Let me start off this review by admitting that I never actually got around to playing the first Rage. I own it on PC and planned on playing it before Rage 2 came out but just never got around to it. This means that unlike most reviews for this game I won’t be comparing it to the original but instead focusing on how Rage 2 actually plays.
Some of you who haven’t had a chance to try Rage 2 yet may have already formed a negative opinion due to a large amount of criticism. It also doesn’t help that it is currently sitting at a “mixed” review on steam. To be honest though I am happy that I got the game before reading these reviews because I know I never would have got it after I read them, and I had a lot of fun with the game. However, if definitely does suffer from the many issues that people have pointed out.
The game offers many different ways to take out enemies.
So let’s start by addressing the many issues people have been talking about and what is stopping this game from being a great game. One of the biggest issues people have is that the story is lack-luster and boring. This is very true. Basically it is just an average story about a man whose hometown was attacked and is forced to journey out into the wasteland to become stronger, with the end goal to defeat the main villain. None of the characters are overly likable but some of them definitely got a chuckle out of me with the games ridiculous humor.
Honestly though, that wasn’t something that really bothered me. While I do appreciate a great story in games (The Last of Us,Undertale and so many more) it’s rare that I will actually let a lackluster story ruin my experience in a game. Especially since this wasn’t a bad story by any means, just rather uninspired. Now let’s talk about what actually bothered me throughout the game.
After about 5 hours of playing the game most of the missions or side quests are going to start feeling rather repetitive. Especially with any mission you find while exploring the wasteland. They have several different formulas that they basically just reuse for many of the different missions.
Another problem is how annoying the quick traveling is. There are very few locations that you can quick travel to. At first I didn’t mind as it is not that big of a map and a large focus of the game is on driving… but man it gets old quick. I understand not being able to quick travel everywhere but they could have made it a bit more accessible. This problem does become minimal though once you unlock a flying bike that makes travelling much less frustrating.
The flying bike that makes travelling much easier.
Now that your opinion of the game is probably even lower, let’s talk about what this game does right. The main saving factor in this game for me was that I straight up found the gunplay superb. The gun play was tight, smooth and felt extremely satisfying to take down waves of enemies with. The abilities combined well with the weapons for pulling off cool kills. Blasting through enemies gave me a similar feeling to playing DOOM (which I really enjoyed), meaning enemies should be more afraid of you then you of them.
I have mixed feelings about the weapons and abilities. Some of them were really cool and felt very well done, while some were rather generic or boring. One of my favorites is one of the first powers you get. It allows you to “dash” in any direction, which is a must for dodging enemy attacks. I did like that the upgrading system allows you to focus your points on upgrading you arsenal of weapons and abilities to fit your play style. However I didn’t like that the upgrading system was bogged down by an unnecessary amount of different materials that you need to collect and keep track of.
Combine your weapons and abilities for cool combos!
The driving also felt very well done. Whipping around corners, smashing through enemies, and being able to upgrade your main vehicle were all great features. The control over the vehicles felt smooth and lead to some great moments as you drive through the wasteland and really got to appreciate how beautiful the wasteland is. Also you could pay a small amount of money to call any one of your vehicles to your location. So you never really had to worry about being stuck traveling on foot!
Smooth driving and vehicle combat!
There are 4 difficulties in the game, from order of easiest to hardest they are: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Nightmare. I played through the game on Hard and could count my total amount of deaths on one hand. So I would recommend choosing at least hard if you are looking for a challenge. I haven’t tried it out on nightmare yet so I can’t say how much the difficulty spikes.
One other note is that when I played I switched between using Mouse and Keyboard outside of vehicles and switching to a controller for driving. This isn’t something I can really fault the developers for, as the shooting felt fine on controller and driving felt fine on mouse and keyboard. I just found it worth switching between them myself as the driving definitely felt better with a controller but the gun play felt much smoother with a mouse and keyboard.
These are the main points I wanted to talk about regarding Rage 2. I felt the gameplay itself was very well done and lead to some of the funnest gunfights I have found myself in. The driving was fun and I enjoyed the amount of upgrades for abilities, weapons and vehicles. However the game lacked any heavy story line and was dampened by an uninspired world and some poor quality of life decisions.
While this game was by no means game of the year for me I still had a lot of fun with it, but it’s hard to recommend it at it’s full price tag. If you can wait until the game is around $40-$50 then I would say the game is more than worth it!
Note: I usually use all my own clips to create my reviews, but unfortunately Rage 2 had issues where it wouldn’t properly record for me. So I had to use clips from the trailers.