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Five things you didn’t know about ‘Rage’

By Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY

Bethesda Softworks
When a new game is developed by the iconic id Software — the Mesquite, Texas-based creators of shooters such asWolfensteinDoom andQuake — you bet every single preview of the title will be read by

fans in anticipation of its launch.


Such is the case with Rage, due out Sept. 13 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PCs. The futuristic, post-apocalyptic shooter fuses first-person action with third-world vehicular combat in expansive environments. Toss in idTech 5 engine technology, a detailed story, memorable characters and rabid forces (including gangs, mutants and an oppressive government), and it’s no wonder many gamers are pumped for this fall release.

But we wanted to dig a little deeper to give you something you might not know about Rage, so we tapped creative director (and industry legend) Tim Willits to share some lesser-known details.


You rock. The asteroid that destroys Earth in Rage is Apophis (the name of an Egyptian god) and is named after 99942 Apophis, a real asteroid that will pass dangerously close to Earth in 2036. The story of Rage takes place about 100 years after Apophis smashes into the planet and destroys most of civilization. Scientists believe the real Apophis won’t hit Earth, but that could be a government cover-up.


Speaking in code. Nearly all the code in Rage was written from the ground up to make a true cross-platform technology. The struggles with fitting older technologies into the framework of new consoles can be tricky at best, but luckily for us, most of the pitfalls associated with this method were avoided. The programmers here were able to look at the technological landscape of each of the consoles and design a system that takes full advantage of each but also works together. It is cool technology.

You drive. Muscle-car vehicle combat was the impetus for the post-apocalyptic setting of Rage. When designing Rage, we knew that we wanted to have vehicle combat and when you think of vehicle combat, muscle cars with guns mounted on them comes to mind. That then narrowed the possible settings that would work. We also knew we wanted to base the game on Earth and have some sci-fi elements mixed into the story and experience. Once all that was settled, we knew that a post-apocalyptic setting would work perfectly. After that, the only thing left was deciding how to destroy Earth!

Grab some air. We added air control to vehicles while they are airborne in Rage. Straighten yourself out to land jumps better, or turn your vehicle to boost out of a landing. It isn’t based in realistic physics, but it sure is a heck of a lot more fun! Through testing, we discovered that the ability to slightly turn, pitch, or yaw your vehicle while in the air makes the jumping aspects of Rage more enjoyable.

Voice of reason. Television and movie star John Goodman voices the first character you meet in Rage, named Dan Hagar. When we went looking for a voice actor for this important character, we knew we needed to find someone special. We needed a voice actor who could play the part of a guy trying to keep his family alive in a wasteland environment. Luckily for us, John Goodman was our first choice and he graciously accepted. He was great in the part and comes across as a believable guy torn between helping you and keeping his settlement and family alive.


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