As we near the release of Rage 2, another dive into a vivid post-apocalyptic setting, I thought it would be best to talk about what the game does differently from its sub-genre counterparts, how it reignites the fun factor of the post-apocalypse, and why this setting is one worth looking out for if you're maybe burnt out on the dreary, monochrome palettes of other titles. Developed by Avalanche Studios and id Software, Rage 2 is a massive deviation from its predecessor, which painted its open world with washed out browns and greys, vast wastelands as far as the engine can render, and some uninspired traversal.
When Rage 2 was announced, I think it's safe to say that nobody really expected it. While the first game did drum up a bit of a cult following, it was hardly the breakthrough success that we'd come to expect from a prestigious developer like id Software. It was certainly lacking in a lot of areas, namely an interesting world for you to explore. However, Rage 2 takes a few left turns in its world design. It's equal parts colourful and chaotic, emphasizing the ludicrous amount of (unrealistic) fun you can squeeze out of a world gone to hell.
Rage 2 picks up thirty years after the events of the first game, set in the year 2165. The survivors of the post-apocalyptic Wasteland have managed to bring a little more diversity to its landscape, which includes lush jungles, wetlands, and a tundra. That's already more than you can say about a handful of other post-apocalyptic games that give you the options of deserted sandy wastelands, ruined cities, or both. Rage 2 has those, but it attempts to bring more variety to its locale through dense jungle areas and some eye-catching, hazardous environments where Mutants run free.
Sure, you could make the argument that newer post-apocalyptic games have begun to shy away from the depressing, dreary visuals - much like Far Cry: New Dawn, which also had a thing for the colour pink - but Rage 2's newfound, witty personality puts it a step above your average apocalypse. Bethesda have made sure to emphasize this in their new trailers, which are zany enough to be a Borderlands game, but makes sure it keeps the flow of the action locked into the same bloody, creatively violent glory of 2016's Doom. As a result, it makes the setting a lot more appealing to players.
At the heart of Rage 2 is a game that bravely goes against the established norm of the post-apocalypse. While the world merely serves as a backdrop, Rage 2's high-octane insanity in its gameplay elevates this unassuming world into something that's less of a slog to traverse, and more of an exercise in what mayhem you can cause around every corner. From the various gameplay clips and trailers, we already get the sense that the Wasteland is a dangerous place, but far from boring or unattractive to the eye.
We have to talk about the wise use of bright, vivid colours for its setting. Sure, Far Cry: New Dawn, as mentioned before, might've gotten the leg up on the competition, but there was a world (Hope County) teaming with lush wildlife and plants that made it seem like the apocalypse never actually happened. In Rage 2, you really get the sense that the world has gone to complete crap, accentuated by the sprawling desert-like areas interspersed with blooming, beautiful locales and biomes that seems to fall more in line with what would actually happen to the world in the event of a worldwide catastrophe.
Since carnage and unbridled chaos is the name of the game, Rage 2 already stands above its competitors. The gameplay is fast, fun, and with an assortment of weapons and abilities to desecrate your enemies with, there's a good incentive to travel around the Wasteland mowing down everything in your path. It's about as close as you can get to the fun factor of playing a Grand Theft Auto game for the first time, where all you really want to do is explore (and destroy) while doing your best to avoid the main storyline until a later stage. Rage 2's world seems to accommodate this kind of chaotic tendencies, complete with hordes of Mutants ready to roast your thighs for dinner.
Are you excited for Rage 2? Let us know in the comments below! Rage 2 releases on May 14, 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. In case you missed it, check out the launch trailer below:
Writer. Enthusiast of all things geek. Legend has it he completed Final Fantasy VII without a memory card.
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