RAGE 2, the review

Who I am
Valery Aloyants
@valeryaloyants
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RANGE 2 it is a whirlwind of conflicting emotions, as we will try to explain in this one review: a mix that was, after all, to be expected given that two different teams, id Software and Avalanche Studios, developed the game. The authors of DOOM have limited themselves to supervising the project, yet their positive influence is evident in the perspective of the shooter action, which offers highly spectacular sequences, weapons loaded with personality, special skills and the dynamism typical of their school. But what is around the excellent gunplay of the title produced by Bethesda, we say it immediately, leaves a bad taste in the mouth. The open world approach adopted represents a sensational missed opportunity for a variety of reasons, and what should have been a map perhaps not huge but full of content has actually turned out to be much less exciting than we hoped. You can also imagine our surprise when we completed the last mission of the campaign and the Steam interface only counted ten hours of play, leaving us at the mercy of a basically waste endgame, with little to offer beyond a few locations. still to be conquered and some convoy to be eliminated. What went wrong? Let's try to understand it.



History and characters

The opening sequences of RAGE 2 limp conspicuously in terms of direction and narration, and although that is not the focus of the game it is also true that a plot even if it is trivial, it can be told with a minimum of commitment. The impact is frankly ugly and leaves one perplexed about the general quality of the production, also thanks to some glitches linked to the dialogues of the supporting actors; but luckily things improve pretty quickly. As already reported, the history is set thirty years after the events of the original RAGE and it is possible to choose the sex of the protagonist, Walker, only to be catapulted into a sudden attack by the revived Authority on the city of Vineland. Our character takes possession of the armor of the last Ranger of the Devastated Zone when the latter is torn to pieces in the fight with a huge mutant, but at a certain point he falls out of action and witnesses the killing of Prowley, the elderly commander who raised him, at the hands of the evil cyborg general Martin Cross.



Determined to take revenge and destroy the Authority once and for all, Walker goes in search of three figures who can support him in this difficult mission: John Marshall, who returns from the first episode aged but still combative, with a network of spies that make him an important resource; Loosum Hagar, skilled launcher of Wingstick but above all mayor of Wellspring, aware of some contacts between the Authority and a political rival; and finally Dr. Anton Kvasir, a scientist who in the past rebelled against General Cross and helped found the Ranger order. The plot is nothing revolutionary, as per the premise, but the also dubbing in Spanish has its faults: most likely the recordings were made "in the dark", meaning the actors could not see the context of the dialogues, and this has further undermined the surrender of certain moments. The interpretation of the protagonist often seemed out of place and the exchanges appear confusing, but when it comes to monologues, things improve substantially and the quality of the cast of voice actors selected for the occasion comes out.

Open world and vehicles

The exploration of the map of RAGE 2 is completely free from the start, with no limits or barriers. After the incipit you get on board the protagonist's default vehicle, an armored car called Phoenix and equipped with a winking artificial intelligence ("I'm too hot!", He exclaims when we overheat the machine gun). It is the only upgradeable vehicle among the sixteen that can be unlocked, by finding them around the scenarios and taking them at least once to a safe harbor, and then calling them back if necessary by spending a few dollars. L'openworld it is divided into six zones that can present completely different landscapes: in most cases they are desolate lands with some settlements from time to time, but there are also mountains, swamps, forests and abandoned lands of the previous civilization. There are two cities that can be visited and some minor locations, and in this situation the hub of the first RAGE comes to mind, with the bounty board but also different characters to talk to to unlock new missions.



A GPS system guides us in a clearly legible way towards the goal we have set, but several things can happen along the way: it happens to come across improvised checkpoints that must be opened after eliminating the enemies who guard them, bases and service stations to be freed, clashes between factions in which we can intervene, pilots who challenge us in a speed race and convoys carrying resources. The Phoenix performs fairly well in all situations, especially when you unlock some extra weapon (there are for example the upgraded turrets or homing missiles) using the collected loot, but the same cannot be said of the other vehicles: the bikes have handling that leaves much to be desired, racing cars have no guns and cannon-equipped vehicles are deadly slow. In short, at the end of the games the act of finding a car and driving it to town to unlock it in the menu turns out to be an end in itself, a pure matter of collecting which, however, is not recalled that much by the gameplay nor does it provide for rewards such as to justify the commitment.

On the street you can clearly perceive the closeness to Mad Max situations, including bullet times, but we were frankly thinking of something better. The assault on convoys remains the most interesting assignment when you are out and about, and this does not speak in favor of RAGE 2. If in fact Tim Willits had guaranteed that the map would be full of things to do, in reality. we do not go beyond those three or four types already mentioned in part: checkpoints, bases, convoys, the annoying Towers of the Authority and the Arks, manned positions at which to obtain ability special e weaponry deriving from archaic technologies. Thinking about it, there is a lack of a barrier that delimits what we can or cannot do, an RPG-style progression that dictates rules and prevents from trivializing what is the game's content offer. After all, as soon as you get hold of the Icarus gyrocopter it is easy to give in to the temptation to take flight and speed up the movements from one point to another: further confirmation of how little focused this part of the experience is.



Gameplay, weapons and enemies

As written in the opening, Id Software she oversaw the development of RAGE 2, but we guess the team's work went way beyond, judging by how some missions and levels clearly evoke DOOM's gameplay and style. You shoot damn well, both playing with the keyboard / mouse combo and with a controller, without the need for aiming aid as the system acts precisely when you frame a target and allows you to virtually eliminate enemies without even resorting to ' iron sight. L'arsenal is composed of eight weapons, each with its own peculiarities, all accessible from the traditional wheel (recalled via the Y / Triangle button): although only two tools can be alternated "on the fly", this solution allows you to hold any rifle within a few moments, since time stops when the selection appears and there is no risk of being hit.

