Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Rage 2

Go To

"You see, part of growing up was watching everything get taken away from me. I stood by, did nothing. And now, I'm the last ranger of this wasteland, and there's only ONE THING LEFT TO DO!!!"

Rage 2 is the Wide-Open Sandbox First-Person Shooter sequel to Rage (2011), released on May 14, 2019. It was developed jointly by id Software and Avalanche Studios, and published by Bethesda for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

In the year 2185, humanity’s numbers are dwindling. Ruthless and bloodthirsty gangs roam the open roads and the tyrannical Authority seeks to rule those who remain with an iron fist. You are Walker, the last Ranger of the wasteland. Robbed of your home and left for dead, you’ll tear across an unforgiving wasteland battling bloodthirsty gangs to find the tools and tech needed to take the fight to The Authority and crush their oppressive rule once and for all.

Originally announced in 2011, the game later fell into Development Hell following Bethesda's acquisition of id, in favor of moving id's resources onto what would become Doom (2016). Following that game's release, however, Rage 2's development was renewed together with Avalanche.

previews: Announce Trailer, Gameplay Trailer

Rage 2 provides examples of:

  • Actionized Sequel: The original Rage was largely a corridor-shooter with speed and pacing more in line with the slower combat from Doom³. Rage 2 has much faster, movement-based combat with multiple special moves and superpowers, much more in line with Doom (2016). Enemies also have durability on par with the original game, while coming in much larger numbers (even the smallest bandit outpost is likely to have a few dozen enemies crammed into it who will swarm you all at once).
  • Alas, Poor Villain: After Iris is mortally wounded, she asks Walker to stay with her as she dies, as they are the last two Rangers. Walker complies, and the credits roll.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: You don't play as Marine Lieutenant Nicholas Raine from the first game, but the all new wasteland ranger Walker.
  • The Apunkalypse: This is the primary aesthetic of the Goon Squad, who adopt punk elements like mohawks, dyed hair, tons of tattoos, mish-mashed leather and metal for clothes, and so on.
  • After the End: An asteroid from space (the real-world 99942 Apophis) crashing into Earth wiped out a massive portion of the population and left society in shambles.
  • Alliance Meter: You progress the game by leveling up your standing with John Marshall, Loosum Hagar and Dr. Kvasir, the three key figures of Project Dagger. Aside from unlocking new perks of their respective skill trees you'll also unlock new story missions from each. Upon getting them all to Level 5 and completing their respective storylines you unlock the final mission.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Bouties have list of the targets crimes, which are about what you would well as things like 'wearing socks with sandals'.
  • Ascended Extra: Loosum Hagar, a character who served as a tutorial on the wingstick is now the mayor of Wellsprings and one of the major faction leaders.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Crushers are giant mutants that can be fought in lairs as well as in plot. The Colossal Titan mutant, first seen during the attack on Vineland, also takes the form of the Final Boss, being controlled by none other than General Cross.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Raptor motorcycle is unlocked by reaching level 10 with Loosum by destroying pitstops, convoys and sentry turrets. It is the single fastest vehicle in the game, and also one of the hardest to control. Being a motorcycle, it also tends to launch Walker after a collision or hard landing.
  • Big Bad: After being The Ghost Greater-Scope Villain in the original Rage, General Cross takes center stage as your greatest enemy in the sequel.
  • Black Comedy: Rife with it. Mutant Bash TV is one of the biggest, most concentrated examples, with all the ridiculous ways for mutants to meet their end, but there's also the very beginning of the game, where Walker takes the recently decapitated Jersey's Ranger armour and this exchange occurs.
    Lily: Shit, Mom's gonna skin you alive, messing with Ranger gear...
    Walker: Gah... but, it's still got a lot of Jersey in it!
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: The gun vendor in Wellspring offers gold weapon skins for the various armaments Walker acquires but even with a discount they still cost thousands of dollars to purchase. Better start saving up if you want that gold-plated rocket launcher...
  • Brain in a Jar: One of the side locations in the game is a hidden bunker which can only be accessed with the Presidential-level clearance from Dr. Kvasir's quest line. Inside you'll encounter a seemingly sentient pre-Apophis computer system which turns out to be the preserved brain of Elton Tusk, the inventor of nanotrites, hooked up to a large underground computer system.
