My Splinter Cell concept

It was recently reported that Facebook is looking to bring Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell into the fold of their Oculus VR titles.

So you’re going to tell me, that the only iterations of Sam Fisher we’ve had for the past six years are gonna be a more than likely shitty mobile game, a couple missions in GR Wildlands, an easter egg in Far Cry New Dawn and now this bullshit. How in the fuck have the higher-ups at Ubisoft allowed that? One of their most beloved protagonist from arguably one of their most cherished IP (AC is a close second with Far Cry in third imo) hasn’t seen a full game in far far too long. In the drought, we’ve had six Assassin’s Creed games. Does anyone else find that a little excessive? I think they could really do something special.

Potential Story

An older Sam like we saw in Wildlands with an almost Old Man Logan kind of delivery could really work. I’m referencing the parallel of a very dangerous man potentially approaching the end of his rope. It could literally be a send-off with Sam dying of something or finally deciding to get that midwestern ranch he’s always wanted. This is, unfortunately, going to be the weakest of the sections because as far as storytelling goes I blow hot wet ass at it. My only problem with the whole dying thing is now that RDR2 has come out everyone is going to scream “ ArThUr mOrGAn” and that’s what happens when a game like that comes out. That doesn’t mean that is can’t be done though. The fact of the matter is, canonically the man is getting on in age and his tale has to come to an end somehow. Literally, almost anything is better than Sam Fisher walking off into the night without so much as a goodbye.

Level Design and Gameplay

Open levels (levels, not open-world) that let you take advantage of the environment much like BreakPoint is currently parading. Hide in water, foliage, tree lines, crowds. Really let the player go about these missions how they please with some/most missions requiring stealth with occasional levels where the player can cut loose a little. It would be amazing if they could orchestrate some kind of broad daylight stealth mission where Sam needs to kill in the open while remaining inconspicuous. Throw a little of that schweet Wickian gun-fu with the Execution system and that sounds p compelling to me personally. Even at age 50 I can see Sam still dispensing a gratuitous amount of ass beatings. I’m not saying he has to be yolked to the gills but as a dude who deals in wet work, he could probably still swing for the fences. He isn’t exactly eating twinkies all day. All that unnecessarily said, his age could play a factor in expending energy at a higher rate or having to avoid extended conflict. To compensate, perhaps our boy has a few new tricks up his sleeve like a modular pistol that allows light modifications or maybe some heavier ones if they can fit the SC tone. I’m thinking Cornershot firearms if used sparingly could be a fun touch, suppressed combat shotguns for mildly crowded rooms. Hell, bring back the EMP crossbow thingy from Blacklist. Maybe even another shot at the heavier outdoor combat they tried in Blacklist and Conviction. Yes I know I’m taking from older games but that’s just it; when the history of this franchise is as deep as it is how can you not go back even if it is just to pull from the “greatest hits”. None of that flashback tutorial mid gameplay bullshit I just want the sneaky sneaky and the shooty bang dammit. Save that shit for the cutscenes. It was a decent idea I just think it was executed poorly.

Since Ubisoft loves RPG mechanics so much…

Okay Ubi ya like fisting those RPG mechanics real deep into games that don’t need it, but what if you actually put thought into it and made it work for the game instead of vice versa? What if instead of dumbass damage wicking enemies, a fucking headshot on bare fucking skin is a kill! Do not bloat the gunplay, push the intensity, push the realism. Instead, what if Sam had two or three disciplines or talent trees “First Blood” could be one focussing on “loud” combat which would force players to get in close to avoid alerting everyone in stealthier situations due to them being predominantly ready for firefights. “Chigurh” for a heavy silencer and stealth focus but lack of viability in the same open firefights (less range/ damage cause video games?). “Kingsman” would be the last one (maybe not the best movie parallel) but something more tech and gear focussed that may lead to a more hands-off approach to taking down enemies ie Cornershots, some mild form of smart pistol no Titanfall shit, you get where I’m coming from. You would lock into one of these styles but the reward would be class-specific weaponry and I’m talking the entire arsenal. Each tree would have their own slew of weapons(25-30) that fit the bill of each playstyle and encourage replayability. Maybe you can dabble in up to two but each tier of skills unlocks a number of weapons associated with said classes. Once you beat it one or two times you get the ability to have access to all the trees but having to pick and choose skills and having the entire library of weaponry at your fingertips. Whichever is better. Is the idea really rough around the edges? Sure, but god dammit at least I’m trying. Where you at Yves!!

