Luv is Rage 2 (Bethesda Remix)


#1

I know there’s been a little discussion in the ‘Unexpected Sequels’ thread already, but I thought it would be good to create a full Rage 2 thread now that the gameplay trailer is out.

What do you guys think? I found the vibe from the teaser to be a little too ’corporate punk’, but this gameplay trailer has me more optimistic. The combination of Avalanche’s open world and vehicles, with ID’s gunplay seems like it could be pretty potent.

Also like Patrick mentioned on the podcast yesterday, I think it’s interesting how Bethesda continues to revive and stick with IPs many people have written off. Given their results with Doom and Prey recently, I’m inclined to hope for the best with this game.


#2

Ye, Avalanche (Mad Max / Just Cause 2 team) + technical expertise from Id (and maybe some guidance from the Doom team as precise shooters are less Avalanche’s strength) sounds like a winning combination.

My main issues with Just Cause 3 were technical (engine stutters on all platforms) so as long as they’re avoiding that (Id Tech or the rather healthier branch of the Avalanche Engine that seemed to end up in Mad Max) then I think that studio have a very good record with open worlds. It’s interesting that they’re going with this almost neon tinged post-apocalyptic visual here - somewhat splits the difference between the extremely saturated and high contrast of Just Cause and the muted tones of Mad Max.


#3

I think it’s important to point out that Andrew WK is very good.

Did the original Rage have the same vibe as this trailer? Haven’t played it but always assumed it was a more horror type of deal.


#4

I’ve been playing through the first one again since I remember enjoying it (I still mostly am) and I think one of its key problems is just how bland and devoid of any charm the whole thing is. It has a few attempts at humor peppered throughout, but plays things mostly seriously (the opening cutscene is the meteor destroying earth while some sad piano plays which made me laugh at how out of sync that is with the new trailers). I imagine they identified this tone, or lack there of, and in an attempt to reinvigorate it they went real hard with this new direction, which is definitely too much for me and a big turn-off, but has seemed to be effective at grabbing people’s attention and making them forget just how lifeless that first one could feel at times.


#5

I don’t know if this game is going to be any good, but holy shit do they know how to put a trailer together.


#6

Yeah, this. Love it. I want to say “companies come up with so many ideas” but that feels a little cold. People come up with so many video game concepts in these big companies. Maybe they get group think’d (definitely not a real term) to death, but the core idea comes from people. Then they get released and if they don’t STICK that landing to its fullest they can often times just get chucked in the bin, never to be thought of again. I appreciate that Bethesda will give these ideas a second chance to be something. Maybe they took a left when they should have taken a right the first time around. At least give these neat ideas a chance to be all they can be, you know?

Rage looks neat. A throwback sort of to an idea that would probably be talked about around the time of the first Rage. A mix of Just Cause 2, KillZone-esque weight (no one else is saying this so I’m probably just going wild), and that post-apocalyptic hotness. First trailer was BAD but this trailer looks GOOD! Maybe it can be like Far Cry without the bad politics?


#7

can we stop making open world “haha blow everything up :^)” shooters now i feel like i’ve seen this game about 9 times in the past 5 years


#8

I’m excited for this and really want to play it, “corporate punk” aesthetics aside (I mean really what video game gets punk right anyway lmao)


#9

God I wouldn’t have thought I’d have been interested in Rage 2 before those trailers but I guess between Avalanche making it, how colorful those trailers were, and Bethesda somehow publishing a bunch of really good shooters out of nowhere I’m forced to consider myself “cautiously interested” in this game now.


#10

It looks like a lot of fun. DOOM and Wolfenstein TNO are two of the best-feeling shooters in recent years, and the idea of a open-world game like Borderlands but with better/more playful shooting (I’ve never been a fan of Borderlands gunplay) sounds great.

I will say that I was not a fan of the trailer’s tone, and what it suggests about the tone and narrative of the game. I’m fine with “shoot everything frantically” games – I loved DOOM 2016, like I said – but the dialogue in this trailer put me off. Apart from the very central use of ableist language to describe the game’s world, I don’t like the foregrounding of “no rules, kill/take whatever you want”.

I guess it might be silly of me to ask for any kind of morals in this kind of shooter, but I personally don’t like the gleeful amorality of the trailer. DOOM 2016 was incredibly simple, incredibly over-the-top, and fairly tongue-in-cheek; it never felt like it was asking you to identify with any real moral philosophy of violence. Wolfenstein, on the other hand, did frame its violence in moral terms, but it had real characters who were fighting for a noble cause, and who felt the effects of violence deeply. These are very different ways of handling a violent game, but they both kind of work for me. Rage 2’s approach is different; it’s silly and over-the-top, but it also explains and justifies its violence with an amoral/apolitical frame.

That doesn’t do it for me, but maybe the game will explore those ideas more (or less) and it won’t bother me as much.


#11

Well, Bethesda apparently properly wanted a new game (rather than throwing their (Id) tech at a studio, working for hire to fill in content).

Although the engine isn’t everything, I think there’s definitely something to big projects worked on by external studios and where the technology comes from (baring stuff like an external studio being an Unreal house and getting a contract from a publisher that don’t enforce tech choices on them to licensing is obvious). Here we’re going to see how Avalanche (possibly with the help of their Expansive Worlds studio) bring more focus to precise action shooting.

We expect the car stuff will be good (and maybe other forms of traversal), the explosions will be big, but I wonder what else is going to be going on.


#12

This post is pretty similar to how I read the trailer, the double-whammy of “insanity rules” (I get that AAA progressiveness pays no attention to ableism but come the fuck on) and “whatever you want bad enough you can take it” is real uncomfortable, with a dash of coded derogatory language about tribalism to boot, yikes.

