goin in dry  Screenshot 2015-09-14 18-05-24

Review: Mad Max

Mad max is a movie series that created the Post-apocalyptic setting that many others imitated. Borderlands, Fallout and Fist Of The North Star are just some of the series that base everything of of Mad Max. And now it’s Mad Max’s turn to come to the interactive medium. Does Avalanche studios have what it takes to do the Road Warrior justice?

There she is saint the Magnum Opus.

Mad Max’s story starts fairly simple. On his way to the Plains of Silence Max loses his Interceptor and gear to the totalitarian sadist named Scabrous Scrotus and his War Boys. On the way to get his Car back he comes across an odd devout hunchback who convinces Max that his Interceptor is no more and to help him build the ultimate car which he refers to as the Magnum Opus. Max agrees and the two set out on a journey to collect the necessary gear to create a car that can cross the plains of silence. While the creation of the Magnum Opus is the main focus of the plot near the end of the game there is a sudden shift of focus from building the car to a rather sporadic love interest which actually is the focus of the rest of the plot. It comes out of nowhere and even if it’s interesting the sudden appearance of this thread line is quite surprising. But just as the movies Mad Max is more about the environment and characters Max comes across. All characters Max comes across are interesting and are their own kind of crazy. Madness comes in all color, shapes, sizes and flavors and Max is his own unique flavor himself.  It’s sad that most of these characters don’t have much to do or say in the main plot of the game but the fact that there are side missions that cover entire sub-plots that gives the characters the chance to shine. There is a lot of interesting lore and history in the movie-series and the game does a great job of giving the world a detailed and interesting history. While the last arc of the game takes a sudden turn the turn is an engaging one and the ending is one of the best endings that perfectly summarizes the Mad Max universe as the depressing and extremely dark place it is. It arguably the most fitting ending to anything Mad Max related even when looking at the films. It’s an interesting plot and the game nails the universe.

mad max review 2The whole focus of the plot is building the Magnum Opus. 

 

Witness me!!!

Mad Max has two main game play aspects. Driving and hand to hand combat. If a game based on the Mad Max series wants to be any good it need to get the vehicular combat right. Thankfully Mad Max nails this. Crossing the wasteland is fun and engaging in combat with cars is exhilarating. There are many ways to destroy enemy vehicles and the game mostly give you the option as to how you want to tackle the situation. Want to destroy the opponents machines while shooting the driver with your shotgun? No problem. Want to rip off the wheels with your harpoon? That’s an option. Aside from that there are many more ways to dispose of enemies on the road. Off the road is a slightly different song. When on foot Max has his shotgun on him and must rely on his fists. It seems that both Batman, Talion and Max went trough the same combat training together as combat is the same as the Batman Arkham series and Shadows Of Mordor. You press the attack button to attack hold it to do a slower more powerful version that can break guards and you press the counter button to counter an enemy when the prompt appears. There’s is also an evade button for attacks that can’t be countered. It’s serviceable. It’s not a bad mechanic and works great however it becomes a routine with little to no depth or excitement. But that’s not the only part that’s taken straight from another game. It seems Warner Bros. has found a formula that works fairly well in making a good movie based game. Take the combat of the Batman Arkham series and combine it with Assassins Creed’s open world structure. The world is massive and it’s filled to the brim with stuff to do. Scrotus’s War Boys inhabit and terrorize the Wasteland and in the true Assassins Creed fashion there are several ways to lower the thread level making it easier to traverse the wasteland without being attacked. And the way to find them is to climb in a balloon and mark(synchronize if you will) the optional threads to tackle.

Here is where much of the optional stuff comes from. You can destroy camps or scarecrows win races and many other things. While some require real effort put into considerably lowering the thread there are some smaller faster options that, while don’t lower the thread level a whole lot, are a fast and easy way to lower it. this goes from destroying towers you find on your way somewhere with the harpoon to killing snipers with your own longshot. The main attraction of Mad Max lies in its customize-ability. Upgrade your car, upgrade your camp, upgrade your Max customize-ability is the course du jour. While upgrading the Magnum Opus and Max you can also personalize them to play and look however you want. Hood ornaments and paint can be unlocked by destroying convoys and Top Dogs respectively. There is enough to do in Mad Max that will bring fans of the world back for more.

mad max reviewThe driving is fun and discovering stuff in the wasteland is fairly engaging.

 

Death as far as the eye can see.

Mad Max nails the setting. The Wasteland is far open and feels threatening. Small camps are scattered trough the lands so there is always something to see and in true Mad Max fashion standing on a cliff looking at the landscape you can see War Boys driving the desert, enemy camps doing their thing and just long stretched of death and heat for miles. The designs of the vehicles are a perfect fit for the movies and look like the real deal. Characters also feel right at home in the universe. Their designs are all visually interesting and actually do a decent job of showing some of the characters history. The music while fitting doesn’t impress. The game would have benefited from a Fury Road inspired soundtrack. And graphically the game looks really good with the exception of some slight and barely noticeable glitches. Mad Max nails the presentation and design.

mad max review 3The game captures the crazy creativeness of the movies fairly well.

 

What a lovely game.

Closing note:

Mad Max is a great game for fans much in the same way Shadows of Mordor is for Lord Of The Rings is. The open world has a lot to offer, the car combat is fun and creating the Magnum Opus is fun. Overall Mad Max is a fun game. Characters are fairly interesting with Chumbucket being the highlight. The photo mode allows for some nice shots of the amazing world and gorgeous visuals. And the story’s conclusion is very dark and depressing. The thing the game really fails at is capturing the speed and pacing of the movies but other than that Mad Max is a fun dessert adventure.

 

7.5/10

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I'm a fun loving guy who like piña coladas, getting caught in the rain and long walks on the beach. I work hard, I play hard. Must like cats. Ugos need not apply. If you want to ask me anything you can contact me at yordi.verhoene@gmail.com