda for the 3DS. 

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For us though, the AAA stuff or the new console on display wasn’t  a big draw; we’ve been to E3 and Gamescom, so we’ve seen and played it already. Far more exciting for us this year, and I think most of our local journalists, was the opportunity to have a look at some of the frankly impressive locally made indie games at the MakeGamesSA stand, and chat to the developers of those games about their work.

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There were 15 home-brewed made by really passionate people, with highlights (for me, at least) being retrofuture’s zX hyperbalst, a rad as all hell, tough-as-nails shmup; Giant Box Games’ Pixelboy, a top-down, rogue-like(ish) quirky adventure RPG shooter that turns genre conventions around, and Free Lives’ Broforce, a terribly violent, ridiculously fun shooter in the Contra vein. We’ll have some more in-depth looks at all fifteen games, along with profiles on their creators and some neat interviews later. We’ll be paying a much closer eye to the local indie scene; there’s some serious game-making passion and talent in SA.

Did you head out to rAge? What did you think of this year’s expo?

Last Updated: October 7, 2013

1.1
was reviewed on PC

73 Comments

  1. Devourer of Small Bunnies

    October 7, 2013 at 11:12

    I did, and indeed twas better than a licky boom boom down

    Reply

    • Spathi

      October 7, 2013 at 11:37

      Dammit, song in my head now…Informer, Itl disekd laopwo oba a MEOWWWWW, licky boom boom down!

      Reply

  2. John's better judgement

    October 7, 2013 at 11:21

    I think I wasn’t there.

    Reply

  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    October 7, 2013 at 11:22

    Speaking of indie games, here’s Rince doing his impression of a lost serial killer. Oh wait, it’s not an impression. TROLLOL!

    Reply

    • NecroRince

      October 7, 2013 at 11:50

      YOU SHUT UP YOU!

      Reply

    • NecroRince

      October 7, 2013 at 12:05

      Here’s a pic of you just before Rock murdered you! BOOM!

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        October 7, 2013 at 12:07

        The one on the right is the killer *cough* TROLL FAIL!

        Reply

        • NecroRince

          October 7, 2013 at 12:09

          Boom! No, wait, that doesn’t work!

          Reply

  4. Admiral Chief of Rivia

    October 7, 2013 at 11:22

    MY EYES!!!!

    FLIPPEN MACS!

    Reply

    • John's better judgement

      October 7, 2013 at 11:23

      It’s like a virus.

      Reply

    • FoxOneZA

      October 7, 2013 at 11:58

      Mac’s with games O_O

      Reply

      • Her Highness the Hipster

        October 7, 2013 at 12:37

        like a unicorn – if you can spot one, you’re truly special 😉

        Reply

      • Sageville

        October 7, 2013 at 12:38

        Pfft, Screenshot or it never happened!

        Reply

  5. Ultimo_Cleric N7

    October 7, 2013 at 11:24

    Missed the CT get together this weekend. Wish I had made it though, sorry boys 🙁

    Reply

    • John's better judgement

      October 7, 2013 at 11:26

      Me too. I planned on it all this time and then my moving of residence messed it up.

      Reply

    • Rock789

      October 7, 2013 at 11:59

      Yup – you missed muchos laughs… A great night y’all.

      And plenty of discussions about yellow Hummer drivers and their homicidal tendencies! 😉 🙂 Sorry – inside joke. 🙂

      Reply

  6. Sageville

    October 7, 2013 at 11:24

    I went on Saturday, as stated, it was uncomfortably overcrowded.

    I enjoyed seeing the Cosplay Peeps, that was the highlight of the whole thing for me.

    I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see most of the cool games (Knack and the Crew do not fall under that category). It wasn’t all bad, but I was hoping for more.

    Reply

  7. Spathi

    October 7, 2013 at 11:25

    Was there on Friday and enjoyed it! Got some hands-on with Knack and Drive Club, and while the games were just alright, the controller is excellent! Enjoyed some Forza 5 and experienced the rumble triggers, which was awesome, although it isn’t a game changer.

    Played Dark Souls 2, GT6 and Mario World, all excellent!