What really stands out to me, though, is how little the wackiness of of it does stand out. Even Doom had a very exacting sense of tone and place that goes largely unappreciated (someday i’ll find a reason to write a wall of text for the Actually Amazing Writing hidden in plain sight in Doom), and has more nuance than insecurely shifting to a direct opposite tone from the “too serious” entry.

This trailer for Rage 2 reminds me of a yesteryear where games wanted to be all colourful and wacky as a “response” to how goshdarn too serious other Video Games have been, with nothing to actually say about what they’re responding to other than “i just want to have this specific different kind of fun murdering in my games”. It reminds me of Sunset Overdrive at best and Serious Sam 3 at worst, nothing in that trailer particularly sold me on the game actually being as cohesive or snappy as the music and editing want you to think, the actually-existing aesthetic of the game outside the flair text looks surprisingly drab (the contrast between marketing flair and actual color grade reminds me of Suicide Squad), and honestly, combining those impressions with Avalanche being the dev studio doesn’t lend me much hope.

Avalanche has a frankly terrible track record with pacing and tone control. Mad Max looks real nice and has some good ideas, but has some of the worst pacing or sense of its own strengths i’ve seen in an open world game, and i really do mean worse than Assassin’s Creed’s middle chapters. Just Cause 2 & 3 feel like they’re supposed to be fun at every turn, but most of their systems outside pure speed and explosions are too weak to hold it all together for the expected runtime.

That’s not even getting to how both unengaging and patently awful their writing always is. Mad Max had the engaging (if inevitably problematic) concept of Max being trapped in a hellish dreamscape as a coping mechanism and it was still a bumbling mess of trope-laden nonstarts and a tonedeaf nonsense ending, but at least then they were trying to do more than cruise on Zero Punctuation fans’ vapid ideas of what games “should be” until you want to choke on the particle emitters.

I’d love for this to be another “we don’t know how to showcase the intuitive flow of this game” sitch that Doom ran into at E3, but the worst thing here is that, unlike the Doom previews, R2 already seems very confident in how it’s advertising itself. Also frig off with your ~amoral~ randian wank fantasies appropriating the circle-A in twenty-danged-eighteen you bungholes.


#13

Borderlands 3 doesn’t look as interesting as I thought it would.


#14

This reminds me of the cyberpunk thread we had a while back and the conversation moved to wondering whether the punk aesthetic was useful as an actual tool of counter-culture and I came to the conclusion that punk aesthetic is more useful as a tool to seem counter-culture while pushing establishment values.

This game seems to really want to prove me right I guess.


#15

As someone who had a good time with Rage1 but didn’t think it was that memorable, its crazy how PUMPED I got for this as quickly as I did. The biggest problem I had with Rage1 was its drab horror aesthetic which this seems to be moving away from to something generally more “fun.”

Hearing Avalanche and Id teaming up for this type of game was like when I heard insomniac was making spiderman, its seems like the perfect fit.

Also I expect this game will be heavily multiplayer focused, unlike R1, which I am totally OK with. My bed has been empty since Destiny died, lets see what you got Rage.


#16

Man this definitely grabbed my interest, it looks gorgeous. I hope it’s a lot of fun.


#17

I’d expressed some hope after seeing the first trailer that the new look and punk aesthetic (albeit “corporate punk” as some folks in this thread have pointed out) would mean a move towards more self expression and creative play, through the likes of a character creator and perhaps the ability to cause havoc with friends in some sort of co-op play. There was nothing to the protagonist of the original game so I’d hoped this would be an opportunity to let the player direct who we are in the world of RAGE.

Unfortunately none of that appears to be the case. The description that came with the gameplay trailer denotes your character as Walker, a “Ranger” (which sounds to be a kind of wasteland cop) who will likely tear across the map taking on all the different factions we’ve seen in the trailers. It feels very similar to the first game. Added onto the trailers insistence of using ableist language in their promotion, I’m left pretty cold on RAGE 2. The combination of Avallanche and Id Software had sounded promising but what we’ve so far has ended up pushing me away more than it’s made me interested.


#18

So… I loaded up the original Rage to just have a quick look at that initial hour and how it holds up and…

Ok, so I know why it is why it is (megatextures, every single inch of these massive spaces is all uniquely textured and loading that from a huge highly compressed atlas of resources, decompressing them on the fly and trying to make sure the best version is available) but… it looks much worse than you expect. Even once you’ve tweaked a few things to tell it you come from the future and aren’t using a PS3.

When the other games from this launch window are Portal 2, Deus Ex: Human revolution, Crysis 2, etc then what you’re getting here is something that almost looks a generation behind (when you’re up close with anything in the scene). Some of the noisy textures and baking of ambient lighting (but only at low res, almost invoking non-ordered dithering) reminds you of far older games.

It’s kinda a shame no one ever exported anything beyond a 720p version of the textures (basically they mapped out all the places the player character could go and then used the minimum distance to each surface to calculate how high res the most detailed version of each texture needed to be, and from that they built up the 20GB of final textures shipped with the game) because today we’re used to some games getting 70GB of assets and if the artists were doing a lot more detailed work for this game, it would be nice to at least see it closer to that and maybe aiming at 1080p (playing this at 4K is often something else).

Ultimately, it really indicates that some interesting technological ideas end up not really going anywhere. The other engines from 2011, that all relied on tiled textures and multi-texturing (blending several textures over the same surface), ended up slightly restricting the artists creating the levels but also provided the space for much more detail. Today, we rely on surface descriptions and the shaders doing a lot of the work to make each pixel unique (which was the technological path Valve were probably best known as advocating for).