Road Rage Preview: Two-Wheel Warfare
Exaggerated brutality. That’s what Road Rage does best, and it’s got an open world full of various types of missions to support it. All out brawls from behind the wheel of a motorcycle make up a majority of the gameplay, but also act as a conduit for the game’s incredibly cinematic story and explorative drives around a massive city.
In Road Rage, you and your bike are literally and figuratively inseparable. Upgrading your bike is the core of skill progression, and the game provides a ton of opportunities that coalesce into a hugely personalized level of motorcycle customization. After navigating to the Clubhouse menu, you’ll be allowed to modify every last part of your ride. Gas tanks, lights, exhausts, types of wheels, and much, much more give players an impressive amount of control over how their bike looks and feels. Excluding the body type, gear kit, and tires, most other modifications are purely aesthetic – either way, spending time in the Clubhouse will certainly make your bike feel and look like your bike and no one else’s. You’ll be on your motorcycle for the entirety of the game, and while the focus on your motorcycle’s progression takes the spotlight it doesn’t mean that the character riding it is lacking in personality. No, far from it.
You play as Ace, the newest recruit to an insane motorcycle gang of outlaws. The city begins to be torn asunder from underground crime and intense violence. Your two goals are as follows: get money, and ride fast. Successfully accomplishing both these will establish dominance within the community of renegade motorcycle gangs, providing your character with a semblance of safety in a violent landscape. A staggering 90 missions (42 story-based and 56 additional side missions) allows players plenty of chances for Ace to gain respect and authority while simultaneously offering a myriad of different segments of gameplay to prevent stagnation. Brutal brawls, escort jobs, various types of races, and assassination missions are just a few of the situations you’ll encounter; if you play your cards right, you may just climb your way up to the social status of Club President.
Events tend to be incidental – the outcome of one conflict can easily spark the beginning of the next, creating a refreshing experience for each playthrough. Everyone seems to be against you in Road Rage, so a lot of situations can get violent pretty quickly. The game thankfully gives you ample weaponry to defend yourself, mostly focusing on melee weapons to maximize the exaggerated “oomph” you feel as you knock someone off their bike. Intentionally over the top ragdoll physics add a convivial tone to the severity of the violent gameplay, preventing Road Rage from taking itself too seriously despite the heavy story.
Fun is paramount here, and Road Rage brings a lot to the table in that regard. It presents an unusual amount of depth for as much brutality as it contains, and continued to surprise me at every turn (again, literally and figuratively) during the demo. It won’t be long before we’ll all get to wreak havoc in the city’s rural areas, forests, suburbs, farms, airports, and whatever other unclaimed territories that lie ahead.
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