  • Bus Crash: An elaborate shrine/tomb behind Yeoman Growery for Sarah Yeoman indicates she married, had a child, and then died at some point between the original game and the sequel.
  • Chainsaw-Grip BFG: The Charged Pulse Cannon, a heavy cannon that powers up after firing a number of shots is one of Walker's heavier weapons, it doesn't need to reload, but it does need to be vented before firing again if it overheats. The Rise of the Ghosts DLC adds the Feltrite Laser Launcher, which fires a continuous beam and can be charged simply by taking Feltrite cells from dead enemies.
  • Character Customization: Walker can be played as a man or woman and can change their armor via the Deluxe Edition which gives them Nicholas Raines' armor.
  • Charged Attack: The Hyper Cannon can be charged to fire a shot that can pierce through multiple enemies at once. When in Overcharge, the weapon fires instantly charged bolts.
  • Color Motif: Bright pinks and Magentas. It dominates everything from gang tags to the UI.
  • Continuity Nod: Rage 2 incorporates a number of plot elements from the Rage novel, such as the protagonist of the first game being a marine named Nicolas Raine, and General Cross being a bald megalomaniac calling himself the Visionary. However, it also ignores a lot of specific details of the novel, such as the Death by Adaptation of Kvasir and Loosum Hagar.
  • Crate Expectations: Smashable wooden crates are everywhere in the wasteland from bandits dens to old forgotten ruins. They come in three main flavors depending on their drop: Supply, Feltrite Cell and Ammo.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Rise of the Ghosts DLC campaign is this compared to the main story. The island is covered in dense fog that strips away most of the color, the Ghosts are Feltrite-infused, fanatically devoted super soldiers lacking the more comical quirks of the Goons, River Hogs and Shrouded Immortals, and the main antagonist has deeper motives and a Freudian Excuse, adding some complication to the conflict compared to Cross.
  • Denser and Wackier: The game is considerably brighter and more colorful than its predecessor, with neon colors dotting the wasteland and being incorporated into your weapons and abilities. The game also relishes in the wild post-apocalyptic craziness coming across as an insane fusion of Borderlands and Mad Max. And then there's the Terrormania expansion, which sees Walker sucked into a land of living skeletons after some Goons play a demonic vinyl record backwards.
  • Double Jump: One of the new special powers the player can unlock. With the right upgrades Walker can even gain a temporary hovering ability as well.
  • Elite Mooks: The Immortal Shrouded are this compared to the other two bandit clans, being noticeably tougher as well as better trained and equipped. In some ways they're more Elite Mooks than the Authority, since the present-day Authority largely consists of disposable cyborg mutants.
    • Authority squads are mostly composed of deathly pale cybernetic mutants. But some come with a nominally human enforcer (just a head on a robotic body) who has an energy shield and berserk mode.
  • The Empire: The Authority, a former group of US military personnel who seek to rule the wastelands by killing anyone who gets in their way, or even has a chance to. Their initial massacre of Walker's family kicks off the plot of the game.
    • Vestigial Empire: Most of the Authority were killed in the events between the two games, with the remainder being forced to flee underground. The Authority you face in Rage 2 is largely an army of mass-produced cyborg mutants, commanded by what seems like only a few dozen remaining Enforcers who aren't even fully human anymore themselves, if General Cross is anything to go by.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The second trailer, aptly titled "Everything Vs Me," is all about all the random stuff that will try to kill you. Including a random cliff that Walker has developed a grudge against.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Walker expresses disappointment upon meeting Captain Marshall, as he/she was expecting someone much more impressive (to be fair to Marshall, the dude is well into his 70's and long retired). Loosum Hagar, in contrast, lives up to her reputation when Walker meets her, handily fighting off a Goon Squad attack on her office.
  • Expy: Like in the first game, The Authority is one to The Enclave.
    • Desdemonya is an extremely obvious expy of Mad Moxxi, even being in charge of a monster fighting arena. In keeping with the Swedish Avalanche Studios' Tamer and Chaster design philosophy, Desdemonya shows her age much more than Moxxi does.
