A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Rage 2 is a violent first-person shooter for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PCs. Using a variety of guns and explosives, as well as a boomerang-like weapon, players have to kill a ton of people, resulting in blood, gore, and dismemberment, along with equally graphic sound effects. Gamers can run people over in vehicles, resulting in bodies (and limbs) being tossed around the screen. The dialogue is also full of curse words -- including numerous variations of "f--k" and "s--t" -- as well as references to sexual situations. There are also some bars in the game, complete with drunken patrons and people drinking, while numerous empty beer and wine bottles can be found throughout the world.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
Set after the events of the first game, RAGE 2 casts you as a male or female survivor trying to squeeze out a living from what remains after a meteor turns Earth into a Mad Max-like wasteland. When a militant group known as The Authority wipes out your hometown and kills your aunt, you have to do what you must to get revenge ... or die trying. Players wander the wasteland, shooting bad guys and mutants and gathering supplies in hopes of becoming strong enough to take on The Authority and their tyrannical leader. Fortunately, gamers will have access to a range of superpowers thanks to their high-tech armor, which lets them do things like fling enemies far away, or dash out of incoming fire. They'll also use a powerful dune buggy to take on the wastelands, blasting raiding parties from afar. Good luck out there -- you'll need it.
Is it any good?
Though there are a lot of open-world, post-apocalyptic shooters, this one distinguishes itself by giving players Jedi-like powers and having a looser, slightly more cartoonish feel. Like the first game, Rage 2 is set in the ashes of what remains after a meteor turned the world into a Max Mad-like wasteland full of mutants, desperate survivors, and driving enthusiasts. Using a variety of weapons and explosives, including a sharp boomerang-like throwing weapon, you have to do what you do in every open-world shooter: complete missions, run errands, and gather supplies so you can strengthen yourself enough to take on the bad guy who killed your aunt and destroyed your hometown.
What sets this apart from such similar and recent games as Days Gone and Far Cry New Dawn is that you also have some Jedi-like powers that can send enemies flying, destroy their armor, or briefly pump you full of adrenaline. There's also more vehicular manslaughter, which is made easier by having cars with mounted machine guns instead of guns you have to hold while steering. The game also has a slightly cartoonish and punk rock approach that gives it a looser tongue-in-cheek appeal, making it feel fresher and different. Similarly, your enemies are often frantic, acrobatic, and unpredictable, with some also sporting heavy armor or the ability to become invisible, all which keeps you on your toes. Rage 2 does have some issues, technical and otherwise; for example, you have to look at a ladder just right before you can climb it. Also, some bad guys don't understand that they can't walk through tables, which makes them sitting ducks because they're not smart enough to go around furniture. But, overall, Rage 2 manages to stand out in a crowded post-apocalyptic wasteland full of freaks and killers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Rage 2 affected by the fact that you're killing mutants as well as humans? Is the impact intensified because people can be killed instead of only attacking monsters? Does attacking mutants make the violence more acceptable?
The hero in Rage 2 is driven by a noble purpose, but also by revenge. Do you think this is a good idea or motivation for action? Does the quest for revenge make the hero just as bad as the villain?
- Platforms: Google Stadia, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bethesda Softworks
- Release date: May 14, 2019
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: April 13, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.