RAGE 2

FOR­MAT PS4 / ETA JUN 2019 / PUB BETHESDA / DEV ID SOFT­WARE, AVALANCHE STU­DIOS On the road with the gonzo shooter

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Ev­ery­thing in this game is splin­ter­ing, ex­plod­ing, and fizzing. En­e­mies erupt into bloody, flail­ing body parts and sparks fly from ar­moured goons as you empty a clip into them. Even the moon is bro­ken. Seen from afar as we gaze out over Rage 2’s starry sky, the once-gleam­ing lu­nar lantern is sev­ered into pieces, dan­gling pre­car­i­ously in or­bit.

Back on terra firma the lat­est from the ‘su­per-dev’ combo of Id Soft­ware and Avalanche Stu­dios is liv­ing up to the hype. The game is one huge open world crammed with va­ri­ety – grassy wet­lands, hot deserts, and aban­doned ‘old Earth’ tech­nol­ogy. Drive or walk, whichever di­rec­tion you go in will be a seam­less, load-free riot of colour and blood let­ting.

Our lat­est demo sees our pro­tag­o­nist Walker, a for­mer Ranger now out for re­venge against the Au­thor­ity (one of Rage 2’s fac­tions), team up with Dr Kvasir from the orig­i­nal Rage. We’re tasked with bring­ing the Eco 15 mod­ule out of Earth’s or­bit and re­cov­er­ing the data in­side. Be­tween us and this sim­ple re­cov­ery mis­sion is the Goon Squad, a band of punk-in­spired nut cases who will hap­pily punch them­selves as well as us in the face.

Be­side the Goon Squad, fac­tions shown to date in­clude the Im­mor­tal Shrouded (a clan of ban­dits who use old tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate new gear, such as in­vis­i­bil­ity cloaks, to gain the edge), the River Hogs, Abad­don Mu­tants, and, of course, the afore­men­tioned Au­thor­ity. The lat­ter are the real big bad of the waste­lands, cy­borg mu­tants who have had their weapons sur­gi­cally em­bed­ded into their de­cay­ing bod­ies.

CAR-NAGE

To get to the Eden Space Cen­ter (its con­trol room will en­able us to bring the mod­ule out of or­bit), we need to hop into the Phoenix, “an all-pur­pose death ma­chine,” ac­cord­ing to Dr Kvasir over the in­ter­com.

If you’re fa­mil­iar with Avalanche Stu­dios’ Mad Max then you’ll be itch­ing to get your fin­gers on Rage 2’s ve­hi­cle com­bat. Like that game this is a loose and ag­gres­sive take on driv­ing, one where a pow­er­slide on loose sand is com­mon and ev­ery pit-a-pat of gun­fire re­sults in en­emy bug­gies cartwheel­ing apart in balls of flam­ing de­bris. We see some of the Phoenix’s tools of de­struc­tion in ac­tion, in­clud­ing the Hell­fire mor­tar, which rains fiery dev­as­ta­tion down on groups of en­emy ve­hi­cles. As with Mad Max mop­ping up small trucks is easy, but tack­ling con­voys takes tac­ti­cal nous. You need to break through de­fend­ing bug­gies, the rear guard, be­fore tak­ing on the rolling be­he­moths up close.

The at­ten­tion to de­tail, even at speed, de­liv­ers spec­ta­cle. Thick smoke re­al­is­ti­cally bil­lows over our whirring wheels, and bul­lets ric­o­chet off the ground and en­emy ar­mour.

WINGING IT

When we reach the Eden Space Cen­ter Rage 2’s shooter side re­veals it­self as pure Id. Walker’s abil­i­ties in­clude Slam, which sees your char­ac­ter leap into the air and come down on top of his en­e­mies, ex­plod­ing them into kib­bles. Open world aside, this is a dis­til­la­tion of Id’s FPS her­itage. Like in Doom, the em­pha­sis here is on fast gun­play. Link enough kills and you en­ter Over­drive mode: the screen turns a sat­is­fy­ing pink and your weapons be­come more pow­er­ful. In some cases Over­drive un­locks new fire modes, re­sult­ing in en­e­mies splat­ter­ing the screen in grisly body parts.

Even re­fined weapons like the Wing Stick, which was in­tro­duced in the orig­i­nal Rage, bring the blood as the gad­get de­cap­i­tates its tar­gets. Hid­den en­e­mies can’t dodge your Wing Stick 2.0 as it can track them around cor­ners – a red, arc­ing beam shows the gizmo’s flight path.

When the Eco 15 pod is fi­nally back on firm ground, go­ing in­side un­locks a new abil­ity called Splat­ter – a kind of Force Push psi-power. Given what we’ve just wit­nessed is es­sen­tially a side-quest, we’d be over the frac­tured moon to play the en­tire game.

“THICK SMOKE RE­AL­IS­TI­CALLY BIL­LOWS OVER OUR WHIRRING WHEELS.”

Each clan has a unique look. The Scorchers have a Tank Girl feel; they’re cy­ber­punks who aren’t afraid to wear pink.

Gi­ant pur­ple mu­tants, mon­ster trucks to dis­cover and re­vamp, plus crazy psi-pow­ers to un­lock and up­grade. We. Can’t. Wait.

Above The Au­thor­ity is back from the dead and look like they’ve just been ejected from a Quake re­make. Who doesn’t love a mu­tant cy­borg?

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