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Rage 2 is a pastiche of better shooters that have been released in the past decade, but that aspect of its design hides one huge secret for people looking for hidden gems: The combat and sense of power from the game’s guns and abilities is almost unmatched in gaming right now. It’s the perfect free video game, if you’re in the mood for a first-person shooter.

Which is great news, because it’s currently free on the Epic Games Store.

Rage 2’s story is a jumbled mess that I won’t even try to describe; let’s just say you play as a chosen one with special powers and leave it at that. You explore a somewhat open world, finding new weapons, working your way up through the tech tree, and unlocking a series of preternatural abilities while fighting against The Authority. You just know they’re bad with a name like that. The game’s aesthetic suggests something like splatterpunk, evoking the violent nihilism of the Borderlands series.

The original Rage was a pretty mediocre shooter from id Software, and John Carmack himself later directly apologized for its PC performance. So there wasn’t a lot that Avalanche Studios and id Software could pull from it for the sequel. You don’t have to worry about knowing the story beats from the first game to enjoy this one; it’s easily forgotten, and nothing of value is lost.

You may never care why you’re doing something in Rage 2, or who exactly you’re going after, but the combat itself shines like a beacon. Or at least, it does once you collect some of the better guns and abilities and get them nice and leveled up. The interface doesn’t always make this easy, but it’s worth the hassle.

“I can use one ability to fling enemies backward, slamming them into walls or each other,” I wrote in our original review. “I can use another ability to force enemies to float in the air, pulling other items toward them as if by the gravitational force of a very small black hole. I can turn myself into a human grenade and slam into the ground, reducing everyone around me to a bloody smear. I can upgrade my ability to leap high into the air until I can basically climb up the face of sheer-looking cliffs by spamming the jump button.”

This combination of abilities, as well as weapons that all sound and feel brutally powerful in action, makes Rage 2 into a creative playground of violence. How you kill folks is up to you, and you can spend a lot of time in the menus creating a fun loadout to get out there and just straight up wreck shit.

Rage 2 was a hard sell when it launched at $59.99, but for the cost of zero dollars, you should absolutely grab it. It’s a game that exists within a generic shell of attitude and faux edginess, and that can be annoying. But it can also be fun to giggle at the common gaming tropes and silly narrative excuses for how your player character became the most powerful fighter out on the battlefield.

Regardless, hidden inside this OK game is one of the best examples of weapon design and selection I’ve seen in quite some time. I’m always interested in just seeing how my arsenal grows and interacts with the world as I go forth and kill everyone I see in order to … do whatever it is I’m trying to do. There’s never been a better time to take out all your frustrations on virtual bad guys who are happy to die by the thousands.

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Mets’ slugger Pete Alonso is taking some grounders at third base

Mets’ slugger Pete Alonso is taking some grounders at third base

  • By: Andres Chavez
  • February 24, 2021

The New York Mets’ position players reported to the team spring training camp this week, as they continue to prepare for what will be an exciting 2021 season. The organization invested a lot of money and resources to put the best possible roster on the field, and it now looks like one of the favorites to make some noise deep in October.

The Mets brought several starting pitching reinforcements, most notably Carlos Carrasco (in the same trade that netted the club star shortstop Francisco Lindor) Taijuan Walker, Marcus Stroman, Jordan Yamamoto, Joey Lucchesi and Jerad Eickhoff.

They also welcomed two impact relievers in Trevor May and Aaron Loup; plus Lindor, outfielders Albert Almora and Kevin Pillar, and infielder Jonathan Villar. Catcher James McCann was also brought to be the starter at the position.

However, the Mets didn’t bring any third basemen, or haven’t to this point. JD Davis is a liability out there in field, but carries monster offensive upside and that’s why acting general manager Zack Scott said this week that they are comfortable with him at the top of the depth chart.

The Mets are very flexible

However, that doesn’t mean the Mets aren’t willing to get creative. Davis will play some, but Jeff McNeil can also defend the hot corner and could potentially do it some nights when Villar plays second.

And, additionally, the Mets are trying slugging first baseman Pete Alonso at third base. Yes! You read that right.

According to New York Daily News’ writer Deesha Thosar, Alonso was seen taking some grounders in the hot corner.

J.D. Davis (and surprise! Pete Alonso) gobbling up some grounders at third base this afternoon.

— Deesha (@DeeshaThosar) February 24, 2021

It’s not uncommon for teams to try different things in the early stages of spring training, so the fact that Alonso is taking some reps there should be taken with a grain of salt and could mean nothing later down the road.

However, it’s still a noteworthy development. If Alonso can be a passable third baseman, that could open up more playing time avenues for the Mets’ fellow slugging first baseman, Dom Smith, who broke out last year with a .316/.377/.616 line and 10 home runs in 50 games.

Only time will tell if this is going to be more than just a spring training experiment.

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