I’d kind of blown my load when it came to whats on offer on gamepass after the thoroughly disappointing Outer Worlds, a game I wasn’t even that hyped for so what could’ve been a pleasant surprise was just a shallow passionless borefest. After that I went back to rage quit Shadow of War which is an ok game, I really love the nemesis system, which is like this cool orc hierarchy where you can pit orcs against each and engage in a rudimentary form of politics at the end of a sword.
It’s a fun and really innovative system that I wish was in a more interesting game because aside from the nemesis system the game really doesn’t have much to offer. It’s basically discount assassin’s creed in a universe I don’t care about. The characters story and gameplay are just meh and they made the sequel more grindy so unless you have a good narrative hook or really enjoy the combat the grind doesn’t feel worth it. Especially when the loot is different skins for the same armour and weapons which only change the number next to the name.
I was kinda tempted to do another stellaris run but that’s kinda the same situation, it’s fun but I suck at it and the amount of time I spend on it just seems like a losing battle. I tried to play Planetfall that game that has the longest name ever but I just couldn’t get into it. I just hate the art style, I can’t describe it, it just feels like stellaris lite. It has settlement management but it doesn’t feel as in depth, it feels more casual and I didn’t really like the combat, it’s like a mix of xcom and stellaris but it lacks all the punch of either. I love how in xcom all your men have names and specific skills and nicknames. Which is why I’m playing This is the police 2 right now which is excellent and there’s a review in the works for that.
But yeah what was this post about again… oh yeah Rage 2, it’s pretty good. The end.
Ok no so this game wasn’t that interesting to me when I saw it announced, I liked the first kinda but I really didn’t see the need for a sequel, especially after doom and the underrated mad max game, I see even less reason for this to exist. And according to the reviews it had a disastrous launch, the reviews savage it for being totally bug ridden and unplayable but as it stands on gamepass right now I ran into minimal bugs and the game is totally fine now. The first Rage was the first time I realised how much dlc was total bullshit and literally just hacked a part out of your full game and sold it back to you and that really pissed me off. Because in Rage 1 there was literally an area in game I couldn’t enter because it was dlc, like it was right there but it was asking me for money to enter it in the full game I purchased with my money. That’s like buying admission to a waterpark and then getting charged to go down a waterslide, or no paying for penis enlargement and then being charged each time you jerk off haha. It was total bullshit then and it’s total bullshit now. Dlc should be an extra thing made after the base game, not just a part of the base game they stole.
Ok rant over.
So I wasn’t that hyped for this game but I thought Doom 2016 was ok and this has the same engine I think, so yeah it’s basically Doom 2016 meets mad max which is pretty cool.
The start of the game is pretty fucking generic honestly, don’t go expecting an enthralling immersive world or story even close to something like fallout or mass effect, the story is really campy nonsense (I mean tbf so was doom 2016) but thankfully it does an ok job of staying out of the way. But I much prefer the tone of games like Elite and mad max where it takes itself seriously but the story is either non existent or just serves to drive the game forward.
The tone in Rage is like a loose comedic style, like borderlands but with a less cringy art style and it takes itself a little more seriously. But the world is sort of cartoony with very little interaction. Don’t go into this game expecting Metro levels of immersion and story telling or Fallout levels of quests and quest givers. I ignored most of the side quests as all they really do is highlight a spot on the map you were going to fuck up anyway haha.
But in all honesty the loot system is pretty good, ten times better than Outer Worlds where all you ever find is money and more lockpicks to pick doors that hide money and more lockpicks. The loot is actually stuff you need, mainly feltrite which you use to upgrade your guns and powers and money you use to buy more mods for your guns and powers. Also how you progress and get new weapons and powers is really good and fun and works really well so you’re not getting too over powered too quickly but you want to track this stuff down. It also makes sure that the weapons are all unique and interesting and satisfying. This isn’t like outer worlds or borderlands where you’ll be tossing out guns every ten minutes because you found one with a slightly higher number next to it’s name, this is a hybrid shooter. When you pick up a gun you’ve basically got a whole new playstyle and they all feel really distinct and unique. Which is the same with the powers, which I’ll get into later.
So guns, it’s a shooter, how do the guns feel? They feel fucking amazing ok, I judge all shooters by their shotgun and when I picked up the shotgun in this game I didn’t want to use any other weapon and I didn’t for most of the game because that shotgun is so satisfying to use. It feels and sounds really powerful and it looks super cool, I can’t really say if I liked the Doom 2016 one more or not, it’s been a while since I played it. But the weapons feel great in this game. Also biggest thing for me is it has an upgrade system but you can’t upgrade the power of the weapon which is just how it should be, you can only upgrade the capacity/reload speed stuff like that. What does that mean? Well that means when you pick up the shotgun it doesn’t fire bunny farts, you pick up a shotgun and it’s a shotgun upgrades or not, you fire it, the thing on the loud end is gonna be dead.
The powers are pretty nice and I found myself wanting to upgrade them and use them all and they’re really nicely mapped on the controller so you don’t need to cycle through them. So you want to use them and they’re very intuitive in how you use them, there was never a power that I was like “that’s fucking useless”. I used them all and the great thing is there’s no lame mana bar, there’s just a cooldown on each ability and you can upgrade them to shrink the cooldown which is perfect for me. I really hate games that have mana pools where you have to like chug magic potions or eat energy bars to use your abilities, a cool down is much better (or you could just use both like Prey 2017 for some fucking reason) it stops you from spamming them and makes you think more tactically about using them but you get a feel for them and you don’t have to keep topping your power up. Some of the powers are freaking cool too, my favourite is like something straight out of crank, it’s basically a power where if you die you get to do this little qte and your power suit will shock your heart basically bringing you back to life, which is just totally cool. But it has a cool down so if you die again in like the next couple of minutes you’re toast. It just gives you a second change to get back into the game, activate your rage mode and fuck things up haha. It all just works really well and the powers are fun and fit into the world and they make you feel powerful.
