From everything that we’ve seen of it so far, RAGE 2 is looking like a perfect open world sandbox, one that hands out ridiculous powers, weapons, and abilities to players freely, with which we can wreak havoc in its post apocalyptic wasteland. However, according to the developers themselves, the game also has a strong focus on narrative, which is something that Bethesda and co-developers (and series creators) id Software had been adamant on from the moment the game entered development.
While speaking with the Official PlayStation Magazine in their April 2019 issue (Issue 160), Odd Ahlgren (narrative director) and Loke Wallmo (senior narrative designer) of Avalanche Studios talked about the game’s focus on narrative. “Bethesda and id have been pushing for the story from the very beginning as well,” said Wallmo. “They knew that they wanted a strong story component in the game, and pushed for that from the beginning.”
The duo then spoke about how the game reconciles its narrative focus with its open world sandbox nature- essentially, everyone you meet in the game has a defined backstory and character, which is something that the developers wanted to retain from the first RAGE title.
“Most people you meet, most stuff that you see, even enemies that you never really talk to, they have a backstory and they have a reason to be there, and they have a reason to behave in the outrageous way that they do,” said Ahlgren. “Most of these things are explained if you look close enough.”
“We’ve sort of spread it out all over the place so it’s kind of like more of a sandbox,” Wallmo added. “You’re going to a certain place and you find something there and it has a context and story.
“Something that I think RAGE put a lot of focus on that we’ve tried to maintain is the crazy characters that show up and have their own motivations for doing things and asking things of you. That’s something that we want to spread out through the world a little bit as well. There’s a strong part of that in the main story of the game, in the fight against The Authority. But that also echoes out throughout the rest of the world as well.”
RAGE 2 launches on May 14 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. On the PS4 and the Xbox One X, the game will run at 1080p and 60 frames per second, while on PC, you can expect to see it (and other future Bethesda titles) on Steam as well.