This week marks eight months since Fallout 76 released as a buggy mess. Since then, Bethesda’s online survival game has improved a lot. But while it has had a lot of good days, the arrival of patch number 11 yesterday was not one of them. Instead, it’s renewed players’ calls for Bethesda to try updates out on a public test server before dropping them into the main game.
One of the biggest issues is related to Power Armor. “We’ve made behind-the-scenes improvements to the Power Armor system to help address lots of bugs,” Bethesda wrote in the game’s patch notes. “As a result, you may notice your Power Armor pieces have moved into your inventory or Stash.” However, some players have reported that the pieces have gone missing altogether. It’s not clear how many people were ultimately affected, but players with multiple sets of the rare and expensive armor appear to have been hit the hardest.
“I’ve lost an entire set of T-60 fully modded PA,” wrote one player on Reddit. “Furious as I spent ages getting the caps to buy plans (I’m not that market savvy so I never have too many caps as I have limited time to play). I know I’m never getting my PA back but its so demotivating to go and do it again.”
Others have had the opposite issue, with existing sets of armor inexplicably duplicating. “I logged in and spent 10 [minutes] putting all my frames back together,” wrote another player. “Then I put them back in my stash where they disassembled and I ended up with 812 pounds in my stash while I was still over encumbered with duplicates. Had to put everything back together a second time.”
The update has also made some controversial changes to how players earn Atoms, the game’s premium currency. Players used to be able to collect them by completing basic Challenges early in the game. In an effort to make the early game less harsh, Bethesda replaced those Atoms with useful items like Stimpaks and Disease Cures. But it didn’t add those Atoms back in elsewhere, effectively decreasing the amount players can initially earn just by playing the game.
This change comes alongside the addition of a new item called a Scrap Kit, which can only be purchased with 50 Atoms, the equivalent of 50 cents. This item automatically scraps a player’s junk and deposits it in their Stash. While not a game changer, the Scrap Kit is certainly a more convenient time saver than doing all of those things manually. It also means players who have one can adventure out into the Wasteland without worrying about dying and leaving all of the scrap they’ve collected behind when they respawn. What’s annoying players is that they have to pay for the privilege. Similar to Repair Kits, which Bethesda added to the game in the spring, this effort to monetize around the edges of gameplay while the game still has plenty of bugs has left a bad taste in many players’ mouths.
At a time when Fallout 76 has generally been on the upswing thanks to new content and clever new mechanics like player-owned vending machines, the latest update has proven to be a frustrating flat tire on the road to redemption. Anthem, another online game whose trajectory has had a lot in common with Fallout 76’s, added a public test server at the end of May. Since then, BioWare has spent weeks working with PC players to get its next big update right. It feels like Fallout 76 is long overdue for the same treatment.
Fallout 76’s world can be a brutal, especially for players just starting out. Hunger, thirst, disease, radiation—there’s no shortage of maladies in Appalachia. In the game’s next big update, Bethesda is determined to dial down the danger, at least early on, so new players can actually spend more time exploring Fallout 76 in peace.
“We’re looking to make a few adjustments to help new and low-level characters have more gradual introductions to some of the game’s mechanics and challenges,” Bethesda said in a blog post late last week announcing the major changes coming in Patch 11. The biggest of these changes include:
Reducing the cost to fast travel for players under level 25
Giving players under level 15 higher disease resistance
Making food take 50 percent longer to spoil
No longer wiping out stat bonuses from food and drink after fast traveling
Making encounters with higher level enemies outside of the Forest, the game’s starting area, more rare
The studio says it also plans to make rewards from Fallout 76’s checklist-driven Challenges completed earlier in the game more useful for low-level players. Right now, a lot of these activities grant ammunition for guns players don’t have, or crafting materials for things they can’t yet make. New players might racking up high-level ammo while they’re hurting for first-aid, fresh water, and food.
These basic necessities can be so scarce early on for players who don’t know where to look for them that it’s become common practice in Fallout 76 for higher level players to search out those who are still in the single digits and leave them little gift bags full of Stimpaks, Rad-Aways, and grilled meats, and boiled water.
While players have done a good job of papering over Fallout 76’s holes with creative role-playing, making the game’s onboarding process a much smoother experience will go a long way toward helping it find new players as Bethesda continues to add post-release content. Patch 11 is supposed to arrive later this month.
E3 2019It’s time for the biggest gaming show of the year. We’ve got articles, videos, podcasts and maybe even a GIF or two.
