Rage 2 is the closest we'll ever get to a Mad Max: Fury Road video game
Enjoy the insanity.
Back in 2011, Rage was released on the PS3 and Xbox 360, and it was ... fine.
Gamers had anticipated their generation's answer to first-person shooters like Doom and Quake, and what they got instead was a perfectly competent but totally forgettable shoot 'em up.
No big deal, can't win them all.
Cut to seven years later, and in the lead-up to E3, and we reported that Walmart had accidentally revealed some potential upcoming video game titles that had yet to be announced, but one of the titles they revealed had everyone questioning whether the leak could be trusted or not.
And that title was Rage 2.
Anyone who doesn't remember the first game, no biggie, as Tom Willits, the studio director at ID Softward, tells us "It is important to point out that we've really worked hard to separate Rage 2 from Rage. If you're not familar with Rage One, don't stress about. We've got new game features, different characters, and it stands on its own. And that, I feel, is an important thing to say."
Turns out it was very real, albeit it did seem like a very odd decision at the time. Then we got to attend the GamesCom Expo in Cologne earlier this year, and having played some of the game, we can confirm that it is the closest we'll likely ever get to actually getting a Mad Max: Fury Road game.
This was something we pointed out to one of the games developers, having completely forgotten that they were also one of the developers behind 2015 Mad Max game...
Clip via IGN
Anyone who has seen Mad Max: Fury Road, they'll know that it is a shock of colour and vibrancy, for a movie that is set in one of the ugliest landscapes imaginable. This also came as a shock to the folks behind that game...
Loke Wallmo, senior game designer at Avalanche, said "It took us by surprise, having worked on the Mad Max game back then too, because of all of that happened in editing, and we were like 'Oh, there's colour??'"
"We definitely knew we wanted to make a very colourful game right from the start, and we knew that we wanted this game to have its own identity. This needed to be a very different game to the first Rage. It is post-post-apocalyptic, so it is not bleak."
From the section of the game that we got to play, we can confirm that (1) Yes, it does feel very different to the all-brown-all-the-time, depressathon of the first Rage, and (2) It is a massive surprise just how much more fun the game is because of that visual aesthetic difference.
There a new sense of manic energy involved - not a shock considering that it also comes from Bethesda Studios, the folks that rebooted Doom into a kinetic frenzy - that really lends itself well to the new overall vibe that the series is going with.
Anyone who thinks that long-dormant series are a sure sign of a dead franchise need only look at the eight years between Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake and Metal Gear Solid, or the decade between Fallout 2 and Fallout 3.
There can be plenty of life left in these games, if you let them lie fallow for long enough, and Rage 2 looks set to be a classic example of that.
The game is expected to arrive on PS4, Xbox One and PC in Spring/Summer 2019.