Of all of the blockbuster video games in want of a sequel, 2011’s Rage needs to be close to the underside of the checklist. The id-developed post-apocalyptic shooter was a shocking technical showcase, however a completely forgettable recreation, set in a colorless brown world that did little to differentiate itself. It’s onerous to think about many got here away from the sport dying to know what occurred subsequent. However alas, right here we’re, and Rage 2 is a online game you possibly can play proper now. It’s not an particularly unique one, both. It’s like a seize bag of present open-world ideas, fused with some glorious Doom-style gunplay and a set in a barely extra colourful tackle Mad Max.
That doesn’t sound like a recipe for fulfillment — and but, surprisingly, Rage 2 succeeds. What it lacks in originality it makes up for in vigor. It’s not a recreation that can change your life, but it surely would possibly simply be the large, dumb shooter you didn’t know you wanted.
In all honesty, regardless that I simply accomplished it, I can barely inform you Rage 2’s basic plot. I undoubtedly can’t inform you the way it connects to the unique. It’s set in an unlimited wasteland, one crammed with all types of harmful teams to deal with. There are mutants, raider gangs, and the large baddies, a mysterious group referred to as the Authority. You play as a ranger, a form of post-apocalyptic guardian with a go well with that provides you all kinds of cool powers. You additionally occur to be the final of your sort, which implies everyone wants your assist. Meaning doing every thing from clearing roadblocks and destroying mutant nests to securing useful expertise and, finally, taking out the Authority.
The construction of Rage 2 is very paying homage to Far Cry 5. Basically, there are three predominant leaders all through the wasteland, every of whom holds a selected key to defeating the Authority. However earlier than they’ll assist you, you first want to verify their wants are met. In apply, this implies finishing a number of smaller quests till they’re glad. The result’s a pleasant quantity of freedom, because you’re not pushed to do any particular missions. For essentially the most half you possibly can take them on as you need, and as you do you’ll slowly chip away at your targets. The missions themselves are pretty customary stuff: go to a raider camp and kill all of the unhealthy guys, or enterprise right into a poisonous swamp to discover a hidden cache of weapons. It’s a complete lot of killing and looting.
Thus far, I might’ve been describing just about any open-world recreation made within the final 5 years. So what makes Rage 2 fascinating? It comes down fully to the motion and tone. Whereas the sport was developed primarily by Avalanche Studios — the identical group behind the Simply Trigger collection and 2015’s Mad Max recreation — Doom studio id additionally had a hand in its creation, and it exhibits. Again in 2016, when id rebooted Doom as an aggressive, streamlined fashionable motion recreation, my colleague Sam Byford referred to as it “the Mad Max: Fury Street of video games” and in plenty of methods you may say the exact same factor about Rage 2.
It may be onerous to place into phrases, however there’s simply one thing in regards to the fight in Rage 2 that feels proper. The weapons all have a satisfying heft to them, and the sport calls for aggressive play; well being replenishing objects come out of enemies, so that you’ll end up charging at them, shotgun blasting, so as to each kill and heal. I often lean towards stealth in motion video games, however I by no means took that route in Rage 2. And new gear and talents will be unlocked at a daily clip.
Once more, few are notably unique — you’ll get a double soar, a devastating kinetic blast, and a rocket launcher that may lock onto enemies — however they’re all polished to the purpose that they’re enjoyable anyway. In most video games, the fixed enemy encounters can grow to be a nuisance, however in Rage 2, I discovered myself having fun with virtually all of them. They had been an opportunity to play with new toys and take a look at new methods. I’m unsure I’ve ever felt so connected to a shotgun.
That’s to not say that the sport doesn’t get tedious at occasions. Rage 2 options an unbelievable array of issues to unlock and improve to the purpose that it will possibly really feel overwhelming. You may get new abilities, increase your physique with upgrades, tweak each weapon and automobile, and rather more. It’s particularly daunting early on, if you don’t know the ins and outs of the varied talent bushes and improve supplies. My least favourite a part of Rage 2 is destroying a goon hideout after which spending 20 minutes looking for the entire hidden merchandise caches I must get a greater pistol. However this turns into much less of an issue when you’re additional into the sport and are already superpowered. (Some gamers may additionally be turned off by the sport’s comparatively brief size, with a marketing campaign that clocks in round 20 hours.)
Presumably the perfect factor about Rage 2, although, is that it’s proudly a online game. It’s over-the-top, ridiculous, and doesn’t take itself severely in any respect. One of many first button prompts asks you to press X to “stick your hand into a wierd gap.” You may have a sassy speaking automotive that tells you “I do know I look good, however I drive higher,” and a significant mission entails turning into a well-known mutant-killing TV star. There are explosive purple barrels and also you open up chests by punching them. After enjoying by dour open worlds like the humorless zombie recreation Days Gone and the disappointingly critical Far Cry: New Daybreak, Rage 2 looks like a breath of recent air. I haven’t performed a recreation like this since Sundown Overdrive.
Rage 2 is a recreation that is aware of what it’s and what it needs to do, and it does that exact factor very effectively. There’s a little bit of fluff padding out the expertise, however the core of the sport is strong. Actually, although, Rage 2 does one thing very uncommon: it gives an expertise you’ve already seen loads of occasions, however makes it enjoyable regardless.
Rage 2 is offered now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.