Tim Rogers checks out Bethesda’s E3 2019 booth. We talk about sequels that don’t use numbers, Elder Scrolls games, and stand in front of a bunch of posters. Check out the whole booth in the video above.
In November of last year, purchasers of the $200 Fallout 76 collector’s edition were disappointed to discover the fancy canvas bags advertised were replaced with cheap nylon sacks. It took half a year, but Bethesda has finally made things right, as incredibly wrinkled canvas Westtek bags make their way into fans’ eager hands.
In the image above, shared on Twitter by Jordan Stapleton, we see the end result of a long journey. The canvas bag, once considered impossible to deliver due to “unavailability of materials,” has arrived. To the left of the bag we see the tiny package the canvas bag arrived in. One can easily imagine someone at Bethesda angrily cramming this bag into the tiny plastic pouch, muttering, “Here’s your damn canvas. I hope you choke on it.”
For reference, here is the nylon bag that came with the collector’s edition originally.
And here is the canvas sack fans are now receiving.
Barring these canvas numbers bursting into flames, this is the fifth and hopefully final article in the Fallout 76 Collector’s Edition Bag Saga. We made it, everybody. We’re safe now.
E3 2019It’s time for the biggest gaming show of the year. We’ve got articles, videos, podcasts and maybe even a GIF or two.
Last night’s Bethesda press conference was full of cool announcements like Doom Eternal details and Arkane’s rad looking new game Deathloop. It was also much rowdier than past conferences. That’s mostly good: fans had stuff to be excited about. At least one dude was absolutely loving it. To quote him: “YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAH!”
Part of the fun of having general admission to press conferences is getting a raw reaction from excited fans. Without enthusiastic players and excited devs, we wouldn’t have enjoyed Keanu Reeves telling a crowd that they’re “breathtaking” during Microsoft’s presentation. It’s nice to see real people and real excitement. Hell, the guy who shouted at Reeves apparently got a free copy of Cyberpunk 2077.
What did the one terrifyingly enthusiastic Bethesda guy love? He loved dragons. He loved being the most important part of Tamriel. He loved having more servers. He loved Necromancers. He loved men with beards walking on stage. He loved knowing that Deathloop was “really fucking cool.” We should all be lucky enough to have a man who loves anything we do as much as this mysterious man loved all things Bethesda. You can watch in this fantastic montage by Twitter user theSirToasty.
Presenters were caught somewhere between amused and a bit annoyed. Zenimax Online studio director Matt Firor particularly found many of his announcements cut off by raucous “WOOOOs” and “YEEEEEAAAAHs.” Was this mysterious man a studio employee, psyched to see The Elder Scrolls Online on stage? Was he simply a mega-fan? I don’t know; I wasn’t there to investigate. Whatever the case, those whoops and hollers danced the line between charming and bit disruptive.
Fan enthusiasm isn’t a bad thing. Some of E3’s magic (such as it is) comes from the unbridled excitement of the audience both in person and around the world. Will I remember the Youngblood trailer or details about Doom Eternal’s demons vs. Doomslayer multiplayer mode? Not really. But I will remember this dude shouting “YEEEEEEEEAAAAHHH!”
After a seven-month wait underscored by security issues and cheap nylon, Fallout 76 players may be able to get the collector’s edition bags they were promised.
Gather round, children, and let me tell you the saga of the collector’s edition Fallout 76 bags. The fancy-pants $200 Power Armor edition of Fallout 76 was supposed to come with a canvas bag, but players got nylon bags instead. They were not happy, and our own Luke Plunkett referred to them as “nylon trash.” Bethesda promised replacement bags, but we haven’t heard much about when they’ll arrive until now. To make matters worse, customer support for people who wanted these bags accidentally leaked their names, phone numbers and addresses. If I were to ever buy what amounts to a $200 bag, I would hope that it 1) is made of literally anything other than nylon and 2) does not dox me.
But the Bag Saga may finally be coming to a close. Today, Bethesda tweeted that they’ll be sending out replacement bags starting next week.
I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that next week is also E3, where Bethesda will be having a press conference and will want to foster goodwill from their fans. I just hope that whatever the resolution is, it will not require a fifth article about these freaking bags.
Next week is going to be very exciting if you like video games. This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly known as E3, returns to LA from Tuesday, June 11 through Thursday, June 13. During the show, and the press conferences leading up to it, gamers will get their first looks at the biggest games coming out through the end of year, next year, and beyond.
