In the world of third-parties, Rage 2 was one of the first and most unexpected E3 2018 games to be confirmed – albeit via a leak, not that there haven’t been a lot of those this year. A co-production between Id Software (Doom, Quake) and Avalanche Studios (Just Cause, Mad Max) Rage 2 so far appears to be exactly the game you’re imagining upon hearing that elevator pitch. 

It’s all about fast, furious, deceptively clever Id shooting, ripping through a vast, beautiful, enticingly explorable Avalanche open-world. Having now played the E3 demo, we can certainly vouch for the first part, hands-on.

Read on, and we’ll tell you everything there is to know.

Fast facts:

  • Rage 2 release date: Spring 2019
  • Publisher: Bethesda
  • Developer: Avalanche Studios / Id Software
  • Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC

Rage 2 release date is spring 2019

Okay, that’s not so much a release date as ‘a quarter of the year when Rage 2 could theoretically release’, but it does narrow things down nicely from what we knew before. Expect a final, specific date at Quakecon 2018 in August.

Rage 2 story is set in the year 2185, 50 years after the first game, and the world is gaining new life

In Rage 2, you play as Walker, the last Ranger of the Wasteland in the year 2185, battling the last remnant’s of the first game’s tyranical Authority. That sets things 50 years after the original game, meaning that despite the familiar enemy, the wider state of things has moved on. Id is referring to Rage 2’s world as post-post-apocalyptic, meaning that omnipresent desert is out, multiple different, flourishing biomes are in, each with their own distinct atmosphere, flora, fauna, and enemy types, are in.

Beyond this, Rage 2 is distinctly more high-tech than the typical apocalyptic hellhole, with remnant and resurgent sci-fi technology informing the world itself, your journey through it, and your moment to moment actions in its slick, kinetic, brutally impactful combat. But more on that next. 

Rage 2 gameplay is fast, kinetic, brutal, and has a whole bunch of high-flying, aerial tricks up its sleeve

In the moment, in the hot, bloody thick of combat, Rage 2 gameplay is clearly a close relation of Doom. It’s fast, it has an intimate, close-range focus, and it’s based around movement as a primary took of attack and defense. Also, it’s hilariously gory. Seriously, everyone explodes. You wouldn’t believe how many body parts you can blow off a corpse. But, all that aside, Walker has a fair few tricks that even the Doom Slayer cannot match (at least until Doom Eternal).

Air-dashes and double-jumps. Walker has got ‘em, and you can chain them together – along with his nano-powered force punch and floor-shaking ground-pound – to open up ludicrous levels of power and versatility in his destructive traversal. Beyond that, there’s also the small matter of the Overdrive gauge. Charge this up by chaining together combo kills in rapid succession, and you’ll trigger a temporary super-state which make you more deadly, faster, and far harder to hurt for a limited time. Once you start playing with the Overdrive gauge as your focus, the entire game steps up a gear. It’s like Doom meets Bulletstorm, with almost a hint of a high-octane, 3D brawler in terms of how Rage 2 handles the flow and pace of its battles.

The new Rage 2 trailer gives an intensive taste of its anarchic, FPS action, and a dash of vehicular carnage

That mission you see above, intercut as it is via so many smoothly violent segues, is the one that we’ve played. It seems to come relatively early on, and follows Walker on an intense and bloody quest to pick up one of his key nano-powers. The full thing is just as full-on. Make no mistake, for all of the cunning edits, the trailer you see above is totally accurate to how Rage 2 feels to play. It is a hoot. 

And then there’s the reveal trailer, which comes with even more gameplay footage and another joyous, invigorating great barrage of Andrew WK. Don’t let that early, downbeat, ‘In a time of grimdark war…’ intro fool you. Rage 2 is going all out to be the most excessively expressive, colourful gun-fun it can be. 

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