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Chris Kavan's Video Game Reviews (496)

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House Party 3.5/5
Persona 5 Royal 4.5/5
A Hat in Time 3.5/5
Sunset Overdrive 4/5
The Vagrant 4/5
Honkai: Star Rail 3.5/5
MechWarrior 5: Mercenar... 4/5
Rage 2 3.5/5
Alan Wake 4/5
Riverbond 3.5/5
Dead Island 2 3.5/5
Saints Row IV 3.5/5
The Last of Us Part II 4.5/5
Torchlight III 3/5
Wolfenstein II: The New... 4/5
Ghost of Tsushima 4.5/5
Battletoads (2020) 2/5
Danganronpa: Trigger Ha... 4/5
Override: Mech City Bra... 3/5
Maneater 3/5
Door Kickers: Action Sq... 4/5
Spider-Man (2018) 4.5/5
Red Dead Redemption 2 4.5/5
Boot Hill Heroes 3.5/5
Control 4/5

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Rage 2   PC (Steam) 

Why U Mad Bro?    3.5/5 stars

I remember playing the first Rage in co-op and having a decent time with it - a solid enough FPS from ID Software. I never expected a sequel but here we are. Rage 2 ditches the co-op and instead churns out an open-world style game that shares more with games like Far Cry and more recent Assassin's Creed than ID standards DOOM or Quake. With open-world games becoming so prevalent, Avalanche Software and Bethesda would have to bring something new the table to truly impress. Rage 2, however, falls into merely average territory.

Looks and Stuff: The game does looks pretty good. Most post-apocalyptic wasteland games tend to fall into the bland browns - deserts, ruins, etc. and while Rage 2 has plenty of that - it manages to spice things up with more vibrant swamps and forests that at least bring out some zing. Likewise, the game gives you some factions to play with, from your typical bandits to mutants to hillbilly swamp people to he much scarier desert assassins and the games big-bad, your human/cyborg hybrids. Not a bad assortment of things to kill. The voice-acting is fine - mostly full of solid voice-over talents (and also Lynda Carter). Tunes are solid and I encountered not game-breaking bugs nor really any crashes. It holds up well for a 2019 release.

Story: As far as I'm concerned the story is rather weak. You play as a male/female named Walker who is one of the few survivors after a surprise uprising from The Authority, led by the twisted (both literally and figuratively) General Cross. Long-thought dead, Cross has turned The Authority into a hybrid army and seeks to bring down what remains of humanity to further his more evolved race. Thus, with just a handful of survivors left, you find out that the duty of saving the rest of the wider world falls upon your shoulders, as you are the only one with Ranger's unique nano-machine-infused blood around. In order to bring down Cross for good, you are given the task of tracking down three important people in three scattered areas: Marshall, a grizzled veteran and leader of the nearby town of Gunbarrel, Loosum Hagar, mayor of major hub-city Wellspring and Dr. Anton Kvasir, former Authority scientist who has turned his back and now does his own mad-scientist thing. The three all have integral parts to play in Project Dagger - which, together, will help you infiltrate the Authority's main base, bring down Cross and makes sure he stays down for good this time. Honestly - a pretty bog-standard hero's journey - of course each person will have you help them first before they let you save the world. The world is rife with other people to help and things to do but, honestly, feels more like busy-work than a lot of other open-world games. And yet I still did them all... The best side-story was one that paid obvious parody homage to Elon Musk (and, of course, involved downloading himself into an AI). There is some humor out there, but it is way too sparse and the story is far too plain to be that memorable.

Gameplay: A typical open-world FPS but with non-typical weapons and powers is the best way to describe Rage 2. But in order to truly elevate your game, you're going to have to change your way of thinking about how to play and open-world game. While a typical game would have you complete each main story mission in succession, to truly get the most out of Rage 2 - you must visit each of your main characters one after the other. You see, each main character has a tree assigned to them - and only them - and all three have distinct (and useful) skills. The game also has Arks scattered all about (along with bandit camps, mutants nests, Authority towers... and such). These Arks are most important as they contain more weapons, useful skills (like the all-important double jump) and plenty of stuff to upgrade said skills. The mineral Feltrite scattered all around (and also dropped by enemies) helps you upgrade as well as provides healing during battles. Meanwhile, the seemingly endless supply of junk you come across can be sold with cash being the main thing to buy things to upgrade your vehicles, weapons and even your body (kill some giant mutants or buy their organs on the market). Although I spent most of the game using the rifle/shotgun combo, the game gives you some interesting choices with an incendiary pistol, a gravity dart and a pretty decent rocket launcher among them. However, if you wait forever to GET them, you won't get to USE them. Thus, it's worth it to gallivant around the map and track down Ark's ASAP.

Aside from the guns, your powers allow you do a lot - from a simple (but powerful) punch to a mighty butt slam to fun levitating enemies. Once again, make sure you track these down before taking down every base in sight as it makes the game much easier (and a lot more fun). That being said, open-world games do get a mite repetitive and Rage 2 is not exception as you'll find yourself doing the same things over and over and over again until you've shot every bandit in the face and eradicated every mutant around. The game will through in an odd giant mutant or a random car race here and there, but, for the most part, the side missions are all rinse and repeat and it does get old. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect about Rage 2, however, was that after the final mission the game just doesn't offer much else. I did not get the optional DLC but I know the base end game is just super boring. Camps don't respawn so once you clear out everything on the map... that's it. Sure, you can run into random skirmishes here and there but nothing really encourages you to come back and ride around.

Replay value: If you go through once, you've pretty much experiences everything.

Final Verdict: A fun open world and a nice variety of weapons/powers elevate this but a weak story and sad endgame hamper this otherwise solid sequel.

Presentation: 4/5
Story: 3/5
Gameplay: 4/5
Replay: 1/5
Overall (not an average): 3.5/5

 

 


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