Though E3 is open to the public, it’s an expensive ticket — a now sold-out “gamer pass” costs $249 this year. Luckily, in the age of Twitch everybody livestreams. While you can’t do everything a fan can do at the show—play some of the games, wait in extremely long lines—you can see most, if not all, of the games available to the public at the show. You can watch all of the publisher “keynote” press conferences from the comfort of your own home, plus official panels, and many, many live shows broadcast from the show floor. (Having attended the show myself many times, including the last two years when it’s been open to the public, I think watching from home is the better option for most people).
There are tons of broadcasts to sift through, especially once the show starts. To help you keep up, we’ve compiled the livestreams for all the biggest events and broadcasts throughout the week.
Phase 1 — Before the show
The best parts of E3, especially when you’re watching from home, happen before the show floor even opens. Many of the biggest publishers hold press conferences and events beforehand to get their biggest announcements out ahead of the show opening, while they still have everyone’s attention. All of these events are livestreamed and scheduled back-to-back, so you could, in theory, watch them all and geek out with the rest of the world in real time. That’s pretty much four whole days of video game news, though, so maybe you just want to look at the schedule and pick your faves. (It’s supposed to be pretty nice out this weekend is all I’m saying).
Saturday, June 8
EA Play – 9:15am PT
Prior to E3, Electronic Arts—maker of Madden, FIFA and Apex Legends, among other things—holds its own little public showcase, EA Play. In past years, EA has held a press conference like other publishers, but has decided to go a new direction in 2019. This year, there will simply be a series of broadcasts devoted to each of its highlighted games. Some, like Jedi: Fallen Order, are new. Others like the videos on Apex Legends and The Sims 4, will discuss changes to ongoing games. Here’s a schedule, so pick and choose what you want to see.
Countdown to EA Play (9:15am PT)
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (9:30am PT)
Apex Legends (10:00am PT)
Battlefield (10:30am PT)
FIFA 20 (11:00am PT)
Madden NFL 20 (11:30am PT)
The Sims 4 (12:00pm PT)
Nintendo eSports “World Championships” – 11am PT
Nintendo is also here to whet your appetite early with some ol’ fashioned eSports, hosting “world championship” events for its two biggest competitive games Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2. There’s also going to be a competitive Super Mario Maker event, where some streamers try and beat some especially difficult levels made by Nintendo staffers in Super Mario Maker 2, which comes out later this month.
Super Mario Maker 2 Invitational – 11am PT
Splatoon 2 World Championship – 11:30 PT
Super Smash Bros Ultimate World Championship – 2pm PT
Sunday, June 9
Xbox press conference – 1pm PT
Microsoft’s press conference seems poised to be the biggest news event of the show this year. Pundits expect Microsoft to discuss the next-gen Xbox consoles, as well as Project XCloud, the company’s upcoming streaming service. Plus, there will be many, many game announcements, both for Xbox One exclusive games and third-party games coming to the platform.
Bethesda press conference – 5:30pm PT
Bethesda, makers of historic game franchises like Doom, The Elder Scrolls, and Fallout, will also holds its annual press conference. Going into the show, Bethesda already said it will not be discussing the next Elder Scrolls game, so Bethesda’s most exciting known project is Doom Eternal, the follow-up to the beloved 2016 Doom reboot.
Devolver Digital – 7pm PT
Independent publisher Devolver Digital is bringing back its satirical pre-E3 livestream. Going into its third year, the pre-recorded “show” highlights the publisher’s games while poking fun at the tropes of tech “keynotes” like the ones held before E3 each year. It’s pretty fun, but definitely meant for people who have been watching these events for many years.
Monday, June 10
The PC Gaming Show – 10am PT
While most of the games shown at E3 are available on both consoles and PC, the large presence of Microsoft and Nintendo (and, until this year, Sony) make it feel like more of a console gaming focused show. The PC Gaming Show, organized by PC Gamer magazine, is the keynote for publishers looking to talk about PC exclusives. It’s primary announcements are generally smaller than the other keynotes, but it’s still worth a watch, especially if you miss the PC gaming flavor.
Ubisoft press conference – 1pm PT
Ubisoft, publisher of popular franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and anything with Tom Clancy in the name, always have a lot of big news to share at E3, hence the keynote. Ubisoft has said that many of its publicly known projects will not be present at E3, so there may be a few surprises at this one. One thing we have heard about: Watch Dogs: Legion, an ambitious-sounding third entry in the hacking-focus open-world action series.
