Rage 2 Review: Avalanche and id's latest is the ultimate 'popcorn game' – and thats okay (Pic: BETHESDA)
After a cinematic gets you up to speed with the original title and covers the 30 years since, Rage 2 opens with a bang.
Hell is raining down around Walker, our protagonist. With no choice but to don the armour of a fallen Ranger, youre thrown head-first into the role of super-soldier.
The cybernetically enhanced maniac, General Cross, is behind the attack, hell-bent on capturing “first genners” (not the Pokémon, sadly, what a crossover that would have been!)
When the dust settles, its apparent that youre the lone ranger and youve no Tonto in sight to assist you. As generic as the plot may seem, you have buckets of bullets, butchery, and blood ahead of you in your journey across the wasteland.
Rage 2 is the twisted love child of elite triple-A titans id Software and Avalanche Studios, and it plays exactly as youd expect from that mayhem-fuelled partnership.
The game builds on the weighty, visceral gunplay of ids DOOM franchise, while Avalanche – of Just Cause and Mad Max fame – has improved on the original Rage with its own zany open-world touches.
You can really feel the studio's DNA when you get hands-on with the Grav-Dart Launcher, which functions much like the hilarious tether physics from Just Cause, and the hovering Icarus vehicle.
The combat, however, is id Software through and through.
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To call it “visceral” is bordering on an understatement; enemies explode into showers of scarlet, kills adorn the reticule with a bloodied skull and headshots are accompanied by a horrific (yet satisfying) squish.
The weapons are loud and packed with force, while the abilities rock the screen and add a new layer of havoc. The omnidirectional dash is liberating, really putting you in the combat boots of a Nanotrite-enhanced super-soldier as you duck and dart across the battlefield.
It also makes traversing Rage 2s environment a breeze when coupled with the double jump and Rush ability – more like a gale force hurricane, actually, in Rushs case.
The crown jewel of Rage 2s combat, however, is Overdrive, the combo-driven meter that elevates the gunplay to another level. You can, and should, use Overdrive regularly, not only because its efficient and incredibly useful, but also because its just plain awesome.
It cranks everything up to 11, boosting weapons rates of fire, damage, and all-round carnage. The screen goes wild with saturation and retro glitches, while the audio becomes a pulsating techno pandemonium in your eardrums.
There are a few mini-boss fights where you feel hampered, though, without any cannon fodder to generate Overdrive from.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR0TsRU51ng&w=620&h=315] Trending
Thankfully, there is an Overdrive Infusion that you can craft and upgrade, which can max out your meter at the touch of a button.
Rage 2s gunplay is brilliant on its own, but once youve grown accustomed to unleashing Pandoras box at will, youll be jonesing for another hit of the psychoactive Overdrive.
The loud, fluorescent visuals certainly portray the effects of narcotics. Rage 2 replaces DOOMs gloomy grittiness with a vibrant, punky color palette. Seriously, there's a lot of neon pink here, far more than you'd expect from the post-apocalyptic moniker.
The different sections of Rage 2s sprawling map are also home to unique biomes, from arid, desolate deserts to boggy swamplands. Though its an attractive game to look at, theres currently a fair share of performance issues, at least on the PS4 Pro.
The menus are laggy, sometimes taking up to 10 seconds to navigate to the right tab. I also managed to lose my HUD on a number of occasions and kept encountering NPCs that I couldnt interact with, despite them having a “Talk” prompt.
Hopefully, these issues can be improved in future patches, as it can definitely get in the way of the frenetic fun you should be having with Rage 2.
Fortunately, microtransactions are far from a distraction, being hidden behind a login page on the main menu, and only being used for cosmetic items. The infamous cheat codes and experience booster can be purchased using in-game currency, too.
Though you never level up yourself, you are constantly progressing towards a host of different things at once.
You can upgrade your weapons, abilities, equipment, and vehicles, all of which require their own unique items and currencies, and its easy to lose track of everything.
Im a sucker for skills trees and constant progression systems, but Rage 2 feels like its trying too hard when it should have narrowed everything to 2 or 3 upgrade modifiers.
On top of everything else, there are 3 friendly factions that youll be assisting, eacRead More – Source