Content of the article: "Rage 2 is a perfect example of a game being hindered by using an Open World."
So I grabbed Rage 2 a bit ago. I love a good shooter with tight mechanics and always enjoyed the Mad Max aesthetic. I had played a solid 16 or so hours when I first got it, just hopping around from outpost to outpost doing random things across the map and enjoying it.
Ill make it very clear, the gunplay in Rage 2 is a ton of fun, every gun feels fun to use, the game is visceral, tight and the powers are a blast the play with. Even only having the push and slam abilities its always fun to bring them into combat and mess around with them. The weapons alt fires keep things fairly interesting, and most importantly the shotgun is just a ton of fun to use.
And then about 16 hours in I just stopped playing it, I had little desire to go back despite remembering having a ton of fun with the game. Not really sure why i stopped. So I loaded it up for 30-40 minutes or so and kind of remembered why I stopped. The world is far too large and uninteresting for a game of this style. While many mentioned the story was short, there are just so many random things to do and little enjoyment between them. Shooting bad guys is always fun, and I think if you put this exact same game into a tight linear 10-15 hour narrative or a small sandbox it would work far better. But between countless outpost towns, a pointless story and absolutely boring driving mechanics and mediocre car combat the game ends up feeling a bit more of a chore to play after awhile. I never feel like I want to continue the story since I then have to take time away from shooting stuff for poor dialogue and weak characters. And driving between destinations feels more laborious than satisfying.
Travel is admittedly difficult to do right in games, making players want to explore is not easy. And yet Im still always brought back to the comparison with Breath of the Wild and Red Dead 2, obviously huge much larger budget and prolific games, but nonetheless games that gave your open world a purpose and a sense of discovery and exploration. Everything in botw was interactable and a sandbox to play with, something new was always around the corner and the brilliance and scope of the map represented that, Red Dead while far less a sandbox was a brilliant museum, with every locale unique and new and the attention to detail made getting lost in its world something that to me, happened naturally. It was just beautiful. I admit comparing Rage 2 to these games is unfair, but it does make me question why so many games want to be open world when theyre not up to the task of it. There are really no side quests to do, just new places to kill things, no micro stories like in Dying Light or Far Cry.
I think its the type of game I could come back to without missing a beat and hopping back in for some carnage, but it also feels like other than its shooting mechanics, every game does what it does better. Be it driving and travel, story, engaging open world and side quests and meaningful crafting and creation mechanics. Its a 6 or 7 out of 10. And it is a lot of fun for a short time. I just feel as if it was tighter and more focused it would have been something very cool and special.
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