Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the amazing, fast-paced world of Rage 2, is it wrong to say that this trailer is sassy? Because having watched the open-world trailer a fair few times, it definitely seems to have a snarkiness that I adore.
Set to the amazing song, ‘Ain’t It Funny’ by Danny Brown, the open-world trailer shows off some of the locations, enemies and ridiculous weaponry that we will gain access to in Rage 2. The trailer is essentially an amalgam of chaos and colourful explosions that represent players tearing across the world and blowing up everything they possibly can.
For those that are unaware about the premise of Rage 2, it sets you in the capable shoes of Walker, the last Ranger in a post-apocalyptic world, inhabited by mutants and bandits, which obviously leads to utter hilarity.
Now back to the trailer. So we see a lot of major and minor locations mixed in with the fast-paced action. Settings like Ecopod, Dreadwood, Wellspring, Lagoony, Death Ravine and Impact Crater will see Walker explore, blow up, and otherwise pursue a story that has so far been kept a secret by id Software and Avalanche.
The trailer does reveal what seems to be two different types of activities that players will be able to participate in. The first is Mutant Bash TV, which appears to be a wildly over-the-top arena battle where Walker will face hordes of Mutants. What fun!
The second is Chas(e?) Car Derby, which, as the name suggests, is some kind of organised death race. Rage is a franchise built on vehicles after all. In fact, according to Tim Willits, Studio Director at id Software, the name Rage came from ‘Garage’ due to the sheer number of vehicles.
And there are vehicles aplenty.
From the small and lithe motorcycle to the monster trucks, Convoy Leaders, Hovercraft-esque vehicles and the upgradeable Phoenix, Rage 2 promises to give you a whole new meaning to the term ‘road rage’ (A bad joke perhaps but it needed to be said).
The trailer, naturally, shows off a lot of intense fast-paced, intense action, including a very-subtle addendum at the end referring to the weaponry we will get to utilise.
And having played Rage 2 at PAX Australia earlier this year, it is a true experience, feeling and embodying the sheer chaos this post-apocalyptic world brings.
Aside from the machine guns, rockets and other assorted goodies you can equip to your vehicles, the ‘Big F@$king Guns’, that Walker can utilise are as varied and awesome as you would expect.
You’ve got the not-so-standard shotguns that allow you to really feel the brains and viscera on your Nanotrite-infused skin, overpowered rocket launchers that deliver explosions that would make Torgue weep and wacky little numbers like the Gravity Gun.
The Grav Gun can be used to tag enemies, objects and assorted debris with special ammunition. Aiming at a different location and pressing your alt-fire will send whomever or whatever you tagged flying towards it, and the more bullets you’ve tagged them with, the harder the impact. And that is just the start of the chaos id Software have planned for players.
But of course, Walker is not the only thing inhabiting this post-apocalyptic wasteland. Interestingly enough, post-apocalyptic worlds are surprisingly populated. Five main factions will attempt to murder you at every turn, some for specific reasons, others for the fact that you happened to pass by.
- Goon Squad: Reforming under a new name, the new version of the punk-rock Wasteland faction embody a new degree of nihilism and insanity. One has only to look at their neon hair to see that. According to Gameinformer’s piece on the Rage 2 factions, they have no agenda, merely causing chaos for its own sake…but with devastating weaponry.
- Abadon: An apparently amusing story lies behind the name, but the Abadon are a group of mutants, led by powerful beings known as ‘Warheads’ (also mutants) who were created and discarded by The Authority. Gathering up all the wasteland mutants that were short a few brain cells, they formed the Abadon, a group dedicated to human sacrifice and attempts to find salvation in the wasteland.
- Immortal Shrouded: Once allied with The Authority, the Immortal Shrouded were taken advantage of and as a result, evolved. Donning masks and hyper-militarised technology, such as Energy Swords, the bushido-embodying Immortal Shrouded are one of the deadliest factions in Rage 2. In fact, at 1:33 in the trailer, you can see an Immortal Shrouded Forward Command and Goon Squad camp close together. There is going to be a whole lot of glorious faction fighting in Rage 2.
- The Authority: A fascist regime that were the villains of the first Rage, The Authority has upgraded their arsenal with cybernetic implants that increase the viciousness and deadliness of their warriors. Having quite the focused agenda, The Authority wants to eliminate all the bandits and impose a forced order on the world.
- River Hogs: Mechanics and vehicle nuts, the River Hogs wallow in all the hedonistic desires of the flesh. Sex, drinking, drugs, and obscenity are all the bag of the River Hogs. While they are essentially a trashy biker gang, their mechanical prowess shouldn’t be underestimated, with mechs being built and utilised by them, among other things.
So aside from the, and I quote, “Big F*@king Guns’, how will we combat this new threat? I’m glad I asked because the answer is Nanotrite powers. In the trailer at the 1:50 mark, you will see Walker launch up and into a Ground Slam, which is due to the Nanotrites coursing through his body. Essentially turning him into a super soldier, the Nanotrites provide him with enhanced healing, wicked abilities and at times, enhanced fire rate and reload.
There are four Nanotrite abilities that players can make use of to sow chaos across the wasteland.
- Barrier: A simple ability that prompts the generation of an energy shield that you can hide behind.
- Shatter: A powerful forward blast that will send any enemy hit by it flying. Mashing weaker enemies against solid objects was a particular favourite pastime of mine when I played at PAX. Shatter can also strip the heavier armour off stronger enemies, allowing you to properly inflict some damage.
- Ground Slam: As the name suggests, Walker slams the ground, smooshing weaker enemies unfortunate enough to too close, while stunning any caught in the slam radius.
- Vortex Grenade: An ethereal grenade that creates a black hole drawing in nearby enemies and objects to it for a short time. When the black hole inevitably collapses as it is want to do, it will send all trapped things soaring upwards, for easy dispatching.
Rage 2 will release on May 14th 2019, and the surface of the game has just been scratched. We will undoubtedly learn a lot more in the coming months, both about the initial release, as well as the paid and free content that will arrive post-launch.