Rage 2 announced with blast of colours

Id Software’s 2011 post-apocalyptic first-person drive-o-shooter Rage is finally receiving a follow-up, publishers Bethesda announced today. They do not say much about Rage 2 beyond the fact that it exists, which was kinda already known following a spate of leaks over the past few days. But! Rage 2! That’s good. The original game’s carfights were a bit bland and the whole thing smashed into its ending like someone walking into a glass door but I really enjoyed Rage’s shootybangs. Some splendid violence. And while Rage was very serious and brown, the tone of the announcement trailer–at least–is silly and colourful. Watch this.

That’s Andrew W.K.’s Ready To Die in your ears there. And yes, it is a very curious tone – reminds me of Gearbox Software’s Borderlands more than Rage. But that is only an announcement trailer doodad, cut with what might be brief snippets of in-game assets (?), so I wouldn’t read too much into it.

Bethesda say they will release the “official gameplay reveal” video on Tuesday so see you back here tomorrow and we can hmm and aah together? They also don’t explicitly state who’s developing this, so I half-wonder if perhaps they’ve drafted one of their other face-shooting studios.

Update: now Rage 2’s site is live, the footnote reveals: “Developed in association with Avalanche Studios.” That’s the lot behind Mad Max and the Just Cause games. Interesting!

“Dive headfirst into a dystopian world devoid of society, law, and order,” Bethesda say. “Rage 2 brings together a true open world FPS experience where you can go anywhere, shoot anything, and explode everything.”

Ah, good, I’m glad this is happening. Rage carried the scars of a game that had been in development for too long, changed shape too much, and been cut and stapled back together too often. Its much-vaunted technology didn’t seem ready yet either, with all sorts of pop-in even when simply turning around. But at heart it’s a cracking FPS. Hopefully they’ve had a few years out to rethink, set achievable goals, and create a suitable shell.

Bethesda have published some of the best first-person shooters in recent years–Doom, the new Wolfensteins, and Prey and Dishonored on the immersive sim-ier end of the spectrum–so I trust their eye for the genre far more than back when they first bought Id.

57 Comments

  1. gabrielonuris says:

    I hate when publishers changes the game tone, as if they’re begging to change the target audience too. Rage 1 was a (kind of) serious post apocalyptic shooter, with it’s own style; now they’re trying to appease to the Borderlands edgy public.

    It reminds me of what Ubisoft did with Watchdogs 2. And yes, I prefer the first game style of that one too.

    • Alastor says:

      Maybe it’s because it would have looked too much like Fallout it they wouldn’t have changed the art style.

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      subdog says:

      “Kind of serious” is being pretty generous. You spend the first few minutes of the game looking at a Doomguy bobblehead, a good chunk of the game is kart racing, there’s a whole section called “Mutant Bash TV!” and one of the most memorable weapons is a RC toy car with C4 strapped to it.

      It’s not jokes-jokes-jokes like Borderlands, but definitely well within spitting distance of this new trailer’s tone.

      • Bing_oh says:

        Eh, I remember it being a rather dour and forgettable little game…surely not one with its humor front-and-center. Of course, my memory might not be serving me all that well on this one…I actually had to look at my game collection to even remember if I’d played it when I saw the leak of a sequel.

        • Thankmar says:

          It didn’t have its humor front and center, it was more silly little details undercutting the seriousness, which made it a nice mixture. The trailer is a lot more in the face with the sillyness.

      • gabrielonuris says:

        Yes, yes; it had some sutile humor here and there, like something between Fallout and Mad Max.

        The problem here is that Rage 2 looks like will sit between Suicide Squad and Tumblr.

        • gabrielonuris says:

          Subtle*.

        • haldolium says:

          It looks 100% like Avalanches MAD MAX and pretty much nothing else. It’s that exact same style. Given that, and the weird cooperation with them in general, I simply assume this will be effectively Mad Max 2 with a different name.

          All of this doesn’t make the slightest sense to me, but well, it’s Bethesda. What else should one expect.

          • April March says:

            What? The Mad Max game was the most grim apocalypse game I’ve played since Neo Scavenger. There were no wacky guns and salsaparilla, there were rusty weapons and maggots for dinner because that’s the only thing that thrives in a murder-based ecosystem.

    • brucethemoose says:

      Hey, I’m part of that edgy public. I freaking LOVE Borderlands’ style and tone.

      That being said, this is just an ugly trailer IMO. Even with all that CGI/live action that has nothing to do with the actual game.

    • a very affectionate parrot says:

      If it’s anything like what Ubi did with WD2 then I’m all in. Hated the first game with a passion, adore the second. They stripped out all of the horrendous garbage that defined games at the time the first was made and replaced it with lighthearted fun.

    • VeNT666 says:

      I kinda remember it being a slightly less so Borderlands.
      But I also recall finishing it. Which is not always a given for games I buy.
      I think there’s a gap in the market for “shooter that’s only a bit open worldy and maybe has an ok story and maybe not boarder lands”.