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Marvel’s Avengers reveal thots

Big Marvel fan here, reporting on the newest addition to what some are calling the MGU (Marvel Gaming Universe) Marvel’s Avengers. We got a look at some GC trailers that definitely alluded to gameplay but didn’t outright reveal anything.

Building Character

I don’t have too many problems with the character models. Personally, I think this is the unforeseen consequences of such a hugely successful movie franchise. People are gonna look at every iteration of these characters from now on and think “huh, that’s a little off”. Thor looks like his Ultimates counterpart with a slightly gaudier trim on the outfit. Hulk is Hulk, can’t fuck that up and I think Troy was an interesting pick for him. Both Tony and Iron Man look good but idk if I would’ve chosen Nolan North to play him. I just don’t get that twang of cockiness. Was Eric Loomis not available? Mick Wingert? Why spend so much on a big name unless it’s to ohhhh.  Anyway, Black Widow looks fine, no character model can replace ScarJo see even I’m doing it. If customization and different costumes are gonna be as big a focus as the devs lead on then it should make up for the models themselves. Seriously go listen to Mick Wingert and Eric Loomis and tell me why they couldn’t be in this game.

Sameplay Gameplay

I am really worried about gameplay being super repetitive and bland across such a myriad of characters. I’m concerned about quick time events *gag* and a lack of interactivity in the environment specific to each character. There’s a moment in the trailer where Hulk jumps a gap, smashes a tank and picks it up. When the man inside the tank falls out, Hulk kicks him aside while still holding up the tank. That. I want that. Many animations and the ability to do two and maybe three things at once would be a big move toward replayability and overall fun factor. Game devs and publishers need to realize “playing with friends” will only take your game but so far. It needs to offer something. I’m talking that X-men Legends 2 shit. I want this to be a AAA Ultimate Alliance experience. Apparently, gameplay was shown and I’m getting mixed responses but I’m very jealous cause the curiosity is crazy high.

Live Service? More like…Contrived Serivce…amirite??

Please, fucking Jesus pole-vaulting Christ do not focus too heavily on the live service aspect of this game. Do not put yourself in an EA position. This game can be plenty lucrative without crazy predatory and obnoxiously in your face monetization. They mentioned everything content based (characters, locations, events, etc) would be free which is good but it does make me wonder just how fucked the market is going to be in order to make up for that. Maybe I’m being cynical but I have no reason to not be. Make monetization an afterthought and players will spend at their leisure, and if everyone or most people are spending a little I’m sure that is gonna add up in their favor.

Too Little Too Late

I’m genuinely concerned that this game is coming a good couple of years too late. Imagine if this came during Civil War or hell even Age of Ultron. I think that this may be how Marvel works the downtime between phases as well as work an entirely new revenue stream obviously. A live service game at that? After the wild success of Spider-man? If I’m being honest, I’m foreseeing a bust despite my vehement hope it will deliver. This needs the love and (arguably) more importantly the polish that Spider-man had. Otherwise, Disney has another Battlefront 2 situation on their hands or something similar to it and I don’t think one out of three is the stat they want to have especially considering how much more popular Marvel is right now comparatively to Star Wars. If this game is good it will be one of the most successful games in years, if it’s not it will kick Marvel back to square one and undo a lot if not all of Spider-man’s praise.

At some point, Square and Crystal are bound to release the footage that was shown at E3. Maybe PAX. Maybe Gamescom. It’s gonna come out at some point especially considering how close the release date is (relatively speaking). This game has so much potential, just don’t let greed get in the way dammit.

Destiny 2 and the changes coming

Well well well if Bungie aren’t really working to get back on track then I don’t know what they’re up to.

