If I had to name a favorite game of E3 2018 – I'm fickle and bad with favorites – I'd probably say Rage 2 . Yesterday I wrote that it works as a mixtape of the Bethesda portfolio, grafting some of the best fragments of Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein and Elder Scrolls into a first-person shooter in an open world. Unfortunately, Rage 2 retains the only thing he despised from his predecessor, something that worried me would prevent me from really enjoying the continuation.
In 2018, the only thing I remember clearly about the original  Rage is its deaf-tonal representation of heroes and villains. The good boys were blessed with an incredibly perfect skin and a preternatural appearance. The evil soldiers on foot were mutants, many of them with facial injuries that looked a lot like my own congenital defect: a cleft lip and palate.
The cleft lips and palate (among other birth defects) have a history of depicting villainy, one that I have had to go through all my life. But I had not appreciated the anxiety that caused me until I spent a couple of hours shooting ghouls that seemed to have been tracked from my baby photos: photos of me before having the dozen more surgeries that reconstructed my mouth and join us in what is culturally set as a "normal" appearance.
A couple of months ago I heard rumors about Rage 2 that was being made in collaboration with one of my favorite developers, Avalanche Studios. And I was disappointed, although I was not surprised, when the trailer revealed that the project, although it was something completely new, would preserve the same image with respect to its mutants and heroes. I felt completely dejected when Bethesda revealed the statue of the Collector's Edition: a bust of Ruckus the Crusher, a mutated bully with a missing upper lip and a distorted nose.
As a journalist, you do not want to become part of the story. But with a little extra time in my interview with the director of id Software Studio, Tim Willits, I asked why the images of the cleft lip and palate made the cut of Rabies to Rabies 2. To his credit, he did not turn his answer. Here is the transcript.
Chris Plante: I have another thing. I enjoyed Rage 1 but one thing ended up throwing me into it. I was born with a cleft lip and palate, and one of the frustrating things about that game is that many of the enemies have those images, and there's still a bit of that in Rage 2 . And I'm curious –
Tim Willits: So you feel like he's a little insensitive?
Plant: Yes. It makes me a bit uncomfortable when it's always the bad guys who have the upper lip and nose removed, effectively.
Willits: You know, I never thought about that. I mean, you know, we tried to do, you know, Kenneth Scott was our art director at Rage 1 and yes, I mean I feel bad now. Sometimes it's hard when you – you do not live in that world, so you think: "Oh, these guys … & # 39; Then I apologize. And you know, yes, I'll talk to the guys.
Plant: Claro. Are the mutations normal for the heroes, too, in this version of the game?
Willits: They are mainly the bad guys. But we have some: the heroes in Rage 2 are not as pretty as the heroes in Rage 1 . Someone did, like, "Rage girls" posters and other things, so we're trying to be a little more balanced. And the Avalanche guys have been very good at being a little more sensitive. Then I think we have a better balance.
Is it a disappointment to hear that some of the villains in Rage 2 will be modeled to share my birth defect? Yes absolutely. Is it a relief to hear someone say just sorry? More than I could have imagined, to be honest.
I can not remember the time someone did this in an interview: they just recognized the mistake and apologized. It moved me, taking advantage of a psychological burden that I will not detonate in this piece. But I also felt that suddenly I could be excited about this thing that I liked, some of your luggage left on the side of the road.
I admit that I have the rare opportunity to speak with the creators in person, that there is no better way for other people, outside of my position, to have this experience. And I recognize that people from other backgrounds have had to play games for decades that treat them as targets, and still do. But for a moment, I felt a surge of optimism. If the developers can be open, if they can make efforts to find other voices instead of waiting for those voices to reach them, then everyone might feel welcome to play the hero, instead of being forced to see themselves as the villain.
After all, this is a game set in an apocalyptic wasteland. I do not expect villains to be pristine beauty models. I know they will be grotesque, deformed and mutated. I only hope that in the future the heroes can see themselves as well. Maybe that may be a new feature in Rage 3 .