Rage 2 – The good, the bad and the disappointed.
I Finally understand the meaning “bitter sweet” better than I ever wanted to, but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here so let me start at the beginning.
After picking up a game that in my opinion had potential to be great on a Steam sale I must say that with bated breath I was hopeful that they learned from past mistakes, listened to the players complaints (and there was no shortage of comments after the disappointment that was the first Rage) they had everything and more to make the very…very…very long awaited sequel something great, what we received after all that instead was a flaming sack of questionable flammable goop thrust in our faces, harsh I know but that was how I felt after I finished Rage 2 so lets delve a little deeper into why I refer to the experience in the way I did.
After having a casual chat to one of the group of friends in this case my cousin is actually part of this amazing bunch of individuals who form what this Blog is so aptly referred to as EasyCo(I will draft a short blog about my compatriots in a separate entry)… moving along as I always seem to get lost in a separate monologue inside my head while riding the main monologue that was supposed to be Rage 2, welcome to my inner sanctum I call my mind (there I go again)… Okay back on track so after this casual chat on what our thoughts and experiences were on Rage 2 after we both finished (we both agreed to hold on the comments till we can make a more informed opinion after completion) it was scary how many of the same things we both found wrong with the game, and yes we also found some things right with the game, so not all doom and gloom, but the silver linings were few and far apart.
The Main Protagonist and the NPC’s.
So to delve into where I felt the game fell short for me, even though the story follows on somewhat from the first one jumping into the future 30 years you just get thrust into a character with no real introduction into who you are or having the chance to develop a “bond” with the character throughout the rest of the game. I love a little bit of backstory into who I am and what my story was just to form that bond and have some sort of relatability to the character, taking a side step to clarify I know this sounds like nit picking but at the end of the day a good story with well developed characters goes a lot further than one thinks, or maybe I just come from a different generation where we were spoiled with amazing stories and forming such a bond with a character that you can actually feel your heart strings pull or even snap (Final Fantasy 7 and X, The Last of Us, Heavy Rain even Mass Effect Trilogy – Andromeda not so much but will leave that for another blog, but those are just a few examples) so it shows us that it is possible and it has been done in the past, this is not a new concept of any sorts. Moving on to the NPC’s where I found that they had some awesome NPC’s that we also never got the chance to get to know better either and again that made me a bit sad as there was so much opportunity for all of this and yet we got nothing, all this is because I believe this game was just way to rushed, so I would make that the biggest flaw as I spent roughly 30+ hours in this game and sadly majority of those hours were spent exploring the small map, so you can imagine how short the main story was if only spent a total of 30 something hours on the game.
Gameplay and Map.
Now this section has some good and some bad, let’s start with the good first, i found the gameplay quite fun and captivating where you really get into the skirmishes and it’s not just a run and gun scenario (if you up the difficulty level a bit) and you have to use your Nanorite abilities & effects to get the upper hand in some situations, even though it will get easier down the line as you upgrade your weapons and abilities it still wont take the fun out of the combat and missions throughout the game. You will also have quite a few vehicles at your disposal to explore the place with the main vehicle probably being the most fun out of all of them once kitted out to the max. Now the positives across the map, it is actually quite a lively map with random interactions and encounters between the bandit factions, goons and the authority trying to lay claim and waste to well…. The Wastelands I guess. The bad about the map I would have to say was the size, I think we are to spoiled nowadays with the sizes of the explorable maps we receive in games and this was just very disappointing especially because managed to explore and also take on all the minor events have to in order to gain influence and points to upgrade projects and abilities for the various factions you have to assist in the fight against the authority.
As mentioned in the introduction paragraph I felt that the story was just wayyyy to short and you never really get into the story, you rush(not by choice, they just did not develop much of the story to not call it rushed) from upgrading your ranger abilities to unlocking all the elements from the various factions to initiate “Project Dagger” which I wont spoil what “Project Dagger” was if you still have not played the game. Sadly you get no real background on the leaders of the various factions apart from a small introduction about how they came to be and their mission, but nothing to form notable bonds or opinions on the faction leaders, where in some games they manage to make you feel so connected and you feel like…Wow you know I want to help this faction I love the goals they set for themselves and I want to help build that community, none of that you pretty much just drop in, have a little bit of dialogue and proceed on with the mission. so in short before you start getting into any form of story the game is pretty much over, that was how it all felt for me, it felt like the story was reaching a point where have some development and will get more background into what happened in the past 30 years as that is such a massive period to have gone by to just have the game end… Again so just like the first one you are left hanging in a different sense, granted the first one left you hanging in a figurative and literal way this one at least managed to improve on that by not letting you hang…..as much.
I enjoyed the game and the concept behind it even-though flew through the game (again not by choice), as for re-playability I would say it had little to entice me to go back and play around in the world as you go through exploring everything so quickly that there will be very few stones left unturned. Yes you have never ending events that you can go back and do, but sadly those do not offer any form of fun in my opinion to spend the time finding them and just lose a whole day in the game and enjoying the world that was created. I found it way to easy to hit the uninstall button once completed it and if asked what they could do to entice me to come back I would sadly answer that I doubt there would be much, I would rather spend time grinding away at some other post-apocalyptic genre where majority of the world was destroyed or ruined by some major catastrophe of some sort.