Season of Opulence

Season of the Drifter was a little weak, if you weren’t about Gambit you were pretty much fucked unless Reckoning did something for you. Opulence however does the most important thing right about any Destiny expansion: the loot. The Menagerie as an activity and the Chalice as a world item are both two of the better additions to Destiny if not the best. There is no activity in this game that you can do, finish, and know exactly what item you’re gonna pull from that chest. Escalation Protocol is the closest thing and even that usually requires multiple runs to get your IKELOS shotgun to drop (you don’t have the sniper or smg and you know it!). I’ve yet to play the “raid” (it honestly looks more like a raid lair but that’s just me) but even without that this one pve activity is almost worth this entire season personally. It is a little light on content otherwise but sheer number of times I know I’ll be running the Menagerie are going to keep me entertained more than any other addition to this game since release. If we can expect more content like this from Bungie here on out Destiny is looking very good in the long run. This is a good step forward that should be the framework for a lot of content moving forward. Focussing on ways for players to earn the exact weapon/gear piece we want via going out into the world and completing activities. Only to return to a semi-demanding to outright difficult game mode, maybe this time add a fail state cause there are zero stakes outside of getting a triumph. edit: Heroic Menagerie just dropped and extinguish is a constant modifier. Ask and Bungie will make sure you receive.

Free to play in September

I personally have no problem with this now nearly two-year-old game going FtP. How can I be mad when the base game Warmind and Curse of Osiris should be free because boy are they meh. Maybe I’ll get into PvP with all these noobs coming into the game lolol. As far as I’m concerned this means quicker queue times for the crucible, strikes, reckoning, menagerie. This is another move that I could never see Bungie being able to make while under the watchful eye of Activision. It may definitely be the shot in the arm the franchise needs.

A La Carte Seasons

As if going free to play wasn’t good enough, being able to buy individual seasons is going to be another big move. Imagine being interested in buying the Destiny content and being able to go online and read reviews/ listen to your favorite youtuber’s opinions on that season and make an informed decision. Only missing out on a single season as opposed to the entire year which is just foolish and greedy. The content you want and nothing else. That is the way live services should be in my opinion. Pay for the content you want while not missing out just because you don’t want to spend your money. I’m glad they’re going about it this way but Destiny 3 better be free or heavily discounted cause this is basically a subscription model.

Shadow Keep

This is where things get concerning. I don’t doubt Bungie can take us back to the Moon and give us new and interesting things to do and learn. I am however worried that this retreading locations and reintroducing of D1 guns will become a reoccurring thing. I’m sure a lot of people would argue it already has and…yeah. Especially when you look at how bare bones a lot of these seasons have been. Where the hell are my strikes?? We haven’t had a new strike since Forsaken (Zero Hour doesn’t count dammit). It’s just frustrating to see them take new seasons and introduce old content. Especially when so much more could and should be done with these releases. Shadow Keep does sound like it’ll be closer to the size of Forsaken rather than either of the previous DLCs.

Destiny 2 going forward

I said when Bungie left Activision that this was their chance, this was their opportunity to show they had good intentions. To show that the things they were doing under Activision were based on Activision’s desires and necessities. So far every step since the separation has been in the right direction as far as I’m concerned. I didn’t even touch on Eververse armor being rolled into ornaments so there’s no incentive to spend money on armor that has perks. *Chef kiss* YES! This is where Destiny needs to be pivoting especially when free to play is going to bring in so many people. People who are gonna look at/listen to reviews of the annual pass and I’m sure a handful will buy into the annual pass. If nothing else they’ll pick and choose the season they want, which is great. I think “finisher moves” are pointless unless we’re incentivized via orbs of light or maybe a temporary stat buff specific to each class? Energy from Warlocks, speed from Hunter’s, damage from Titan’s? I’m just spitballing here. All in all, I feel good about the future of Destiny, but I do have my eye on you Bungie…watch yourself.

Death Stranding gameplay trailer

Oh my fucking fuck not only is the new gameplay trailer lit with little bits of info but that release date is…pants ruiningly soon. November 8th is looking mighty close, so close you can feel the Time Fall on your face.

Here we get a deeper look at the greater whole of the world we are gonna be playing in, if you can call anything you saw in the trailer ‘playing’, because it looks like it’s gonna thrive on the tense situations between you and the others out trying to stop you. Both the ones you can see, and the ones you can’t. Kojima talked about incorporating the “string” mechanics in gaming rather than the “stick”. The emphasis on connection over conflict is clearly thematic throughout the game but how it will manifest has really yet to be seen. I don’t want to talk too much, the trailer says next to nothing but somehow more than anything I could. Very excited for November 8th.