Vehicles were ok, but it’s hard to put this up against a game like mad max where so much effort was put into a game about vehicles, compared to that they’re just ok and the vehicle combat is kind of easy because you have mounted gun on the first car you get and it’s not in first person, it switches to 3rd person camera when you get in a vehicle which I hate honestly. I prefer 1st person camera at all times because it’s more immersive. I like to feel like I’m in a vehicle, see the steering wheel and dash like metro and elite and far cry. The vehicles are kind of where this game loses a step because there are a bunch of vehicles in this game but you can only upgrade the first one you get and vehicle combat isn’t that necessary for the story or progression at all. And you get this sick hoverbike really early in the game that basically breaks the game and makes all other vehicles pointless because you can get anywhere twice as fast on the hoverbike because it’s basically a helicopter, all obstacles and enemies btfo, I can just fly over you. There are like road blocks set up by bandits trying to kill and rob people, I can just fly over them giving them the finger if I want.
But this is a game where you do want to go these bases and kill enemies, one; because you need the loot to upgrade your guns and powers and two; because the combat is fun as fuck.
I just wanna compare the gameplay loop of this to Outer Worlds. So in Outer worlds you leave a city and you walk around with your generic snarky companions with millenial haircuts and you walk along a road where there are some bandits waiting with their back turned. Then you snipe them and your companions have cringey animations where they use their ‘skill’ but basically you just stand there firing until they die, maybe use the time slow, probably not haha. Loot their corpses, no blood, just lame sparks and you can’t even loot everything. And then you go back to the town to talk to a bunch of boring npcs who never move from the spot.
Ok so what’s the gameplay loop in Rage 2 like? You get on your sick ass hoverbike until you see a bandit base that has some cool shit you want, you land and park your sick hoverbike haha. You walk over to the front gate of their compound then you burst into a full sprint turning invisible as you do it to barrel into the first enemy you see and kick them in the face so hard they’re turned into chunks and red mist. You then spin around to systematically dismember their friends and colleagues with your meaty shotgun. I mean cutting people in half, blowing legs off and then stomping on their heads. A heavy armored enemy is lumbering towards you and the shotgun is stripping armor that’s visibly flying off with each blast, so you use your blast power to knock them into next week. Then some crazy bitch hits a grenade at you like a baseball with a baseball bat so you take your shotgun and hit it straight back to her and her friends and it blows up in her face turning her into chunks. Then someone is firing missiles at you from a higher level so you run up the stairs firing your machine pistol as you dodge rockets. You throw up a barrier and shoot around it until you’re close enough to rush them and boot them off the tower. But then more fire comes from below so you jump off the tower and slam into them turning them into a smear. But then there’s a boss with a handful of back up so you throw a vortex down which sucks all the smaller ones off their feet and out comes the rocket launcher, you switch to secondary fire and target all of them individually and fire a handful of mini rockets locked onto them which turn them into red mist. Then when everyone is chunks you loot the chests.
I saw yahtze complaining about how looking for the chests slows down the pacing too much but you actually get a skill where you can just see them through walls so it makes it ridiculously easy to find them. But you know fps games have never had secrets or easter eggs that took time and effort to find haha.
The world is also richly detailed, there’s like desert part and a jungle/forest area, a swamp area and another slightly more deserty desert area haha. But the beauty of the game and it’s vistas is all kind of lost when you can just zip over them at break neck speeds on a helicopter bike haha. Yeah that sort of does break the game because all other vehicles even the mech you get is sort of useless by the end of the game because I can kill faster out of the mech with powers and I can get places faster with the bike so all other vehicles are rendered pointless.
There is some exploration as you find new locations on your map, not every enemy base is located on your map until you buy/find some info on the location of one or just stumble upon/fly over it haha. And I did end up cheating and just looking up all the arc locations so I could get all the weapons and powers.
The story missions are also mercifully short and it lets you carry on wrecking bandits after it’s done which is good. It’s kinda like Doom if you added vehicles and an open world with fun little locations and enemies dotted around. The open world aspect doesn’t feel tacked on like in Gears 5 where it only serves to pad out sections of action and break up linear levels and fighting set pieces. There is vehicle combat and there are enemies everywhere not just at the bases, there are great big convoys like in mad max of like war trucks which is cool but it’s not as close to as cool as mad max. And the car customisation isn’t nearly as in depth as that, you really feel like the car is part of you when you play mad max, which is why the ending is so fucking heart breaking haha. I really want a mad max sequel can you tell?
Overall the game is pretty fun, it kinda drags at the end but that was mostly my fault because I just decided to grind all the bases and the combat doesn’t really evolve much. To be honest this game compared to outer worlds has too much content. Like it has a crafting system I never used where you can make better grenades and wing stick, wing sticks are those things you never use haha. Wing sticks are like xena ninja stars you throw that kill people but it doesn’t come back so what other thing do you have that you throw at enemies that kill them and don’t come back, oh yeah bullets. Why do wingsticks exist? Would someone explain this to me haha?
But overall the game is solid and if you’re bummed out about outer worlds and just want to play a fun mindless shooter then give it a shot, what do you have to lose. Honestly though it’s kinda just a meh tier version of metro exodus where you play a generic badass in pseudo power armor haha.
So if you get gamepass for outer worlds you can use rage 2 as a chaser to clean your pallet and then play Metro Exodus to restore your faith in humanity haha.
Rage 2 is not amazing but it’s not garbage, it’s a solid fun shooter.