'The game is not called' Rage 'for nothing

Just before the E3 of this year we already had the chance to see Rage 2 and even play a part of it. That piece was so small, however, and the information released by the Swedish developer Avalanche Studios was so soggy that there were a lot of questions left. Fortunately, during QuakeCon we were able to speak extensively with Magnus Nedfors, the design director of Avalanche Studios. We asked him to pull the tip of the veil a little further up. For example, we wanted to know how the collaboration with id Software came about and whether Avalanche had to get used to working together with such an experienced studio.

Nedfors: “We were approached by Bethesda and id Software. They were looking for a partner who has experience with open world games and came to us because our Just Cause games are just as violent and over the top as their games and they asked us to write a pitch for Rage 2. We have the chance Of course, the idea is that id was very curious about our plans and they wanted to hear the developers what we would do with a game like Rage 2, so we had plenty of room to explain our plans. of ‘this is what we want with Rage 2, you can make that’, but got almost full creative freedom, of course id also outlined his own plans around the game, but it wanted to hear what our ideas were. are pretty similar. For example, we soon realized that the game had to get the action of an id game and that the shooting had to feel like in Doom or the previous Rage. That was one of the two requirements that ID put beforehand. The other requirement was that it should be a first person game, something that we have no experience with. Furthermore, there were some small differences in the plans, but that was mainly because id did not know what was possible with our engine. When we made that clear, they were actually especially enthusiastic about what we were planning. “

“Despite all this mutual enthusiasm, it was not immediately easy to make the game”, says Nedfors. “We had to get used to ‘first person’. Fortunately we could learn something about it, which of course also applies to the weapons in the game. Especially the latter was very instructive, especially when it comes to all the important small details in the animations, the sound and the recoil. Id has a lot of knowledge about that at home. On the other hand, we have made it clear to the people of id how we build an open world. That is very different from a shooter with different levels, like an id that has made. In an open world you actually do everything at once, from the ground up. That is more difficult than putting together a game from separate levels. In open games like ours you have a lot more freedom. You can do something with every object you encounter, but at the same time nothing has been written. That’s quite a difference with the fairly linear games that make id. “

Still there are parts of Rage 2 that are quite linear, during QuakeCon we could play a part of the game. where we had to penetrate into a multi-story building that was teeming with opponents, and that scene was pretty linear, we’re thinking of Nedfors. “The scene you can play here does indeed have a lot of an id game,” he says. “It is the final piece of a quest in which you have to take a satellite down. There are many such quests, but they are not all as linear as these. That this piece is linear is mainly due to the building. Many quests, however, are ‘typical Avalanche’: think of a basis that you need to penetrate and you can choose yourself from which side you do that. You can just walk neatly through the gate and deal with every opponent you meet, but there are always more ways to deal with the situation. Perhaps somewhere in the neighborhood is a tank with which you can enter the base via the back. You can always choose, and if you want, the necessary violence will be involved. Just like id Software we like explosions, but with us you usually have more freedom. The order in which you do things is never fixed, for example. “

Tim Willits from id Software (l) and Magnus Nedfors from Avalanche Studios (r) during the E3 of 2018

Tactical options

Speaking of freedom, Mad Max, the most recent game Avalanche delivered, was also an open-world game with lots of vehicles and firefights, but in Mad Max you could also choose a more tactical approach and, for example, first switch off a part of a hostile camp with a sniper rifle.There is also room for such an approach in Rage 2. Nedfors: “Much less than in Mad Max. There is no sniper rifle and no other tactical means such as a mine that you can ignite from a distance. The games of id are pretty direct. It is running and shooting, not sneaking. Wolfenstein does that a bit, but Rage does not. However, we have not yet shown everything. In the images we have shown so far, there are only three weapons. A shotgun, an Assault Rifle, the standard work. And the Wingstick, of course, the boomerang that was already in the first game. We have only shown three special skills, the options that are based on Nanotrites, just like in the first game. The Dash, Shatter, that kind of work. But there’s more. More weapons, more Nanotrites. Most of them are focused on movement, not shooting. However, that gives you some choices. So you can first observe a camp quietly, see what kind of enemies you will encounter and what they have for playing style, and choose an approach. But sneaking is not the style of the game. It is run & gun. The game is not called Rage for nothing. “
The images that you showed here during QuakeCon show that Rage 2 contains several hostile factions.” That’s right, “says Nedfors,” although I may only mention three of those talking factions. The faction where you fight in the demo against the Goon Squad. They are not very strong tactically. Actually they are just pretty stupid. They do not seem to realize that you can also die from a game of fighting. And they love everything that ‘booms’ does. At the other end of the spectrum are the Immortal Shrouded. Those people are a lot smarter and they fight a lot more tactically. They have advanced weapons, where much use is made of electricity. Moreover, they work together during fighting. The Riverhawk are very different again. These are big, rugged types. This faction looks a bit like a gang of bikers. They are more physically set and keep animals. Especially dogs, such as the dangerous Skullhound they use during combat. “

Different vehicles

” The differences are also reflected in the vehicles, “he continues.” We have shown images of a convoy that you can robbery, as a permanent part of the game. It is a part that as a challenge can pass free randomly in the game. You can let such a convoy pass by, but you can also jump into your car and try to take out the entire convoy, including the heavily armed and heavily armored vehicle at the head of the procession. That is not easy, of course, but if it succeeds, that guarantees a fat loot. The convoy from the demo is from the Immortal Shrouded, which is noticeable from the electric weapons they use. When you look at the images, you see that they are throwing projectiles on the road that give off a lot of shocks. “
When we had the chance to see Rage 2 earlier this year, you announced that the game world contains quite different environments and landscapes Is there a connection between the different factions and the different landscapes? “That connection is certain. Take the Riverhawk. They have their home base in what we call the Swampland. But it is not that you will not encounter them outside the Swampland. The Riverhawk also have small, advanced posts outside the Swampland. Moreover, you can encounter such a convoy of every faction in the game. Something similar applies to the other factions. Now that we are talking about the factions, they do not literally come from the first Rage, but are based on figures and characters from that game. Our writer has devised a storyline for many of the bandits and other characters from the first game, which explains what happened in the 30 years between the two games. And precisely because a period of 30 years has passed, it would be illogical to meet exactly the same people or groups. A lot of things happened during that time. Groups have disappeared, others have been merged, and new groups have been formed. The link with the previous game is there, although that will not always be clear. “
Finally: Rage 2 was shown for the first time during the E3 and could even be played here and there. interesting feedback received in the game Nedfors: “The reactions were especially positive, so we did not get much criticism that could have led to changes. Yet we have learned a lot. Especially from watching how others play. We have to explain a little more here and there. Things that are already cut for us, but apparently not entirely clear to new players. “

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