Important Note: I encountered a game-breaking bug around 12 hours into the game that prevented me from being able to progress. Bethesda is aware of the issue but as of today (6 months after release) it has not been patched. The only way to progress was to start the game again from the beginning. I will mention the story mode but know that I was unable to complete it due to this bug.
The original Rage game was created by the team behind Doom. It was quite popular with the critics but failed to really make a big impact on the gaming community that had become obsessed with multiplayer shooters at the time. The franchise has returned, this time with lots of pink!
No, that wasn’t a euphemism, the game does feature the color pink quite a lot. Who knows how they are managing to fabricate this color in a gritty post-apocalyptic world, but it does help this game distance itself from the original.
The world of Rage is quite like that of Mad Max. Gritty, dusty environments with a large focus around vehicles. The world in the previous game was not entirely original, but it had its own identity and that was great. Rage 2 seems to have lost this and has instead tried to fit the mold we see most open-world games take on these days.
Far Cry: Rage would have been a more apt title for this game. You have an open world to explore with the same types of events and encounters scattered around the map. Each location has a main event to complete. Events such as destroying a large turret tower, clearing enemies, racing, finding hidden beacons or clearing roadblocks. Rage 2 pretty much follows the blueprint used for the Far Cry games.
There are some things that Rage does differently, mostly around the combat. The glave, which is a boomerang style weapon is back and better than ever. Initially, you will wonder what good a weapon like this will do against enemies with guns. Don’t question the science, but this thing will behead everyone it touches. You will be relishing the moments you get to dish out the glave to bad guys like it’s Halloween candy.
Combat also has an overdrive mode. Killing enemies build up a multiplier and this all feeds into an overdrive meter. Once you activate it, you turn full beefcake. Weapons all gain some sort of explosive power which allows you to blast through enemies with little effort. Timing this right will result in a seriously exciting, adrenaline-filled shoot out.
The story focuses mostly on the political side of the wasteland. The characters and conflicts are interesting enough to stop it feeling like modern politics but still giving you a sense of order in the world. I hit a game-breaking bug around 12 hours into the game that blocked me from being able to progress with the main story. I contacted Bethesda support about this and they are aware of the bug but have no fix for it yet. A game-breaking bug like this is surprising for a game of this caliber but based on the other technical issues, not entirely a shock.
The main menu of the game is a nightmare. It’s slow and laggy for the most part. If you need to get to the middle tab, you have to slowly wait for each tab to load before you can move to the next one. The UI stutters and it takes seconds for a simple tab to load that shows your quest objectives. Perhaps it is better on PC, but on PS4, the menu is really glitchy to use.
There aren’t many huge bugs that get in the way of the game, but there are many little ones. The most humorous one being when the death animation randomly triggered along with the characters scream and then he just got back up and it was business as usual.
The quest givers and main characters are quite good for the most part. Diverse personalities and some really weird people. What stands out most is how good they look. The freakish scientist who uses a lab-grown creature to get around instead of a wheelchair will give you the shivers. Thanks to the level of detail, you can almost smell how bad the lab is.
Rage 2 feels like a safe bet that was played too safe. Attempts to emulate other similar games have resulted in something that just feels generic. The splashes of pink do seem to add some charm to it but it doesn’t stop the game from feeling bland. The game may have taken a turn past the point the game broke for me, but I highly doubt it. The score I have given is based on the experience I had up until the point the game broke. Maybe it gets better after but I certainly was not having enough fun to go back and play the 12 hours all over again.