Rage Hard was a First Person Shooter in development from 2002 to possibly 2007, planned to be released on MAC first, then possibly also on Windows PCs. German company Titan Computer GbR were the main driving force behind the game, although they seemed to have been joined later by the fellow german DnS Development. Both companies had experience bringing Windows games to Macintosh, having ports such as Jagged Alliance 2, SiN, Heretic II and Shogo: Mobile Armor Division under their belts, and Rage Hard was being made as a Mac OS title first and foremost.
Rage Hard’s basic concept was something commonly seen around the time of its development: a multiplayer-focused shooter set in a gritty urban environment, backed up by a large arsenal of weapons and a tactical coat of paint. However, it wanted to set itself apart from the competition by not having the central conflict be what Titan saw as the generic Military good guys vs. Terrorist bad guys, and instead creating a world in which the playable characters all belonged to villainous factions.
Rage Hard was set in the not too distant future, in which the police itself grew to be corrupt enough to become one of the reigning crime syndicates. They becomes engaged in skirmishes which pit all manner of other criminals and deranged gunmen against each other. These would range from common street thugs to cartel and mafia members, paramilitaries and religious fanatics, offering a large selection of characters with wildly different looks. The CLAWS engine allowed for every detail of their appearance (like eyes, clothing and hair) to animate in real time.
Combat would take place in either close-quarters locations, such as nightclubs and other building interiors, to expansive and open environments like gang-ridden city blocks. Powered by an experience-based class system, the gameplay would require players to adapt to the environment, choosing between chaotic gunfights or a more tactical approach, as well as picking the right skills for the job.
Rage Hard would apparently do away with restrictive classes seen in games such as Battlefield by allowing the player to pick a base skill they wanted to excel at (for example Accuracy) and then utilizing experience gained by defeating enemies to develop others in whatever way they saw fit in between rounds. In theory, this could mean that creating a Sniper character that also had the ability to be a damage sponge was possible. But, of course, the utility of such a class to the team would be questionable, and it was up to the player to decide what worked in what context.
Despite the clear multiplayer focus, Rage Hard would also feature a single player campaign said to be 12 levels long and entirely team-based, although this aspect of the game seems to only have been added later on during development.
What ultimately became of Rage Hard is unclear. First announced in 2002, the game seemed to stay in development hell for quite a long time. Although the official website remained up until mid-2009, the last update on it dated back to late 2007. The Titan Computer website was accessible until at least late 2016, but it similarly stopped updating in 2009, with the last three announcements being completely unrelated to Rage Hard’s development. It’s likely they were ultimately unable to secure a publishing deal: whatever the case may be, Rage Hard would never end up seeing the light of day.
It seems Titan were never able to recover from the years they put into its development. Regarding DnS Development, their fate also seems to have become a mystery. They went on to release several games in the years after their unreleased project, which are available on Steam, and their website is still up as of 2021. However, their last project, Primal Fears, was released in 2013 and there has been no news from them since then.
Article by thecursebearer, thanks to Daniel Nicaise for the contribution!
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