This title was reviewed on PS4, but is also available on Xbox One and PC.
RAGE 2 is an open world first person shooter which pretty much combines DOOM’s fast paced combat with open world elements and driving combat. The second installment in the series, this is a follow up to RAGE which I played a VERY long time. I enjoyed RAGE back in the day, so I was expecting great things given the time that has passed! This installment is very different to the first game, and a whole lot more fun too. Check out my full review below.
At the start of the game you get to choose your player, which is either Male or Female and then straight away you are thrown into the action…kind of. The short of it, is that a guy or machine named General Cross has come back and is ready to take his revenge and rule the world. The story is pretty cliche and to be honest VERY forgettable. And if you’ve read some of my reviews, you’ll know just how much I like my stories.
Combat. This is what RAGE 2 is all about. It starts off kind of disappointing as you only have a pistol and don’t really get a full taste of what the combat is really like until later in the game when you have gathered a few upgrades and weapons. Once you have a large cache of guns and abilities, combat is an absolute BLAST! It’s fun, it’s brutal. There are gory death scenes inflicted by your own hands, and to top it off, the combat is pretty damn fluid! You can do cool things like ejecting from your car and then immediately smashing down into an object. The pacing of the combat with the open world is a little weird sometimes, as due to the size and emptiness of the world you can go for long periods of time without engaging with anyone. When combat does happen, it tends to be a little on the short side. It’s probably a little nit-picky of me, but I absolutely love combat and can’t wait to fight.
The variety in guns is great. Some can be pretty useless (*cough* pistol *cough*), while others like the rocket launcher can be a hell of a lot of fun. To acquire new guns and abilities you will locate these in Arcs, which are abandoned survival shelters. They are located around the world, and to get into them you need to lay a beat down on your enemies. Once inside you can grab the new weapon or ability, and you will be given a quick tutorial on how to use it. So, I mentioned abilities: These powers are pretty unique, and my favorite is called Slam. This makes your character hover in the air and then drop down, slamming your fist on the ground to deal damage. The higher you are, the more damage this does. Doing this off a building (or after ejecting from a vehicle as I mentioned) is very effective. Not all the powers are combat aimed, such as the Defibrillator which allows you to resurrect yourself, or the Grav Jump which is pretty much a double jump. All the weapons and abilities that you gain can be upgraded using feltrite. This will improve your weapons and abilities in different aspects and will also unlock further upgrades which can then use nanotrite boosters to buy abilities, and weapon core mods to buy weapons. These upgrades will further improve your abilities, for example allowing you to add a damaging shockwave to your Defibrillation, so now not only do you get revived, but you also have the chance to kill your enemies. There are a ton of upgrades and this is great as it adds more diversity to the combat.
As the open world in RAGE 2 is quite large, you will need to use vehicles to get around. Your main vehicle is called the Phoenix, which comes equipped with one weapon and to be honest that’s about it! You can upgrade the Phoenix using car parts you acquire from either opening Arc chests (at most named locations) or by purchasing them from a shop. You will also have to do convoy take downs, which is one large vehicle being guarded by a group of vehicles. You need to eliminate all you enemies, then take down the main truck before also being rewarded with car parts. This brings me on to the combat aspect of vehicles, which are equipped with weapons. As you upgrade your vehicle you can add more weapons. During vehicle battles if you push the triangle button on your PS4 controller (Or equivalent on other platforms), this will either ram your enemy’s vehicle or can be used to dodge incoming fire. Otherwise use your weapons and take them out with the auto lock-on feature, or some good ol’ machine gun fire!
So back to the open world; In the open world there are locations throughout the world such as bandit dens, authority sentries (turrets that will try to kill you if you go near them!), and Crusher Nests. The latter are giant creatures that will easily take you aren’t if you aren’t careful. These are all comprised in different regions of the game, of which there are six. Each region pretty much has the same challenges to face, which can get a little bit repetitive. Apart from these, the world is actually quite empty. You’ll occasionally encounter a bag guy on the side of the road though. To be honest the one thing that does let RAGE 2 down is the open world as it feels too empty a lot of the time. Once you’ve done one region you’ll pretty much know what to expect of the next. The only thing that changes is the difficulty of the outposts.
The last aspect I will mention are projects. By defeating a location you will gain reputation points which will level up your reputation with one of three people. Each level will give you three project tokens. These are used as upgrades for yourself, and you will have three categories of projects to upgrade from. One is more related to combat, the second is more related to crafting, and the third is more about locating collectibles. For example, in combat you can increase magazine size, and increase how much equipment you can hold.
The sound is bad ass! RAGE 2 has some awesome rock music during combat, making those blowing-up-people scenes even more epic. The graphics are absolutely superb. Occasionally there are a few graphical glitches, but other than that I was impressed! The weapons models are cool, and I’ve mentioned the gore before, which is so well done.
RAGE 2 is an awesome first-person shooter. I’m not going to award any points on the open world front, but it makes up for this in other ways. The fast, brutal combat is satisfying and addictive, keeping you hooked for hours on end. There are lots of aspects to the game through the upgrading of weapons, vehicles, and powers that will keep the game feeling fresh for a long time. If you’re a fan of DOOM‘s combat, you will love the combat in RAGE 2. It is worth playing just for the combat itself. I would recommend this game to anyone wanting to play a fun chaotic first-person shooter!