E3 2019 overview

I wanted to take the time to look at and talk about some of the games we’re more than likely seeing at the conference. E3 is…dying and it’s misleading trailers don’t help, but despite this, the show is still important and at least gives us a little insight into what may come in games/tech. So let’s cross our fingers and dive in. I’ll be focussing more on main titles and not DLC and updates. Available footage will be linked in the corresponding title.

Avengers project (Crystal Dynamics/ Square Enix)

It feels like ages since the teaser for the Avengers project dropped. Since then I have been trying to keep my hopes high, I even thought it was canceled for a time when we heard literally nothing since that trailer. I know nothing about this game, but I just hope Crystal Dynamics and Square are treating something this big with the care it needs. The last thing Marvel, more importantly Disney, want is another Battlefront 2 situation on their hands. If Square can incorporate their over the top combat style to the Marvel universe, it could be amazing, incredible, invinci- okay I’ll stop.

Borderlands 3

Getting back into Borderlands just before the big press release was very serendipitous. Something about this made me even more excited for some of the additions coming like loot instancing, slide/mantle (finally), secondary fire weapons, more diverse and varied play spaces, and a lot more. So many of BL2 and the Pre-Sequel’s flaws are glaring with me having played them recently and to see the long-awaited title addressing these exact issues so comforting when I get to thinking about this next adventure into the wastes. It isn’t some massive leap forward or anything, it’s more Borderlands and there’s nothing wrong with that to me. Finally, an online optional looter shooter that isn’t some strange mmo lite, long live the king. Randy Pitchford is a weirdo but I’m not gonna hold that against the devs lol.

Cyberpunk 2077

This is more than likely going to be my game of the show. E3 is typically full of surprises and anything can happen but in all honesty, I just can’t see much coming close especially since we aren’t seeing Death Stranding (thattrailertho). I was literally giddy when they released the gameplay trailer that they showed press and influencers and the FPS RPG looked very good but not unrealistic. Recently it’s come out that the game is “pretty different” from that showcase and that statement interests me as much as it gives me pause. Regardless, we are going to be seeing more of this game with CDPR claiming they’ll have an even bigger presence than last year. I just hope that we get solid gameplay footage and not buzzwords and theatrical trailers.

CoD 2019

Black Ops 4 came out guns drawn and it really impressed at first. Since that time Activision has found a way to completely reverse the conversation around BO4 and where the franchise is headed/ is as a whole. Activision needs a win, and with this being their main and essentially only franchise it has to be big. The rumor is that it’s Modern Warfare 4 which would be a “soft reboot” if that is the case. If not this year then next, I’m surprised it’s even taken them this long so hopefully all this time will lead to something good. Honestly, I’m shocked we’re still getting annual releases of this game. I don’t forsee CoD lasting much longer and this tug at our nostalgia may be a sign of that.

Destroy All Humans (THQ Nordic)

I spent so many hours with my friend Walter terrorizing the meat bags between the tools the game devs gave us and some gamer creativity that was a relatively new aspect of gaming compared to nowadays where player creativity is often an aspect of gameplay. THQ has reported something insane like 50+ games in development which…sounds like a stupid choice but if this is one of them it’s definitely going to get people’s heads turning. Can you imagine what they’ll be able to do with today’s tech? They don’t have to go crazy but then again for the sake of a concise vision but…maybe they should?

Dino Crisis (Capcom)

Let’s talk more about old ass games I’m completely shocked could be coming back. So in light of Capcom bringing back past titles and breathing new life into them, it is reported that Capcom is looking to bring back…Dino Crisis? I swear to god if they make Dino Crisis before Viewtiful Joe and Onimusha? POWER STONE ANYONE?? I’m more than willing to suspend my meh-ness because Capcom has proved that not only can they bring back an old game we love, but they can do it damn well. If this is true, then maybe there is hope for some of my favorite Capcom titles from the past but mother of god why Dino Crisis?

Doom Eternal

Doom 2016 was one of the best first-person shooters I’ve ever played. “Smooth as butter” isn’t something I would use to describe most games but god damn if that game wasn’t lubed up before they packaged it because it’s damn slick. So imagine the stiffy I got when that gameplay was dropped and mobility was increased. Can we talk about the grappling hook shotgun? The new demons and takedowns to dispatch said demons? God knows what else is under the hood for us to find out when it releases let alone when they talk about it during the conference. A more open level design in tandem with the conventional “kill room” here and there is gonna really spice up the combat especially if exploration is properly rewarded. Rage 2 was a disappointment but I do have hope this is gonna live up to the hype the way it did the first time.