  • Flare Gun: The Firestorm Revolver functions in this manner by firing several projectiles that will attach to enemies which can then be ignited with a button press to burn them alive.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Gameplay-wise, your nanotrite defibrillator can bring you back from pretty much anything, including being squashed flat or blown to pieces. Story-wise, the nanotrite defibrillator is acknowledged to actually exist in-universe (unlike, say, New-U-Machines), but it's emphasized that it functions similar to a real-life defibrillator and can't save people from stuff like major organ damage, let alone getting your head bitten off or being blown to pieces. You find your fair share of dead Rangers around the wasteland who died from injuries too serious for their nanotrites to heal. This is likely why the Big Bad has to resort to a Cloning Gambit to assure his own immortality, rather than just rely on his existing nanotrites.
  • Genre Roulette: Rage 2 is a Wide-Open Sandbox First-Person Shooter with RPG Elements. Vehicle sections are a Third-Person Shooter and the Mutant Bash TV and racing sections take the form of a wave shooter or a racing game, respectively.
  • Global Currency Exception: Most merchants in the game just take cash but if you want to shop at MBTV vendors you'll need to collect some special MBTV tokens. Luckily, these tokens are fairly easy to acquire by simply playing the Mutant Bash TV game show, selling mutant spores or shooting down MBTV balloons out in the wasteland.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Authority Wars happened between the two games. It went poorly enough for the Authority that they're left with a small number of mostly robotic cyborg enforcers leading squads of mutants around. Until General Cross leveled Vineland at the start of the game, most people thought they were gone for good.
  • Gun Accessories: Feltrite and special gun modification kits can now be used to unlock new abilities for Walker's arsenal such as higher ammo capacity or homing abilities.
  • Heavily Armored Mook:
    • Comes in a few variants for each faction; shotgunners who use shocktrooper tactics and wear armor to double their durability, Shield-Bearing Mook enemies with similar durability, and finally the typical "slow bullet-sponge with a minigun" Giant Mook variety. The Authority Enforcers have notably been upgraded into Lightning Bruiser versions of these. The Immortal Shrouded in general are all much more armored than other bandits and require more effort to put down. They also cannot be headshot since their helmets are unbreakable.
    • One of the optional Crusher bosses, Gullo the Juggernaut, is wearing a full suit of plate armor (seemingly built from pieces of a Shrouded tank) which completely protects all his weak spots. The armor is too thick to be broken off, but explosives still deal decent damage against him.
  • Hidden Backup Prince: Your character isn't actually a Ranger, just a Wall Rat who puts on the armor of a Ranger after the Ranger using it gets killed in front of them. However, it turns out that your character actually does have all the skills and qualifications to be a Ranger, but was raised as a Wall Rat so if the settlement was attacked they'd have a better chance of surviving and thus living to avenge everyone.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Walker and Dr. Kvasir engage in this over stealing Cross's head.
    Walker: I guess this’ll put us "ahead" of the competition.
    Dr. Kvasir: I understand that it was tempting to do this pun. But this is a gray matter. We cannot start cerebrating yet, there is no time for such skull-duggery. This is our crowning achievement...
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: At the beginning of the game, Walker gains access to your typical assault rifle and sidearm, but as time goes on, and as they find more Arks, they gain more weapons and every one of those acquired weapons can be accessed at any time.
  • It Can Think: Mutants, both regular and Authority, can talk in this game. What they have to say isn't terribly sane, even compared to crazed bandits like the Goon Squad, but it at least shows they're not completely mindless beasts.
  • It's Up to You: Unlike the modern Far Cry series or many other open world FPS games, there's no friendly faction presence on the world map other than the occasional trade caravan or Trade Alliance aligned convoy (who exist only to serve as target practice for bandits); you're pretty much on your own out there. Averted in the Rise of the Ghosts DLC, which does feature friendly Metro faction guards occasionally occupying certain areas of the map and fighting with enemies.
  • Lampshade Hanging: About halfway into the game, Walker gets the impression of how their missions tend to go.
    Walker: Let me guess. I can find it in a heavily fortified base chock full of crazed murderers. Oh, and only I can pull it off?
    Dr. Kvasir: Well, yes, yes indeed. You have a knack for mind reading, no?
