Our review of Rage 2 digs into the ways the open-world shooter flagrantly borrows from countless contemporaries. But tucked into corners of the environment are visual choices that show genuine voice and intent. For me, these individual bits are greater than the whole.
As I scamper through the wasteland, I routinely stop my reign of terror to admire the designers’ craftsmanship. See: the perfect video game bathroom. A few hours into my adventure, I came across this lovely loo, pictured below. It sits on the periphery of a bandit bivouac, used but never in-use.
I had just slaughtered the residents of the camp when I noticed the structure. Its tilted cylindrical shape and modest size look nothing like the game’s other buildings — mostly gutted warehouses, abandoned homes, sprawling urban complexes, and shelters hammered together from a variety of pre-apocalypse detritus.
This bathroom has a space age sheen to it, as if carved from a piece of a shuttle or satellite that crashed into this very spot by pure good fortune — ready to hold some bodily waste!
Of course, I don’t yet know its poopy purpose when I approach. It could be anything. As dull as a storage locker. As vital as a safe room. As zen as a meditative chamber for mutants who could really use some time to themselves. I suppose a bathroom is all of the above.
A privacy screen maintains the mystery a little longer, while also serving as a mount for the sink on its rear side. Another partition conceals the toilet. The two combine to create a separate hygiene lounge.
Above the toilet hangs a large steel tank, presumably for collecting rain water. It’s elevated to provide much-needed water pressure. The toilet doesn’t flush, or at least that’s not an option for my wasteland wanderer, but I get the sense that some artist designed this post-apocalyptic bathroom to be functional and also unexpectedly mindful of privacy, cleanliness, and plumbing.
But it’s not just functional; it’s art!
Look at this cut-out shape in the ceiling. The cylinder hides the bathroom guest, while also absorbing their sound and letting in full sunlight. Using this bathroom would be like taking a dump in Richard Serra’s Band. True decadence.
Broadly speaking, Rage 2 is a nasty, cynical, and at times repulsively violent open-world shooter. But its creators have sown so much joy and detail into the tapestry that I can’t scrap it altogether. Time and again, the game pushes me away. And then I find something as silly and wonderful as this bathroom and I’m back in it: imagining the inspired designer blending art with fart.