On May 14, 2019, “Rage 2” released. The much-anticipated sequel to the first installment, released in 2011, was developed by Avalanche and ID Software and published by Bethesda studios.
It was first announced at 2018’s E3, or the Electronic Entertainment Expo, a major gaming event that takes place in June of each year. Fans of the series were excited for the new game, and the trailers showed impressive graphics and gameplay.
From an outside point of view, having never played the first game, my first impression was another wasteland-style game, similar to that of the “Fallout” franchise, with a more cyberpunk feel to it.
When I finally got my hands on a copy of the game, the install was rather short, which had me a tad worried. Typically, shorter installations mean the game may not be as long. At a 60-dollar price point, you want as much content as possible to get the “bang for your buck,” so to speak.
Despite Bethesda only publishing the game, it feels much like a “Fallout” game in many aspects.
First, the game is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where there are settlements built out of whatever can be found. There are no rules, only the rules that people make themselves.
You play as either female or male Walker, the last of the rangers, in order to track down certain nanotech to help in the fight against the mutant race known as the Authority.
The gameplay is typical of a first-person shooter but feels slightly stiff. You can change your sensitivity, but it’s still a struggle to find a setting that doesn’t feel disjointed. Most of the content of the game is fighting through repeated checkpoints, most of which are held by the game’s small-time villains, called “Goons.”
Much of the game is played in a back and forth mission style, where the player is sent to do something for one of the game’s main characters, and then return in order to build up the device they’re trying to make to beat the Authority.
While this is fine, it does tend to get repetitive after a while, as there aren’t many places to explore that look different enough. After a while, the wasteland tends to all blend together.
Another component of the game is the ability to have vehicular based combat, but this too falls flat in some ways.
The vehicle you’re given at the start of the game talks to you in a way that feels like you should be playing the male version of the character in a Bond-esque setting. It’s that “sexy female AI” voice that plagues so many “cyber car” movies.
In addition to the odd voice moments with your car, it feels hard to control. The movement is, again, stiff and disorienting and it’s easy to flip the vehicle or get it stuck on objects in the world.
All of this being said, “Rage 2” is still early in its initial life, and there is time for patches and fixes to be rolled out.
Hopefully, the game will get better with age, as the future of the game remains to be seen. “Rage 2” is fun if you can ignore its faults and enjoy it for what it is. Of course, that’s not for me to decide. If you want to know, just try it for yourself!