Rage 2 review

Rage against the dying of the light

Rage 2 review
Image credit: id Software

TechRadar Verdict

Rage 2’s slick gunplay, entertaining powers and mad characters make the journey fun from start to end, even if its side-missions and open-world suffer from traditional tropes.


  • +

    Weapons and Nanotrites are satisfying, visceral and tight

  • +

    Vehicle combat is slick

  • +

    Story never outstays its welcome

  • +

    It really is a wasteland


  • -

    Monotonous side-missions

  • -

    It really is a wasteland...

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Infused with the DNA of iD Software’s Doom and Avalanche Studios’ Mad Max, we have the first-person open-world shooter Rage 2. Set in the year 2165 (30 years after the original outing), players take control of sole survivor Ranger Walker who must traverse the apocalyptic wasteland to form alliances with three survivor leaders, so that together they can take down the ruthless military known as the Authority. 

Heading up the rogue forces is the warmongering General Cross who, after seemingly being killed at the end of the first game, returns in a new robotic body ready to unleash his legion of mutants and destroy all that oppose him - you know, that traditional bad guy mantra. 

Review information

Platform: PlayStation 4

Time played: 18 hours

The cast of characters met in the completely single-player outing are entertaining throughout, bringing their own brief backstory but never outstaying their welcome. Neil Ross’s performance as Dr. Kvasir in particular is both hilarious and disturbing. It would have been great to see more from Walker’s best friend Lily Prowley, as after her memorable introduction she barely makes an appearance. When compared with Walker’s one note behavior and blasé approach to every situation, I’d be lying if there wasn’t a part of us that wanted to see Lily in the lead role. 

Zaniness turned up to 11

Rage 2 review

The Authority is not to be messed with... but you never were one to follow the rules 

The world itself is home to an unusual bunch of miscreants that wouldn't be out of place in the likes of Fallout or Far Cry. Although, for a lot of these lunatics, the zaniness has been turned up to 11, which is fantastic as each encounter feels fresh and madder than the last. It’s just a shame as these meetings are unlikely to take place outside of specific towns and neighboring zones. 

Having been destroyed by asteroid 99942 Apophis in the year 2029, some 136 years later, civilization has begun to rebuild itself. Regions are split into six territories giving slight altercation on the apocalyptic look. Of these, you can expect the swamp-like Sekreto Wetlands and jungle-inspired Wilds, which help change things up from open plains of desert and stretching canyons. 

Wasteland by name, wasteland by nature. Yes, the map is heavily baron at times, with vehicles a must if players want any hope of getting anywhere in good time. Thankfully, this is where Rage shines as its combination of gunplay and set of souped-up automobiles create some of the smoothest and most outrageous combat available. 

Rage 2 review

Dr Kvasir is both hilarious and disturbing

When set out into the bleak planet, Walker is gifted the Phoenix, the main combat vehicle of the Vineland rangers. Along with the RPG upgrade mechanics built into it, the four-by-four arrives with its own sassy satnav, turning every adventure into an episode of Knight Rider. What more could you want? 

Saying this, once the gyrocopter (known as Icarus) is unlocked, opting for anything else in terms of travel felt lesser. Competitive races were a surprising heart-pulsing delight that could have been pulled from a MotorStorm title, if not for a tweak or two. 

Of the nine weapons, none felt as gratifying as the Combat Shotgun. Enhancing this mutant killing machine helped rain down destruction on anyone foolish enough to step up. Racking up combos became a breeze before launching into Overdrive, turning Walker into an unstoppable army of one ever so briefly. Lessons learned from id Software’s Doom were clearly a big part of the mechanics and for that we’re thankful. 

  • Rage 2 cheats: how to find the Wasteland Wizard and purchase cheat codes

Inventive powers

Alongside the extensive arsenal of weapons, Walker can gain access to Nanotrites, effectively giving him/her superpowers. All of these can be found in Arks spread out across the planet. From super speed to kinetic blasts to vortexes, each is inventive while never giving the player too much of an advantage. 

Slam and Shatter specifically give the biggest oomph because of how combat rewards anarchy instead of the often found ‘firing and ducking for cover’ method seen in many shooters. Another ability worth investing in is Defibrillation, allowing players to recover from death for a second-chance swing at the action. It’s also handy not returning to checkpoints constantly. 

Rolling credits will take approximately 12 hours if users stick to the story. At this point, we had acquired 10 out of 11 Nanotrites but only four of the weapons. One of these was the Smart Rocket Launcher that made boss battles effortless, resorting in a higher difficulty choice being opted for to keep things interesting. Those that love a challenge will revel at the Nightmare setting, pushing player’s skills to the absolute limit. 

