After eight years of inactivity, id Software’s most irreverent and risky shooter comes back: a huge post-apocalyptic open world and all the shooter mastery of the studio, allying this time with Avalanche to achieve its goal. But does he succeed? We discovered it in the analysis of RAGE 2.
Id shooters have had a strong personality since birth. Although firing a weapon is probably one of the most viewed activities in a video game, you can clearly identify a shotgun that created this study. There is a clear satisfaction in tightening these triggers that have survived for almost thirty years, not only thinking about the classic Wolfenstein, Doom or Quake but also in their new deliveries because it does not matter what the world or context of the game is. Shooting in these games is always going to be fun.
In RAGE 2 the same thing happens. It does not matter if you are doing a secondary mission, or a principal mission or you are simply going around the wilderness. Running endlessly dodging bullets, searching for short distances and unloading a couple of cartridges on an enemy releases the same powerful feeling. But although we have recorded in the memory that magnificent response in the shooting, the truth is that it was never everything in these games. All the Doom, both the classics and their new delivery, had a powerful level design in the construction of their maps. Quake gave master classes on how to make a multiplayer and Wolfenstein has managed to reinvent itself by relying on the narrative. The objective of RAGE, therefore, was always the open world. Those environments that hide in the vast post-apocalyptic wilderness a good handful of moments where to make use of our devastating arsenal and that its first delivery could not expand enough in the trips on the back of our vehicle, so for this occasion it has counted with Avalanche, the creators of Mad Max and Just Cause. But it is not enough, or so I think, to have an excellent house brand gunplay to create a good experience in an open world. You also have to know how to apply the formulas that create an experience that attracts the player to explore each corner, to develop their skills and, ultimately, to be attracted by everything the developers have created within this scenario. And here RAGE 2 does not achieve its goal so well.
Rage 2, lost in the Wasteland
The open world of RAGE 2 is one of the most neglected we have seen recently. So much so that I was surprised, almost evoking those first experiments with this type of maps, where the important thing was to fill all of the icons, but still not enough experience to guide the player to them, nor knew how to generate a certain rhythm between all these activities. When feeling disconnected, a kind of playground without order or continuity, in the end, it is the player who has to pull willing to go to discover each of the locations of this mapping, whose goal is ultimately to destroy, Of course.
Look first of all to be fast and I felt more comfortable in the short distances
There is no problem with that, that this is a shooter after all, but you can quickly discover a lack of imagination overwhelming when you discover the pattern of the game. Lairs of bandits, or mutants, or any other type of enemy, are similarly decorated to kill all enemies without any surprise. Do not expect an overflowing imagination in them. For example, start in a position, fight against some enemies, collect clues, continue with a chase through the wilderness to end up in another lair and conclude the mission with a boss. All the action is given in the same place and without a bit of narrative thread that helps to know a little more about this “post-apocalypse” that suggested RAGE 2 in its promotional campaigns.
The final result in the main and secondary missions is a feeling of repetition that comes soon and never goes away. As I say, the tasks are varied when naming them, as there are dens of quarrelsome, zones of hordes of mutants, others in which to end giant mutants, raise blockades, destroy sentinels, reactors or convoys that go down the road, but in the end The only real difference is if you are going to meet them on foot or in your vehicle. There are others that, although simple, become attractive. Discovering the fallen rangers, sometimes, encourages us to stop a bit to reflect on how to access the body, almost as a puzzle, while the coffers always end with the reward of acquiring the different skills that our ranger possesses, as well as the weapons that our arsenal offers. Do not miss the famous races of the original or the fun Mutant Bash TV contest.
It is in this sense of progression that RAGE 2 relies on something else, and encourages us to travel the wasteland beyond the main mission to collect all the equipment and improve it to the maximum. The novelty is the abilities of our Ranger suit that allow us to obtain a series of special powers, both passive and active. From improving our running and jumping, to create barriers of defense, vortexes that suck enemies, and the two most useful, a powerful blow melee and jumped to the ground throwing enemies into the air (with the possibility even to combine with a shotgun to finish them off). The game ends with the Overload, a skill that improves our weapons by raising the power of fire, speed, and cadence, turning us into a true killing machine.
The art of shooting in RAGE
The arsenal, apart from the beloved shotgun that is what I have used the most during the entire adventure, is completed with a useful machine gun, a very effective gun for fans of headshots, a rocket launcher, a special revolver , with incendiary ammunition that sets fire to enemies, a gravitic dart gun, a powerful hyper-gun for ranged combat and a cannon of pulses,with the best shooting rate of the game. They are fun but not many and there are some with which I have not finished communicating, such as the hyper gun or the revolver, because RAGE 2 seeks above all to be fast and I have felt more comfortable at short distances. However, all of them feel really good and that, as I was saying from the beginning, the best thing about RAGE 2 is precisely that gunplay that brings id to the whole.