    • Gregbo says:

      So a publisher cant change an aesthetic without people getting upset? You are merely assuming that a post apocalyptic game with color is ripping off borderlands. screw that. They make good games. Ill reserve judgement and complaints for after I play it. Heck, I was maybe the most cynical person on the planet regarding the new doom, and im pleased to say that they far exceeded my expectations.

  2. FredSaberhagen says:

    Yes!!! Been dying for rage 2 ever since I saw the poster in the hospital or subway or whatever … in rage 1.

    The best was those little walking turret things and that fricken sweet boomerang

  3. Umberto Bongo says:

    That’s the ugliest looking trailer I’ve seen in a long time.

    • klops says:

      Then again:
      1. It doesn’t waste one sixth of its lenght to show the name and the publisher in the beginning. Second of compulsory warning shit and then we go.

      2. There’s no embarrassing deep male voice saying seven words in 10 seconds:
      “In a world of terror/war/darkness/madness” Boooooooooooomhhh – a wide shot of a war zone/distant valley/some dramatic landscape
      “There’s no end for the destiny/war/darkness”
      booooomh, close up to a battle scene
      “A man on the way to war/revenge/destiny” bbooooooooomh – a close up on the man with a scar over his left eye and a grim look. the music changes a bit

      Then we get closeups of the man with a scar over his eye fighting and more wide shots about dramatic landscape.

      Actually compared to many movie trailers this was pure gold. Not because it was good but because trailers tend to be utter shit.

  4. nimbulan says:

    While I’m a bit worried about the change in tone, I’m very glad to see a publisher taking a chance on a sequel for a not terribly popular game that was actually very good, despite its lackluster writing and technical issues. It actually was an extremely impressive engine despite the texture popping problems. I played the game once with my hard drive being thrashed so hard it was taking textures and sounds 10 seconds to load in, and the game didn’t drop a single frame – constant 60 fps the whole time.

  5. brucethemoose says:

    Oh, this is Avalanche?

    OK, that piqued my interest. JC2/3 were so much fun, and a setting like Rage can let this studio go balls-to-the-walls crazy.

  6. onodera says:

    Looks very Mad Maxy to me. Just like the first one looked really Fallouty. Definitely not Borderlandy.

    I wonder if it will have a Battle Royale with Cheese mode.

    • Kollega says:

      Yeah, I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure this is way more Mad Max than it is Borderlands. Borderlands, even the second one, is far more of a space western than it is of an “apunkalypse”.

      And honestly? I can’t say I’m a fan of the Mad Max aesthetic style, but a first-person shooter developed by Avalanche… that sounds like it’s worth looking out for. I can definitely say I’m going to take a close look at the “official gameplay reveal” mentioned in the article, even though I had very little interest in Rage the first.

    • DanMan says:

      I neither liked Rage, Just Cause nor Borderlands, but I did like Mad Max. So hopefully it’ll be more like the latter, especially the driving fights.

  7. automatic says:

    I was so excited about Rage, tried so hard to like it after it was released and was so disappointed I don’t even have the energy to comment how crappy the trailer for this new game looks. Maybe they can pull a new DOOM out of this, who knows? Not betting on it though.

    • c-Row says:

      I know, not the same developer and all, but before its release I didn’t have much faith in the new DOOM either. Wouldn’t mind being wrong another time.

  8. klops says:

    Interesting choise. Haven’t heard Andrew W.K. in a while now. In 15 years?

  9. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    This looks like something I would like to play…If they make it more like Just Cause than Mad Max.

  10. Nokturnal says:

    If this wasn’t a sequel of a ‘fun at times’ game I would not give it a second look after seeing that trailer. That was god awful!
    Hopefully the gameplay is better than their attempt at publicity.

    The texture pop-in was horrific and almost put me off finishing the game. Fingers crossed that doesn’t make an appearance again here too.

    • Jalan says:

      That texture pop-in is pretty commonplace with a lot of Bethesda titles. I quickly grew tired of it in Dishonored and I was well over it by the time I started to play Doom ’16.

      • brucethemoose says:

        Much less the pop-in in the actual BGS games. Dear God.

        Maybe that’s why the issue makes it through QC. If they’re using Skyrim as a reference point…

  11. Jalan says:

    I was fairly surprised when The Evil Within got a sequel.

    I think my brain backflipped in sheer disbelief that this is actually a thing.

    Bethesda is at least consistent – they aren’t content to let people believe “one-off” games that didn’t sell well (according to exceedingly spacefaring industry expectation) won’t get sequels solely for the “Because a kid in the middle of nowhere demanded it” factor.

    • mmandthetat says:

      The Evil Within was awesome, though.

      • Jalan says:

        In this case, if “awesome” means had a story that was a crackling rubbish fire, then I’d agree (there are other things I don’t like, but this isn’t the place for them and I wrote them not long ago in an actual TEW 2 article’s comment section anyway).

  12. aircool says:

    Bloody awful music…

  13. something says:

    This looks like it might have the Far Cry problem of a good game being undercut by insufferable characters.

