Giant Mutant Battles, Gravity Guns and Flying Copter-Bikes – The RAGE 2 Handbook
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 04:14pm 24/04/19 | Comments
Recently we had a chance to go hands-on with a near-final build of RAGE 2, where we were able to spend several hours in its vibrant and neon soaked post-apocalyptic world...
Taking out pesky gangs, dealing with mutants both big and small, securing key locations, finding secret stashes of high-tech toys, driving both on land and even through the air on some sort of futuristic copter-bike. A gyrocopter, if you will. As Agent Walker, RAGE 2 presents a huge open-world that blends the fast-paced and satisfying combat of id Software shooters like DOOM and Quake with the exploration, story and varying missions of developer Avalanche Studio’s previous efforts like Just Cause and Mad Max. And although at a glance RAGE 2 could be compared to the latter, the combination of these two studios is a mix that feels entirely like its own thing.
It's a space here bright colours, vast wastelands, jungles and truly engaging weapons and superhero-like abilities are the order of the day. Just the way we like it.
Enjoy the Weapons of Tomorrow Today
There was a time when discussing a first-person shooter, the only part that people cared to talk about were the weapons. The guns. How did they feel? And was there some sort of heat-seeking plasma rifle that turned enemies into goo? RAGE 2 is the sort of game that fits into this mold. A game where one can quite simply talk about the numerous, myriad various guns (see, overkill -- just like the game). Such as how the assault rifle hits that right mixture of powerful and satisfying in how each bullet strikes its target. But also, not something that you’ll avoid most other weapons for. Compare it the pistol that shoots incendiary rounds that you then set alight via a BioShock-style click of the fingers. Or a gravity gun that shoots darts that then act as physics-based anchors that evolves the sandbox insanity of Just Cause in a portable way.
"Throw in futuristic plasma weapons into the mix, scientific energy-based beams of destruction, and it’s a line-up that sits comfortably..."
Interesting and fun weapons are only one part of the gun story. The second part, which plays into the playful world of RAGE 2, is with how the enemies explode like balloons filled with red paint when they encounter explosives. The sort of meet and greet that happens in the space of a fraction of a second. Throw in futuristic plasma weapons into the mix, scientific energy-based beams of destruction, and it’s a line-up that sits comfortably within the pantheon of great shooters.
Be Prepared If You’re Going to Take on a Giant Mutant
Blending the first-person shooter and the traditional id Software experience, with that of the open-world, is perhaps the most refreshing aspect of RAGE 2. Even when you consider the original game that preceded it. As a shooter, your arsenal of various guns both straightforward (like say, the shotgun) or over-the-top (see: the Gravity Gun) and Nanotrite abilities begin to feel like an integral part of who you are. As Walker. With the real-world equivalent being not leaving home without your phone, headphones, laptop, or clothing. Mustn’t forget that one.
"The lesson here though, as per the gameplay footage above, is that when you decide to take on two large mutants with very little in the way of firepower – don’t expect an easy battle..."
Heading into an unknown situation in RAGE 2, without stocking up on ammunition and aid can add an unnecessary layer of pressure. Of feeling naked. Especially when facing off against the larger monstrosities in the game that tend to use nearby objects the size of vehicles as things that can be swatted away with a light brush. The arsenal or tool-kit in RAGE 2, that includes the trusty assault rifle, is a futuristic box fool of goodies that will feel essential one moment and then something you’d want to switch out for something else the next. The lesson here though, as per the gameplay footage above, is that when you decide to take on two large mutants with very little in the way of firepower – don’t expect an easy battle.
Get There Quick with the Gyrocopter
The open-world of RAGE 2 is truly open, which even from an early point during the main story, is mostly left up to you to explore. To discover missions, activities and find new tech in the way of high-tech gadgets hidden in Arks. With each location peppered with threats, these icons on the map (for lack of a better term) present intense arena-style encounters where the combat takes on all the bombast of a classic id shooter. The sort of stuff where it isn’t a question of stealth or running in guns blazing. It’s run in this way with this gun or go around a corner and ground slam a few enemies and then shoot that one explosive barrel over there. And then kick open some doors, post-apocalyptic Tony Montana-style, with a rocket launcher. If you so choose, and catch my drift.
"Size doesn’t always lead to a more rewarding experience, but in RAGE 2 the distances between points of interests leads to a nice balance between on-foot and on-post-apocalyptic wheels..."
So then, where do vehicles fit into the picture? Well, in the in-between. RAGE 2’s world -- with its vibrant mix of neon and sand and jungles and rock formations -- is huge. Size doesn’t always lead to a more rewarding experience, but in RAGE 2 the distances between points of interests leads to a nice balance between on-foot and on-post-apocalyptic wheels. Getting from place to place requires keeping a stacked garage full of different vehicles in RAGE 2, which not only sells the scope of the landscape and the varying biomes but also opens the door to roaming convoys, vehicle combat, and hopping into your trusty gyrocopter when the roads begin to feel a little too dangerous.
Life’s More Fun Kicking It into Overdrive
The super glue, or generic off-brand adhesive, that brings the action of RAGE 2 together is Overdrive. Essentially a ‘super’ or charged-up ‘ultimate’ ability that puts Walker into a murderous rage that supercharges his abilities and weapons. What’s perhaps most surprising and refreshing is just how often you can use it.
"Stringing together combos, kills and explosions results in being able to be in Overdrive mode multiple times..."
Stringing together combos, kills and explosions results in being able to be in Overdrive mode multiple times in the space of a single action-heavy minute. This not only encourages the more cowardly ‘run backwards whilst shooting’ players out there (as seen in most of the clips in in this feature) to switch it up for the ‘crazy psycho killer in berserk mode’ approach, but leads to a flow that brings together the fun arsenal of guns and the various nanotrite abilities that double as post-apocalyptic Force powers.
Take a Moment to Enjoy the Scenery
Even though this feature has used the word intense twice so far, it’s worth reiterating one last time especially after using Overdrive multiple times in a chaotic and satisfying bout of combat. This leads to one of the minor but important benefits of having a huge open-world to explore.
"Built using an updated version Avalanche Studios own Apex engine the level of detail in the environments, ranging from the foliage to sandy dunes to the run-down abandoned buildings, is exceptional..."
In RAGE 2, despite the chaos and permeation of death and gore, you can still simply take the time to enjoy the scenery. Built using an updated version Avalanche Studios' own Apex Engine the level of detail in the environments, ranging from the foliage to sandy dunes to the run-down abandoned buildings, is exceptional across the board. And when not engaging in a race or the taking down of a convoy made up of armoured and well-armed vehicles, enjoying a simple drive can be one of RAGE 2’s simple pleasures.