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Rage 2

Posted by GG Goblin On May - 29 - 2019

Because dayglo pink is always a good look.

When it comes to open-world, post-apocalyptic shooters, there is no shortage of games to choose from. Because of this, new games in this genre need to make some effort to stand out. However, in reality, it can be difficult to tell one apart from another. Bethesda’s latest, Rage 2, developed by a heavenly combination of id Software and Avalanche Studios, does its best to stand out with some of the most enjoyable gun play to be found anywhere. But is the satisfying pop of shooting a mutant in the head enough?

rage21 (Copy)

Let’s start with the gun play, as it really is the highlight of the game. At the beginning of the game, the player is already cast into the role of a powerful, gun-toting warrior, with a couple of halfway decent weapons and the ability to confront all of the chaos this post-apocalyptic world can offer. Right off the bat, even these early weapons are smooth to move and aim, and satisfying to fire. Aside from the occasional set piece bad guys, the enemies in Rage 2 are not really that interesting, but they are plentiful and can at times threaten to overwhelm the player. Fortunately, the great shooting mechanics will give the player plenty of opportunity to move quickly and reduce the threat. The encounters are never more fun than when taking place in claustrophobic, dark rooms and corridors, revealing the hand that id Software has had in the development.

The great news is that this excellent gun play continues to evolve as the game progresses. The player will have the chance to not only find new weapons along the way, including some quite different offerings from the usual rifle/shotgun/pistol types, but will also be able to upgrade weapons, take advantage of alternate firing options, and even use different types of ammo for very different effects. The weapons in Rage 2 are all incredibly satisfying to use, and give the player a huge amount of freedom in how they take down their enemies.

rage22 (Copy)

But it doesn’t actually stop there. The players character in Rage 2 may well start out as a genuine bad-ass, but can quickly become something far more super heroic through the course of the game. Certain missions will lead the player to Ark’s which will then allow for the character to be upgraded with new abilities that, when combined with the great weapons, really will make taking out hundreds of mutants a breeze. Many of the abilities are simple and have plenty of use outside of combat, such as the double jump to reach higher places, or the focus that will highlight enemies or points of interest. However, it is the different ways that abilities can be used in combat that is the real fun. A dash to evade enemy fire, a vortex to pull enemies in, and some kind of force push that can launch enemies into the air. Add to this that many of the abilities can be leveled up to become more powerful or last longer, and the result is great progression that ensures the player will always be able to deal with whatever they face in the wastelands.

The combat really is so satisfying in Rage 2, but it does make everything else in the game feel somewhat lesser by comparison. Driving is a big deal in Rage 2 as players will have vast open areas to move around, and the driving is surprisingly great. Players will have access to different types of vehicles, and can even get upgrades. It’s not just about travelling from A to B, as there is even some racing to be had. I have to say that in a world where everyone is trying to shoot each other, the fact that they all stop for a race is quite strange. But it is fun. There is even some vehicle to vehicle combat to be had, which also works really well. However, the problem is that the developers don’t seem to have done enough with it, leaving the driving activities few and far between.

rage23 (Copy)

The story, with some big evil being, well, evil, is nothing really to write home about. The player will come across a few important NPCs, but again none of them really stand out as being interesting. The main story missions are all impressively set up with great set pieces, but these are all filled out with repetitive side missions that follow only a few different templates. If it were not for the chance to actually get stuck in to that excellent combat, the optional side missions just wouldn’t be worth looking at after the first few. Also, it is an impressively large world that Rage 2 is set in, but it really does feel like a wasteland with little of interest. Sure, the environments are at least a bit more varied than the first game, but it is still not enough.

It has to be said though that Rage 2 is a great looking game. There may be a lack of variety, but everything there is created with a high level of polish, and the punk styling works really well, if seen a few times before. There is a subversive sense of humour throughout, which will appeal to anyone thus inclined. The audio work is another highlight, with some really solid sound effects adding to the atmosphere.

rage24 (Copy)

Rage 2 is by no means perfect, but for anyone who is looking for a great shooter, the faults really won’t matter. Once you start evolving your character, fighting enemy mutants and the like really is a joy. Okay, the open world is a bit too open, and most of the missions are just not that great. But despite this, it is quite difficult to put down. For a deep story and interesting missions, look elsewhere. For awesome chaotic action though, Rage 2 will not disappoint.




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