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Characters are “really important” to Rage 2

Rage 3

Rage 2 is already looking like a fun mix of open-world Mad Max-style exploration and Doom-style gun combat, but for anyone who’s played and enjoyed the first Rage, there’s been something missing: characters.

The marketing for Rage 2 so far, as entertaining as it’s been, has centred entirely on the intense action and the open-world itself, but the wasteland of Rage 1 was filled with crazy, likable, believable, and highly entertaining personalities. So where are they in Rage 2?

We spoke to Loke Wallmo, senior designer at Avalanche, and Tim Willits, studio director at id Software, about the characters of Rage 2 and whether they’re as vital to the sequel as they were in the first game.

Loke Wallmo assures us, “I think the characters are really important for the game, and for the feel of the game world and the story itself. It’s difficult to maintain a cohesive storyline in an open-world game, so it’s better to hook it up to certain characters and personalities that you can attach yourself to. It’s definitely an important factor to us.”

Tim Willits points out that the recently released ‘Eden Assault’ extended gameplay video actually brings in one character from Rage 1 – Dr Antonin Kvasir, the slightly crazy scientist who deeply hates the Authority, the Empire-like bad guys of the wasteland.

Willits promises that later this year they’ll be showing off more of the game’s story and characters then they have so far. “It’s hard to show an open-world game in just 20 minutes.”

We also asked Willits the more important question about who would win in a fight between id Software, from Texas, and Avalanche Studios, from Sweden. “I think the Vikings would beat the Texans,” he concludes. Fortunately the two studios are actually getting on really well, especially as id Software couldn’t do Rage 2 themselves. “We didn’t have the experience or technology to do it ourselves,” Willits says. “So when the Avalanche team became available it became so easy. It was kind of a love at first sight thing.”