If you’re into apocalypses, then the Rage series may be your jam. It’s full of everything you’d want from an end of the world story: a shattered civilization, mutants, evil armies, explosions, weird experimental weapons, it’s got it all.
How The Rage Begins
Rage takes place in a world where a giant asteroid has struck the Earth, essentially wiping out most of the population. The Authority, the bad guys, planned to reshape humanity into a new form following the end of the world. However, Nicholas Raine, the hero of the first Rage, managed to stop them, and over the last 30 years, machines called ecopods have allowed plant life to return back to the world, and civilization has started to reform.
You play as either a lady or a man named Walker, a so-called “wallrat” who lives in Vineland. Vineland is where people are trained to become rangers, and fight the various gangs and mutants who threaten the people of the Wasteland.
Vineland gets attacked by a renewed Authority, led by the evil General Cross. Cross has become some kind of genetically modified super soldier, with a giant robot body to match. During the attack, you meet up with your friend Lily Prowler, who’s probably the closest thing you have to family. After more fighting you find Erwina Prowley, who’s Lily’s real mother and your adopted mother. But so does General Cross. You and Erwina get overwhelmed, and Erwina gets captured. Trapped under the severed arm of a giant mutant that grabbed you, you watch helplessly as Erwina is stabbed by General Cross with a giant laser sword.
You awaken to Lily defibrillating you, even though you were just unconscious. Vineland is completely destroyed, and Erwina is dead. To figure out what to do next, you go to the Presidio, which where the rangers kept all their files and information. There, you find that Erwina left a hologram message for you.
Her hologram tells you that you were her secret weapon, and that she had been training you in case a situation like this ever arrived. She gives you to access to Vineland’s Ark, which holds technology that will use the nanomachines in your blood to give you super powers. You learn how to teleport, and then Erwina tells you about Project Dagger. It’s a plan to permanently stop the Authority, but in order to execute it, you need the help of 3 people: John Marshall, Loosum Hagar, and Dr. Anton Kvasir.
Finding John Marshall
You can go to the three in any order, but John Marshall is the closest. He operates a bar in a town called Gunbarrel. He’s an old resistance fighter, war hero, and intelligence gatherer. He also has a pretty sick beard. You tell him that you need to begin the Dagger project, but of course, he’s got quests first.
After clearing out mutants in the sewers of the town, he tells you that Project Dagger involves you driving a giant tank into the Authority’s headquarters, and injecting a virus into General Cross that will kill him for good. One of his spies, a drug addict named Gulo, has gone missing. In order to complete his part of Project Dagger, he needs Gulo's intel, so you go searching for her.
Gulo got captured by a weird, militaristic bandit clan known as the Immortal Shroud. You track Gulo’s location down to one of their bases, but unfortunately she's long dead, with her intestines basically hanging out of her body. She swallowed her intel to protect it, which means you have to scrounge around her intestines.
You tell Marshall what happened, and he's a little sad that his favorite spy didn’t make it. But, with the intel Gulo gathered, you’re able to find an old Authority base, and download their security protocols. With that information, Marshall is able to finish his part of Project Dagger. He gives you a scrambler, which will allow you to get past the security systems at the Authority’s base.
The Mayor & The Mogul
Next up is Loosum Hagar, the mayor of the city of Wellspring. Your first visit to Wellspring doesn’t go so well, as the mayor is attacked by assassins when you try to see her. After murdering everyone in sight, you gain her trust. However, she has other matters to attend to first. She believes the assassins were sent by the richest man in town, Klegg Clayton. Clayton wants Hagar’s position as mayor, and is willing to kill her in order to get it. On top of that, he also has a majority of the town’s military hardware, including her part of Project Dagger. Bummer.
Hagar wants you to get close to Clayton and find evidence to defame him. So you have to become a winner in order to get into his club's Winner’s Lounge. This requires you to win both Mutant Bash TV, which obviously involves you bashing mutants, and the Chazcar Derby, a big race.
You get inside the club and meet Klegg Clayton, a big, loudmouthed jerk. He congratulates you on your wins, and invites you into his office for some business discussions. He then discusses his big plans to become mayor, before he’s interrupted by a phone call. And wouldn’t you know it, the person on the other end of that call is none other than mean old General Cross himself. Turns out Klegg is in cahoots with the Authority.
