Science-Fiction Weekly – New Rage 2 Details, Star Wars TV, Forgotton Anne

by Andrew Reiner on May 15, 2018 at 02:15 PM

Rage 2 was one of the numerous games no one has heard of listed on Walmart's website last week. No one had heard a peep about it prior to this listing, leading many internet sleuths to think it was fake. Bethesda Softworks didn't stay quiet for long, as it playfully poked fun at Walmart on Twitter for having the wrong font for Rage 2.

Today Bethesda validated this leak with the official reveal of Rage 2, which is surprisingly being co-developed by id Software – the developer of the original Rage – and Avalanche Studios, best known for its work on the Just Cause series and the Mad Max game. Rage 2's gameplay trailer shows off a sprawling open world set in the aftermath of mankind's rise to power. The game takes place decades after the asteroid scorched the Earth, and follows a character named Walker, the last Ranger of Vineland. The footage shows just how resourceful and firearm-capable Walker is, even when standing at the feet of giants.

Why two development teams? We don't know the role each team plays in development yet, but Bethesda has teased that the partnership favors on id's mastery of first-person gunplay and Avalanche's time of making vast open worlds. Along with the sprawling deserts you have come to expect from this series, Rage 2 will take players to jungles and swamps, and the threat is much larger than the gangs that roam the wilds. Walker must contend with the Authority, the foes from the first game. They are now led by General Cross, a tyrant who wants to kill off the pureblood Arkists and will stop at nothing to achieve this goal. Walker just happens to be one of them. Why does Cross want them gone? Their blood can meld with nanotrites to grant them special abilities, like a force push move. This power can also be sewn to weapons to push them well beyond their factory settings.

The rapid-fire montage of footage in the trailer makes the game look ridiculously fun. I enjoyed the hell out of the original Rage, giving it a glowing 9 out of 10 rating, and saying its "story and overworld design feel dated, but its heart-pounding gunplay is a nice change of pace in a market filled with 'follow me' and pop-and-fire shooters. While light RPG elements are present, this is mainly a game for players who love challenging combat experiences."

No release date (or even release year) were given, but plenty of gameplay footage was shown, leading us to believe there's a shot it could fall into 2018. Odds are we'll see a nice slice of Rage 2 at Bethesda's E3 showcase in June.

If you're dying for a new science-fiction experience to play right now, I highly recommend you check out Forgotton Anne, a sidescrolling puzzle adventure from developer ThroughLine Games and publisher Square Enix. Described by ThroughLine as a "seamless cinematic adventure" the action bleeds right into anime sequences that bring a surprisingly dark story to life.

You play as Anne, an enforcer who is tasked to keep order in the Forgotton Lands. Outside of a few humans like yourself, most of this region is occupied by Forgotlings, living beings that are composed of items that humans forgot about. This means you'll run into talking lamps and chairs, some themed to their role in society – such as a gun serving as a police officer. Anne wields a device that can suck the life right out of these unique beings. Most of these moments are determined through player choice. Your ultimate goal is to return to the land of the living, but how far will you go to get there?

The game is fascinating in concept, and delivers on its story promises, but is a bit clunky in its platforming movement (which is a throwback to classic Prince of Persias), and relies too heavily on level-based puzzles. These gameplay elements lead to frustration at times, but are not enough to detour an otherwise excellent adventure from delivering a spellbinding experience.

Outside of games, Jon Favreau's forthcoming Star Wars TV series for Disney's upcoming streaming service received an unexpected update when the creator answered questions on the red carpet for the premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story last week. Favreau revealed he had written half of the season for the show, and said it takes place seven years after the Battle of Yavin. This puts it in the post-classic trilogy era, just a couple of years after the Battle of Jakku, and the birth of Ben Solo.

I can't even imagine what the setup for this show will be. I hope it steers clear of focusing directly on the Rebels and gives us a broader look at the universe at this point, especially since it will be difficult to tap dance around Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, and the known players, unless they recast them for the show. No matter which way they go, I think I speak for everyone is saying I've been dying to see Star Wars on TV in this way. Here's hoping Favreau and company knock it out of the park.