Tim Jones, head of Creative on why you should play Rogue Trooper Redux.
Rogue Trooper stands as one of the more enduring cult classics and favorites from the PS2 era- so imagine the delight felt by many of its fans when it was announced for a re-release via way of a remaster for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. But what inspired Creative to bring the game back? Is there any scope for the continuation of the franchise? How did they approach the modernizaton of the game? These, and other questions, were all answered by Tim Jones, head of Creative, as he sat down to have an exclusive chat with GamingBolt about the upcoming game.
Note: This interview was conducted before the game’s release.
What inspired you to remaster Rogue Trooper for the current generation?
Rogue Trooper was critically acclaimed by many outlets and fans alike – it earned a number of nominations including two for BAFTA. We had pretty much universal recognition for faithfully bringing the comic book to life. Over the years, it has maintained a loyal fanbase who consistently ask us for more from Rogue Trooper. Remastering Rogue Trooper over a decade later is an opportunity for us to bring the game to a new generation of gamers who may have missed it first time around. If this proves successful, it could pave the way for a brand new Rogue Trooper game!
Is Rogue Trooper more of a visual remaster or does it offer any major changes to its gameplay?
The majority of the work has gone into the visuals, but we have made some changes to modernize the gameplay. We always felt Rogue Trooper’s gameplay holds up as a tactical cover-based shooter, but gaming tastes have changed a lot in 11 years so we certainly felt some changes would help Rogue feel a little more familiar in 2017. We’ve introduced an over-the-shoulder aim mode on the left trigger and tweaked the cover system so that it’s far more dynamic! We’ve also remapped the controls to be more contemporary. There are also new difficulty modes – Easy and Legend – new achievements and trophies, and the return of online play. The original used GameSpy for its online functionality and of course GameSpy sadly shut down, so it’s great that we can now bring online play back across all platforms and systems.
"The QA process has been quite illuminating! There have been many instances of bugs being reported that we have to double-check if they were present in the original game."
What are some of the new graphical features that players can look forward to in Rogue Trooper Redux?
Loads! We’ve released a comparison trailer recently and I’d highly recommend giving it a watch to see the degree of the changes. But yes, on top of the game now of course being HD, we’ve completely remodelled the characters, weapons and vehicles – Rogue himself even has a slicker look that calls back to the original comics. On top of that we’ve got new special effects, dynamic lighting, remastered cut scenes, enhanced geometry – I could go on but suffice to say, it’s far from a simple HD re-release. This is a proper remaster which we and our friends at TickTock Games have put a lot of love into.
How many of the original game’s team members are currently working on the remaster?
There are a number of us who worked on the original game still at Rebellion and while most of us are technically working on other projects, we’re more than happy to pitch in and solve problems. Some of the original programmers have loved the chance to go back into the game’s code in particular!
Did you consider cleaning up any of the bugs or issues present in the original game or preserving them for nostalgic purposes?
The QA process has been quite illuminating! There have been many instances of bugs being reported that we have to double-check if they were present in the original game. Sometimes they are – but it’s always been minor stuff, but wherever possible we’ve fixed them in the remaster!
Is there any new content (like new stages and such) that we can look forward to?
There are no new levels, but as I mentioned there’s still a lot that will feel fresh. I think this time around we wanted to bring the game back for the fans as they remember. We’ll see what happens and how well Redux does. We’d love to work on a brand new Rogue Trooper game, no doubt about that.
"The graphics rendering side of the engine has undergone a complete overhaul: Rogue Trooper Redux now has dynamic lighting and shadows, normal maps, roughness, reflectivity, soft particles, screen-space ambient occlusion and loads more."
Given how many publishers have shied away from working on the Nintendo Switch, what motivated you to bring Rogue Trooper Redux to the platform?
The original Rogue Trooper came out on the Nintendo Wii of course! We are huge fans of Nintendo and made quite a few GBA games in our time, so while we didn’t have a huge presence on Wii U we still love Nintendo and the Switch is a great piece of hardware. It was an irresistible opportunity for us to have Rogue Trooper playable on a portable device for the first time! There aren‘t many block buster shooters on the platform yet either, and as a studio known for those kinds of experiences, we hope we can help change this!
What kind of improvements have you done to the game’s engine?
The graphics rendering side of the engine has undergone a complete overhaul: Rogue Trooper Redux now has dynamic lighting and shadows, normal maps, roughness, reflectivity, soft particles, screen-space ambient occlusion and loads more. The art has all been recreated at much higher detail to support these features, and all the special effects and lighting have been completely reworked too!
The game is coming on the PS4 and Xbox One as well. What frame rate and resolution are you targeting for both?
We’re targeting 1080p and 30 frames per second on both PS4 and Xbox One.
Can you tell us what frame rate and resolution will the PS4 Pro version run on? What kind of enhancements will it include?
What we can say right now is the PS4 Pro version uses super sampling which gives a beautifully crisp and high quality image!
I am a bit concerned about the Switch version. Are there any compromises being done compared to the PS4 and X1?
Obviously the Switch version won’t support the same resolutions and top end graphical effects of some of the other systems, but we’re proud to say it’s otherwise feature-complete, including the online modes!
I am sure you must have heard about the Xbox One X’s announcement and how powerful it’s. It has a powerful GPU and a ton of memory, I am sure Rogue Trooper Redux will run at 4K/60fps on this machine?
It’s too early for us to confirm any specific features for the Xbox One X version.
Can we expect any post-launch content for the experience? When will it be releasing?
We’ve not announced anything at this stage. We’re just concentrating on getting the game out for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 17th and then Switch soon after that!