    Also, bumped into Gavin at Gilroy’s while enjoying a few (read a lot!) of beers on Saturday. He was really cool and totally didn’t freak out even though I forced him to pose for photos of this momentous event! He even asked for my address, but I suspect this was to get an address to serve the protection order 😛

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief of Rivia

      October 7, 2013 at 11:27

      XD

      Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      October 8, 2013 at 10:33

      Lol that was quite the surprise for me, you made me feel famous and stuff so thanks :).

      It was nice meeting you and your pretty wife…

      ^^ More proof that not all gamers are basement dwellers with no social skills

      Reply

  8. Rikus

    October 7, 2013 at 11:29

    I went, and even though the experience was quite enjoyable, it really felt like rAge lost some of its charm. Maybe it was the hordes of people, maybe it was Ster Kinekor dropping us with the PS4 presentation….I don’t know. Yeah, I got to play PS4 and Xbone (which were the primary reason I went), but the game on the display were “meh”. Game of the show IMO? South Park: Stick of truth. I lolled my ass off.

    Reply

  9. ToshZA

    October 7, 2013 at 11:30

    I was there, and the expo was crowded, but it did clear up a bit later on on Saturday. AC4, Dark Souls 2 and Pokemon X/Y were my highlights in terms of preview code, and that PS4 controller is a vast improvement over the old ones. Still not an Xbox controller in terms of comfort, but it was a lot better! Some of the cosplay was great – the effort people put into their costumes is incredible, they’re talented people.

    Interestingly, the only stand I didn’t have a look at was the Indie one, and no, I’m not sad I missed it. Don’t kill me Zoe. Please?

    Reply

    • Her Highness the Hipster

      October 7, 2013 at 12:32

      if disqus comments could kill *evil stare* 😉

      Reply

      • ToshZA

        October 7, 2013 at 12:33

        You’d have told me to go fly a kite on Saturday if you knew this 😛

        Reply

        • Her Highness the Hipster

          October 7, 2013 at 12:33

          nah! although you did miss out on some cool stuff

          Reply

          • ToshZA

            October 7, 2013 at 12:39

            Why does it feel like I really didn’t though? Haha, not to poke the fire or anything, but I honestly don’t feel like I missed out by walking right past that stand.

            I’ll be honest, Indie games don’t cost much, so to wait until the final games are released and just throw some money in their general direction doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Even if I don’t end up liking the game, the money isn’t a waste. Plus I get to enjoy it on my own time, so that’s a plus. I’m not anti Indie, just didn’t feel the urge to visit their stand.

          • Her Highness the Hipster

            October 7, 2013 at 15:25

            i would say you missed out on some cool games – but mostly because it’s nice to get hands on and see what you like… http://www.lazygamer.co/general-news/so-many-awesome-indies-at-rage/

  10. SaintsRowNigri

    October 7, 2013 at 11:32

    I wanted to go, but being the claustrophobe that I am, I would have ended up hating it. So maybe it’s a good thing I did not go.

    Reply

    • Spathi

      October 7, 2013 at 11:41

      The Friday afternoon was real quite. Played both the XB1 and PS4 games with not waiting more than 5 minutes.

      Reply

    • Lardus-Resident Perve

      October 7, 2013 at 11:41

      Fridays are the best for us claustrophobes (unless they all have cleavage). If it is outside a school holiday, most kids cannot be there to irritate us! Be at Wimpy at 9 am, have a breakfast, then follow us in. You could be in and out before half the queue is in 🙂

      Reply

  11. NamedTroll

    October 7, 2013 at 11:38

    PS4 was the boss. Xbone is still crap

    Reply

  12. Namedtroll

    October 7, 2013 at 11:42

    U would be fool to cancel ps4 prorder to get xblocks one.

    Reply

  13. Ir0nseraph

    October 7, 2013 at 11:45

    Friday was nice and quite , had a go at the PS4 Controller and Xbox one and in the end the Microsoft didn’t do enough to make me cancel my PS4 pre order.

    Rage was decent overall , it didn’t feel like I wasted 70 bucks

    Reply

    • Lardus-Resident Perve

      October 7, 2013 at 11:49

      While I am leaning toward XBone, I agree that they did not do enough to persuade people like you to change their minds. At the same time, I do not think PS4 did enough either. With them releasing here first, they had a great opportunity to grab a larger slice, but they missed it. Friday is THE BEST day to go 🙂

      Reply

      • Ir0nseraph

        October 7, 2013 at 12:15

        True , but no release date , Microsoft just doesn’t seem to care for SA , so I will be spending my money with Sony this time around.