Kinda Funny Games Showcase – 4:30 PT
Like the PC Gaming Show, the Kinda Funny Games Showcase is an independent, media-run pre-E3 event. Assuming it works similar to the first “showcase” video the group organized last December, this pre-recorded show will compile a series of trailers for unannounced indie games. The E3 event may be different, though? We’ll have to see!
There’s no link for it at the moment, but you’ll be able to livestream Kinda Funny Showcase from the group’s YouTube channel when the time comes.
Square Enix Press Conference – 6pm PT
Rounding out the evening, Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix will hold a press conference to show off its E3 offerings. The Square Enix show could be very interesting this year: The company pre-announced that there will be news about its long-in-development Avengers game. And of course, RPG fans are anticipating more info on the long-awaited Final Fantasy VII remake.
On its E3 page, Square Enix recommends you watch its livestream at its web site, sqex.link/e3. It does seem as if it will also be available through the company’s Twitch channel as well, which I’ve embedded above.
Tuesday, June 11
Nintendo Direct: E3 2019 edition – 9am PT
As always, Nintendo rounds out the pre-E3 press conferences pre an extended “Nintendo Direct” livestream just before the show floor opens. You can expect to hear more about the next Pokémon games, Sword and Shield, Super Mario Maker 2, as well as a fair number of unannounced games. Kotaku’s Jason Schreier said something about Animal Crossing, but who knows? (Honestly, he probably does).
Phase 2 — During the show
At Noon, Pacific, on June 11, the E3 show floor opens and all bets are off. You can assume that pretty much every game developer and publisher will have some kind of broadcast going during the day on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, showing and dissecting the games on the show floor. If you’ve been following, or just have a favorite game you’d like to check up on, I recommend going to that company’s Twitch channel—chances are you’ll get to see more of the game you’re looking for before too long.
If you’re interested in getting a more holistic view, there will also be a fair number of variety shows, highlighting new games, providing analysis and impressions of what’s going on at the show. Here are a couple of sweeping options that should have a lot of interesting content during the show you won’t find at a developer or news publication.
When the Entertainment Software Association, the organizer of E3, opened the show to the public, it also introduced the E3 Coliseum, a series of panels for fans, where developers come talk about their games and topics related to the future gaming throughout the show. This year’s schedule includes deep dives on some of the biggest upcoming titles, including the next Call of Duty, Doom: Eternal, Borderland 3. Netflix is also doing a panel about “bringing your shows to life,” which sounds interesting (and potentially eventful).
Hosted by The Game Awards producer Geoff Keighley, the E3 Coliseum is livestreamed on YouTube, so fans at home see the panels as well. Keighley’s “E3 Live” coverage technically begins Sunday, June 9, so he’ll also have coverage and commentary for the press conferences as well, if you’d like a little extra flavor.
In past years, YouTube hosted the E3 Coliseum in its YouTube Gaming subsite. With the closed down, I recommend going directly to the channel for Keighley’s company, GameSlice, where you should be able to find both the livestreams for this year’s panels and recordings from last year.
For a full list of all the E3 Coliseum panels and show times, check the program’s official schedule.
Not wanting to be outdone, Twitch also has a large presence on the E3 show floor and broadcasts interviews with developers about everything that’s going on with the show.
As of June 4, Twitch hasn’t released a schedule for its E3 programming yet, but based on last year it seems safe to say the channel will get a chance to talk to every major game and studio at some point, making it a solid channel to check if you aren’t looking for something specific.
Mikael Hertell really wanted a pet Deathclaw. He wanted one so bad he spent hours searching through Fallout 76’s broken wilds in search of one he could tame. He named it Steve. Steve was a good boy. Some might say a very good boy. That is, until Hertell went to sleep, woke up the next day and found Steve dead, killed by a glitch. That wasn’t the first time this happened to Hertell, either.
Before, Steve there was a Mega Sloth. There was also a gun—a legendary TSE (two-shot explosive) .50cal machine gun. Both disappeared. The gun vanished, Hertell believes, because of a glitch, something many players on the game’s subreddit have shared experiences of. What happened to the Mega Sloth is less clear, but Hertell, a YouTuber and musician who lives in Finland, thinks it died because of the unstable way campsites occasionally load in the game.
“What is the point of having near impossible to find weapons in the game if [Bethesda] won’t even acknowledge a bug that just deletes your most beloved guns from your inventory?” Hertell wrote in a frustrated May 1 Reddit post. “And I’m also out of my tamed sluggish mega sloth that i server hopped for ages [to get]…logged in and poof no sloth in my camp anymore.”