Gears of War 5

Lawd Microsoft needs a win. This is quite clearly their attempt at a blockbuster event like God of War was for Sony. Everything about the trailer screams “Oscar bait but for games” and I hope they do the damn thing. Make me sad I don’t have an Xbox dammit! This could be a big step for Gears and could even lead it down a more character focussed design. The world of Gears of War is rich for a deeper explanation, and I know that isn’t what Gears is known for but I won’t be told that they can’t do both. It appears to be heavily cinematic though gameplay can be seen in the trailer above. It seems interesting and I hope they really make something worth owning an Xbox for. The fans deserve it.

Halo: Infinite

Did I say Microsoft needs a win from the software perspective? Cause they do. The Xbox One is fine, the One X is a huge step up and is the most powerful console but there are next to no exclusives for this console. Ya know, the reason why you buy a certain console outside of interface and services. What better way than to bring back the most successful franchise Microsoft has associated with. There’s talk of it having an open world which is jarring initially especially when the history of Halo is rich with environments that tell stories alongside the mid-range combat. If they can properly expand that baseline to fit an open world format, it’ll be amazing. Whether or not they can is the question.

Harry Potter: Magic Awakened

Warner Brothers does a great job of shooting themselves square in the foot. They just put on the finest shoes money can buy and BAM queue the red kool-aid fountain. Shadow of War is the pinnacle of such stupidity with the way the monetization completely bankrupted the integrity of the game. The brief footage that was up involved a third-person real-time action reminiscent of the original games. Warner Bros. jumped on the trailer takedown but it’s safe to say the cat is out of the bag and casting spells in the kitchen. This could be a unique adventure involving a custom character, it could involve something more directly related to the books. Anything is possible but if we heard about it this year it wouldn’t entirely surprise me.

My Friend Pedro

A twin stick shooter of a different kind. Imagine stranglehold but cartoony, John Wick but even more comic book like. It looks like the entire game is going to be centered around ballerina jumping through levels and enemies leaving every enemy in your wake riddled with bullets. It seems light, fun, and self-aware in it’s silliness which can lead to the most fun type of games.

Session

Oh boy, SKATE was my jam back in high school and if you’re anything like me you’ve been waiting for the next game/ literally anything like it to come along. Session appears to be that game, we weren’t told a lot when it was revealed so I’m hoping that E3 will lead to some more information on gameplay and ya know, a release date.

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order

Anthem is in shambles and in my opinion, it’s this year’s No Man’s Sky. Between the games they put out, and the Star Wars games they put out (or don’t put out depending on your perspective); this does not bode well at all. Respawn is working on the project and their track record is very good, but I can’t help but worry about what EA is planning. They always find a way to put their hand directly into a project and do exactly what needs to be done to ruin it. Sometimes that’s on the front end in development and planning or lack thereof, and sometimes it’s on the back end with moving devs to other projects/ not hold their devs to the post-launch promises they tend to make and not fulfill. This story of a padawan in hiding after Order 66 is ripe for gameplay development and storytelling. So long as Respawn has the vision and can execute, all we need is for EA to stay the fuck away and let them work. We’ll see.

honorable mentions: Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Vampire Bloodlines 2, From Soft and George R. R. Martin collab, Fable remake, Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad, Wolfenstein Young Blood, Afterparty, Beyond Good and Evil 2, Bleeding Edge (Ninja Theory’s new game), Last of Us 3 (v hype just not a lot of info)

GOG Galaxy 2.0- CDPR updates the platform in a big way

GOG as a gaming platform, to the laymen, can totally fly under the radar with Steam and Epic battling it out miles ahead of the competition. With that said, GOG (Good Old Games) has recently announced the Galaxy 2.0 update: this coming development in the platform will adapt it to not only be a storefront but an overarching service connecting the multiple launchers/client that tend to come with PC gaming. What that means is, CDPR wants to connect all your services across the clients on your PC you will track play time, achievements/ trophies (more on that later), and more.

