Man, this was fun. While Bethesda’s E3 floorspace had epic lines around the entire booth for Fallout 76 (not even to play, but just for some swag), I came upon a neat little discovery around the corner: a 7-minute behind closed doors look at the publisher’s next big hit Rage 2, another 15-minutes hands-on with it(!!), and free ice cream. Believe it or not, the game was as tasty as the Hawaiian caramel sherbet with cherry gummies. OK–maybe that’s a stretch; it was a great treat.
Fans of DOOM are in for a treat with Rage 2/too, as the pacing and gunplay is very much in the same realm as id Software’s other hit Bethesda title. Of course, Avalance — purveyors of the Australian video game apocalypse — are handling much of the scenary; clearly, the vehicles, and all of the other Mad Maxian tropes found around Rage 2’s bizarre world. You’ll be pleased to know the comparisons aren’t so jarring, since much of the art style owes as much to Borderlands‘ cartoonish feel as the cinematic realism found in Avalanche’s last trek through the wasteland. And yet still, Rage 2 in some ways feel like its own game.
More than appearance and feel is the fun. When you do combine a game with all three of the aforementioned franchises (apologies for never having played the first Rage), painted with an amazingly spastic cyberpunk neon aesthetic, you get a game that appears quite the addiction. Since most first-person shooters aren’t as batshit crazy as this one, going head on with neon-tatted baddies, as your superpowered arsenal of Hulk-Smash ground pounds or Luke Skywalker force pushes — and the famed Wingstick from the first game — delivers quite the dreamy move-set. Throw in explosive gun battles via Overdrive (a synthetic wave that makes your bullets McDonald’s supersized), tongue-in-cheeky quips, and a kick ass soundtrack led by Andrew W.K. and Rage 2 could be the shooter we never knew wanted. 4.25/5 Bibles.