        Reply

        • Lardus-Resident Perve

          October 7, 2013 at 12:25

          I am waiting until a game comes out in the next gen that I simply MUST HAVE, like Soul Calibur or Dead or Alive or more Mass Effect! Until then, I’ll keep enjoying my Xbox 360 and PC.

          Reply

          • ToshZA

            October 7, 2013 at 12:31

            I’m mostly the same, but at the moment I’m thinking PS4 because of AC4, Witcher 3 etc – the non exclusives – and the cost is just much better. In the previous gen, PS3 won the exclusives race (if there was such a thing) hands down, and I don’t see that changing.

  14. bluegoon

    October 7, 2013 at 11:47

    PS4 looked cool, but then SCEE (Europe) announced this 499 Euro bundle: PS4, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Camera, Extra Controller…….

    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=686719

    Screw that, we need the same deal here.

    Reply

    • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      October 7, 2013 at 11:54

      We fall under SCEE; we likely will get the same bundle here. Just wait a while. It wont be in the first shipments, unfortunately.

      Reply

      • bluegoon

        October 7, 2013 at 11:59

        Hope so Geoff, I really do, there is no way in hell I’m not getting that bundle.

        Reply

  15. Devourer of Small Bunnies

    October 7, 2013 at 11:50

    btw. STICK OF TRUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

    • Sageville

      October 7, 2013 at 12:35

      NO!

      Reply

      • Devourer of Small Bunnies

        October 7, 2013 at 13:12

        IS!

        Reply

  16. Estian Hough

    October 7, 2013 at 12:01

    Sighness 🙁
    Show me a team that can make something on the same level as that of Natural Selection 2 or up for pc (South African Ofc) and I’d give them as much money as I can 😛

    Reply

  17. Martin du preez

    October 7, 2013 at 12:03

    SERIOUSLY need a bigger venue next year.

    Reply

  18. Circuitflow

    October 7, 2013 at 12:13

    Can we please just get a XBOX one release date!

    Reply

    • saneman

      October 7, 2013 at 13:50

      2015 @ 9k

      Reply

      • Circuitflow

        October 7, 2013 at 13:58

        LOL, for the sake of my future gaming carreer.. i hope ur soooo wrong!

        Reply

        • Graeme Selvan

          October 8, 2013 at 10:33

          We are pushing for one, promise we will put it out as soon as we know. It is next year though not 2015 😛

          Reply

  19. Drizzt

    October 7, 2013 at 12:19

    I went on Friday, I was quite impressed. Having been to Eurogamer last year and taking into account that SA it’s not a big market compared to US, Europe, Austrailia and the far East I think they did a really good job.
    I was glad to see games you can’t just download a demo of at home, and to get some hands on time with a new map in Battlefield 4.
    I was most impressed with the next gen consoles on display. I really just wanted to get my hands on the controller just to see how they felt.
    And this is where my “But” comes in, the time they allow people to “try” games was far too long. The hands on time with Ryse was waaaay to long. It took 30 minutes for me to get my hands on Ryse! One person was playing and there was one person in front of me waiting, I had to eventually ask the Microsoft person on hand if we were ever going to get a chance. Most South Africans don’t know how to que or consider others I’ve realized, we had this issue at a lot of stands. We had people pushing in front of us at the PS4 demo’s which also took a long of time.
    Overall though I will continue to support RAge.

    Reply

    • ToshZA

      October 7, 2013 at 12:29

      I think that some stands got it right though. Dark Souls let you play until you died – AC4 let you play one of the 2 demos on hand, neither really took long but both showed key aspects of the game and gave you enough to give a fair chance at the game.

      Ryse was shocking, definately, after 30 minutes in a long queue I left it and moved on. The game looked fun, but an endlessly looping multplayer demo should be monitored. Each person should get one play through the loop, max.