“I’m afraid to log back in, I lost my pet and my favorite gun i can’t afford to lose anything else :/”
What happened to the Sloth? Hertell still isn’t entirely sure.
“I logged in and I noticed that there was no sound from the sloth but all the enemies that spawned were dead, looked around for a bit and found him hanging from the ceiling of one of the pre-existing buildings that existed inside my camp boundaries,” Hertell told Kotaku in an email. “To this day I have no idea what killed him because the only enemies there were low level mole rats.”
Whatever the bug was that took his first pet’s life, Hertell remained undeterred in his quest for an irradiated buddy. “I’m a huge pet lover irl and currently have three cats and a ball python in the house so it just felt like something was missing from my camp unless it had a pet in it,” he said.
The mysterious nature of pets in Fallout 76 also appealed to him. Nothing in the game tells you that you can tame wild animals. Even the game’s official strategy guide only mentions it in passing when discussing the perk card for Wasteland Whisperer, the skill that makes it possible to pacify wild creatures, and even then it doesn’t specify that these animals, if properly tamed, will follow you back to your campsite and hang out with you till death do you part.
Hertell crowdsourced information from random Google searches, equipped Wasteland Whisperer, and went out hoping for the best. The creatures have to spawn alone, and even then it doesn’t always work. Yesterday, after weeks of preparation and server hopping, Hertell finally found a lone Deathclaw and managed to woo it over to his side. He was elated. He posted about it on the game’s subreddit.
“God I hope this one doesn’t die like my megasloth…” he wrote.
Then today he logged back onto the game, and it had died. “Well that lasted a whopping 12 hours, I logged in and somebody was checking out my camp and he told me that a Supermutant killed my pet…” he wrote in a follow up post.
This time, the culprit was clear: bad loading times.
Ever since Fallout 76’s Wild Appalachia update arrived at the beginning of April, loading into the game has become a slightly more wonky affair. It’s hit people with elaborate campsites the hardest, as different parts of the game world appear to occasionally load in at different times. This is what Hertell believes happened to him, and why Steve is now dead. “The problem is that now when you log in to the game the game loads you into the game world quite fast and then loads enemies relatively quickly or agonizingly slow depending on where you are spawning,” he told Kotaku.
“Same goes for camps,” he continued. They take a minimum of around 1.5-2 minutes to fully load into the world so you are stuck there waiting for them to load. My issue with the pet was that for some reason while my camp took a long time to load into the game (and as almost everything is client side in the game this holds true to every visitor I get) my pet deathclaw steve would load the same second you spawned near the camp along with enemies.”
Before Hertell could do anything, Steve was dead. A super mutant had killed him. Since pets in Fallout 76 don’t scale to match the level of the player they belong to, it doesn’t always take much to kill them, even if they’re a dreaded Deathclaw. And the pets don’t respawn. Once they’re gone they’re gone for good. If Hertell’s camp turrets had spawned in more quickly, they might have been able to save Steve. “I’m just pretty pissed really, i spend so much time getting the pet only for it to be killed in a matter of hours,” he wrote on Reddit.
The tragic story of Steve might seem like a strange, isolated incident, but it’s indicative of a broader tension within the game and its community. It’s possible to get a pet to get attached to in Fallout 76,, but almost everything about the world, going down to the very code its built on, seems intent on trying to extinguish that relationship at a moment’s notice. The subreddit is full of postswith people requestingan overhaul to the pet mechanic, or a little more attention for itso that more players can give it a try for themselves.
Based on his recent experience, Hertell warns players against trying until the feature is fixed, or at least the load times for campsites become more stable. “What good is taming a cat when it dies to the first radroach that decides to attack your camp,” he said. “[It] would be cool for Bethesda to actually make it work instead of leaving it in a sorry state that its in now but I feel like the only things that get patched are the ones that get a lot of public outcry and the pets aren’t that well known so I really don’t see them making any significant improvements to them in a while.”
Slowly but surely, pet taming might finally be starting to get the attention it deserves. There’s already a meta memorial service for Steve going on in the game’s subreddit, with some players calling on one another to celebrate the Deathclaw’s legacy in some way at their own camp.
“May the legend of Steve live on in campfire tales,” wrote one player.
I’ve met some real characters during my time playing Rage 2. And by characters, I mean glorified quest dispensers. There’s old guy, cool lady, and of course—who could forget?—third main story person. These folks get functional speaking parts, but I honestly can’t remember a word they’ve said. They’re bland potato people in a perfunctory post-apocalyptic stew. But some of Rage 2‘s characters deserve better. I speak, of course, of all the otherwise faceless NPCs with in-friggin’-credible names.
