In 2011, id Software released “Rage,” a quasi-open world first person shooter which garnered mixed reception from audiences and critics alike. As the years went by, it seemed as if there was little to no chance of “Rage” ever getting a sequel.
Publisher Bethesda shocked fans last year when it announced “Rage 2” seemingly out of nowhere. While the first game was generally serious in tone and stuck to a dark color scheme, its sequel boasted neon colors and a comedic tone with the slogan, “Insanity rules.”
Although the marketing for the game looked promising, was it able to break past the mediocrity of the first game?
In “Rage 2” you play as Walker, a ranger who uses a superpowered suit to protect what is left of Earth after most of humanity was killed by an asteroid. When a group known as The Authority declares itself as the new leader of the planet, Walker must work with the rest of the survivors to stop them.
As is the case with many first-person shooters, the story of “Rage 2” is one of its worst aspects. While the pre-release marketing made the game seem as if it were going to feature quirky characters that one might fall in love with akin to the “Borderlands” series of games, sadly, that isn’t the case.
The story is one that we have seen a million times before and is largely uninteresting. “Rage 2” does, however, feature some great voice performances from its main cast, with Sam Riegel as the male version of Walker being the standout. The performances weren’t good enough to prevent me from skipping over a large majority of dialogue once I got a few hours in, however.
The combat and gunplay in “Rage 2” are absolutely fantastic. The game provides you with a plethora of different weapons which are each incredibly fun to use. Pairing this with the powers that you gain from your super suit such as a ground-pound and a force-push make every encounter with enemies an absolute blast.
One of the main issues with this is that enemy encounters seem to last far shorter than they should. This is mostly the fault of the large, empty open world that players must traverse in order to get from one fight to the next. The fact that you are forced to travel though this world in vehicles that control sloppily and aren’t fun to drive makes the experience even worse.
The game also looks like it is from ten years ago. Textures frequently took longer than they should have to load in and even when they did, they looked blurry and unpolished. I was astonished that the game looked as bad as it does, but I suppose games such as “Red Dead Redemption 2” have spoiled me.
On top of a bland open world, uninteresting story and lackluster graphics, “Rage 2” suffers from a death by a thousand cuts.
There are a large amount of issues that don’t make the game awful but are very annoying.
The game features clunky menus that are confusing and hard to traverse. I ran into a large number of audio glitches where the same one second of audio would loop endlessly, forcing me to load an old save.
One time while attempting to star a cutscene, the game froze, and I was forced to close it and restart. Many times, boxes I was trying to break with melee attacks simply wouldn’t break, forcing me to shoot them instead.
Every location in “Rage 2” features a number of collectibles that prove incredibly hard to find. This doesn’t seem to be a deliberate choice in order to ramp up difficulty, but instead a way to pad out game time for people like me who wish to complete the game 100%.
Despite all of these issues, the game is still a lot of fun when you are actually fighting enemies. This fun is, however, brought down by so many hinderances and annoyances that it makes the game hard to recommend at full price.
Game reviewed on a PlayStation 4 Pro.