    Walker: Nope. (sighs) I'm just seeing a pattern.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: The Player Character of the previous game, Nicholas Raine has become this. After he activated all the remaining Arks, he was a major figure in the the Authority Wars and is honoured as a hero in Wellspring and was presumably one of the first Rangers of Vineland. Not only that, but it turns out he was worshipped by a cult of mutants, who saw him as a god of death, and one of the side-missions involves recovering his lost armour and sidearm from the cult. And you get to keep the armour and gun once you complete the mission.
  • Left Hanging: after you beat Cross and inject him with the virus, he coughs his poisoned blood onto you, you start to black out, only for Lily to come and start dragging you to safety, then suddenly the credits roll.. only for it to turn out to be a subversion as the comic panels recapping the story show you survived, and after the credits are done there are a few cutscenes and then you can keep playing indefinitely
  • Macross Missile Massacre: By aiming down sight of the Smart Rocket Launcher, it can launch volleys of missiles that home towards targeted enemies. When Overcharged all shots from the Rocket Launcher turns into these.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Ranger Erwina Prowley, who was the person who raised Walker after their parents died naturally dies in the tutorial section.
  • Mirror Boss: The Rise of the Ghosts DLC has you facing off against Iris, a disgraced exiled Ranger who's also a wingstick expert and has her own suite of nanotrite powers, including a defibrillator.
  • Nanomachines: Once again, nanotrites are an important part of the setting and are shown to be used as a source for Walker's combat capabilities, such as a Ground Pound, his Super Mode and presumably replenishing ammunition for vehicles.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The game's trailer promises an irreverent, comedy action-adventure, but the final product is much dryer and straightforward in its presentation.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: "The Authority Wars", which occurred immediately after the ending of the original Rage, in which the newly emerged Ark Survivors and the Resistance rose up and defeated the Authority and their bandit allies, creating the world in which Rage 2 takes place.
  • Only One Name: Walker just has that one name due to the fact that they can be male or female. At times "Ranger" is used as their first name due to the absence of a better alternative (such as when Kvasir hacks the EDEN network so it'll recognize Walker as President Ranger Walker).
  • Organ Drops: Mutants now drop spores that can be traded in to certain merchants for money or MBTV tokens. Larger mutants can also drop things called "life glands" that Walker can use to upgrade their stats.
  • Playable Epilogue: Once you beat the final mission you wake up in Loosum Hagar's office, with the characters congratulating you for your actions while also telling you that there's still much to do out there.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Walker can be either male or female, which doesn't have any real effect on the game aside from your voice. On the character select menu the female character comes across as more confident while the male character comes across as more goofy, but their personalities become the same once one of them is selected to be Walker.
  • Ranger: You literally play as the last "Ranger", the final soldier of order in an apocalyptic wasteland.
  • Regenerating Health: Mostly averted, unlike the first game. You do regain a few health points after taking damage if you can avoid taking additional damage for a few seconds, but for the most part you're reliant on health syringes for healing. You also gain health from feltrite dropped by killed enemies, and constantly regenerating health during Overcharge mode.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After the Authority wipes out the Rangers to a single man/woman, Walker begins tearing their way across the wasteland, killing hundreds of wasteland raiders, mutants, and the Authority.
  • RPG Elements: There are a number of upgrade systems in this game, used to upgrade Walker's abilities and weapons, making them an even more formidable One-Man Army. Usually, all it takes to upgrade something is having enough resources on hand. Feltrite is used as a primary resource for this, combined with other crafting materials depending on what you want to upgrade. The one exception is Walker's throwable gadgets, where you need to buy the next upgrade from town merchants and they usually have one each.
  • Scenery Gorn: One of the main selling points of the game is the vast, beautifully destroyed wastelands that the player can explore. Unlike Rage 1, there are now also several different biomes to complement the more colorful art style such as swampy ruins, arid deserts, rocky canyons and lush jungles.
  • Sequel Escalation: The game world in Rage 2 is massively larger than the first game; the entire map of the original Rage is about the same size as a single region in Rage 2.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Subverted; when aiming down sights the Combat Shotgun fires a slug with considerable range that deals heavy knockback, although this mode seems to only deal half damage.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sentient Vehicle: The Phoenix has an onboard AI that frequently talks to Walker.
  • Shop Fodder: Rage 2 certainly has some... interesting junk items this time around, including packages of half-eaten cookies, partially smoked psychedelic plants and... ordinary empty boxes.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Mad Max (2015), which was also developed by Avalanche Studios' Swedish team. While Rage 2 shares no continuity with Mad Max, it has the same basic Wide-Open Sandbox The Apunkalypse premise and uses improved versions of Mad Max's Vehicular Combat gameplay systems.
