After a retailer leak and a series of teaser images, we finally got confirmation that Rage 2 is real. Bethesda released a live-action reveal trailer that set the tone for the game and a follow-up gameplay trailer that gave us a glimpse at some in-engine action. Senior vice president of Bethesda Pete Hines has confirmed that we’ll find out even more about the game at E3, so in preparation for that, here’s a wrap-up of everything we know so far and what we want to see more of when June rolls around.
What We Know So Far
Rage 2 is a collaboration between two major studios. The first is, naturally, id Software, the developer of 2016’s fantastic Doom reboot as well as the first Rage game. The second is Avalanche Studios, which came as a surprise. Avalanche is famously known for the Just Cause series, dense open-world games with an emphasis on non-linear exploration as well as joyful traversal and creative destruction. Avalanche was also responsible for the 2015 Mad Max game, another open-world title based on the film series of the same name with a focus on melee and vehicular combat.
We know that Rage 2 will be running on Avalanche’s APEX engine, which powers Just Cause and Mad Max, so we can expect the open-world elements of previous Avalanche games to be a significant facet of Rage 2. Vehicular combat is something we saw a lot of in the debut gameplay trailer, and we know from the game’s official website that we’ll get to drive a variety of vehicles ranging from monster trucks to gyrocopters.
The same trailer also showed us a variety of environments–sprawling deserts, dense forests, and industrial wastelands. Hopefully, this translates to a large and diverse open world that builds on some of the environmental features seen in Mad Max, like its impressive weather effects. Bethesda has confirmed that Rage 2’s world is filled with many competing factions, reminiscent of Just Cause 2, and hopefully means that progression will be flexible and player-driven.
But we also saw a lot of fast-paced first-person shooting, which is where id Software is likely to incorporate a lot of the design ideas that made Doom such a joy to play. We got a glimpse of some extreme scenarios in the gameplay trailer, like juggling an enemy in the air with gunfire, which hints at some creativity and rule-bending when it comes to combat, hopefully in the vein of the playful FPS Bulletstorm. Regarding mechanics, we know that weapons will be upgradable, and there will be an Overdrive system that allows you to “push your guns beyond their mechanical limits”. The concept of Nanotrite powers also returns from the first Rage, which suggests a variety of combat aids like temporary buffs, automated sentry tools, and ammo types.
Pre-order bonuses have already been confirmed and will include an exclusive mission called “Cult of the Death God” as well as an exclusive pistol, armor, and monster truck. We gather that Bethesda probably has a post-launch plan in place already. Bethesda has also stated that the game is coming in Spring 2019.
What’s Confirmed For E3?
Bethesda has confirmed that it will be talking more about Rage 2 at E3 2018, and it will almost certainly make an appearance at the publisher’s press conference on June 10 at 6:30 PM PT.
What We Hope To See At E3
Bethesda’s press conferences have traditionally clocked in at under an hour, and Pete Hines has said that this year’s runtime definitely won’t be over three hours. It’s unlikely that we’ll get a live gameplay demo, but we’ll probably get an in-depth presentation about the game’s world, systems and mechanics, and a new trailer that reinforces all the new information we learn.
But it’s also likely that the game is going to be playable on the show floor, and what we’re hoping to see is a significant portion of the game’s open world to be available for play. We want to be able to see how the different biomes flow into each other and what kind of random encounters and events you might be able to stumble upon and become involved with naturally. We want to see how progression works and just how flexible you can be. Is it going to stick to a more rigid structure of handing out a selection of quests for different factions, or is it going down the Far Cry 5 route of letting missions naturally reveal themselves as you explore the world? Just how much of Just Cause and Mad Max will we see in Rage 2?
Vehicle customization is also a big feature we want to learn more about. We want to get a taste of the variety of vehicles the levels to which you can customize them. How distinctly you can alter the vehicle’s driving behavior, how varied the combat and utility options are, and how traversing the world by air or land changes your experience. And can we know a bit more about that towering mech in the trailer? Can we drive it and play Rage as a post-apocalyptic Mechwarrior game?
Finally, we want to see if the punk-rock party atmosphere of the game’s first two trailers is going to be a major element of the actual game. Neon colors, fun-loving characters, and a party vibe brought the mood up for the reveal, and we’re hoping to learn if that tone remains consistent when playing Rage 2. We also want to see Andrew W.K. perform live at the Bethesda press conference and announcing that he’s in charge of the game’s score. That would make us very happy.