I am, for the most part, a huge Bethesda fan. The only thing i tend to avoid are their online games, mostly because I don’t have the time to pour in. Weirdly though, I had never heard of Rage before Rage 2 was announced and advertised a fair bit, and my impressions at the moment are that this could be a release-day game for me… However I haven’t seen much more than the trailers, so I thought i’d dig deeper into this neon-soaked game and bring you along with me.
First off, in case you’re like me and didn’t play the first game. it came out in 2011; in the story an asteroid hits Earth in 2029 (Which is based on a real asteroid prediction passing us by in 2035), and destroys life as we know it. There are pockets of civilisation who survive, but they are ravaged by bandits and mutants – Obviously the story progresses from here as you enjoy the open world that’s been put before you… So where does it leave us for number 2? First off it’s pretty well laid out in this trailer:
Quite simply you’re still in this crazy destroyed world, set 50 years after the first game, and there’s a big bad whom you must defeat… And I’m sure there’ll be a ton of sidequests along the way. You play as Walker, the last ranger (Texas ranger?) who’s out to quell the Authority (The big bads) who are after him! The thing is this game isn’t about the story, it’s all about the action, so let’s get into this…
First thing that makes this game a little different are the special superhero-like abilities. These are called nanotrite abilities, and you have:
Overdrive – Essentially everything is maxed out, weapons and physical attacks do max damage.
Shatter – This is a lethal kinetic blast that throws people for miles, or explodes them!
Vortex – A kind of power orb that throws enemies into the air.
Slam – A lethal ground pound that’s unleashed from above, the higher you start the bigger the impact.
Barrier – Quite simply this is a portable shield which has an instakill if anyone touches it.
Dash – Become the flash with dash!
The idea is to combine these ‘powers’ with a vast array of weapons and vehicles to gain the upper hand on large groups of enemies as you shoot, pound and destroy them. The game boasts a large armoury, and apparently ‘if you can see it you can drive it’, with vehicles such as tanks, ‘copters, monster trucks, boats and large drone bikes (These are just a few of many); if that wasn’t enough, you can also easily upgrade and customise the vehicles to help with travel or combat. It seems to have a Mad Max kind-of vibe where your advantage in the open world will be your vehicles which you can tinker with.
Bethesda have always been good at giving their enemies character in their open worlds, and this game seems to be no different. There are 6 main factions of enemies ranging from settlers to mutants, which have either survived, adapted or are trying to take over and you must avoid or work with them (Depending on who it is) to ensure you survive the wasteland. The Immortal Shrouded and Authority are both groups of enemies who have taken to tech and upgrades and won’t let anything stop them. The goon squad and river hogs take on the ‘raider’ role and are more of a rag tag bunch who are just out to rape, pillage and murder. The mutants in this game are like simple humans, but very dangerous… And finally the settlers are those you will work with, but they will attack if provoked.
On top of completing missions and having fun, there will be other tasks to complete. You will be able to take on convoys, compete in races, take on waves of mutants and much more to earn XP or find new weapons… Whilst exploring the open world, you will also be able to find Arks which can upgrade you and your gear, and you can also save friendlies who are being attacked, who will also reward you.
Finally this open world is made of 4 main areas, varying in terrain and enemy groups. There is the Wild which is an area that failed when terraforming, meaning it’s very overgrown; this also means it’s perfect for tactical combat. The Sekreto Wastelands are a murky swamp and home to the river hogs, everything in this area promises danger and challenge. The Torn Plains are a stark reminder of what life was like before the asteroid, with towering rock formations and sunken valleys, this area will be varied in exploration and also houses hubs of the remaining ‘normal’ civilisations. Finally you have the Dune Sea which is home to the Immortal Shrouded, this area is essentially devoid of water making liquids a high value item. The game is being advertised as having a completely open world from the very start but knowing these types of games you won’t be able to get far without encountering too-high level enemies, still it’s pretty exciting to know you can have such variation early on.
Doing this research has made me a lot more excited for this game and it’s most definitely on my play list! Watch this space for a full blown review…