Rage 2—a game I’m enjoying because The Guns Feel Good, and sometimes that’s all you need—feels like it could’ve been the bizarro garage punk noise solo its trailers tried to portray it as, but then its mom came in and told it to turn down that awful racket. So now it’s got a standard-issue video game setting, but all the ladders are pink, because fuck you, mom. There are, however, sprinkles of legitimate strangeness throughout the game in the form of characters with names that beautifully straddle the line between trying too hard and not trying even a single bit. These, dear reader, are their names (that I didn’t make up) and their stories (that I did make up).
A retired MMA fighter who earned his nickname by being wholly unable to bruise or armbar anybody and having very mean friends.
“Name’s Annie,” she tells people she meets through her job as a security guard outside a very exclusive club. “Annie Hilator,” she adds with a sly grin. “Get it?” No one’s ever gotten it.
The coolest person in the whole wasteland. In his mind.
By day: the quietest guy at the accounting firm. By night: definitely does porn.
Ryan Cockaim’s partner. Not in porn, surprisingly, but very supportive of all his lover’s pursuits. Doesn’t believe in “the institution of marriage,” but would still kind of like it if Ryan proposed.
Every time anyone’s asked him how his day is going, he’s replied “bad.”
Actually a staunch conservationist, trying to bring plants and wildlife back to this smoking crater of a world. He swears he saw a duck once, to the point that it’s the only story he tells at parties. People laugh at him for this, and he suffers from pretty bad depression.
She is THE LAW.
Younger brother of Bruce, older brother of Brucest.
Probably one of the top ten worst Berthas, but surprisingly not that bad as far as people go, in general.
SWEARS the wasteland was named after her and not the other way around. Might be right???
Can only say his own name. Is the life of every party.
The final Twitter user. Named by his mother, who was the final Twitter user before him. She passed away many years ago, but remains his only follower. It’s all very tragic, actually.
The real main character of Rage 2. You’re just a supporting character in their story. Sorry to break it to you this way. If you need someone to help you process this, just hit me up. I’m happy to help. You know I care about you.
DognBone von Carrotcake
Like I’d sully a name this good with some pithy made-up story.
Right hand man of DognBone von Carrotcake. Knows very little about about them. Loves them with all his heart. Spends all day on the internet re-posting #relatablecontent.
Rage 2, Bethesda’s new post-apocalyptic shooter, takes place in a big, open world full of enemy outposts to clear and quests to grind through. That hasn’t stopped one speedrunner from already beating it in under two hours.
Over the weekend, speedrunner CreeperHntr set the Any% world record for Rage 2 with a time of 1:53:26 after days of trying to work out an ideal route through the game and the best way to take advantage of the various out of bounds glitches players have found since the game came out on May 14. For all of its problems, Rage 2 has some precise and elegant shooting, which comes through beautifully in CreeperHntr’s run.
CreeperHntr’s current route focuses on trying to the get the game’s rocket launcher as quickly as possible, since it stuns bosses and thus shaves lots of time and difficulty, and boosting all of the game’s three characters to level five along the way to unlock their secondary quests, which are required to finish the game.
Out-of-bounds glitches are also key. Currently two have been discovered that help cut down on time. The first skips much of the labyrinthine Genetic Research Station in the Double Cross mission. The other, in the Beneath the Surface mission, requires climbing up into the area’s rafters and into a closed-off section of the map that immediately breaks the game and allows players to quickly bypass even more of Rage 2.
The run also partly relies on Rage 2’s arsenal of special abilities and performance-boosting perks. Upgrades to reload speed and movement speed, both while sprinting and aiming down the sights, help CreeperHntr get through the game more quickly. Abilities like Rush, which lets you blink forward several feet, and Grav Jump, a double jump that makes it possible to platform out of bounds, are also key.
CreeperHntr mostly speedruns first-person action games like Prey, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and Dishonored 2. They also currently hold the world record for the legacy rules category in 2016’s Doom. Since Rage 2 has a lot in common with the most recent Doom, as Id Software was involved in creating both, it’s a natural fit for the speedrunner.
“I’d say that the gunplay is what really makes it fun,” CreeperHntr told Kotaku in an email. “It feels like an open-world version of Doom.” That open-world aspect means there’s still plenty of ways to improve on CreeperHntr’s initial world record. CreepHntr said that other players are working on ways to skip the game’s lengthy tutorials, while simply perfecting the current route would lead to a time of close to 1:40.