Remember Rage? You know, that average game that released several years ago. The one with the wingsticks, those were cool right? Well, someone decided that it was worthy of a sequel and it got one in 2019. Rage 2 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Avalanche Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks.
In Rage 2, players assume control of a ranger named Walker. You’re free to explore the game’s apocalyptic open world. Walker is able to wield various firearms and tools to fight against enemies, including returning weapons such as the wingstick. Players can develop Walker’s skills with Nanotrite-based powers. The game also features vehicular combat. Admittedly, there’s something of a story in the game but it’s very straightforward so there’s just not much to say.
Rage 2 is a bit of a disappointment. The trailers for the game actually peaked my interest but I was fooled. Let’s start with some positivity, the game looks great. There are some beautiful looking landscapes and nice usage of vibrant colours throughout. The gunplay in Rage 2 is its biggest strength, super satisfying. No matter how dull the activities you’ll find yourself doing in the game, blowing enemies away never gets old. The weapons feel and sound awesome. Combine that with the special abilities that are at your disposal and you have an excellent combat system. If you’ve played Doom (2016), you can tell the combat has been ripped straight from there.
Exploring the decently sized map will see you doing plenty of driving around. The vehicles control well enough but getting from A to B can often be a cumbersome experience. This is because the game doesn’t like it when you go off the beaten path. Thankfully, I unlocked a gyrocopter that made getting around a breeze. If the combat feels torn from Doom then the driving and other aspects are copy pasted from Mad Max (2015). In fact, it’s no coincidence that Avalanche Studios developed Rage 2. They are the team behind Mad Max & the Just Cause franchise. If you’ve played all of those games like I have then the similarities will be glaring. The image below sums up Rage 2 perfectly, if you know you know.
The story in Rage 2 isn’t bad at all but it’s generic and forgettable. The whole thing lacks Impact even though it makes a pitiful attempt at adding emotional weight to proceedings. The main missions offer a few enjoyable moments but it’s a bland offering for the most part. This leads to one of the biggest issues in Rage 2, you’re always essentially doing the same thing over and over. The lack of meaningful content is shocking to be honest. The main storyline is as basic as they come and super short.
The map is packed with meaningless locations that you can clear out and loot but there’s no real reason to do so. It’s somewhat tied to story progression but not really. There are no actual side missions, at all. Rage 2 lacks the personality that was displayed so effectively in trailers. It attempts to capture the humour of games like Borderlands but it just doesn’t get there. The voice acting throughout is good though.
If all that wasn’t poor enough then prepare yourself for a buggy mess. The in game menus are so laggy, I’ve never seen anything like it. I suffered several crashes during my time with Rage 2.
This is the type of game where you’ll have to find ways to create your own fun using the playground available. The game itself never places you in scenarios that utilize its strongest aspects. I’d definitely feel short changed if I had paid full price. Thankfully, I played it for practically free via Game Pass.
The Final Score - 6.5/10
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