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.