After teasing the validity of Rage 2’s existence following the Canadian Walmart leak, Bethesda has officially announced Rage 2. Bethesda put out two trailers, with the first acting as a tone setter and the second being the gameplay reveal. Rage 2 is set for a 2019 release and is being co-developed between iD Software and Avalanche Studios.
The Cold Facts
Following the release of the announcement trailer, there was speculation that Rage 2 would be Bethesda’s foray into the popular battle royale genre. Thankfully, iD and Avalanche seem dedicated to their respective specialties: first-person action and chaotic open worlds. The gameplay trailer shows off fast shooting in conjunction with some kind of superpowers. There are a hand blast and a super jump, firework grenades, and tons of enemies. There’s a lot going on. But there’s no whiff of multiplayer. Studio director of iD, Tim Willits, has stated that Rage 2 will have “games as a service” elements, but no loot boxes. It is highly likely that the GaaS elements include campaign and customization DLC. All told, these trailers paint Rage 2 as a fun time, and hopefully, we’ll see more of it at E3.
My Hot Take
The overall tone iD and Avalanche are aiming for seems to be Mad Max plus Sunset Overdrive. And personally, it’s working for me. If Ubisoft had put out a trailer like either of these, I would be far more skeptical. However, Bethesda has built up a ton of goodwill when it comes to risky and potentially disastrous ideas. Between Doom and Wolfenstein II they’ve shown themselves to be masters of managing tone and style. Honestly, the riskiest element of Rage 2 right now is Avalanche’s inclusion. Their last two games, Just Cause 3 and Mad Max, were both fairly middling. Mad Max had fun mechanics and elements but lacked the adrenaline rush you’d expect. Hopefully, iD can help Avalanche polish up their work to be as engaging as we know it can be. Ideally, Rage 2 will feature the chaos and freeform destruction mechanics of Just Cause but with more structured pacing and tight design from iD. The best case scenario is that Rage 2 is an open world Doom. The worst case is that we get a game on par with the original Rage. We’ll find out more as Rage 2’s 2019 release gets closer.