Back in 2010, id Software debuted their latest IP Rage, a technically impressive but ultimately disappointing FPS thanks to an unfinished and uninspired story, as well as the pedigree set by the studio often credited with the creation of the first-person shooter genre. Nearly eight years later, many fans of the original assumed that the premiere entry would be the only one in the series, particularly after the success of the rebooted Doom franchise, which made a sequel feel like all but the inevitable choice for id’s next project. While we did find out that a new Doom is in the works for next year at Bethesda’s E3 press conference this year, the event kicked off with a concert and a solid chunk of gameplay celebrating a title that got leaked and ultimately revealed the month prior: Rage 2.
Rage 2 represents one of the more promising developer partnerships in gaming at the moment, with id’s previously mentioned acclaim surrounding their first-person shooting mechanics, now meshed with Just Cause and Mad Max developer Avalanche Studio’s knack for supplying fast-paced traversal and player freedom within their massive open worlds. The original Rage certainly attempted some open world elements, but they never felt fully realized, and with Avalanche on board, Rage 2 is looking to add a lot more variety within its exploration, including new vehicles such as monster trucks, bikes, and tanks, as well as sea and air vehicles. After the game’s introduction, the massive open world will be fully free to explore, with all the side quests and vehicular combat that fans have come to expect from an Avalanche Studios production.
With all the distractions that naturally arise in an open world title, both developers wanted to ensure that players had a key motivation pushing them through the core campaign beyond the narrative, which puts players in the role of Walker, the last ranger. This incentive primarily comes in the form of new upgrades and abilities that are awarded to players who dive into the story, allowing for new combat opportunities through unique combos with these abilities and the core gunplay. The level design has also had to evolve as a result of the more open world, with id calling this partnership an “educational” experience on how to keep the combat feeling fresh and hectic within the larger environments. Despite this larger playable area, Rage 2 at its core is still a single-player experience unlike its predecessor, but the developers have hinted at plans to keep the community invested with other ways to share in the experience that players are partaking in.
For both developers, it remained essential that everything that got brought back and added to this sequel were passed through what they referred to as the “crazy filter,” to ensure that the post-apocalyptic title still has the unique vibe that made the original title stand apart from the crowd. Fans eager to embrace the madness can look forward to Spring 2019 when Rage 2 launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.