Bethesda, id Software, and Avalanche Studios’ Rage 2 has finally launched for home consoles and PC. While the game avoided becoming an Epic Games Store exclusive like so many other titles, it still managed to fall into the Denuvo trap. So it’s like jumping over an endless pit into quicksand.
Denuvo simply being there isn’t the only problem, it’s the performance issues that come with it. This was actually noted right at release when DSOGaming dropped the news. Not only that but they also ran into some load-time problems due to the anti-tamper tech, writing…
“First things first, though. The first hint of the Denuvo anti-tamper tech came from the game’s executable file size. As with most Denuvo games, RAGE 2’s executable file is over 300MB (to be more precise, it’s 415MB in size).
“The second hint was the longer than anticipated initial loading times. Like most games that use the Denuvo anti-tamper tech, RAGE 2 was not loading fast enough (or at least similarly to other games that do not use Denuvo) and behaved similarly to Total War THREE KINGDOMS (and all other games that use this controversial anti-tamper tech).”
So basically it’s bloat plus performance debilitation.
YouTuber Joker Productions also did a video about Denuvo, which you can check out below.
This obviously carried over into the enjoyment of the game for some people. The Steam user reviews at the moment are sitting at a “Mixed” rating.
Why? Well, there’s a mixture of problems both involving the gameplay and the quality of life issues brought upon by Denuvo. Specifically, users like QuarterSquats explained…
“Bethesda didn’t put up any information for Denuvo or Bethesda.net until release. Which is pretty scummy. You don’t require a bethesda account to play but if you don’t link one to the game you don’t have access to any of your preorder content or deluxe edition content. The game runs fine, looks decent and gunplay is great. Bethesda is just being same old♥♥♥♥♥♥bethesda. However i do appreciate that i was able to buy this on steam. “
Others were a little less concerned with having the option to buy Rage 2 on Steam and were more perturbed at the fact that Bethesda forced people into using the Denuvo anti-tamper tech and restricted users to using the Bethesda Launcher in order to access the pre-order DLC. User DNYI stated…
“Bethesda withheld the information that the game uses Denuvo Anti-Tamper until 24 hours before release. Bethesda also withheld the information that both the pre-order content and Deluxe Edition content require a 3rd-party Bethesda.net account until 24 hours before release on the game’s Steam page. Because the main game can be played without a Bethesda account but the DLC content cannot, this in effect holds paid for content hostage until you create a Bethesda.net account. Bethesda’s own website does not mention the need for a Bethesda account on their own support page on System requirements (as of 1:40 AM Central Time May 14th 2019, 3.7 hours after release. Withholding this information which would have impacted pre-order sales until right before release should be considered a form of fraud/false advertising.”
The sap is rising! shared a similar experience to the others, pretty much hammering home that Denuvo was snuck in at the last minute with no prior notice or announcements, and that Bethesda kept the game’s microtransactions a secret, writing…
“They kept the fact the game had denuvo secret until very soon before launch.
They kept the fact the game had microtransactions secret until launch. Buy RAGE coins! No thanks.
“Game is actually not bad but does have some bugs like smoke issuing from a point in the air instead of rubble, truck deploys fold down ramp which hits me on the head and raises truck off the ground, drones fly through solid wall, a line on the subtitles that had no voice acting and that’s all in the first hour.”
Rinse and repeat these criticisms ad infinitum.
Also, they are correct about Bethesda purposefully hiding Denuvo from them. If you visit the SteamDB entry for Rage 2 you’ll note that it wasn’t revealed that the game had Denuvo until May 13th, 2019.
But beyond Denuvo, is the game worth the price of entry? Well, a lot of people are saying that outside of the main story quests the enemy presence is sparse, there’s a lot of grinding, and that the overall gameplay loop is generic.
While the review score is still currently mixed on PC, some gamers are suggesting to wait for id Software or Avalanche Studios to update the game with a patch that addresses some of the optimization issues, the removal of Denuvo, and better keyboard controls.
Of course, it doesn’t guarantee that the gameplay will be fixed, such as enemy placement, weapon balancing, and overall pacing.
Anyway, Rage 2 is available right now. Gamers who bought early are issuing a “buyer beware” notice via the reviews, especially regarding Denuvo, so keep that in mind if you had any intent on picking up a copy of the game.
(Thanks for the news tip Quickshooter)