I’m a few hours into Rage 2 after its release date of May 14, 2019 by Bethesda. And I have to say I’m enjoying myself. I haven’t finished the story, there are a few too many components for me to be finished in in just two days. But, I have reached two of the three Dagger Allies so I can speak to what I have experienced. There are some minor spoilers, not many because I haven’t finished the game, but just be aware.
As the player character, we are pushed right into the story with some minor tutorial bits to help you keep moving. But then you see one of your comrades get his head bitten off by a huge ogre of some sort. Then we put on his gear because… why not.
Now we’re a Ranger despite our aunt trying to keep you out of that life, or so we thought.
Turns out our Aunt Prowley actually trained us up for the mission we are about to embark on. And through a pre-taped message via hologram, we find out she planned for us to take over the mantle of Ranger in the event of a catastrophic event like the one that just took place resulting in her death at the hands of General Cross and the Authority.
She sends us on a mission to reunite the Daggers, acquire superhuman abilities using the Arcs and save the world through the power of grinding for abilities, money, XP and gear upgrades!
Our close friend, Lily tells us not “mess” people over because we’re a Ranger so we have to act like. I got excited about this line because it makes me think the actions and choices I make in the game will have weight on how the game plays out.
The first mission was very fun, I enjoyed just jumping into the story and not having to deal with a long drawn out tutorial. When you find an Arc and get a new weapon or upgrade your gear there is a training room you go in to try out the new item, but that works because how else can you learn to use the item or ability?
I also appreciated being reintroduced to the Authority, in a cut-scene before being dropped into this post-apocalyptic world.
I did think that I was going to get a straight forward approach to the campaign, but once I got to the first dagger I was faced with side missions before moving forward. That was fine. It makes sense to have to give a little to get a little. I did think that I’d be faced with a choice, remembering how Lily told me to make good decisions, but it was straight forward.
The Dagger allies want us to clean up something for them and then they will join our fight against the Authority. They offer plenty of support because everyone somehow is on the same COMS system. Completing the side missions opens up or completes the main story objective to keep the story going.
During a side mission for John Marshall, I did find a shotgun that pushes enemies back. It kind of reminded me of the tractor cannon in Destiny 2 except it doesn’t have void energy. Of course, it’s my favorite option.
The grind is there. The side missions assigned to you by Marshall, Kvasir, and Loosum take time but they are interesting and different from one another. For instance, Mashall’s missions are mostly combat, while Loosum asks you to infiltrate and spy. That helps break up the game and it doesn’t feel too bad.
It’s cool that we get to upgrade our weapons and our vehicle as with currency, which allows up to use them longer if we want. There are multiple types of currency in the game (auto parts, tokens, etc.). Usually, that would be annoying, but you gain your currency and materials as you play associated activities. Despite the grind that you have to do it’s not bad. Plus, upgrades are not that expensive, at least not this early in the game.
So far I am enjoying Rage 2. It’s giving me Max Payne vibes, but that’s probably just the apocalyptic scenery. Rage 2 has coordinated chaos. The world map opens up right after you finish the first mission. So you have the ability to start your journey wherever you want to and it will eventually lead you back to where you should be. At least I’m assuming.
I will say the arena mode under Loosum’s missions reminds me of Professor Genki from Saints Row III. But, I like Saints Row III so I didn’t mind.
The game is fluid. The way the story development continues with NPC’s outside of cut-scenes works really well. And I had fun laughing at the characters. Rage 2 doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously. The humor is good, even when it’s not intended.
I’m going to keep playing and write an update at some point.