  • Static Role, Exchangeable Character: You select Walker's gender by selecting a male or female Wall-Rat. The one you choose becomes Walker and the one you don't is quickly killed in a cutscene.
  • Sticky Bomb: The Firestorm Revolver fires explosive incendiary bullets that stick on enemies, which Walker can detonate with a snap of their finger. However, its bullets will explode on contact when Overcharge is active.
  • Super Mode: Overcharge, which you charge up by doing successive kills puts you in a temporary state where your weapons are dramatically amped up and you benefit from constantly regenerating health.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: The player character that you didn't select seem to accompany you as a NPC, and then is suddenly crushed by an exploding door less than a minute in.
  • Tamer and Chaster: In interviews, Avalanche Studios has noted that they made a conscious effort to dial back the female character designs, after unofficial "the Girls of Rage" pin-up fan posters caused them to realize that Id Software had perhaps gone too far in the original game. Tellingly, while the first game had a couple Ms. Fanservice characters (although the majority of female characters were sensibly dressed for the climate), Rage 2 has no such characters and in the game's sole existing strip club the dancer is a 45 year old man.
  • Time Skip: The game is set 30 years after the original.
  • The World's Expert (on Getting Killed): Ranger Jersey, apparently a Ranger of considerable reputation, gets killed within seconds of appearing near the beginning of the game. Walker takes his armor and spends the rest of the game wearing it.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Authority Enforcers are considerably rarer than they were in the first game, but they have been upgraded from simple Elite Mooks to outright Lightning Bruiser Heavily Armored Mook enemies comparable to the Ubersoldats from Wolfenstein: The New Colossus. They also have Halo-style regenerating Deflector Shields and can only be killed by targeting a pair of weak points in their chest.
    • The Shrouded, renamed as The Immortal Shrouded, are much tougher than they were in the original game; they now wear heavy armor similar to the original Gearheads or Authority Enforcers that lets them soak 3-4 times the amount of bullets compared to a basic Goon, utilize cloaking devices and deployable drones, and some are even armed with bullet-deflecting katanas.
    • The Ghosts in The Rise of the Ghosts DLC have been upgraded with nanotrite powers, allowing them to Flash Step and allowing their melee units and wingstick users to either Dodge the Bullet or Bullet Catch with their bracers.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • Dr. Kvasir is a somewhat more darker and morbid character in Rage 2 than he was in the original game. At one point he encourages you to slaughter captured townsfolk rather than let them be used by the Authority as Human Resources, in a manner that's both needlessly gleeful and also completely unnecessary, as rescuing them is well within Walker's abilities. At the end of the game he also sends you to kill General Cross with the nanotrite virus without telling you that it'll kill you, too.
    • General Cross as well. In the original game, while he and the Authority were clearly authoritarian assholes, he was still a fairly normal-sounding middle-aged Midwestern dude whose speeches were relatively realistically right-wing rather than a full blown Nazi caricature. Here, he's gone completely Ax-Crazy and looks and sounds like a cross between a Power Rangers villain and Scabrous Scrotus from Mad Max (2015). It seems he really went off the deep end after losing the Authority Wars, being forced underground for 3 decades, and turning himself into a clone cyborg.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: As with the first game, there is a point where the main quest of this Wide-Open Sandbox First-Person Shooter requires you to do some car racing to progress.
  • Vehicular Combat: Thanks to Avalanche Studios, the game has a full vehicle mode where you can hop into cars and fight your way across the wasteland.
  • Versus Title: The second trailer is titled, appropriately enough, "Everything Vs. Me".
  • Weaponized Car: Rare auto parts can now be used to upgrade Walker's ride with things like extra armor, high powered guns and missiles and even a EMP shield breaker.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: The game allows you to wander the wastelands as you please this time around, and gives you a variety of vehicles to explore the far reaches of its map.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Marketing states the game takes place in 2185, 30 years after Rage 1. Except Rage 1 took place in 2135. So either the game is supposed to take place in 2165, or it's supposed to be 50 years later. The ages given for all returning characters in-game indicate it's been 30 years since.