You plant a bug on his personal computer, and it begins to transmit all his data to Hagar. However, Clayton catches onto you, and drops you into a pit with a giant mutant named Jumbo, who somehow has the same awful, slicked back mullet as Clayton. You kill Jumbo and escape, but Clayton takes off on his own personal gyrocopter.
You track him to an old base, talking directly to Cross on a giant monitor. Turns out that Cross is unimpressed with Clayton’s progress in taking over Wellspring, and doesn’t have much need for him anymore, so he has some mutants shoot him a couple dozen times. You fight your way through the facility, and manage to steal a fission core from the base.
With the security scrambler in hand, and a tank Hagar found with Clayton's stuff, you head over to the final member of Project Dagger, Dr. Kvasir.
Meeting The Mad Scientist
You venture into the swampy areas of the Wasteland, and find Kvasir’s home being attacked by the Authority’s forces. After fending them off, Kvasir extends the bridge to his secret lair, and you meet him for the first time. It’s a little weird, seeing as how he’s a decrepit old man riding a mutant who’s been seemingly programmed to be his legs.
He reveals that he used to work for the Authority, and is responsible for creating the science that engineered their mutant soldiers, as well as the technology that allows Cross to essentially be immortal. He turned on them, and now wants to put a end to Cross’ plans. He’s come up with a serum that will end Cross' immortality, but in order to calculate the formula to create the serum, it’ll take six years of processing from his ancient computers.
Fortunately, there's a way to speed up the process. An old ecopod is still orbiting the Earth, and it possesses the right amount of computing power to get the research done super fast. You just need to go to go to the space center in control of the ecopod, and make it crash to the ground. Piece of cake.
Of course the space center has been taken over bandits. You fight your way to the center's controls, and manage to get the ecopod to fall from orbit. Kvasir can now compute the serum. However, in order for it to do its job, he needs a string of General Cross’ DNA. There just happens to be some of that DNA in an old Authority research station.
You get inside the research station, shoot a whole bunch of people, and even manage to rescue some of the survivors from the attack on Vineland, who were kidnapped in order to be experimented on. You look for the string of DNA from General Cross, but instead find General Cross himself. What luck! You fight him, and in a surprising turn of events, even manage to kill him.
However, it turns out the way Cross stays alive is by transferring his consciousness from one body to another identical clone body. But you’re not one to let a perfectly good corpse go to waste, so you rip the head off of the Cross you defeated, and there’s your DNA sample.
You take the head back to Kvasir, and he’s able to finish the serum that stops Cross from simply swapping bodies when he’s defeated. With that, you now have all the pieces you need to complete Project Dagger, and stop the Authority permanently.
The Final Battle
You smash the tank into the main Authority headquarters, and begin blowing up Authority goons left and right. Eventually you reach a point inside where you can no longer drive your nice fancy tank, and have to go the rest of the way on foot.
You finally make it to General Cross, only to find him riding a colossal titan mutant. And so the final boss fight begins, with massive explosions, and lots of mutants being blown into meaty pieces. You finally bring down the titan mutant, and Cross tumbles down along with it. You jab him in the eye with the needle, injecting the serum to prevent his body-swapping. But it turns out the serum plants a virus inside Cross that attacks the nanomachines in his bloodstream. The very same nanomachines that are in your bloodstream. So that sucks. You’re now infected with the very same virus, and while Cross is now dead for good, you look to be going the same way.
The game seemingly ends with you dying alongside Cross, but before you bite the big one, your own personal deus ex machina, Lily, shows up after basically sitting out most of the game. She somehow made it all the way into the heart of the Authority’s headquarters, and pulls you to safety.
Kvasir finds a way to save you from the virus, which saves him from having his head blown off by Lily. He warns you that if he could find a way to cure you, then it could be possible for someone to cure Cross as well. You awaken to congratulations from Marshall, Hagar, and Lily, but there’s still plenty of bandits to shoot, and people to save. You head back out into the Wasteland, to turn more bad guys into bloody chunks.