‘Rage 2’ looks to be faster, zanier, and way more exciting than the original

Bethesda Softworks wasted no time introducing Rage 2 during its E3 2018 press conference. Led by Andrew W.K. and his band, who performed the song Ready to Die, Id Software and Avalanche Studios took the stage to show off a mission from the post-apocalyptic shooter. The game looks to be far crazier than the original, and we mean that in the best possible way.

Taking place at the “Eden Spaceport” location, the Rage 2 gameplay trailer shown during the press conference gave us a taste of combat in vehicles and on the ground. We begin with protagonist Walker zipping down a road on his way to the mission objective, taking out several bandits along the way with a mix of rockets and machine guns. This combat was included in the first Rage, but it looks far smoother this time around. The trailer also promised that “if you see it, you can drive it,” so we expect to see more vehicle variety than the few we got in the first game.

Once he arrives at the spaceport, Walker goes to work on the enemies guarding it with a glorious mix of shotgun and assault rifle blasts, along with special abilities. After jumping into the air, he slams down to take out several targets at once, and he makes use of a stasis-like grenade to send multiple goons into the air at once.

Over the course of the game, it appears you will be able to upgrade these super-powered “Nanotrite” abilities, as well. Walker recalls a giant eco-pod from the sky and finds a new “shatter” ability inside, which allows him to easily send targets flying back with just his fists.

In place of the first game’s grays and browns are a lot of different colors, particularly purple. Rage 2 is clearly not taking itself remotely seriously, and the giant mutant boss wearing a football helmet we see at the end of the gameplay demonstration is evidence of that.

Rage 2 is out for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC in spring 2019. A $120 collector’s edition featuring a severed head — voiced by Andrew W.K. — will also be available, if you’re into that sort of thing.

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