New Rage Engine Rumors Mean More Than Just Improved Visuals
After years of rumors and leaks, earlier in 2022, Rockstar Games finally confirmed GTA 6 is in development. That doesn’t stop the rumor, though, as the latest in a long line of rumors comes from a Rockstar insider. Chris Klippelwhich claims that Rockstar uses a new version of its in-house engine, known as RAGE (Rockstar Advanced Game Engine).
Klippel is a French journalist who previously reported on the existence of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy a month before Rockstar officially announced it. While the most notable thing about a new engine might seem like a graphical overhaul, the change could actually lead to something much more vital to Rockstar’s future.
RAGE is a proprietary engine that Rockstar first used for a 2006 game that most people might not even know about –Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis. Since then, Rockstar has revamped the engine again and again, using it on nearly every new release, including Auto grand theft 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2. Rockstar has done an impeccable job of updating the engine, and no one can deny the jaw-dropping visuals of the studio’s recent games. Many of the systems below, however, have started to show their age. Even the Red Death 2 sports the same clunky movement and shooting systems found in games the studio made over a decade ago.
The same could be said for the mission design, which continually feels flat and uninteresting. Most of the missions in both GTA 5 and RDR 2 consist of “go somewhere, kill enemies, rinse and repeat”. Rockstar is great at telling stories and creating vast open worlds, but the core design could use an update and expansion to make those core gameplay elements more unique and less formulaic.
In the most basic terms, a game’s engine serves as the framework for everything. In an interview with OXM, the technical team of CD Projekt Red explains it this way:
“A game engine is a platform your game can run on; to load the world, place you there and welcome your stay. There are many types of motors. Depending on the demands of your game, each will differ in how much work they actually do. They render (display) the world, calculate physics, play sounds and more. Engines are all code that is not specific to your game and can potentially be reused in another title.
These days, many developers choose to use mass-marketed engines, namely the Unreal Engine. Still, developers like CD Projekt and Rockstar are developing their own engines to more closely align with internal design goals and philosophies.
A massive RAGE Engine update gives Rockstar a significant opportunity to rethink the core of how its games work. This is the perfect time to tighten up the controls or even rethink them completely. Rockstar has never been afraid to try ambitious new ideas, like instant character switching GTA 5. One updated engine offers even more possibilities to integrate complex systems GTA 6.
Another recent rumor complaints GTA 6 was delayed to respond to criticism with the main mission design of Red Death 2. While an updated engine won’t magically fix core design issues, not being tied down by an archaic engine might just be the boost Rockstar needs.
GTA 6 is one of the biggest game releases of all time, and Rockstar wouldn’t need to change much for it to sell millions of copies. However, if the rumors are to be believed, it seems that the developer is putting a lot of effort into updating their systems and making GTA 6 feel fresh.
Rockstar has always been a top developer, but if GTA 6 abandons a lot of archaic systems from the past, this could really be something amazing.