  14. EvilMonkeyPL says:

    Oh my, so much going through my head after watching this.
    1) Is this real? I mean it feels like a Verhoeven commercial from Robocop mixed with some Cronenberg. And than somebody painted it pink.
    2) I kinda like the idea of a post-apo world that’d not greyish green and with a bit of brown added in for excitement.
    3) Why use live action, add CG and generally make it look and sound obnoxious all at the same time? Surely there must be a better way of spending money.

  15. satan says:

    Oh well, I guess Fortnite is going to influence an entire generation of games.

  16. Thomas Foolery says:

    This is an issue I have with a lot of media these days, not just this trailer, but there are way way way too many camera cuts. I counted 63 cuts in that trailer, which is only 53 seconds long. And there might even be more cuts than that; sometimes they were happening so quickly I couldn’t even keep up. For the love of god, let the camera stay in one place for a few seconds so that I can actually see what’s happening.

  17. Monggerel says:

    The last time I thought about Rage was when Breaking Bad used the game for a stupid visual gag.

    Hopefully Avalanche don’t fuck this up like Mad Max. That game had cool bitz, but was choke-full of boring collecting “activities”.
    Especially obnoxious, as I still had Fury Road in my head at the time. The game really needed some high octane crazy blood to make it more fun.

    That reminds me, they *also* made Just Cause 3 a dumb collect-a-thon. That one I could at least solve for x (where x = fun), thanks to the modding community.

    I know, I know, engagement metrics and what not.
    But hear me out on this:
    no cannibal tribe has *ever* been made worse off because they ate their marketing department.

    • April March says:

      The worst part about the Mad Max collectathon is that they weren’t even necessary.
      “Go to this place!”
      “Yeah okay! It’s a derelict apocalypse thing! It’s awesome!”
      “Now punch these dudes!”
      “Yeah okay! Oh boy this combat is brutal and grim! I like it!”
      “Now scour this place for fifteen oil drums, some of which are very deliberately hidden, and set them on fire.”
      “Uh”

  18. Moni says:

    Mad Max was a really cool game. Although for me the best part was suplexing jerks into the sand, not sure if that would work in first-person.

  19. Chorltonwheelie says:

    Twas a good, expansive shooter with some interesting technical doodads going on. Slightly borked by being unable to progress without completing tedious driving tasks.
    This looks like a bit of daft fun…I’m in.

  20. DirtyDivinity says:

    Rage in an open world. What a lovely day !

  21. Vandelay says:

    Rage the First felt rather underrated to me. The shooting in it was as good as ID had done in years and led into the style that was adopted by the Wolf games. The AI was pretty good I remember too, as well as it featuring some fantastic animations. Unfortunately, it was bogged down with some unnecessary open world sections that felt like they were just crammed in because open world was the thing you had to do.

    Guess I must have something wrong with my quality detectors though, as everyone seems to be saying this trailer is utter shit, whilst I thought it looked a lot of fun. Like Mad Max fell in a tub full of Splatoon. Cheesy 90s/00s punk music over the top only makes it seem more ludicrously stupid, in a guiltily pleasurable kind of way. Can’t imagine they will sustain this sort of thing through the actual game though, so I wouldn’t take it too much as an indication of tone.

    • DirtyDivinity says:

      Agree that Rage was great in shooting, animations. Brutal, smart, alive. I loved the artistic direction too. It captured something of the Mad Max movies soul, as did also Fallout 1 and 2 by other ways. And Rage The First was not true open world : yes it was about “open world sections” that missed the feeling to be thrown into a huge dangerous world where to venture. Yes again, the pseudo open world in Rage 1 was exactly “the thing you had to do” : the opposite of the feeling of freedom expected of an open world. Fortunately… Avalanche is good at that.

  22. HumpX says:

    The biggest issue with RAGE was the timing of its release. It went up against Fallout 3. RAGE was a decent effort and I hope iD gets it better this time around.

    • Addie says:

      Bethesda was the producer in both cases, having recently bought out iD, so they’ve only themselves to blame for that. I thought it was a shame at the time that they hadn’t just worked together, and have Rage’s engine and gunplay mixed with F3’s world and story.

    • Dryspace says:

      RAGE went up against Fallout 3?

      Fallout 3 released three years earlier. And New Vegas released almost exactly one year earlier.

  23. April March says:

    I’m not sure that trailer makes me want to play Rage. It kinda makes me want to drink Pepsi.

  24. Don Reba says:

    Ah, the original megatexture ’em up is back.

  25. Raoul Duke says:

    “finally”

    That trailer was awful. Is there anyone on earth who actually likes/admires anything with this amount of ‘in your face attitude’?

  26. Kinsky says:

    id is dead, and everything Bethesda touches turns to shit. This is guaranteed to be a made-to-bore focus-group-tested trope-checkbox-ticking hyper-marketed snoozefest bland enough to keep people either tentatively praising it or convincing themselves it’s good while the copies roll off the shelves. Modern AAA!

  27. Gentle Jerry says:

    Ugh, another live action Bethesda game trailer. I don’t mind the new more colorful tone but this “IN YOUR FACE!” trailer thing that most big publishers are doing is insufferable. This trailer tells me nothing about the game, and makes me want to buy it less honestly.

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