The truth is that there is a lot of progression in the videogame, inheritance in part of what the first RAGE was already doing that allowed us to obtain resources in the wilderness to create objects. Here it has expanded into several parts, so we will not only create objects, but with the filtrate as a fundamental component, we can improve and upgrade the weapons, our active and passive powers and also other skills of the character under the tab Projects, which each of the important secondary characters with whom we relate, gives us.
Which brings us to the little bits of history that it contains and that are completely testimonial, since you could play RAGE 2 perfectly without paying any attention to the story and the result would be practically the same. The game puts us in the skin of a survivor of the attack perpetrated by the Authority, who seeks to take control of the wilderness and with General Cross at the helm of the organization. We incarnate Walker, a survivor of the attack who must put on the Ranger suit and start the Dagger project, for which you will need the help of three allies scattered throughout the mapping. As simple as it sounds and that this is basically the first hour of play, which later is diluted in less narrative presence, so if you want to find out more about the history of this wasteland, you will have to look for the digital Blocs scattered all over the world. But do not expect secondary missions to help in the narrative since all of them aim to eliminate the different groups of enemies that the game offers.
The final result in the main and secondary missions is a feeling of repetition.
These opponents are really colorful. The most representative is the quarrelsome, the punks that we have seen in the promotional campaigns. There will also be the Hidden, human enemies with iron armor and even with optical camouflages. The classical mutants also return, fast and numerous, and the Authority is satisfied with another line of mutants equipped with weapons and technological equipment. Sufficient variety for the game, but we have not found any really memorable enemy, who really has a presence on the screen and who urges us to strive harder in the combat making use of each skill.
And this is perhaps one of the aspects that most hurts RAGE 2, that although it seems varied in its resources, it does not urge to take advantage of them all according to what occasion. There are no enemies with which you take better advantage of the famous Wingstick, the flagship weapon of the franchise that is here a little forgotten, or with which it is better the long distances that you cut, making use of the energy barrier and the hyper gun. Almost all combat scenarios can be faced with the same weapons and conditions, which do not encourage the player’s creativity or the search for new tactics, relying on the stage or according to the enemy in front of you.
The walks through its open world often leave very striking pictures.
For all this, RAGE 2 ends up falling into a certain sense of repetition that floods our games. Disconnection also in that open world that offers a large number of events to discover, but of which sometimes there are no compelling reasons to move towards them. In a moment of the adventure, before the final colophon, the game even has to make sure that you have not focused on the main campaign, and forces you to do these secondary missions,Forcing to “level up” the relationship with each of the three secondary characters that help you in your goal, by fulfilling these optional tasks. A resource is certainly unpopular in the open worlds, which tends to leave a lot of evidence that developers are aware of the structural defects in their mission design.
Technically, RAGE 2 complies. Its 60 frames per second are the key to a solid and satisfying experience when tightening the trigger without stopping, but apart from PC ( RAGE 2 system requirements ), it can only be enjoyed on Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, while Basic models will go at 30 fps. It is noted that within this post-apocalyptic aesthetic, we wanted to get out of the ordinary and that is why we opted for vibrant colors in some of its lines and, above all, in the interfaces and the HUD, with some remarkable moments such as when using the Overload skill. Accompany a dub in Spanish, a classic of Bethesda that I have already expressed my opinion about it more than once because it seems very poor to me. A direction of actors who clearly do not know much about the context of their characters and who use functional registers and with very few personality traits in the voices. On the other hand, walks through its open world often leave very striking prints while we are riding with our vehicle through the wasteland, very aesthetically achieved. Avalanche has wanted to give some difference to each of the regions with the so-called biomes, areas where vegetation has grown again and again in these desolate lands, but the truth is that we expected something more of this idea, because it also does not affect a lot to the gameplay.
When the first RAGE came out, there was some criticism of its “open” world that connected the different main missions of the game. However, I think a lot of work was done on these levels, with well-planned enemies and good map design. A few months later, even, the id itself created a new game mode in an update, which allowed RAGE to be replayed like a classic game, eliminating the areas of vehicles from the wilderness and history to focus on enjoying those well-constructed levels… I thought that with RAGE 2 and this merger between id Software and Avalanche, we would get the best of both worlds. That was the idea in my opinion. The result is far from being so idyllic and ends up burdened by the repetition and lack of a certain charisma in the development of its structure. Even the design of the main levels seems somewhat less inspired than its first part. The fun of their weapons and a good progression of our skills are still there, so anyone who has enjoyed an id shooter will feel at home. But in perspective, I believe that it is the same opportunity that Doom and Wolfenstein had to be reborn, but that here it has not been used with the same efficiency.
RAGE 2 is an undoubtedly fun game because it has all the adrenaline that always gets the id Software shooter formula. But his missions do not finish taking off and his open world feels something repetitive and careless. Their weapons, skills, and sensation of progression help to offer an action with packaging, but they can not avoid a lack of creativity when using them and structure problems when going through this post-apocalyptic wilderness.
- Very good feelings with weapons
- Variety of skills and objects to combine
- The good feeling of progression
- A generic open world and lack of cohesion
- Very repetitive secondary activities
- Irregular level design