      Reply

  20. Ramon

    October 7, 2013 at 12:32

    Hey Guys , it was a good show this year , but i was left wanting. I’m unsure of how we should be looking at this years Rage show. Its correct that there were fewer exhibitors and far less human stands however as usual the flow was all wrong. It was so badly laid out that no matter which direction you flowed in you always seem to end up a stand 19. It was very disjointed and the one would have thought that after last years fiasco we would have been better prepared. Well we can only hope that next year will be better

    Reply

    • ToshZA

      October 7, 2013 at 12:42

      I have a different experience then, I much preferred this year over last year. Last year I left feeling like you are now, but this year I was happy – I had really enjoyed myself. And apart from the art stands and the board game area, the isles were much better.

      Reply

      • Ramon

        October 7, 2013 at 13:55

        Tosh , i have to agree the walking room was far larger than last year ,
        but the layout was scattered and one was left to try make a way around
        with out a real floor plan and movement was really scattered around , i
        felt like the person who laid out the floor plan was left in a dark room
        with a bottle of rum and drew it without really having a clue how it
        should flow. I have to say it looked like the art stands were left as an after thought , perhaps as an “oh wait, were do we put these guys” because they were not really included in the whole layout as well as they were last year

        Reply

        • ToshZA

          October 7, 2013 at 13:58

          I do agree with the art stands. It makes me a little sad really, because that’s definitely one of my favourite stands at rAge. I love the talent that’s there, and they got no love this year. They gave it to the Indies instead. Which is ok and all, but some more space for them would’ve been really nice.

          As for the floor plan, I see your point, but it was still easy enough to waft around and find what you were looking for.

          Reply

  21. ElimiNathan

    October 7, 2013 at 13:44

    Did anyone play Driveclub ? How was it

    Reply

    • Rikus

      October 7, 2013 at 14:26

      It was pretty good. It is your typical racing simulator and comparable to Gran Turismo. I’m not the biggest racing game player, so cannot really make an accurate comparison to GT. The code they had running only had two cars, so cannot really say anything about the cars.

      Reply

      • ElimiNathan

        October 7, 2013 at 14:27

        Hmm I need a better evaluation! 😛 But thanks

        Reply

        • Rikus

          October 7, 2013 at 14:35

          I can tell you one thing, the DualShock 4 is WAAAAAY better to play racing games with than the DualShock 3. The triggers are superb! It is really a great controller.

          Reply

          • ElimiNathan

            October 7, 2013 at 14:37

            Awesome

    • Spathi

      October 7, 2013 at 14:39

      I’m a huge racing fan so maybe I’ll be able to help.

      Game was only playable with the DS4. The controls were alright, but felt a bit sensitive. I usually play with a wheel so maybe I’m just no used to a controller anymore. Graphics were nice, but not WOW! Tried racing in the cockpit for a lap or two, but struggled due to not knowing the track and the HUD feeling very cluttered. I assume you’ll be able to turn off HUD elements though.

      I couldn’t change any settings regarding TC etc, so can’t really tell you how arcadey the game is. Only drove the RUF also, so can’t tell you how the cars differ. What I can tell you is that the game feels a bit more “simmy” than NFS. The car didn’t oversteer for no apparent reason, although I didn’t try to initiate a drift, but there were definitely TC involved at a high level. Your car will understeer if you enter a corner too fast.

      The game feels good and I think that if all the assists is turned off, you’ll be rewarded for driving proper lines. The game will be better with a wheel too, unlike a game like NFS or Dirt (or it feels that way!).

      The track I drove was quite short, not sure if this will be the norm or if there will be longer tracks and point to point races.

      Frame rate was solid and game was fun to play.

      I think the game has promise and I’ll definitely play it.

      Sorry as I can’t be more helpful, but it’s very difficult to get a proper feel for a game from 3 laps and a controller!

      Edit: As Rikus said, the controller is excellent and the triggers are miles better than the DS3. The travel for the “joysticks” feels i bit shorter and definitely more accurate also.

      Reply

      • ElimiNathan

        October 7, 2013 at 14:42

        Thanks dude that’s more than I could ask for 🙂

        Reply

      • Rikus

        October 7, 2013 at 14:43

        Wow, great feedback. Even as a non-racing game player, I think you summed the game up pretty nicely. Especially the sensitivity part. I thought it was just me though. The guy in front of me had no problems in guiding the car to the finish line.

