Rage 2 Review: Mad Max Meets Borderlands in this Wannabe Just Cause Title


    Rage 2 released this month to an overjoyed audience, after a long wait, promising lots of senseless destruction and violence. And that’s exactly what it delivers. Several dozen hours of shooting, ripping, shredding along with tons of explosions and non-stop, fast-paced killing. However, it derives too much from other well-known franchises like Mad Max, Borderlands and even Mass Effect Andromeda to some extent. Before you get your knickers in a bunch, let me explain.

    Rage 2

    Rage 2 was developed by ID and Avalanche Studios, thereby explaining its resemblance with the latter’s 2015 title. The game can be plenty of fun, but it suffers from the same problem as most Open World titles in the genre. It gets repetitive, there isn’t much depth to the gameplay and doing the same activity no matter how “explosive” it may be, gets boring after the first 30-40 times. I believe if Rage 2, like was linear it wouldn’t have suffered from these problems.

    Story and Gameplay

    You assume the role of Walker, one of the rookie rangers as Vineland gets hit by a massive Authority (the main antagonist faction) attack and all your comrades, including your mentor Prowley are massacred in front of your very eyes. After that, the game takes a much more casual tone. Walker then sets out to build something known as “Project Dagger”, a last resort fallback option the veterans of the old war had devised in case the authority came back.

    Rage 2

    Other than the cyber-commando soldiers of the authority, Rage 2 features many factions- you’ve got the goons, a violent, lawless gang, the muties, basically mutants who aren’t very talkative and get straight to third base if they spot you. There’s another cult who call themselves the “Immortals Shrouded” and are a right pain in the rear. With heavy armor and lethal weaponry, they can be quite a headache in the initial stages of the game.

    As for the friendly factions, you’ve got three, one for each of the seemingly good guys who you work with to complete Project Dagger, namely John Marshal, Loosum Hangar and Antonin Kvasir. Rage 2 features a detailed progression wherein you can upgrade pretty much anything, right from the vehicles, to weapons, character attributes, and even the three factions. This is one of the more meticulously planned aspects of the game, and considering that the majority of the gameplay consists of blasting your way through a crap-ton of crazed mutants or other enemies, it’s probably the only one that took some careful thinking and consideration.

    Rage 2

    Similar to Mad Max, Rage 2 includes many locations scattered throughout the map which you can loot for resources, upgrades, and money. There is also an overdrive mode which boosts the player’s base attributes and regenerates health as well. Other than that, you’ve got a bunch of superhuman, ranger abilities like dash, smash, focus and the last resort, defibrillate skill that revives the player with a nominal portion of the heath when you’re defeated. All of them have cooldowns and can be upgraded using some nano-shenanigans you can find in the wasteland.

    Now, remember at the beginning, I mentioned that Rage 2 is some ways is similar to Mass Effect Andromeda, well yes it is, but only in a couple of aspects. Firstly, the vehicle handling felt a lot like the Nomad, and secondly, you’ve got a double gravity jump that lets you freeze mid-air and eliminate your targets while you’re at it.

    Visuals and Soundtrack

    Like Doom and Wolfenstien 2, Rage 2 also leverages the Vulkan API, but unlike World War Z, NVIDIA cards perform on par with their AMD counterparts. The game is well optimized but is a bit taxing on the GPU due to the sheer number of graphics technologies used. You’ve got shader based AA, four levels of SSAO, Screen Space Reflections, player-self shadow, soft particles, geometry shader, plus the regular texture control and detail options. The characters have somewhat of a cartoony appearance like Borderlands but don’t seem to be cell-shaded.

    Rage 2

    The soundtrack is very similar to Doom- hard rock and metal that goes rather well with the gameplay and setting. It’s not extraordinary but helps fill in the empty silences between consecutive fire-fights


    Rage 2 isn’t a must play by a long shot, but if you are into games like Just Cause, Mad Max, or perhaps titles with limited depth, but unlimited scope for bone-crushing and head-hunting, then I’d suggest checking it out. It’s a suitable way to release stress or frustration after a long day of work.

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