Studio director Tim Willits tells me that he can’t remember whether it was Id Software or Avalanche Studios that spoke to the other first. “It was kind of one of those things where you meet in a bar,” he explains, “you look at each other, and you fall in love.”
Rage 2’s a passion project for many reasons – it’s the sequel to a game that never quite lived up to its promise, the chance to realise its original open world vision, and, yes, make up for that underwhelming ending – but, honestly, the passion that comes through strongest is from each of its developers to the other.
It’s an improbably perfect match. Id is now almost inarguably seen as the king of first-person shooters, having somehow made a Doom sequel that lived up to the franchise’s own towering legacy. Avalanche, meanwhile, blazed a trail into emergent open worlds, often making those that followed look thoughtless by comparison. When it comes to Rage 2 – a first-person open world action game – this feels less like a development partnership and more like a supergroup. Willits calls it a marriage.