Way back in 2010 a game hit our consoles by the name Rage, and I for one loved it on my trusty PS3. I had lost all hope of ever seeing a sequel to it a long time ago, even though there were numbers of people crying out for one. When Bethesda’s Pete Hines hinted at a sequel eventually early 2018 I started to get excited, then when it was finally announced in May last year I needed to get my hands on it! Exactly a year after that announcement to the day and it has finally arrived.
This first person shooter developed by Avalanche Studios and ID Software has been published by Bethesda and with the ‘Fallout’ from Fallout 76 still fresh in everyone’s mind, a lot of people seem to have wanted to avoid the game so far. The unfortunate short history of the broken Fallout 76 has left a bitter taste in fans mouths and have publicly stated that they would avoid Bugthesda in future game releases. I for one would never judge a team on one flawed release especially when it was actually a great game.
Set 30 years after the original game, you assume the role of Ranger Walker who can explore the worlds vast open world as he/she feels fit. I say that because at the start of the story, you get to choose your sex, but that is literally all you do have a choice over.
Dangerous mutants roam the world after being hit by Asteroid 99942 Apophis with the majority of humans being eliminated in the collision. Of course, one group of people decide that they are going to run the new world going by the name of the Authority and guess what?.. It’s your job to take down the leader of them.
Now, I received the game on launch day very kindly from Bethesda themselves and was hugely surprised to find out that it didn’t come with a day 1 patch. My copy was running on patch 1.02 which was released before the official release of the game. I immediately thought it was strange as most games release with some big patch in place and with Bethesda’s recent history I was a little dubious, but do ya know what? I played the entire game without a single bug or glitch to be found and was impressed. It is rare these days for a game to be released running so smoothly.
Think of the love child between Mad Max and Borderlands and you’re on the right lines with this. The backdrop and vehicle designs reminded me a lot of Mad Max, especially when there is a convoy of vehicles driving on the road that you need to take down. Remember the vehicle convoys? Well here they are again in Rage 2, a few supporting enemy vehicles and the lead truck which you need to annihilate. Borderlands seems to come into play with a lot of the characters you meet out in the wastelands. I got a sense of the craziness of Borderlands within them. That being said, if you dig deeper with the game, it does feel like they have taken a lot of, shall we say, influence from previous games along the same genre and mashed them all together to create what you see before you.
Getting stuck into this game does involve a lot of upgrading to practically everything from your vehicles (which there are a lot to choose from if you find them in the wastes and return them to a garage) as well as your weaponry, skills and special abilities. I could go into detail with them all, but it would take a long time to describe them all. Luckily all of which can be upgraded by using loot that you find around enemy camps; well, pretty much everywhere luckily.
Throughout the world you will find Arks, normally heavily guarded. Wipe out the guys protecting them and you can open them. Within these Arks you can unlock new abilities and weapons to help you on your merry little journey. Every single Ark that I encountered within the game came with its own little tutorial of how to use your new ability or weapon (most having 2 firing abilities as well as an overdrive function). Activating the overdrive function during the game will give your chosen weapon some serious power making kills a lot easier. As with most other games that have a similar mode, filling up the overdrive gauge happens while you are happily killing enemies.
The gun play in the game is pretty much perfection if I’m being honest, and as you upgrade your skills you can even volley back grenades that are thrown at you by hitting them with your gun (trophy alert for doing that), it even gets comical when a grenade is thrown at you, you hit it back and the enemy then hits it straight back to you.. ‘anyone for tennis’? The fluidity in battle of stringing together various abilities, throwing projectiles at the enemy and finishing it all off with your chosen gun is sublime and luckily there is always plenty of ammo lying around so that your gun rarely runs dry.
The game certainly isn’t what I would call challenging and I did complete the game relatively easily. However that is where a lot of reviewers have been complaining. The game is very short in length. It took me the best part of 10 hours to complete the story of the game. Now, I could have taken a lot longer to do that as there is a lot of side missions to do, and something that I will be continuing with that will take up my time. OK, the story could have been a little longer in length, but it didnt bother me. I had way too much fun with the game in general and Bethesda have already set out their roadmap for future updates to the game, a lot of which will be free for people.
I’m happy with what they have produced for a base game, and with the promise of even more new stories being added, bring it on! Yes, there weren’t that many actual main missions to take part in to complete the game, more of the gameplay comes from the numerous side missions, but in this day and age if Call of Duty can successfully release an awful game with numerous paid DLC packages after the release and get away with it, then why cant other teams of developers, especially when most will be free.
I don’t know, I should be pissed off that it was such a short game, but the charm of Rage 2 is that it is an addictive game. The mechanics involved within the game work extremely well and it is so much fun to play. The game is what you make it yourself. You can choose to just focus on the end and this can be achieved relatively easily using the first couple of weapons that you get and upgrading a few things as you progress, or you can delve much deeper; find out hidden Arks that aren’t on the map from people standing around in the friendly towns. Do them a favour by tracking down a bounty and blowing their head off. then sit back and enjoy some of the crazy tales they have to tell you about their lives. It is fun if you make it fun for yourself, but don’t be upset if you cant be bothered to put that effort in.
The few main characters you do meet along the way aren’t really anything special except for Doctor Kvasir who is a character we met in the original Rage title with a mixture of both creepy and friendly at the same time, there was just something I loved about him. Also making a return is General Cross, but this time in person. The joy comes more from the various side mission giving fiends that lurk in the dark alleys and their characteristics.
So have Bethesda redeemed themselves after Fallout 76? Well, I personally still play that game and do enjoy it, a lot, but the simple answer is ‘Hell Yes!’. People will complain about its short playing length as they will expect something more along the lines of Days Gone, but what Rage 2 does deliver on is immense fun and carnage.
So, Rage 2 gets an 8/10 from me for what it has delivered so far, and the promise of so much more to come is sounding really good. All I can say is please, bring it on Bethesda.
**PLEASE NOTE: AIR Entertainment were supplied with a review copy by Bethesda, this has in no way influenced my views on the game as per our Review Policy**