Worried about your data? Well no executives at CDPR have access to user data (*cough cough* Epic) and you will be able to see/ delete this data at your discretion. They even have plans to allow consoles to be connected to the service so even your PS4/XBO games can finally get log times (Does XBO keep track of that? PS4 doesn’t…) within a singular and uniform platform.

This is honestly the best option in a world where there are so many launchers between all the companies and whoever came up with this is a fucking genius. A twist on the old phrase “if you can’t beat em, join em”.

more info: gog.com

Divisiveness in Rage 2

What little promotional material there was for Rage 2 interested me. The idea of a nitro-fueled FPS surrounding an open world and a heavy power fantasy. I wasn’t expecting an enthralling story with deep and rich characters that would stitch me into the fabric of the world created. I was expecting a rip-roaring hail of bullets in the shape of a gun the likes of which I would ride across the map destroying everything that did so much as exhale in my presence. In short, that is what I got but it’s quite mixed. The “boots on the ground” combat, and I use that term lightly, is smooth as hell and lets you the player take on the various mobs and gangs of the wasteland in the way you want. The vehicular combat is more sparse and anecdotal in the sense that they are typically randomly occurring events as opposed to the convoy routes. The world itself is big but not Horizon Zero Dawn or Assassin’s Creed Odyssey “oh my god how did they even fit all this on one disc” big, it’s more than manageable. The biomes are varied and impressive in detail despite some being more vacant than I’d like.  All in all, it’s at the very least better than the bland world of Rage 1, and at best it’s a gorgeous backdrop for the best FPS action since Doom 2016.

Anger Surrounds

There isn’t a lot in the way of introduction and it’s cause the game and it’s creators understand what you’re here for: shooty bang. You literally pick a gender and are handed a gun. After the first big firefight, the world is literally open to you. This exploration is encouraged because you don’t gain abilities or weapons unless you find Arks which are silos scattered around the map. Normally I’d be mad about another icon cluttering the map but it’s at least a way of getting stronger while discovering the hovels and holes your enemies hide in, grabbing some cash and feltrite (upgrade currency) along the way. It’s essentially the best version of the Far Cry towers ever.

The world is very pretty both graphically and from an art direction aspect. Boggy swamps, desert, rocky canyons, and even suburbia is sprinkled into the colorful and sometimes striking scenery of the world around you. Some structures are established like roadblocks, resource stations, or mutant nests, some are just dressing to fill out the world, but the best is the elaborate gang camps that go from close quarters combat to open courtyards that have you working with cover and elevation. Most main and side mission areas appear to be carefully designed to be engaging set pieces that vary from open lots littered with obstacles to break up the battlefield and enhance the functionality of some abilities. If the map itself doesn’t grab you, the way the world is designed to make combat as fun as possible definitely will.

Walker Wasteland Ranger tonight at 9 

Rage 1 very much gave you the feeling of having your back against the wall. In Rage 2 if you ever find yourself in that situation you push off that wall and crush whatever is in your way into misy and gristle. You are the baddest thing breathing and everything in this game is about making you feel that. I can’t tell if the progression is deep or cleverly padded and that might be fine by me, I haven’t decided yet. When you first see how many currencies there are in the game it makes anyone that knows what AAA games have been doing lately sweat profusely. Fortunately, Rage 2 gives you plenty of opportunities to load up on the kind of cash you spend in stores, the kind on upgrades, weapon skins and mods, it’s all here for you to take when you want it you just have to kill a bunch of baddies to get it. Thankfully there isn’t a single gun that doesn’t feel incredible and unique. From the way the rifle spits a volley or the kick from the shotgun; all of them are a dream and when used in tandem with the abilities it makes for very enticing gameplay. The abilities span all aspects of combat and their refresh time doesn’t allow them to be spammed but lets a player that bounces from skill to skill always have one refresh by the time the effect of the current one wears off. They really found a way for the guns to play into abilities and vice-versa which only makes spicing up combat easier. In Destiny when you throw a grenade, that’s it. Did you use your melee? Oh that’s cool but, that’s also it. In Rage 2 I can mix up abilities to create different means of destruction and death in a much more satisfying way. Even the more nuanced abilities like the Rush and Focus are used to bolster the minimal downtime firefights give you.

