My PAX schedule was so packed that by the time I got situated at my appointment with RAGE 2
, I had only 10 or so minutes to complete a demo that was taking most people closer to 20 to finish that day. Well, I thought, if there was ever a game to rush through, this is it. RAGE 2
welcomes a mad-dash approach, inviting players to combine chaotic powers with id Software's awesome gunplay in a Mad Maxian world filled with outlaws smeared in blood and grease in equal measure.
Levels are designed in such a way that you're expected to sprint around playing the deadliest game of laser tag ever created. It's not a cover shooter, and it doesn't have time for tactics. It's in-your-face, unceasing madness, and I genuinely loved every moment of it even as I finished it all in about ten minutes, maybe setting a record for the day. The quickness of my sitdown with the game wasn't at all detrimental. Rather, it was a major reason I came away from the demo with glowing impressions. What I played was super polished and just as fun. We take all hands-on early previews with a big chunk of salt, because we're of course seeing the best vertical slice the studio thought to give us, but even with that in mind, I've done this enough to know some games really do end up as awesome as they look when you get to try them early, and this truly feels like it'll be one of them.
I didn't record gameplay footage, but Rich and Dave did a few days before me from Gamescom, and to give you a taste of what it looks like, I've included that footage here. What that demo can't show you, however, is how it feels
— and how it feels is excellent.
The powers at your disposal are perfectly tuned. One is like a ground and pound move that has you leap into the air and come crashing down with the strength of Thor. Another allows you to strafe side to side quickly, ensuring you never slow down while you bob and weave through enemy fire. Like id's DOOM
, this is a game where the one true enemy is stopping. You'll see these moves and more in the demo video below, and rest assured that they are the lifeblood of this promising shooter. If the full game is as fun as what I played, it's going to be a hit.
If you recall, RAGE 2
doesn't just boast the pedigree of id Software covering the shooting, but it's a cooperative development being made with Avalanche, who's handling the open-world aspects of the colorful and crazy FPS. I didn't get to explore the open world in my time with the game, but at one point I looked out to it from a high vantage point, and seeing the same pink haze resting over the wasteland filled me with a sense of glee, wondering what else I'd see and how I could tear it apart. RAGE 2
is shaping up to be one of the best looking — and best playing — games of 2019.