Avalanche Studios and id Software’s Rage 2 is a game sequel that people have been waiting years to see. It’s been 8 years since the first Rage came out, and finally, fans of the game have a sequel. It’s easily one of the more anticipated games of the year, so naturally, stakes are high. Let’s find out how the sequel fares.
Rage 2 most certainly feels and plays like an id Software game. Combat is fast-paced, chaotic, fun, and fluid.There’s a variety of weapons you can use. Wingsticks, a 3-pronged boomerangs for silent kills, from the original Rage also makes a comeback here. You soon get an assault rifle and eventually a shotgun as well. Specialised ranger weapons can only be found inside Arks (vaults that are hidden around the wasteland). It’s worth your time to collect and unlock all of them as they add some variety to the combat.
Nanotrite powers include things like double jumping via the Grav-Jump ability and dashing via the Rush ability. Then there’s offensive powers like Shatter, basically a Jedi force push, and Slam which makes you slam your fist down to the ground and deal damage. There’s a total of 11 Nanotrite powers to be unlocked in the game and they can only be found inside Arks. The Nanotrite powers weave nicely into combat and give you a sense of OPness.
After you’ve gotten a certain amount of kills, you go into Overdrive. This is basically the “wrap things up quickly” mode. Activating it instantly gives you some health, bumps up weapon damage to 9000, health regen, makes everything go splat and drop more feltrite. Overdrive affects ranger weapons differently, giving them additional features. We thought Overdrive was a fun feature, it instantly quickens the pace of combat, and the timer on it gives you a sense of urgency as well.
There was, apparently, a lot of attention put into vehicular combat. Unfortunately, it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as regular combat. The controls weren’t as fluid or responsive. It was quite easy to cheese an enemy base with a vehicle by gunning them down with the vehicle’s mounted weapon. However, vehicles can go down pretty fast if you get mobbed by too many enemies.
Vehicle mounted weapons come with an auto-target feature. The auto-target feature got pretty annoying because one moment it’s zooming around and locking onto enemies, the next it refuses to shoot at what we are pointing towards.
Upgrades and projects
Weapons, powers, vehicles, and combat can be further enhanced using feltrite, project points, weapon, and vehicle cores. You get project cores as you complete activities on the map, however, certain project trees are locked until you progress the story and meet the relevant character. There’s no order to how they unlock, it depends on how you proceed in the story. Weapons can also be upgraded, unlocking features like larger clip size, faster reload, armor piercing rounds and more. It’s a bit annoying that you have multiple different resources to keep track of and gather.
The story of Rage 2 takes place 30 years after the events of the first game. You play as Walker, the last Ranger. The world is a wasteland because of an asteroid that crashed into the planet in the year 2029 and wipes out most of humanity. The surviving humans rise up and split up into factions. One of them, the Authority, and their leader, General Cross, are the primary baddies of the game. While Cross was assumed dead or missing-in-action, he unexpectedly returns and wipes out most of the “first generation” rangers, leaving you, a “second genner”, as the only surviving ranger. It’s up to you to restart an old plan called Project Dagger in order to defeat General Cross.
The story was pretty meh and too short. None of the characters stood out for us, although, there were recurring characters from the first game. The game’s attempts at humour were also pretty dry. Even the side quests felt lacklustre and we felt absolutely no desire to pursue any of them.
The open ‘waste’land
Rage 2’s vast open wasteland is quite barren. The few activities that are scattered around the world just repeat over and over again. Lootable objects exist in the game, but it feels like they’re of no worth. The only thing worth looking for is ammo, which you seem to run out of a lot. You really don’t want to run out of ammo, because that means you have to stop the combat, which is the only fun activity this game has.
Graphics and audio
The game was made using Avalanche Studios’ Apex Engine, and not id Tech. We also got some serious Borderlands vibes from the game, without all the cel-shading of course, because of the general colour scheme of the setting and the attempts at wacky characters. Overall, the graphics felt a little dated, but we still liked it. The vibrant neon hair of the bandits, the banners in the cities, etc, did bring some personality into the world.
Rage 2 has a pretty good sound-track that compliments its gameplay, although it has the tendency to suddenly start playing out of nowhere. The voice acting was fine. We did come across a bug where dialogue audio would suddenly disappear while someone was talking.
Developer: Avalanche Studios, id Software
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Played on: Windows
Price: Rs. 3,999
Rage 2 is saved purely by how good the combat is. Everything else could use some work. It’s very obvious what they were going for, or at least attempting to go for here. Everything has been turned up to 11. The story, the combat, the vehicles, the enemies etc. However, it was only the combat that shines for us, and we’d honestly go back, just for more of that.
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