We recently had the chance to speak to Tim Willits, studio director at id Software, to discuss the Rage 2 demo that was showcased at E3.
The original Rage, that released nearly seven years ago now, at the time boasted an open world setting for players to explore. Now, that wasn't entirely true, it did have somewhat of a pseudo-open world in that you could explore to a degree, but there were clear limitations. There were also pretty invasive loading times, although the game did look great. This time around id Software is keen to give players what they originally promised, building on the brutal universe they laid out.
"When the opportunity came up to work with a real open-world developer with great open-world technology", explained Willits, "we realised that we could deliver on the promise of the original Rage."
Rage 2 is being developed in collaboration with Avalanche Studios, a team famed for its open world games, in particular on the Just Cause series and more recently the apocalyptic open world adaptation of Mad Max. The team are the perfect fit to move forward with Rage's dystopian universe devoid of society, law, and order but bursting with character. Don't be mistaken though, this game is very much an id Software first-person shooter.
"When we first started our collaboration it was one of the main milestones or goals that we set out jointly to tackle," says Willits. "We were able to utilise our experience. We pulled people in and out of the project to help with certain specialities and we were, I believe, really able to craft that DNA of an id Software shooter into this open-world game."
The philosophy was to create a game in keeping with id's current catalogue of titles (such as Doom and its recently announced sequel) but in an open-world environment unique to what the developers have tried before. This joining of powerhouse development could mean the best of both worlds for players with the solid first-person shooter mechanics expected from id and the open-world insanity that Avalanche can bring to the table.
"We've learned so much working with the Avalanche Studio folks and integrating our philosophy and experience of building first-person shooters into this open world game and the open world engine," said Willits.
The game world may be opening up this time around but the gameplay is looking to get closer than ever and actively encourages close-quarters combat. The game's oriented around very in-your-face action with players being rewarded the faster they take down enemies and increase their kill streak leading to more combo kill craziness. Things definitely looked to have ramped things up a notch in terms of the action.
"We like the intensity of close combat fighting," said Willits, "but we have this open world, so we want to reward players for engaging enemies up close."
Rage 2 should be exploding onto PC, PS4, and Xbox One early next year. To find out some more information check out our preview .