I feel like only a few people played Rage when it came out in 2011, and even fewer cared about Rage 2 when it was first announced last year. However, I was one of those kind of weird people that really enjoyed the first one. I even enjoyed it enough to have Rage 2 be the game I was most hyped about this year thus far.
So… Did it live up to the hype? Well, both yes and no. The combat is even more fun than I expected and the performance wasn’t a letdown like I thought it would be.
Combat feels like Doom (2016), but with superpowers and having quad-damage available on a cool-down. Fighting through hordes of enemies is definitely among the most fun I’ve had in recent times, and the end of every encounter always left me craving for more.
However even with such high praise the combat isn’t without flaws, my main gripe being the difficulty. It’s really, really easy…Too easy.
The bigger, boss like enemies are usually dead in under a minute, and there isn’t much variety in enemy types. I can only truly remember about four different enemy types from the most common enemy faction. Them being the bat wielding, grenade bashing melee type, the slightly annoying shield guy, one rocket launcher guy, and of course, your standard assault rifle type.
I’m honestly not sure what the other factions offered. Because of how they were overshadowed by the poster gang of Rage 2 due to the amount of times you fight against them.
Performance was surprisingly good on my system (GTX 1080, i5-7600K, 16GB RAM), with around 80 FPS more or less constantly on ultra. I’ve gotten one crash so far and frames dropped into the sub 60s only once or twice during my playthrough. Having ultra-wide support was also nice, even though some of the HUD was cut off at the 16:9 border.
I’ll actually continue being positive going into the open world of the game. It’s pretty enjoyable, even with its flaws. It’s definitely far from the best ones out there, and unfortunately not too far from some of the worst. There’s nothing that makes the world feel particularly alive. You run into the occasional fight between two factions but those are pretty underwhelming and doesn’t really add anything to the game. Boiling it down to the basics; What you’re doing in Rage 2 is going from one place to another shooting shit, so it’s a good thing the combat is so much fun. And I think there’s just enough variety in things to shoot to make it enjoyable for longer periods of time.
Tired of shooting things like in Doom? Shoot things from your car like in Mad Max! Tired of that too? Well then I guess you can go shoot an armed tower for whatever reason!
Activities are pretty decent, the two main ones being Mutant Monster Bash (MMB), and Racing, both returning from the first game. MMB is still the fun mutant killing TV show u may have learnt to love in the first game, I know I did, with an added bit of crazy, with a new host and some new hazards on the playing field.
Racing is pretty much the same as in the first game, though I did enjoy racing more there. Because of that I’ve only actually done one race, which is required to progress further in the story.
Speaking of story, it was unfortunately much like the first game, pretty disappointing. I spent quite a lot of time clearing out the map in my early hours, and still finished the game in just over 10 hours.
I haven't finished the first game in years, and I was quite young when I did, so it’s kind of vague on my memory, but I think most people would say the ending was its worst part. Here however, the entire story was a letdown, with its short length, bad characters, and too simple of a premise. I usually enjoy games with a simple story, but you at least need to have interesting characters.
I won’t cover the story in detail, simply because of how bad it is. Just know that it’s your basic shooter story, with a bad guy who does something terrible at the start, forcing you out on a journey for revenge. After then finishing Rage 2 I was left somewhat unsatisfied, but still excited to continue exploring the world and start collecting achievements. But with me accidentally buying it for the Bethesda launcher, and later finding out the Bethesda launcher was without achievements, I saw no reason to continue playing.
If you’re only after a fun shooter, and don’t care much for a good story, buy it while it’s on sale, preferably on Steam and enjoy.
Rage 2 had so much potential, and while it succeeded in certain areas, it failed in the areas that made the first game so special to me.
Gory, action packed and explosive combat
Amazing explosions and effects
Short and uninteresting story
Shallow main characters