Game review: Bethesda underwhelms again with Rage 2


After the release of Rage 2, we see if the Bethesda published game holds up to the post-apocalyptic hype or if it falls flat.

I have been a fan of Bethesda’s games for years, both developed and published by them. My relationship with the AAA developer was pretty love/hate because, even though I love the games, it comes with conditions and you have to really work for it.

Although Fallout 76 was a big, fat flop, I was excited for Rage 2, which released only a few weeks ago. So, like a woman who has given birth, I forgot all the pains of previous laborious playthroughs and forged ahead for Rage 2, hoping for a shiny, happy, post-apocalyptic baby. I should have remembered my Fallout 76 pains.

I think I was more enthusiastic about Rage 2 because it’s only published by Bethesda. It was developed by Avalanche Studios and id Software. These are the minds behind Just Cause, Mad Max, Quake and Doom, so there’s a good track record.

Plus, post-apocalyptic games are a ton of fun. The look of this game got people excited, with a cyber-punk, Mad Max look of the baddies and the sci-fi technology. The colors remind me of Borderlands and that’s one of the best thing about Rage 2. I never played Rage, so this is my first introduction to the franchise and the style is on point, I will say that.

Rage — Courtesy of Bethesda Softworks

The environment is desolate but the colors are bright. I will say I did expect the environment to be, I don’t know, fuller. A problem with old PS2 games of yore was empty environments. The system couldn’t handle too much noise in a game, so desolate and monochromatic environments were a necessity. But now, our systems can handle so much and being a post apocalyptic game isn’t an excuse for an empty environment.

Aside from the environment, the story was boring and short. There wasn’t anything inherently special about this story, nothing that makes you want to see what happens. You play as Walker, the last ranger, after your home gets attacked and you are tasked to find the elders to help end the Authority, the group that attacked you. Rage 2 takes place 30 years after the first game and the premise just seems weak. I was hoping to supplement my lack of entertainment of the main story through side missions only to find the side missions repetitive and lackluster as well.

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Now it isn’t to say that the gameplay isn’t fun. It is fast-paced and the gun play is a hoot but more than 20 minutes into it everything just seems the same: drive a car, shoot the guy, kill the mutant, collect the materials, rinse and repeat. To draw from Fallout 4, even though the bugs run rampant in the game, the stories run deep and are hidden everywhere, even in the random encounters. The environment is monochromatic but it’s filled with rubble, bugs, animals, different factions and NPCs. Rage 2 could have been so much better but falls short in many aspects.

With E3 right around the corner, it makes me wonder what Bethesda has up its sleeves now. Overall, I would give Rage 2 a 6/10. It had potential and the gameplay can be fun as mindless run and gun but has the substance of cotton candy. Want a different post-apocalyptic game? Check out my review for Metro: Exodus.

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 Fan of the minds behind Bethesda Softworks? What did you think of Rage 2? Let us know in the comments!