Rage 2 is depicted as a crazy, over the top game and is trying to shake the image of the grimier, more serious narrative portrayed by the original Rage all those years ago. Having played the latest title from a joint development team of Id Software and Avalanche studios, I can confirm it’s definitely a lot more mental but that’s not always a good thing. Below is what we thought of Rage 2.
Rage 2 can be seen as 2016’s DOOM set in a post apocalyptic world with a lot more neon pink. This might sound pretty enticing on paper but, unfortunately, the open world itself feels a liked wasted, and that’s not a pun. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some nice touches dotted around the lanscape that hint to what it was like before everything went south but it’s nowhere near as detailed and thought out as the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2 when it comes to world and story building.
Thankfully, what the open world does offer is some nice location variety. One minute, you could be driving across some sandy dunes, the next, you’re going through misty swamps or lush green forests. It’s definitely a pretty expansive map too so you’re definitely not getting around this bad boy on foot!
Like you’d expect of any decent open world game, there’s obviously a fair bit of activities and tasks to complete when exploring the wasteland including your usual enemy-controlled locations which need to be cleared.
Throughout the world, you’re also tasked with hunting down the locations of buried Arks. It’s here you can unlock new ‘genetic modification’ abilities that make the gameplay that bit more insane and satisfying. There’s also storage containers, data pads and Ark chests for you to find and, if you’re a completionist, you technically won’t be able to ‘complete’ an area until you find them all which, to the rest of us, can become a bit of a slog.
There are also other zones and hidden underground sections you’ve to work your way through to find the giant mutated ‘Crusher’ at the end which you also must take down. If these sound like they could get repetitive, they do but, it’s the games combat and gunplay that makes it all worthwhile.
The guys at Id relaunched DOOM into the world in 2016 and the gunplay was hailed as incredibly tight and satisfying. That same gunplay thankfully made its way, pretty much fully intact, to Rage 2 and the game is so much better for it.
If you just power your way through the main game story missions and don’t track down any additional abilities, the game is nowhere near as fun as it could be. You’ll definitely want to stray from the main narrative to hunt the Arks down that are scattered across the world to allow you unlock some great new abilities that make the combat sequences that bit more engaging and enjoyable. Abilities like jumping in the air and ground-pounding your enemies to a pulp or inflicting a powerful shockwave blast to level a group of attackers add so much to the combat.
When it comes to weapons, there’s a wide array that can be tweaked, modified and upgraded. There’s also the classic Wingstick from the original Rage. Throw this three-sided boomerang at a mutant and watch it rip him apart.You can also upgrade the Wingstick to curve around obstacles to hit enemies, like you’re James McAvoy in WANTED.
There’s the Overdrive ability as well that, once charged, turns into an absolute killing machine for a couple of seconds and your weapons become incredibly powerful too.
You’ll also be able to upgrade these abilities such as reducing the cooldown time with the ‘Feltrite’ particles you find scattered across the wasteland.
Rage 2 is a peculiar game. A sequel that no one really thought would happen to a 2011 game that didn’t sell amazingly well. With Id Software teaming up with the guys in Avalanche, the idea of fantastic gunplay and an expansive wasteland map to explore, Rage 2 sounds fantastic on paper and the end product almost lives up to this hype.
Yes, the amazing gunplay is there but, unfortunately, Avalanche’s wasteland world feels a little ‘wasted’. The upgrade options and tongue in cheek tone help make up for this but we feel Rage 2 could have been so much more. Hey, you never know, Rage 3 (if it ever happens) might just fix these problems! Right now, Rage 2 is a fun if slightly flawed experience but you should check it out for the gunplay alone.
Rage 2 was reviewed using a review copy sent to TheEffect.Net by Bethesda, the publisher of the game.