How We Got the Most Out of Rage 2’s Dry Wasteland
How The Developers Can Improve Rage 2While this article is mainly about how you - the player - can make your Rage 2 experience better, it shouldn't have to come to that, as it's a developer's job to make sure a game is not only fun, but gives players plenty of chances to experience that fun. So before we get into how you can make it better, here's what the developers can do. First, allow enemy camps, mutie nests, and Crusher lairs to respawn. These three types of locations are the majority of places that you'll find in Rage 2, so they're where you're going to spend most of your time fighting. Unfortunately, once you kill all the enemies in a camp, kill all the mutants in a nest, or defeat a crusher, they never respawn, leaving the location a wasteland for the rest of your current game. If the developers added a way to respawn the enemies in these locations, either manually or automatically, it would add an incredible amount of replayability to the game. Second, make random enemy encounters more frequent and of a larger scale. While driving through the wasteland, you'll occasionally come across enemies from different factions fighting on the side of the road. You can get out and engage them, but these engagements are usually so small that you can take out every enemy with one well-placed use of your slam ability. If the developers were to increase the number of these random fights, and also increase the size and scale of them, it would give players a reason to get out and fight instead of just resorting to running over the goons with their cars. Finally, Rage 2 could really use a New Game + mode. New Game + is a mode included in some games that allows you to restart the campaign, while allowing you to keep all of your upgrades from a previously completed save, with the caveat being that New Game + usually adds in some modifiers that make the game more difficult, to balance out your upgraded character. Rage 2 would be far better if it included a New Game +, as you would get to go through the entire game with all the fun of an upgraded character, which you really don't get to experience through your first playthrough.
My Experience With Rage 2For the first 15 or so hours of gameplay I was having a hell of a time. I hadn't finished the campaign and was constantly finding bandit camps, mutie nests, and Arks with new weapons and abilities. These encounters weren't exactly challenging, but there were enough of them that I was constantly finding more chances to experience Rage 2's phenomenal combat. However, once I hit that 16 hour mark, it started to go downhill. I wasn't finding nearly as many camps, I'd defeated all of the Crushers - huge mutants the size of buildings - that were available (they are only seven in the entire game, along with one that you can randomly encounter in the open world) and I'd unlocked every ability and weapon. I was desperate for more things to do, so I started scouring the entire map for new locations. I looked up maps online, if only to eke out every bit of content I could get, but that wasn't enough. So I decided to go for a different approach and use the less effective options in my arsenal if only to make the game more difficult . This was a great move because even the less effective weapons are fun, with the Grav-Dart Launcher, Firestorm Revolver and wingstick actually being some of the wildest weapons in the game. The result of my hard work is this list of ways make to your Rage 2 experience as fun and last as long as possible. [caption id="attachment_52767" align="aligncenter" width="639"] Screenshot: Rage 2[/caption]
Crank Up the DifficultyThe first hour or so of Rage 2 isn't easy, as you have limited weapons, health, ammo and abilities. However, once you start upgrading your character, your abilities, and your weapons you turn into an nigh-unstoppable death-dealing juggernaut. You gain massive amounts of health from every kill, can turn invisible while sprinting, and have access to weapons that turn enemies into pulp in an instant. This sounds fun, but after awhile it gets boring once you realize its nearly impossible to die. From the ability to stab yourself with an auto-injector to regain health, or the defibrillator mechanic that literally brings you back to life after you lose all your health-and can stun/kill surrounding enemies once fully upgraded, your character is incredibly hard to kill. In order to actually add some challenge to Rage 2, I suggest skipping past every other difficulty and going right for Nightmare, the hardest difficulty setting available, because it's the only one I found that gave me even the slightest bit of a challenge. If you find this a bit too much, you could go down to Hard, but anything lower is just boring.
Read Every DatapadThroughout the wasteland you'll find datapads, which contain bits of lore for the Rage 2 universe. In addition, some datapads can also lead you to more locations like mutie nests, bandit dens, and even Arks, which are the only places you can acquire new weapons and abilties. In order to get these locations added to your map, you need to go through a complicated process of going into the menus, choosing log, finding that datapad, and hitting the button prompt if the datapad says "Go to Map". This will ensure you won't be missing out on additional chances to experience Rage 2's excellent combat. [caption id="attachment_52532" align="aligncenter" width="639"] Screenshot: Rage 2[/caption]
Keep a Lookout for Recharge StationsThere are several different factions in Rage 2's open world, with one of them being the Immortal Shrouded - techno-samurai who come at you with active camouflage and katana. The Immortal Shrouded are one of the more difficult factions to fight, as they have strong armor and are immune to headshots, which adds some challenge to fighting them. Each faction has some kind of unique location you can fight them in, with the Immortal Shrouded having Recharge Stations, which are possibly the most fun you can have in Rage 2. These are large complexes teeming with Shrouded, where you must overload a pylon and protect until it explodes. While the pylon overloads, you are beset by Immortal Shrouded on all sides for several minutes, making these some of, if not the most challenging encounters you'll have in Rage 2, besides possibly boss fights.
The Best Option isn't Always the Most Fun OptionOnce you upgrade your character most of the way, most of your arsenal become shredding machines which reduce enemies to ground beef in seconds, with the assault rifle, shotgun, and rocket launcher becoming especially over-powered once fully upgraded. This might lead some to use only these weapons as they're the most "effective"; but being effective doesn't lead to fun, so in order to challenge yourself, try to diversify your methods of murder and use your more unconventional tools. Use the Grav-Dart Launcher - which lets you shoot enemies full of darts and then launch them like ragdolls at your point of aim-to throw enemies into environmental hazards. Try to kill multiple enemies with one shot from the Hyper Cannon - a railgun on steroids - without aiming down sights. Complete a mutie nest with only the wingstick - a tri-bladed boomerang you can remote control--the options are endless. This not only mixes up gameplay, but will give you a greater challenge than just spraying down mutants with your assault rifle. [caption id="attachment_52766" align="aligncenter" width="639"] Screenshot: Rage 2[/caption] Hopefully we're able to help you squeeze a little bit more enjoyment out of Rage 2 until the Rise of the Ghosts expansion drops. If you like the video game, tabletop, or other technology content that Third Coast Review has to offer, consider donating to our Patreon. We are the only publication in Chicago that regularly reviews video games, and we cover lots of local Chicago-based events and more. If you want to contribute to our coverage of Chicago’s video game scene (and more) please consider becoming a patron. Your support enables us to continue to provide this type of content and more. Patreon.com/3CR
James Brod recently graduated from Dominican University, with a degree in political science. Ironically, he had previously considered majoring in journalism, but didn’t want to write for a living. Funny how things turn out, isn’t it? You can find him wandering the northwest suburbs, or on Twitter at @JamesBrod12.