Ever since its surprise announcement earlier this summer right before Bethesda's E3 showcase, Rage 2 has been turning quite a few heads. The sequel to the sleeper id Software game promises to be bigger and better than the first, thanks to the involvement of the co-developers at Avalanche Studios (Just Cause). And based on our most recent runthrough with the game, it's definitely living up to that promise.
Bethesda recently hosted some hands-on sessions during its QuakeCon event in Texas, and gave us around 15 minutes to try the game out. While we didn't get to try out its driving segments just yet (something that should make for some interesting Mad Max-style encounters on the road), we did get to take its first-person shooting for a test drive. And we came away highly satisfied with what we tried, thanks to some interesting new elements thrown into the gameplay.
For instance, your character is much more physical this time around. They can deliver a punch that can disorient an opponent long enough to let your gun do the talking; and, if they're within enough range, they can slam into the ground with a pulverizing thud, creating a shockwave that affects enemies within its range. Again, it doesn't kill them, but it gives you a window of opportunity in which to deliver the fatal blow.
Weapons, Wingsticks and Bodies
After getting a hang of these moves, we then took to the outer rim of the Eden Space Center, which has since been taken over by ruffians. You're basically sent in to clean house, so that you can call down a large-sized probe to set up shop. Alas, it's not that simple, as the goons that have taken over are high in number.
Fortunately, you're prepared for the occasion. Along with weapons that range from a sleek assault rifle to a shotgun that delivers with each pulsating blast, you can also throw a ninja-star like weapon called the Wingstick, returning from the first game, that can easily decapitate a foe thrown in the right spot, or maybe cut off one of their limbs while you finish off the rest of them. These tools, incorporated with your other capabilities, make the combat much more refreshing than the first Rage did.
That's because you can mix and match your strategy however you please. Feel like running in all run-and-gun to mow down enemies? Hey, you can do that. Prefer to deliver a ground pound and then try to silently remove foes from the equation? That's an option as well. Really, though, it's all about letting loose your rage (hence the title) however you see fit and eventually getting to the second point of the mission, at the top of the tower (where you call down the probe).prevnext
A Sequel Worth Rage-ing To
Oh, and once you charge up enough energy, you can essentially go into overdrive. This is where the screen fritzes out into color and you gain superhuman style strength, with more powerful blasts from your weapon and the ability to throw out devastating damage to whomever you come into contact with. It doesn't last long, but it's useful if you become surrounded or just feel the need to push your game to a maximum level.
Along with tight gameplay, Rage 2 also benefits from polished visuals. The Eden Space Center stage runs at a vivid 60 frames per second, and the detailed animation is a sight to behold, especially when you take someone out with a throw of your Wingstick and watch the gruesome after-effects it leaves behind. It's so much more effective here than it was in the original Rage, and the look on the enemies' faces as you down them says it all.
I wish I had a chance to see more of this morbid world come to life, but that's another peek for another day. For the time being, Bethesda, Avalanche and id Software alike have me excited for the potential Rage 2 holds, as it could easily become another fan favorite from this company. I can't help but cheer it on, even if that means piling up the bodies of punks. (Hey, they tried to attack me first. They deserve it.)0comments
(Disclaimer: Bethesda provided hotel and travel accommodations to QuakeCon for this hands-on.)prev