The first Rage was a decent and frankly underrated game that tried to take Borderlands shine but was largely missed due to a release window that contained some high profile games, including Battlefield 3, Uncharted 3, COD: MW3 and that's just the shooters. Take into account hits like Dark Souls and Batman Arkham City and its no wonder the game was largely missed. Also, to be honest, the game itself didn't do much to stand out. The shooting was clean and the enemies tasked with killing were capable enough but the story didn't do anything new and the graphics were just..... brown.
It seems Rage 2 is largely Avalanche Studios attempts to build off what Id did with the first game all while doing a bit of redemptive work from Mad Max. With that being said, both games (Rage 2 and Mad Max) interestingly have a lot in common, with Rage 2 being Avanlanche's attempt at letting us know other colors exist besides brown.
As for the good, and frankly the main reasons you'll love this game, the actual shooting part of this FPS is A1. I recommend cranking it up to the highest difficulty and focus time on expanding your arsenal and abilities. Unlike the GS reviewer, I had no issues finding plenty of enemies to try out new weapons and abilities on. It was actually hard to get anything done as I'd drive on the way to a destination, see a small random skirmish taking place on the side of the road and decide to insert myself into the mayhem for shits and giggles. This happened a lot and its a good thing. To me, the combat just never gets old. Think Doom 2016 and Mad Max love child. Its rare that a game makes you feel powerful with every weapon you use but Rage 2 manages this. From the pistol to the rocket launcher, all guns pack a punch and said punch is conveyed well on the enemies. You'll gimp some and completely take the head off others. The same is true for your abilities... frankly I wish some of these abilities were in Doom.
You'll do all this in an environment that sports a more varied color palette than the games that came before it. Neon blues and pinks will be juxtaposed with the blood of your victims and the hot orange glow of explosions mixed throughout. All this makes the game more visually palpable on the retinas but I wasn't necessarily complaining with the old look. Can't remember the resolution it plays at on X1X but it held a steady 60fps framerate with the occasional dip that only people keen on that sort of thing would notice.
As for the bad, the story is largely in line with what you got in Rage 1, Mad Max and Doom 2016... its there but its nothing more than a slight narrative push to get you from one fray to the next. Don't overthink it as it simply doesn't require that. For instance, I know a few reviews mentioned the loss of introduced characters early on but those were merely a means to an end and ultimately not important. One to establish who you are, the other to establish why you have the Ranger armor. That's it...
You could very well knock this game out in 8 hours if you stick STRICTLY to the story missions which is of course weird to be said of an open world game but honestly after my first 5 hours of playtime I only actually completed one of the main missions for one of the NPCs of the three that the narrative is built around. Frankly its really subjective and ultimately depends on the type of game you like. When it comes to games like these, (like Mad Max), I am really a completionist and take my time in the world exploring, going off the beaten path to take in everything. If a particular locations says that there are 4 chests, I'm running and jumping around everywhere until I find those 4 damn chests! That's something I find enjoyment in. Looking at the map and seeing the textbook checkmark of an area that I've completed. What I would've liked to see more of in this game is organic world building. For instance, in a game like Fallout almost every location told a story that added to the lore of the game and while they scratched the surface in some areas, the game ultimately misses the mark on that front.
Pros: Excellent gunplay, great graphics, competent AI (on nightmare), varied and powerful abilities.
Cons: Lackluster to nonexistent story.