After launching against strong competition in 2011, Rage mostly faded out of player’s minds. In May, however, the series is back with Rage 2. With a new, colorful art style and a focus on personality and character over grimness, Rage 2 looks set to make a mark on the genre. We had a chance to sit down with id Software Studio Director, Tim Willits, to learn how he’s bringing the series back.
[Hardcore Gamer] Rage came out in 2011 and now we have Rage 2 in 2019. What made you want to return to the Wasteland?
[Tim Willits] Rage sold well and was well rated, and we at id always had a special place in our heart for the game. We wanted to bring that id Software style of combat to an open world. With the original Rage we did a lot of things really well, but due to the way technology works we had to separate shooting and driving areas. Today, we can fully realize that original vision. There has been sometime between the games, but we’ve really pushed forward with a fully-voiced protagonist and abilities to allow the game to stand on its own.
What’s cool about working with Avalanche is that they provide the Apex Engine, which allows us to deliver on the promise of the original game. We can deliver that id Software combat in a true open world. It has much more seamless back-and-forth gameplay. It’s all smooth. I really love the Avalanche guys. They bring a huge wealth of open world experience. We’re working together to deliver the experience players want. Rage 2 is the love child of id and Avalanche.
The tone of Rage 2 is very different from Rage. It feels over-the-top and not at all what one would expect from a Rage sequel. What made you go down this route?
Not only did we want to use new technology and a new style, but we also wanted to change the narrative of this post-apocalyptic world. We joke that it’s a post-post-apocalyptic world. We wanted to do something different, but also give it a unique personality and to be fun. There are a lot of post-apocalyptic games out there, and we feel we have a really good combination here.
It’s the different factions that live in the biomes that change things up. They all fight differently. They also give context to the world.
What kind of vehicles can players interact with? Does your car, the Phoenix, go through any changes or upgrades?
You weren’t able to access the Garage in the build you played, but the way it works is that if you bring a vehicle back to the Garage, you can spawn any vehicle in there. You’ll be able to collect a lot of different vehicles. The Phoenix, meanwhile, can be upgraded with different weapons and you can tool with the engine.
Bethesda Softworks has put a huge push behind the Nintendo Switch. Any chance Rage 2 will join Doom on the platform?
We’re looking at the technology. Like I said, this is a big game and we’re trying to figure out how to make it fit.
We do have some plans for paid and free content. It is a single player game and we do have some community pushes we’ll talk about in the future. The way our technology works, does allow us to integrate and change the world easier than other games. We have a team we’re forming to help with us on post launch fans. We’re trying to stay agile and pivot towards what people want. A lot of the times development teams start planning post-launch without knowing what people want more of. We’re really trying to steer towards what players want. There are plans, but nothing final yet.
Can you talk about PS4 Pro and Xbox One X enhancements?
To make it simple, on the enhanced consoles, it runs at 1080p/60fps. On base hardware, it runs at 30fps. On PC, it’s uncapped. We went for speed over 4K for the enhanced consoles.
When can players get their hands on the game?
Rage 2 is out May 14 on PS4, Xbox One and PC.