Out of all the titles that could elicit a perfervid sense of nostalgia, there is possibly none greater (on a personal level) at evoking such emotion than EA’s cult classic motorcycle brawler series, Road Rash. It allowed players to live their digital bikie fantasy by kicking, punching and chain-whipping their way through the ranks to become the king of the streets.
Road Rage was a household name in the 1990s and ever since EA shelved the series in the early 2000s, there has a been a distinct lack of motorcycle brawlers, especially those that recapture the magic and gratification that embodied Road Rash.
Publisher Maximum Games and developers Team6 are hoping to fill the void left by EA with their impending title, Road Rage. Initially announced in February 2016 for PS4, Xbox One and PC and set for release on November 18, 2016, Maximum Games announced a few weeks from the game’s launch that Road Rage had been delayed until sometime in 2017 in order to give the developers extra time to make the highest quality game possible.
Ahead of its October 24 release, I sat down with the game’s producer, David Bridgham, to find out if Road Rage is more than just a Road Rash spiritual successor and what flavours Team6 and Maximum Games were bringing to the genre to allow it to stand on its own two wheels.
DYEGB: Road Rage appears to be heavily inspired by popular ‘90s racer Road Rash. Just how much of Road Rage was influenced by Road Rash?
DB: There have been very few motorcycle combat games in recent years. Road Rage takes direct aim at the void that has existed since the days of Road Rash.
DYEGB: Do you feel a little bit more pressure knowing that fans have been crying out for a Road Rash style game for years?
DB: We feel excited to be bringing fans something they’ve been wanting for a while. In the end, people will interpret and react to games in different ways, so of course it’s impossible to please everyone. But we think fans of Road Rash will indeed have fun with Road Rage.
DYEGB: How long has Road Rage been in development for?
DB: Just over a year and a half.
DYEGB: The game is based in the fictional city of Ashen. Was Ashen inspired by any real locations?
DB: There are many inspirations within the game. Ashen has several districts that are inspired by metropolitan locations, but Ashen as a whole is not a direct representation of any real-world city.
DYEGB: How big is Road Rage’s open world?
DB: There are 7 districts within the game, each with their own flavour and layout style. If a skilled player takes the fastest bike on the most direct route, it will take them maybe 10 minutes to get from coast to coast. So, there are several square miles of detailed open world to explore.
DYEGB: Can you give us a brief rundown on the game’s premise?
DB: The general idea is that you’re a member of a biker gang that’s been working within a single neighbourhood. You start to branch out, gaining access to other districts, and you quickly discover there is a leading criminal organization in control of everything. You make it your goal to get to the top to take charge and change the state of society.
DYEGB: What are some of the weapons available to players? Will there be guns? I’m picturing Big Arnie in Terminator 2 with his pump-action shotgun blowing hapless fools off the road.
DB: There are short and long-range weapons, anything from bats to swords and more. Our focus was to equip players with unusual weapons not ordinarily found in vehicular combat games.
We wanted to emphasize the fun, over-the-top aspect and give players that sense of wild, no-holds-barred, arcade action
– David Bridgham
DYEGB: How long will it take (approximately) to complete all campaigns and side missions?
DB: We estimate that it will take the average user 5-6 hours to complete all campaigns and another 5-6 hours to complete all of the side missions.
DYEGB: Will there be a vehicular and/or character upgrade/customisation system? If so how will this work?
DB: There are several areas where players will be able to customise their bikes, with performance and cosmetic upgrades. Any character can use any weapon or bike, as long as they’re unlocked.
DYEGB: Will your character be customisable, such as their gender, name or appearance?
DB: No, at this time the only customisation that characters have is the ability to use any of the weapons available in the game, along with any unlocked bike.
DYEGB: Road Rage has some pretty hilarious rag-doll physics. What made you go down the comical route in this regard?
DB: We wanted to emphasize the fun, over-the-top aspect and give players that sense of wild, no-holds-barred, arcade action. There’s something very satisfying about seeing your enemies go flying.
DYEGB: It’s been revealed in a gameplay video that Road Rage’s story will be delivered via on-screen smartphone text messages. Will these cutscenes be voiced at all?
DB: Yes, the text messages will also be voiced.
DYEGB: Will there be a split screen mode?
DB: YES! We fully support 4-player split screen mode in Road Rage on all platforms.
DYEGB: Can you tell us more about Road Rage’s online multiplayer component?
DB: We support 4-player online matches including Circuit racing and Knockout events.
DYEGB: Can you form your own gang online?
DB: No, that is not part of the storyline or gameplay at this time.
DYEGB: If you could form your own bike gang in real life what would it be called?
DB: Maximum Threat.
DYEGB: From a technical aspect what frame rate and resolutions are you targeting for the console versions?
DB: We are targeting standard HD resolutions, and aiming for a smooth 30FPS on console versions.
DYEGB: Will any versions of Road Rage support HDR?
DB: No, we haven’t planned HDR support for Road Rage, but it will be one of the possibilities under consideration for future patches.
DYEGB: You recently delayed the release of the game six weeks out from the initial release date. Just how close was the game to completion?
DB: Very close. We decided to take the extra time to polish and make the game as smooth as possible.
DYEGB: What is the new release window for the game?
DB: We are currently targeting a release date of October 24th on all platforms.
DYEGB: Do you have any plans to develop post-release DLC?
DB: DLC is always something under consideration when a game is released, but we have no further details at this time.
DYEGB: Thank you for your time and good luck with the rest of the development process. We look forward to playing Road Rage when it releases in 2017.
Us here at Do You Even Game Bro? are excited to get our hands on Road Rage later next month. It’s over-the-top motorbike shenanigans look like they could lead to some hilariously fun times. I’m equally excited about the fact that the game will feature 4-player split screen, a feature/mode that far too many games omit these days. Whether it will quench the Road Rash thirst we will have to wait and see.
Road Rage will release for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 24. To find out more about the title please visit the official website.