Rage 2 has cheat codes, but you have to buy them from a wizard

Bethesda revives a long-held PC gaming tradition

Rage 2 will have cheat codes, including instagib effects and even a voiceover from NBA Jam’s Tim Kitzrow. For those of you born after the millennium, cheat codes were originally complex inputs that granted unfair advantages such as invulnerability so devs could more easily test their games, but they evolved into silly graphical effects like making everyone’s heads bigger.

Rage 2’s cheats look like they’ll be of the latter variety. “He’s on Fire” triggers Kitzrow’s voiceover; “Son of Thor” electrocutes enemies that get too close to you; and “Klegg Support” will spawn one of Rage 2’s most annoying NPCs as an AI companion. Publisher Bethesda says there are plenty more to discover, and more will be added after launch. Head to Bethesda’s blog for a full rundown.

“Cheats have been an integral part of games since someone first typed ‘idkfa’ into the original Doom,” says Rage 2’s senior gameplay programmer Peter Hastings. “And we’re proud to be keeping the tradition alive. Plus, they’re just really funny.”

Bethesda says all versions of Rage 2 will have cheats, but there will be different ways to unlock them depending on your edition. Pre-ordering any edition gets you “He’s on Fire”, while Rage 2’s deluxe edition has three cheats unlocked “right off the bat”. Otherwise, you’ll have to track down an NPC with universe-altering powers called the Wasteland Wizard, who will sell you cheats for in-game currency. Bethesda says you won’t have to pay real money for cheats.

The Rage 2 release date is May 14 according to its Steam store page. We’ve played it on two occasions, and while I enjoyed its combat, Ali was less impressed by its open-world sections.

As our older, wiser readers will remember, cheat codes were once common in games, especially on PC. When I was a child I genuinely thought they were the most enjoyable way to play – getting to mess around with every weapon from the beginning of shooters such as Dark Forces, Half-Life, and Quake was a particular favourite.

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But even if I hadn’t since tired of running around in god mode, cheats aren’t really A Thing any more – certainly not gratuitous ones like these that just do things for kicks and giggles. Halo 3’s Grunt Birthday Party is among the last ones I can think of.