With launch of Brutal Rage on Xbox One fast approaching, we reached out to the one-man developer at 2BAD GAMES to find out more about what the arcade beat ’em up would be containing. He was only too happy to take a bit of time out of his schedule to chat about the game, his development history, and what is to come from 2BAD GAMES.
Hi, could you please introduce yourself. What is your role at 2BAD GAMES and on the development of Brutal Rage?
Let me introduce myself, I’m Tony De Lucia and I’m 31 years old. I don’t have a degree in video games. I am what is called a “self-taught”. It was my passion for video games that led me to take an interest in mechanics and the strings hidden behind the games I played. 4 years ago I quit my job as a salesman to found my video game studio 2BAD GAMES. A year ago, I launched my 1st game 2URVIVE on Xbox One and I’m about to start again in a few days with my new game BRUTAL RAGE which I created alone.
So sell it to us, why should gamers be interested in Brutal Rage on Xbox One?
BRUTAL RAGE is an arcade beat ’em up, a love letter to all these games of the ’80s and ’90s. I think it will appeal to all fans of beat’em up because I used all the mechanics that define the genre. I also add a bit of humor to the game by playing clichés that we find in this kind of game. Little extra, the game is playable in local co-op, it’s always funnier with a friend!
What has been the inspiration behind the game?
The game is inspired by a lot of action movies from the ’80s such as Tango and Cash or even Demolition Man where the hero is a bad guy with questionable punchlines. Of course, it is also inspired by the 90’s arcade beat’em ups such as Streets of Rage, Double Dragon or Cadillacs and Dinosaurs.
Could you tell us a bit about the backstory behind the cops involved?
The game is about 3 cops Kurt, Mac and Tommy who are wrongly accused of a crime they didn’t commit. Victim of a setup they end up in prison. They will quickly understand that someone is trying to eliminate them. They will have to escape from prison to make the one who trapped them pay.
How many different types of enemies are present in-game? Are there any differences in how these should be approached?
The game contains 22 enemies and 7 bosses. Some enemies have specific skills such as the possibility of parrying the player’s heads or dodging them. Some enemies can use the same weapon as you. Do not leave weapons lying around, the enemies will not hesitate to use them against you!
Punching, kicking and grabbing is all great, but what about the weapons? What different items will we find included?
The game contains 7 different weapons including bats, knives and even pistols! Melee weapons allow you to strike enemies even if they block you and cause more damage.
Guns can kill an enemy with a single bullet!
And can you tell us more about the Rage meter that is included? How does that work?
Each time the player hits an enemy, his rage bar is filled. When it’s full, the player can activate his rage. This makes him powerful for a short period of time. Rage allows the player to get rid of tough enemies or to get out of a complicated situation!
It seems like Brutal Rage isn’t just about beating the living daylights out of bad guys; there are some vehicle-based moments included too. How did these segways come about?
In some short stages, the player will drive a motorbike. During these gameplay modes the player will have to avoid obstacles (cars, projectiles, etc.). I added these scenes in order to break the repetition that we find in this kind of game.
How many hours of gameplay will the average gamer find with Brutal Rage?
Players will have to cross 18 stages divided into 6 episodes to complete the story mode. The game also includes an additional mode. ~2 hours will be necessary to complete the game.
In terms of replayability, what is there for those looking for further playthroughs once they’ve completed the story?
In addition to the story mode the game also contains the BRUTAL CLUB mode which requires the player to face waves of enemies in 3 different arenas. Each arena contains a champion that must be beaten. The game also includes an online highscore system via the Xbox Live to allow the player to improve their score and compare them with their friends.
If you could give new players to Brutal Rage one initial tip, what would it be?
Remember to use your rage when it is full and to recover health in the crates available in the levels.
You’re quite obviously a man of many talents, but which of the narrative, visuals, audio or coding mechanics were the trickiest to get right? Did you have to get any help with any specific elements?
The most complicated part of the job is the code because it’s what allows everything to work together, but it’s also what I prefer! Since my last game, I work with a freelance to translate my games in English!
After creating a top-down shooter with 2URVIVE and now a side-scrolling beat ‘em up with Brutal Rage, what’s next on the 2BAD GAMES agenda?
I’m actually working on #KISSHER4ME (provisional name). It’s a narrative thriller with elements of survival horror. I’ve started the development in 2018. The player plays Frank Morgan, an FBI agent with a dark past. This is my first game in 3D and this time, I give up pixel art in favour of handmade drawings. I hope to be able to publish it next year.
And what did you learn from the reception of 2URVIVE that you have taken into the creation of Brutal Rage?
2URVIVE is a real success on Xbox One. I’ve received a lot of positive feedbacks and
encouragements. I learned a lot during the development of 2URVIVE. Feedback from players and journalists allowed me to correct certain issues through updates. It also helped me to improve my developments and to avoid certain mistakes on my current projects.
And finally, we’re seeing Brutal Rage launch in the same release window as the much anticipated Streets of Rage 4. Was this planned? Are you worried something with such a rich history may hog the side-scrolling beat ‘em up limelight?
The release date of BRUTAL RAGE has been validated with Microsoft 3 months ago and at that time STREETS OF RAGE 4 hadn’t yet revealed its release date. Finally, the two games will be released the same month, but I’m not worried. I think both games will find their audience. I think it’s going to be a great month for beat ’em up fans!
Huge thanks go out to Tony for giving us the chance to quiz him on all things Brutal Rage. The game releases on Xbox One on the 22nd April 2020. If you wish to grab it, hit up the Store. And if you fancy finding out even more about how Tony goes about his development process, make sure you follow him on Twitter.