Rage 2 is the Wide Open Sandbox First-Person Shooter sequel to 2011's Rage, released on May 14, 2019. It is being developed jointly by id Software and Avalanche Studios, and published by Bethesda for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
In the year 2185, humanitys 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, youll 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.
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 Doom 3. Rage 2 has much faster, movement-based combat with multiple special moves and superpowers, much more in line with DOOM (2016).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Heavily Armored Mook: Each faction has one, typically of the "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.
- 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 thisll 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...
- 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.
- 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.
- Macross Missile Massacre: By aiming down sight of the Smart Rocket Launcher, it can launch volleys of missiles that home towards targeted enemies.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Ranger Erwina Prowley, who was the person who raised Walker after their parents died naturally dies in the tutorial section.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ranger: You literally play as the last "Ranger", the final soldier of order in an apocalyptic wasteland.
- 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.
- Short-Range Shotgun: Subverted; when aiming down sights the Combat Shotgun fires a slug with considerable range that deals heavy knockback.
- Sentient Vehicle: The Phoenix has an onboard AI that frequently talks to Walker.
- Spiritual Successor: To Mad Max, 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 and health regeneration are dramatically amped up.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 fascist assholes, he was still a fairly normal-sounding middle-aged Midwestern dude who wouldn't be too out of place on, say, Fox News. Here, he's gone completely Ax-Crazy and looks and sounds like a cross between a Power Rangers villain and Scabrous Scrotus from the Mad Max video game. 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.
- 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".
- 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.