The Ranger assault rifle is amazing from medium and long distances, in close combat the shotgun dictates the law and then there are more particular devices that are well suited to specific situations, such as the search rocket launcher or the gravitational dart launcher (shoots a series of shots that lock onto the target and throw it violently towards a surface indicated by us), the Firestorm revolver (with bullets that can ignite on command) or the devastating pulse cannon and hypergun. To these tools are added the grenades and the Wingstick, RAGE's iconic boomerang that can be upgraded for target locking and is a great way to silently take out an enemy. By carrying out eliminations in series it is finally possible to activate the Overload, which unlocks additional fire modes and multiplies our power for a few seconds.

There is only one problem: it will be difficult for you to use it, because at the level of difficulties intermediate, the challenge is so small that it allows you to take down even the huge bosses in a matter of seconds. Fighting in RAGE 2 is very beautiful and exciting, you run like trains and dispense shots left and right, alternating rifles quickly and activating the four special skills unlockable at the Arks to inflict further damage: a telekinetic push that projects the unfortunates in the air, a shot from above that generates a shock wave, a barrier against bullets and finally a quick sprint to dodge attacks. However, as mentioned, the balance of difficulty is really perplexing: our suggestion is undoubtedly to immediately opt for a higher level than the normal one, so as to make the missions a minimum of demanding.

As for the enemies, the different ones factions that we will find waiting for us see the presence of the mad and violent Bulli, of the wild Boars, of the disturbing Immortal Shrouds and of the mutant aberrations of the Authority. Their artificial intelligence it is discreet, they move enough and find cover, advancing with some armored units that we will have the task of "disassembling" with our shots, but at the intermediate level of challenge they do not represent a serious threat even when they are very numerous. There is a small problem of visual variety, in the sense that many human opponents share the same polygonal models and it would have been enough to randomize some aesthetic elements to remedy, while for the boss the problem is deeper and more deeply rooted: it is practically always the same two creatures, dressed up differently but characterized by simple patterns, which it takes a few moments to learn.

Mutant Bash TV and speed racing

There are some extra activities that appear towards the middle of the RAGE 2 campaign, when the protagonist needs to become a VIP in order to meet a certain character. The first and most important is Mutant Bash TV, the crazy TV show that makes its return in this second chapter and that will see us face a series of enemies within an arena where blood and dismemberments are the main dish to be given. to be fed to the spectators. Then there are also the circuit races, with a series of categories to climb to get glory and money, but an uninspiring performance.

Technical realization

La graphics of RAGE 2 is exalted in the use of abundant effects, a real protagonist during firefights: the Apex Engine manages to make explosions and particles in an excellent way, returning great visual satisfaction when we blow up opponents with a grenade or with the missile launcher. The interesting thing is that all this mess does not seem to put too much trouble on the engine, which is not the victim of sudden drops in frame rate but it remains consistent even in the most agitated situations, with dozens of enemies and flames all around. The only blunders, on balance, occur when we fly over the map aboard the Icarus, witnessing frequent pop-up effects on the shaders. The level design of the bases is convincing and recalls both the style of the aforementioned DOOM as that of the original RAGE, but when you leave the limited places and go into the open world, the more generic solutions multiply, with clear repetitions of structures and landscapes that they do not argue in favor of the variety of the game world.

The supporting actors and the enemies are well made even if, as mentioned, the latter would have benefited from some further shrewdness as regards the types, reduced in number and therefore inclined to recur frequently: in the case of mutants and immortals, this goes unnoticed because we're talking about opponents with the same appearance, but with humans more attention would have been needed. On PC it is possible to enjoy a large number of adjustments that allow you to scale the experience according to the configuration, but this time we didn't have too many problems and we activated the automatic scaler to keep the input constant at 2160p and 60 frames per second stable while keeping all effects to the max. On further verification we can say that with a GTX 1080 Ti it is possible to play at the real resolution of 1440p with everything on "ultra" without ever running into a problem, while stubborn on the 4K fixed and non-dynamic you have to settle for 30 fps, which however do not do justice to the excellent gunplay of RAGE 2.

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 6600K @ 4 GHz
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Memory: 16 GB of RAM
  • Operating system: Windows 10

Minimum requirements

  • Processore: Intel Core i5 3570, AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780, AMD Radeon R9 280
  • Memory: 8 GB of RAM
  • Hard disk: 50 GB of space required
  • Sistema operativo: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 a 64 bit

Recommended Requirements

  • Processore: Intel Core i7 4770, AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
  • Scheda video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, AMD Vega 56
  • Memory: 8 GB of RAM
  • Hard disk: 50 GB of space required
  • Sistema operativo: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 a 64 bit

Comment

Tested version PC Windows Digital Delivery Steam Price 59,99 € Resources4Gaming.com

7.5

Readers (58)

7.1

Your vote

RAGE 2 offers an exhilarating experience when it comes to shooting, re-proposing and in many ways improving the shooter mechanics of the original episode thanks to a good arsenal, a rock solid gunplay and a spectacular set of special skills to use to your advantage. The cities and settlements stand as an evolution of the single RAGE hub and allow you to interact with a series of supporting actors in order to unlock new missions, but in fact the open world proposed by Avalanche Studios does not offer innovative content and the few campaign missions, tainted by a highly questionable, downward-oriented difficulty balance, are completed in a mere ten hours. Statistics difficult to justify for such a product, even more so considering that the exploration of the map on board the vehicles is not as pleasant and engaging as we hoped.

PRO

  • Gunplay fenomenale
  • Guess weapons and skills
  • Technically excellent
AGAINST
  • Too short, too easy at the intermediate level
  • The open world doesn't offer much
  • Uninteresting use of vehicles
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