Repetitive side missions

Rage 2's Wasteland is surprisingly diverse

Rage 2's Wasteland is surprisingly diverse

Once the main story is done and dusted, apart from gathering all of the remaining power ups and weapons, there’s little on offer to keep players returning. Nearly 20 hours in and regrettably side missions have become awfully monotonous in what is essentially fetch quests with killing. The story is reasonably guilty of this too but change the dynamic enough to keep us invested. Funnily enough, Walker made reference to the similarity of his missions in a conversation with Dr. Kvasir, suggesting the developers are fully aware.  

Music comes in dribs and drabs making impact with rock riffs in vehicle combat chases or shooting sprees, though for the most part resides in the background of the wilderness. A special mention has to be given to the Danny Dyer commentary voice pack, still we’re not sure if it’s ridiculous or brilliant - probably the latter. 

There are also a few minor gripes that need to be brought up. Fast travel is limited to three Trade Towns and players must be stood exactly next to a vehicle to access this. The UI is sluggish and the camera can sporadically become quite disorienting (vehicles more than anything else, suffer from this) presenting a warning for those who struggle with motion sickness. None of these were continual in the playthrough, yet it’s worthy of a mention. 

Nevertheless, this doesn’t take away from what an enjoyable and solid experience Rage 2 is. It’s also a testament that possessing no knowledge of the first game, works in the follow ups benefit. Every new Nanotrite introduced shakes up combat, while every new weapon adds another dosage of extreme action that carries right through the conclusion. All of this combined, made smashing the teeth out of every raving Wastelander damn enjoyable.

The Verdict


Float like a butterfly, sting like a beemer

Float like a butterfly, sting like a beemer

Rage 2's main storyline is an enjoyable and chaotic experience full out madcap characters and fast-paced combat but, outside of this, the first person shooter struggles with replayability and doesn't offer the player much in terms of side missions and challenges to keep things interesting. 

(Image credits: id Software)

Beginner's Guide

Ready to grab the wasteland by the horns? Well, now that Avalanche Studios’ combined effort with id Software is available globally, it can be tempting to roll full steam ahead into the vast apocalyptic world of Rage 2

However, with so many games on the market, we want to make sure you use every second of your spare time to its optimum. That’s why after numerous hours of exploring what Rage 2 has to offer, we’ve put together this list of nine essential beginners tips that are worth knowing before starting.

Guide: Easter Eggs

Taking a moment away from blasting the innings out of every insane inhabitant that resides in the world of Rage 2, and you might be surprised to find some shocking, nostalgic and downright hysterical Easter Eggs. 

We’ve explored the furthest reaches of Avalanche Studios and iD Software’s newest release to bring you the most interesting references and secrets, featuring the likes of Doom, WWE and Pokémon. 

Fair warning, although none of the Easter Eggs contain huge spoilers for Rage 2 and its campaign, there may be some minor ones to be aware of. Now that’s out of the way, let’s get to it...

Guide: Cheat codes

Remember cheat codes? You know, like the ones you used to have to punch into a game to make cars fly, or inflate the heads of your NPC brethren? Well, they’re back! In a roundabout manner, Rage 2 has cheat codes, and they range from useful to completely absurd. 

Unfortunately, the route to unlock them is dark and full of terrors. Fortunately for you though, we’ve put together a guide to help smooth out the process. Get nostalgic with us as we list the Rage 2 cheat codes we know of so far, and lead you through the peculiar process to unlock them. 

Guide: All the Rage 2 arks

Playing Rage 2 without seeking out the Arks would be a deeply foolish decision. These bunkers contain the game’s most potent weapons and upgrades, affording you an arsenal of abilities that will enhance your experience and force you away from the reliable but boring Assault Rifle. 

It’s a bit daft that it’s not so obvious how important they are early on (especially considering the length of the story,) but if you’re switched on and want to get the most out of your playtime, you’ll follow our guide as we show you where to head and what to grab so you can start smashing up wastelanders with supercharged wombo combos.

Junkers Pass Ark

Matt Poskitt

Matt is a full-time freelance journalist who specializes in arts, culture and tech – be that movies, TV, video games, or otherwise. He's also turned his hand to everything from mattresses to motorbikes as a journalist. Prior to this, Matt headed up the games and entertainment section at T3.com, alongside being published across TechRadar, IGN, Tom's Guide, Fandom, NME, and more. In his spare time, Matt is an avid cinema-goer, keen runner and average golfer (at best). You can follow him @MattPoskitt64.