Rage 2 is a first-person shooter developed by Avalanche Studios, the Swedish studio behind the Mad Max and the Just Cause series and id Software, the studio that brought us Doom, Quake and the original Rage. Rage 2 is a sequel to the 2011 original game and published by Bethesda Softworks.
Rage 2 picks up the storyline 30 years after the events of the first game, the majority of mankind have died after an asteroid impact. You play the role of the last Ranger, an elite soldier who is out to stop a new mutant military group simple known as the Authority lead by General Cross.
Once you finish the brief intro mission/tutorial you are free to explore the wasteland, a post-apocalyptic world with mutants, punks, crazy vehicles and loot to be uncovered. You also have the freedom to choose the order of the missions you tackle.
The game boasts eight different weapons or nine if you purchased the Deluxe or Collector’s edition of the game, each weapon has a primary and alternate firing mode. From rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers to more exotic Gray Dart Launcher. With the Deluxe/Collector’s edition you can also find the BFG 9000! Weapons can also be upgraded using in-game currency to deal even more damage to your foes.
In addition to weapons, Rage 2 has Nanotrites which confer Rangers with additional powers. Powers include Grav Jump – a double jump, Barrier a force field, Overdrive increases the power of your weapons and regain energy when attacking the enemy, Vortex create your own singularity or Slam punch your fist into the ground to send your enemies flying. All these powers can be upgraded to make them even more powerful.
When most enemies die, they drop a resource called Feltrite. This is another form of currencies used for upgrades and it also heals you. The only catch is Feltrite disappears fairly quickly, which means you have to venture into the thick of the fighting to keep collecting it. It makes for a much more aggressive approach of gameplay, some ways similar to how Doom is played.
As the game is open world you can drive any vehicle to move from A-B and partake in vehicle combat. There are trucks, buggies as well as gyrocopters. Driving is fun is small doses, but sometimes felt unnecessary and I wished the locations were closer together.
The game runs at 1080p and 60FPS on the Xbox One X and the PS4 Pro with 30FPS on the standard Xbox and PS4. The animation and the physics of the enemies is top notch, whilst the art style adds to the overall atmosphere of the game.
The music is one of the highlights of the game, a driven soundtrack with synth and industrial beats with plenty of bass when in combat. Other times it is very ambient which creates an eerie mood. It may not be as memorable as the guitar work of Doom or Wolfenstein by Mack Gordan, but it doesn’t need to be as the sound effects are brilliant. Special mention must go to the weapon sounds, each weapon provides a real crunch elevating the power the power of the weapon. Voice acting is okay at best.
Rage 2 has the some of the best FPS combat you can find in any game available today. The combat is fast, fluid and the weapons and powers deliver the goods. It feels like Doom, Bulletstorm and Titanfall all roiled into one. The combat is just incredible. Being an open world game you will be surprised to hear the game is short with the campaign being about 8 hours of games play with no side missions beyond clearing out bandits’ dens and sentry points. Rage 2 is really a linear game within an open world, and the open world feels lifeless and not worth investing your time in. It is such a shame more was not done to bring the open world to life. I recommend playing Rage 2 even though you may fell let down at times.
A review code was provided by Bethesda UK
Developer: Avalanche Studios / iD Software Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release date: 14/05/2019
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4 and PC
Version Review: Xbox One X
“Rage 2 is incredibly fun with great gunplay”