It’s Not Right
Happy Weekend TAY!
I hope everyone in the U.S. of A is recovering from Thanksgiving and are now spending time Black Friday shopping to find some pants that fit. Most of my Black Friday was spent shopping for my kid’s upcoming birthday as well as some more utilitarian sales for myself for things like loose tea and portable hard drives. I am in no “need” for new games, but of course, I couldn’t help myself and picked up The Evil Within 2 and Blood: Fresh Supply on Steam’s autumn sale.
Last week I soldiered on with Rage 2 and I’m beginning to warm to it slightly, though it still feels like two steps forward and one step back for every kilometre I travel. Rage 2 looks and sounds great, but these trappings can’t hide a game that feels distinctly buggy or, at the very least, unpolished.
The combat in Rage 2 is a fair approximation for an id Software combat engine but of course, the game uses Avalanche’s own Apex engine. It is hard to find information on the development of Rage 2, but I’ve seen it said that id’s contribution to the game was with “combat, story, and art support”.
I don’t know where the support for the enemy AI was, but there are some glaring issues that should have been ironed out before (and after) release.
I think the combat was designed to be up-close and personal with all the melee abilities at hand, but it is much safer at the higher difficulties to peg people off from far away. Problem is, at distance, enemies barely react at all.
I’ve unloaded clips into unresponsive enemies that have been too far away to trigger their awareness of me or traded fire with baddies who fire back with weapons that don’t have the range to hit me. This wasn’t even ok a decade ago, but we certainly shouldn’t be seeing stuff like that today.
Add to this, enemies that aren’t very smart and often seem to be less aggressive than they should be. Your opponents also seem to be frequently leashed to their areas with poor-pathfinding abilities that see them repeatedly caught-up on the environment. It feels like Rage 2 wasn’t quite ready for primetime and I’m flabbergasted that id Software’s name was attached to the project.
Possibly the Nightmare difficulty is the problem and Rage 2 wasn’t well balanced for that difficulty level, but the issues with the combat are just a single wave in a sea of problems. My current irritants are the terrible keyboard mapping options and the slow pace of the driving (even when in the dedicated races).
I’m having an ok time with Rage 2 but I can absolutely see the reasons for the lower review scores. I enjoy the combat in general and the difficulty is more satisfying than many shooters. The game is also a refreshing apocalyptic wasteland without it being either a highly detailed RPG or a loot-shooter. Rage 2 is much more akin to the recent Far Cry games than anything else (and that’s a good thing)...but I am sure glad I didn’t buy this one at launch and I am thankful I could play it via Game Pass.
I’m looking forward to a weekend of more Rage 2 and possibly more of The Last of Us with my wife. I should also try to get in some more Ring Fit Adventure. I’ve only had a chance for one session so far, but it looks like it will be a fantastic workout. I just ordered more Joycon thigh straps as I imagine those must get funky after a while and each family member should probably have their own.
So, what are you playing this weekend?