Lots of teasing has led to a revelation. Rage 2 is coming. Which should not be too much of a surprise. The first game was rather well received, even if it is not one of Bethesda’s best selling titles. It also left quite a bit unresolved and had some different gameplay elements that could have been further explored. Really, when you think about it, Rage did deserve more appreciation than it got and a sequel is a more than welcome prospect. When you think about it, there are plenty of reasons why it really had to come back.
One reason Rage was so great was the look of the game. Post-apocalyptic titles are not new, but this one really focused on the Mad Max-sort of gritty, almost steampunk survival. There was a sense of technological focus and intensity that the Fallout games do not have. There is a goofiness that sometimes comes through. It was occasionally over-the-top and madcap, as players built up Nicholas Raine and prepared to fight the Authority. Instead of being some dire dystopia where everything is dark and dramatic, like the aforementioned Fallout, it was a bit more colorful and manic.
Speaking of the Authority, Rage ended on quite the cliffhanger. Since it has been since 2011, I figure it is okay to go ahead and spill what happened. In Rage, we followed Raine, a Marine who woke up in an Ark after 106 years in stasis, preparing to revitalize Earth as art of the Eden Project after an asteroid hit it. After waking up, meeting all sorts of people and mutants, we learn a group called the Authority is hunting the Arks and keeping them underground and under wraps so it can rule. The game ended with Raine and the Resistance activating every single Ark that exists, forcing them and their inhabitants to the surface. We need to know what happens next, now that all of these Ark inhabitants are ready to make Eden Project happen and Authority is trying to maintain its rule.
What was also great about Rage was how active it was. This is a post-apocalyptic game where you are always moving. You have these vehicles you can customize and use both to explore the world and participate in races or other sorts of missions. You have these different kinds of weapons for the first-person shooter portions that have you dealing with intelligent enemies that will either return fire or try and find a way to race up and attack you. We had campaign missions and side-quests that encouraged us to traverse the wasteland.
The multiplayer in Rage was pretty great too, and deserved to be expanded upon. It allowed people to play cooperative and competitively. In the main campaign, you would sometimes hear rumors about things happening in the area. Legends of the Wasteland would let two people work together to complete missions based on those rumors. The competitive mode let four people hop inside an arena with the different cars and try to kill their opponents while staying alive and collecting points. Both are quite interesting and innovative, even now, and would benefit from being expanded upon.
A sequel could mean a chance at a better modding community too. The original Rage did not get its mod support until February 2013. That is quite a delay, considering the game came out in October 2011. The Rage Tool Kit was actually quite robust, and used by id Software to make the game and its add-ons. It was also a bit complicated to use, which means the scene for this community never had a chance to take off. But with Rage 2 comes a chance to really make modding for the game matter, increasing its lifespan through user-created content.
Rage did more than a few things right. It was definitely a unique look at a post apocalyptic world, with a focus on riding hard and fighting furiously. Now that a sequel is on the way, we’ll get some important questions answers, a chance to enjoy more multiplayer options and maybe even a second go at a possible modding scene that can keep it relevant for years to come.