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Review

Rage 2 review – Don’t play it for the story

May 30, 2019 — by Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh0

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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.

Gameplay

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

Rage 2

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.

Overdrive

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.

Vehicular combat

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.

Rage 2

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.

Story

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.

Rage 2

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

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

Rage 2

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.

Conclusion

MOAR!
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.

Rage 2
6.5 / 10  
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ConsolePS4Review

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus review – A worthy sequel

October 30, 2017 — by Sameer "Psycho Mantis" Mitha0

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A worthy sequel and a fantastic game!

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is in every way the perfect sequel to 2014’s Wolfenstein: The New Order. Wolfenstein II picks up where the previous game left off and immediately throws you into the heat of battle. The game has improved in every way – be it the story, weapon mechanics, level design and graphics. We played the game on the PS4 Pro and apart from the occasional frame rate dip, the game ran smooth. Wolfenstein II runs on the id Tech 6 engine, the same engine that powered the Doom reboot in 2016. The game builds up on the previous games and offers a better experience of killing Nazis and navigating around Nazi-land. Let’s get into the more detail.

Blazkowicz is back!

Kicking things off with the story, as we’ve said above, the game starts where the first game ends. There is a recap initially, and if you haven’t played the first game, you may want to pay attention as little time is spent re-establishing relationships. At the end of the previous game, you the protagonist, William “B.J.” Blazkowicz are left for dead after completing your mission. But you are rescued. The story follows the same premise as before. The Nazi won the war, America is under the rule of Nazis and it is up to you and your band of resistance fighters to try and save everyone.

A very interesting thing about the story is that it reminded us a lot of the events in the Amazon Prime TV show, The Man in the High Castle. The manner in which the Nazis treat American citizens, their likes and dislikes of the American culture, there are some striking similarities that followers of the show will immediately identify.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

The story of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus also introduces a handful of new characters that, from the get go, are racist, funny and sometimes downright silly and that is the heart of the game. The story is so entertaining that you will find yourself chuckling at every slapstick joke because it’s really that good. There is one point where a resistance member uses a functional toilet for the first time calling it a “mother flushing toilet” and you can’t help but grin. There are some interesting plot twists in the game, (some that I didn’t see coming at all) and they will keep you guessing as to what happens next.

The story is one of its main highlights filled with emotional moments, dark humour and a sadistic villain that can give the likes of GLaDOS a run for her money.

Dual-wielding different weapons and abilities

But the story isn’t the only thing we loved. The gameplay has been amped up with some interesting changes. Dual-wielding weapons were a highlight previously and now, you can dual-wield two different weapons from your arsenal. You can have a machine gun in one hand for the mid to long-range shots and the shotgun in the other, just in case someone gets too close.

Half way through Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, you also get to choose between three distinct abilities. The ability to jump high, the ability to ram through certain objects and enemies or the ability to squeeze through tight spaces. Sadly, you can only pick one ability on your first play through and we went with the ability to ram through walls and foes. Each ability helps with solving the ‘push this button here, to open that door’ to progress to the next level.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Level design and graphics

Speaking of the levels, this time around they are huge. There was one infiltration level that we had to try a few times to get through and every time, we found a new approach. Be it a vent to sneak through, a new corridor to pass a group of enemies or a hidden room filled with ammo and armour. The levels are big, spacious, sometimes repetitive with design and layout but overall a lot of fun to navigate.

Moving to the graphics, this is where the game looks fantastic but ruined with the occasional frame rate drop and glitch. There are moments when there is a lot of action happening on screen and you don’t notice the framerate drop. During some quiet sequences, where you are looking for a way to exit an area, there is a noticeable drop in frame rate. There were only two occasions when we had to exit the game and launch it again. Once when a door refused to open and the other where the cutscene wouldn’t trigger. We haven’t come across anyone else who faced this issue and it happened only two times in isolation (we went back and tried the sections and the problem didn’t occur again) but it is worth mentioning in case you come across something similar.

The lighting in the game is fantastic. There is one sequence where you are walking down a dark corridor only to be ambushed by a bunch of guards. We used a pulse cannon in this sequence and when fired, the lighting effects from the gun lit up the entire room. The way lights and shadows are handled in the game is brilliant. The effects are enhanced when you play the game on an HDR-enabled TV or monitor.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Game audio and playtime

The voice acting in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus deserves special mention too. From the protagonist (voiced by Brian Bloom), who is struggling with his physical injuries and physiological traumas, to Debra Wilson who voices the racist, foul-mouthed Grace Walker, all the characters in the game have been well fleshed out. Some of them are quite cheesy which adds to the overall personality of the game.

The music that fills the background of the game is exhilarating especially when the action gets hot. It’s a lot like the soundtrack that plays in the background of the show Peaky Blinders during the climactic moment of each episode.

Speaking of lifespan, the game can be beaten in 12 hours and there are enigma codes that you collect throughout the game, giving you the location of Ober Gruben Commanders who you can take out, so there is incentive to play the game even after beating the story. There is no multiplayer and that’s okay. The game is good enough that you will revisit it a couple of times just to enjoy the fast-paced crazy action. You will also come back to challenge yourself on the varying difficulty levels and to unlock all the three super abilities.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – Verdict

Overall, we had a blast playing Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. The game looks beautiful, bundled inside a great story with quite a few memorable moments. It has a fast-paced gameplay, staying true to its roots of being all about guns and glory. If you enjoyed Doom, or Wolfenstein: The New Order, then you should go ahead and pick up Wolfenstein II. The experience is almost perfect. The game has improved in many ways and it’s a worthy addition to your games library.

MOAR
Developer: MachineGames
Publisher: Besthesda Softworks
Platform: Nintendo Switch (Coming in 2018), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Price: Rs. 2,999 (PC), Rs. 3,999 (PS4, Xbox One)

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Rating
9 / 10  
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