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I really hope a FPS game will take the superb and unique gunplay of RAGE2.

So as you might or might not now, RAGE 2 was game that met mediocre reviews (as in not great but not bad). The game was criticized for it's story and empty open world. There was also a controversy over it having an in-game cash shop for cosmetics but also all the DLC and deluxe upgrade for the game, and it's PC port wasn't the best. To top it off, it has 2 game-breaking bugs that while easy to avoid if you know them, they're also easy to trigger if you don't and it's stick control scheme was pretty crap due insane acceleration. So this may make it sound RAGE2 is just crap and while all these points are valid, it does have something really really good, the gunplay.

It feels a bit like doom in the sense the game encourages you to keep moving and a lot of tools in the game are the most effective if you're close to your enemy, plus a lot of enemies drop healing pick ups on death and getting kills in quick succession will raise your combo which makes enemies drop more healing pickups and makes your overdrive (gonna talk about that later) charge faster. It however isn't as extreme as doom and has more of a traditional shooter feel with iron sights and not being completely able to avoid taking damage by just moving, cover for a moment can be a saving grace. This however also allows the game to put more depth in the movement and traversal of the game, you get a lot of options for these outside the usually FPS sprint. You can boost jump which is basically a double jump where you can hold the jump button to gain more height, you can dash which is much like doom eternal, you can throw a vortex that sucks in enemies and explodes them out where the explosion will throw you harmlessly in the air, there's a super dash where you'll be able to go sonic speed for a limited time and then there's a slam that pulls you a bit in the air before going down with the damage increasing the higher you activate this from. Then all of these powers can be given a lot more functionality through the upgrade system. You can melee during a dash to perform a high powered strike, you can use iron sights while in the air to briefly hover in place (combined with dash you can stay in the air for a long time), slam can also create a vortex that sucks in enemies below you while performing the move…. Just the movement in the game is already full of depth and really satisfying to experiment with. Even giving the player some offensive options.

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But then there are the weapons who are also pretty fun and diverse, all of them have their niches and uses too (outside the settler and starting pistol, though if you're a good shot the starting pistol can insta kill nearly any mood with a head shot). you have a shotgun that can spread shot or fire of a slug that launches enemies, you have a gravity gun that can launch enemies to where you want them including other enemies, you have a rocket launcher that can lock on and fire a volley of small rockets, a revolver that shoots sticky bullets then can explode on command (great AoE and can mitigate bullet protections like armor and shield using enemies), a gatling gun that gets more powerful if it's hot, a sword that has a lot of options like bullet deflection and a wave attack (though it sucks in the DLC you get it from mostly, great for the rest of the game tho). The rest of the weapons are more generic like a cookie cutter AR and charging sniper rifle, but this combined with movement options create a lot of possible combos and tactics. Another aspect that adds another layer to this are the physics and velocity based damage. There are options that make your enemies ragdoll and be launched across the field, which can deal damage by itself depending on how you use the environment, from fall damage to launching an enemy into an explosive.

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Then there's finally the titular overdrive which makes you character get a huge health regen among other passives, and slightly change the behavior off all weapons. Like increasing fire rate or skipping steps. (the revolvers bullets will explode instantly in a bigger AoE for example.) Using this just at the right time can easily change the tide of battle and is a big fun adrenaline rush. While the open world is empty between locations of interest, there are many locations of interest that give varying combat experiences.

So despite the many flaws the gunplay really does make the game worth it at a low price and is among the best in the genre, it was recently free on epic and is part of the xbox gamepass too. Even with the devs saying they're interested in a RAGE3 I have doubts it'll happen and at least hope they put the gunplay in another game. Did anyone else play this and/or what are your thoughts on the combat system?


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