From McQueen to Mater

The sixteen vehicles are divisive stars of Rage 2 and it really shows, alongside the facelifted combat, that Id and Avalanche tried to not lose sight of what the original game was focussed around. This rendition’s vehicular combat is much better with weighty pit maneuvers and pretty smart auto tracking from turrets. Alongside this, the vehicles simply must be redone Mad Max vehicles Avalanche never got to use or something cause they just work in a way Bethesda hasn’t been able to claim in a long time. The Phoenix, your signature ride, is the best of both worlds with it being quick and tanky with a litany of additions you can make to it. You’ll see vehicles that have no weapons (why would you even), some speedsters that drop nuke mines behind them, a tank that is slower than frozen shit but also practically indestructible and armed to the teeth. There is fast travel but there is also the Icarus which is a hoverbike and though it can handle like a shopping cart with one wing (more on that later). When it does work its nice to get to where you’re going quicker meanwhile not missing out on any points of interest along the way to where you’re going. Vehicular combat is serviceable and engaging once you get the controls under your fingers.

rAGED

I don’t have too many issues with this game, some are typical nitpicks but others are definitely more egregious. The world though colorful and varied is very “basic open world game” format, I was kind of hoping for some kind of expansion on a version of game we are wildly overly saturated with. The mini games like MobTV and races (which make a comeback from the original) are great but the typical icon littered map is a little draining at times. Which brings me to the endgame because with consideration of just how last gen this game seems to be design wise, I fear they didn’t think about something as “modern” as having an endgame model outside of the season pass and totally unnecessary “live service” content drops. I feel like they missed their own mark and could’ve really populated the world with quite a few more enemies but instead, there are a lot of times where it’s actually quite isolated even in some intriguing areas.

Oh, and every situation that yields dialogue in the open world is wildly repetitive like the writers could not be fucked to give the character anything more than the one decent line you get to hear when approaching a mutant nest, gas station, or bandit hideout or the mobile trader oh my god it’s absolutely torturous especially when you don’t feel like returning to a town and they typically come around fairly consistently.

Back to the Icarus flying bike thing. Mother Fuck that thing can be absolutely unbearable. You see the right trigger merely starts the engines with minor altitude control, the left trigger lowers yourself. The vehicle is supposed to identify altitude and the height of oncoming structures and mountain faces on its own and adjust automatically. But it doesn’t and you’re often sitting there like a fucking idiot ramming into every mountain and building you come across. Why didn’t they map an ascend and descend control to the face buttons? How did no one catch how lopsided that thing controls?

Let’s continue to discuss vehicles, shall we? I talked about the good of the actual combat and the weapons it comes with. What I didn’t talk about was how the controls for said vehicles go from tight and responsive to sludgey and “too fast for the game”. It’s like the vehicle is going too fast for your controller. So many times I’ve gone sailing over the cliffside curve or undercutting and completely killing my momentum. The margin for error is really thin.

The progression system for weapons is…suspect. On the surface, it’s deep, you unlock tiers of upgrades with feltrite and then use upgrade/mod tokens to select the actual mod itself. It seems really unnecessary to have to purchase the ability to spend your tokens to upgrade your weapon. Just typing that made my brain fuzzy, it’s too many steps. At least with the skills each tier in itself comes with a boost to that specific skill but with weapons, you’re literally just adding steps for now real reason. Thankfully there’s no connection to monetization or anything like that. What it does have though is a premium currency for weapon skins which….whoopie…but thankfully that really is the extent of it. Not that it’s okay at all.

Conclusion

People are gonna compare this game to Far Cry New Dawn and I don’t believe many should give too much thought to that comparison. Outside of the bright post-apocalyptic setting (an aesthetic Rage 2 established first for the record), I feel like Rage 2 is more consistent in what it sets out to deliver. Not to mention the combat is just head and shoulders better in Rage 2 and if you go in knowing you won’t leave with a story that changed your life or even really impact you at all but instead expect a white knuckle shooter designed to keep you on your toes and keep the kill count increasing. This game is fun and once this goes on sale there will literally be no excuse.

tl;dr I give Rage 2 an 7 but I can’t stress this enough this is one of the best First Person Shooters I’ve ever played from a mechanics standpoint. The game appears to be this good despite the rest of the game design and execution.