        Reply

        • Spathi

          October 7, 2013 at 14:48

          Thanks. I struggled on the first lap after thereafter had no trouble with the sensitivity. My biggest problem was getting any feedback as it is difficult to do so without sound (there was sound as you know, but you can’t hear a thing :D), so not sure about handling.

          Same with GT6! I’m used to GT and play a lot, but struggled immensely due to not being able to get any feedback. If I didn’t know GT, I would’ve really said the game sucked! On that note, HUGE frame rate problem. I realize the code is old, but I’m worried. In the demo / GT academy, when playing with the cockpit view, the frames dropped. But the GT6 “Demo” they had at Rage felt like 10 – 15 FPS when in cockpit view (with other racers).

          Reply

      • Skyblue

        October 8, 2013 at 06:52

        Also got some hands on time with it but the fame rate was not smooth all the time. There was a bit a of stuttering and even a second freeze when I was trying it but I assumed it was dev code so no worries. The controller is much better than the DS3 but was still not as impressive as the X1 controller. Will def be picking up one of those for my PC asap.

        Reply

        • Gavin Mannion

          October 8, 2013 at 07:27

          Fame rate… made me smile

          Reply

          • Skyblue

            October 8, 2013 at 07:33

            LOL, proof reading at before 7am ain’t cool. I’m not even gonna fix it ;-p

            EDIT: now “at before” – fuck it, not fixing it either

  22. Ramon

    October 7, 2013 at 13:51

    Tosh , i have to agree the walking room was far larger than last year , but the layout was scattered and one was left to try make a way around with out a real floor plan and movement was really scattered around , i felt like the person who laid out the floor plan was left in a dark room with a bottle of rum and drew it without really having a clue how it should flow.

    Reply

  23. Tero

    October 7, 2013 at 13:58

    Awesome as usual, only problem is the Dome is way too small for the masses that come especially on a Saturday. By lunch time on a Saturday, you can’t even move, let alone get anywhere near the stands or even the shops. Way too many people for the dome!

    Reply

  24. Deano

    October 7, 2013 at 14:19

    I missed this year, but next year should rock! and I will be there.
    Hopefully lots of Xbox One and PS4 games on show by then.

    Reply

  25. Flasier

    October 7, 2013 at 14:45

    Rage was cool! Gets better each year! Not a bad show considering how small we are in global terms.

    Reply

  26. 13adass 13aller

    October 7, 2013 at 15:39

    I spent my whole Saturday there. I’m a console gamer at heart but it has to be said that I was left rather disheartened by the lacklustre showing of these so-called “next-gen” consoles.
    The PS4 & Xbox One were both technically unimpressive. When a console generation leaps like it did from SNES / Mega Drive to PS1 or Saturn then sure it’s a worthy upgrade… since it introduces a whole new breed of games to support the technology.

    This is not the case with these “next-gen” consoles however. The technology is (arguably) outdated as it’s essentially the same “old” technology, recycled with higher clock speeds & more RAM, the end result of which, is only “slightly improved” versions of games that could (undoubtedly) be pulled off on current consoles.

    Don’t get me wrong, I actually love video games & spend an incredible amount of my time playing 360 on Xbox Live but in truth these new consoles don’t really have anything “new” to offer. I remember: The 1st time I saw Mortal Kombat 2 on Sega Mega Drive I was still a boy but I knew that I had to have it, and so I did. As a young teenager that same feeling came round again when I first saw Virtua Fighter 2 running on a Sega Saturn. That “feeling” was rather frequent & pretty intense since, as an adult now in his 40’s, I’ve owned all of the following; Atari, Intellivision, NES, Megadrive, Saturn, Playstation, Nintendo 64, PS2, & Xbox 360.

    So where exactly am I going with this?? It’s simple really. None of these new consoles have anything that makes me want to rush out & buy them come launch day.

    Still, in 2 yrs from now I’ll probably end up buying one of these because:
    1. I can afford it.
    2. I love playing online – and at least 90% of the current online market will have migrated by then.
    3. I love video games.

    Reply

    • Skyblue

      October 8, 2013 at 06:44

      Similar story for me. I have also been playing since the Atari 2600 days and have no urge to rush out and purchase any of the new consoles. Playing Forza 5 with the new Xbox controller was the most impressive thing about rAge imo and then there was this shirt…

      Reply

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