I’d watched Mad Max: Fury Road whilst on holiday this year, it captivated me with its post-apocalyptic setting and extravagant characters.
I hadn’t seen the Mel Gibson movies though so watching Fury Road was a brand new experience of Mad Max for me and I loved it. The Wasteland was plain and filled with nothingness with the exception of burnt out vehicles, man-made strongholds and miles and miles of....well...nothing. It translated brilliantly in Avalanche Studio’s newest video game simply titled, Mad Max. The vastness of the wasteland was a perfect setting for a video game adaptation albeit done before in other games.
The plot-line however, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, the cast here such as the bad-to-the-bone Max himself is a stoic dressed down hero after one thing, his car. He pals up with his compadre-to-be, Chumbucket, who is a lot more interesting with his revelations and philosophies and over-the-top enthusiasm for making Max the toughest and fastest Magnum Opus possible. Then there is the other hand, the story. It revolves around Max’s thirst for revenge after his car is stolen from him from the games main antagonist, Scabrous Scrotus but to get into Gastown he needs a super-car of sorts. Something of an enigma to forcefully gain access to Scrotus’s lair. The plot-line picks up later on but for the most part, you’re scouring the wastelands looking for scrap to upgrade your new Magnum Opus.
Mad Max is a fully open-world adventure mixing exploration, vehicular combat and fisticuffs although most of your time in the wastelands will be spent in your car. The game world is huge and driving around it is a blast. Its better when your car is upgraded through the games extensive customization options. With enough scrap (which acts as the games main currency and collectible) you can kit the Magnum out with new engine, tires and suspension or more interesting features such as a ram, armour and even a flamethrower. The car combat is fast and exciting. Side smashing or using your harpoon to pull tires and defences off of the opponent’s cars or even dragging the driver out never gets old or you can make them go boom with your sawed-off. You can also kit Max out using scrap giving him new clothing or abilities which buffs him up and makes things more bearable when the action starts.
That’s where the hand-to-hand combat comes in. Mad Max uses the same fighting mechanic made famous in the Batman Arkham series. Mashing Max’s main attack button until your foes fall whilst watching for a parry and counter opportunity and avoiding getting grabbed from behind. It’s fantastically brutal and when you’ve racked up a big enough combo, Max gets mad (sorry).
The world is filled to the brim with things to do. Take down totem poles, sniper nests, mine fields or take out a convoy leader to cause a region’s overlord to lose influence. Taking out strongholds is where it’s at though. Busting in and fulfilling certain objectives allows your people to populate it bringing in regular supplies of scrap. There are so many of these that before long, repetitiveness sets in. Mad Max suffers from the rinse and repeat structure that many games have before it when you realize that the game is spread out by sticking said strongholds and totem poles all over the wastelands. You’ll be busy no doubt about it but you’ll need a lot of perseverance in order to 100% it.
Massive open world
Brilliantly brutal hand-to-hand combat
Fast and frantic vehicular combat
Tonnes to see and do
Awesome cast of characters
Cool upgrade options for Max and the Opus
Released at the wrong time
Some graphical hiccups
Mad Max’s main fault is that it came out at the wrong time. Coming out the same day and being overshadowed by a highly hyped up certain Konami game hasn’t done Mad Max any favours. It’s worth your time though. The mixture of brilliantly executed gameplay elements, interesting and bizarre cast and a massive playground to explore are just a few of Mad Max’s strong points and then there is the storms that occur at random which need to be experienced. Whether you’re a fan of the films or not, Mad Max is a worthy open world adventure.