Title: Rage 2
Format: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Avalanche Studios/id Software
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
The Grade: B+
Rage 2 Haiku Review
Your name is Walker
Explore a colorful world
Is that RoboCop?
What is it? A sequel to the 2011 first-person shooter, “Rage.” Gamers once again visit a post-apocalyptic wasteland, this time taking on the role of Walker, a ranger with amazing physical abilities. Players will be challenged by mutants and monsters across an open world, all while trying to bring down The Authority, a military power that has been hiding underground for the past 30 years.
Highs: Frenetic. That’s the first word that pops into my head while playing “Rage 2.” When engaging enemies, which are numerous and varied, the action in this title gets quite frenetic. Opponents jump out of nowhere, move unpredictably and are difficult to handle. This is just part of what makes the game fun and challenging.
Controlling Walker is a breeze and manipulating his (or her if you so choose) powers is seamless. The collaboration between Avalanche Studios (the “Just Cause” series) and id Software (the “Doom” series) is a smooth one. The shooting mechanics feel a lot like a “Doom” title and the RPG elements of Walker’s frequently expanding repertoire of skills have a “Just Cause” vibe. Blended together, they make combat a blast.
The overall tone of “Rage 2” differs greatly from its predecessor. The first “Rage” was dark and gloomy, with many comparing it to “Mad Max.” This latest title is literally more bright and colorful, with action that screams, “You WILL have a good time!” This tone is infectious and encourages players to dive into dangerous situations as you’ll never know how they’ll play out. Chances are, however, things will work out in your favor. Walker’s constantly escalating skill set make him a formidable opponent.
“Rage 2” offers a huge world to explore. Mutants, lurkers and monsters of all shapes and sizes fill every inch of the huge map. Helping you navigate it is an array of cool vehicles that can help you acquire an impressive collection of weapons and loot. A never ending quest for upgrades will always provide an excuse to dive back into “Rage 2.”
Lows: The story of “Rage 2” begins with a bang. The leader of The Authority, General Cross, who looks like an evil version of RoboCop. He’s full of over-the-top bluster and commands an army of formidable mutants. Cross comes across as a worthy opponent, but the plot line is mostly an excuse for you to go out and explore and you’ll end up losing track of your original goal.
A bit more troublesome is some of the game’s more repetitive elements. Missions aren’t nearly as diverse as your enemies, which is a shame.
The Grade: Despite some issues, exploring this game’s wide open world is a frenetically good time. If you like explosions, gunplay and mindless fun in a consequence free environment, “Rage 2” is certainly for you.
Gazette Media Columnist Terry Terrones is a veteran video game journalist. He has written for numerous publications including GamePro, GamesBeat, PC World, GameZone, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/terryterrones.