Mad Max – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, Sandbox
Developer: Avalanche Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: Xbox One

Mad Max – Review

Site Score
8.8
Good: Loads of content, Atmosphere, Great game based on a movie
Bad: Some minor bugs, Shallow plot
User Score
9.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Games that are based on movies are often rubbish or just simple half finished games, hoping to milk dry certain franchises or box-office hits. Nonetheless, every once in awhile a decent title passes by, distancing itself from such a stereotype. This time we head down the crazy apocalyptic world of Mad Max in order to conquer the scorching deserts that came to life when humanity ruined the planet. Grab a drink, as water is scarce in this sandy battlefield.

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Story

Max is one of those poor souls that lost everything with the decay of the world as we know it. He lives his life as a wanderer now, doing his own thing, as he trusts no one. Sadly, during one of his latest trips, wastelanders that are loyal to Scrotus, see him as a delicious riding treasure-trove, as his car and gear could be turned into prime scrap. Whilst Max stands his ground fairly well, the horde of enemies knocks out Max, leaving him to waste away in the desert. Nonetheless, Max survives, with a new friend, namely the discarded dog of those who wanted to kill him. An ally that will prove its worth later on.

Still dazed and confused, Max stumbles upon the local loony, and for some reason he places his trust in the disfigured man, as he promises Max he can replace his vehicle with one that will rise above his lost steel stallion. It seems Max’s revenge on those who took everything away from him, just might be possible after all.

Overall the story value is rather slim, but the fact that you’re quite free to do as you please has a certain effect on him. This means you’ll be able to choose the pace of how you progress yourself, which will allow you to complete the main objective as/when you see fit.

Graphics

Graphically Mad Max is a great example of a next-gen title, albeit with a few small flaws. Overall all characters and vehicles look very detailed, gritty and perfect for the game, even though in some areas certain enemies and cars seem to have been overused, showing a lack of diversity. That being said, the game still offers more than enough enemies and vehicles, but sometimes it is just quite noticeable that you’re fighting the same guy(s) over and over again.

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As the game situates itself in a desolate wasteland, pretty much all areas consist out of sand, sand, sand and rocks, and for the most part it has been properly done, even with the limited amount of scenery possibilities. Nonetheless, at certain times tracks are hardly visible in the sand, as well as footprints. The same can be said about the carcasses of foe and machine alike, as they disappear quite soon after they draw their last breath of air.

At certain times small bugs were noticeable, like rendering through walls, dropping through the ground and so on, but overall nothing really bothersome.

Sound

The soundtrack of Mad Max is rather subtle, when cruising through the nothingness that was left behind by mankind, but the sound of silence does have its merits in such a scenario. You’ll be accompanied by the roaring engine of your vehicle of choice and the gutter-speak of your friends and foes. All of this goes hand in hand with great voice acting, which adds even more heat, other than that of the scorching sun.

Gameplay

Mad Max is a action adventure, with vehicles in the leading role but also with many sandbox elements (wink wink). You will have to become the ultimate road warrior, in order to reach Gastown and get his much desired revenge on those who took away everything from him. This means you’ll probably spend even more time in your car, rather than on foot.

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After recovering from a getting a proper ‘ass pounding’ from the local wastelanders, you will focus on becoming more powerful. The only way you can become stronger is by finding allies, eliminating enemy presence in all the different areas and building your own vehicle that overpowers all other cars. Seeing the latter might be the most important aspect of the game, you’ll require the help of your wrench-monkey Chumbucket, who will help you build the car of prophecies, the Magnum Opus. Of course, this means you’ll have to do a lot of the main quests, in order to reach your goal, nonetheless, a lot of your free roaming will pay off quite royally as well.

To accomplish anything in the game, you will need to gather a lot of scrap, which can be earned by demolishing enemy structures and vehicles and gaining the dominance of enemy camps. The latter will give you a fixed income over time, whilst the other options will provide you with a quicker income in a shorter amount of time. Nonetheless, conquering different camps will certainly pay off, especially for those who like some free roaming as a side dish for their adventure. Scrap will be the currency for your skills and the upgrades for your car.

Even though the game is all about fierce battles, your arsenal is quite limited. Seeing the world has been reduced to a big pile of scrap, you’ll have to make do with your fists, an occasional shiv and your trusty shotgun, while you’re on foot. Luckily your enemies will drop a mace or two, which will help you for a limited amount of time. It’s clear that Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment had anything to do with the title, as the combat system feels pretty much the same as the latest Batman games, albeit with a lot less gadgets in your arsenal. The system relies solely on countering or dodging  your enemies and being the last man standing. If you happen to find yourself in combat long enough, your fury mode will trigger (for a short period of time), increasing the damage you do. Again, tossing in some side missions will certainly do you good, as it will increase your status, as well as unlock a decent amount of upgrades for your weapons early on.

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On the other hand, there are the many vehicular battles you’ll get yourself wrapped up in. When battling other cars, you’ll often find yourself ramming them off the road, shooting them to smithereens with your shotgun, or using your car-only weaponry like the harpoon. That being said, the harpoon will not offer you that much safekeeping at the beginning of the game, as it will only serve in pulling down gates of enemy camps and small enemy towers, such as sniper towers and scarecrows (towers that scare off your allies). When time progresses, this weapon will become a lot more useful, as you’ll be able to thin out larger convoys by dismantling the wheels of other cars. Again, upgrades prove to pose a vital role if you want to survive combat without too many dents and bruises. You’ll be able to outfit your car with the necessary armor upgrades, speed boosts and armaments to fend off other wastelanders. It’s also fun that, even though at the start of the game you’ll have to choose a specific car, the game will allow you to select the other options later on and also many enemy vehicles, if you’re able to commandeer them.

As mentioned earlier, your status will be a very important factor. As you complete challenges, your ‘legend’ rank will rise, allowing you to become increasingly famous. Whilst people will not always act upon your hard-earned fame, it will allow you to evolve nonetheless. As your legend level rises, you will receive Griffa tokens, which can be turned in at a Griffa location on your map, allowing you to unlock new passive abilities, such as more HP, increased scrap collection bonuses, longer fury duration and so on.

Mad Max offers a ridiculous amount of content, if you like to eliminate all of the hostile forces from all of the regions. Whilst reducing threat levels will be quite time consuming, you’ll often find yourself dismantling enemy encampments, which often feels similar, whilst different at the same time. It’s fun to see the many different camps in the game.

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Conclusion

Mad Max is a prime example of a game that sounds as if it’s ‘riding’ of the success of the hyped movie, but does its own, surprisingly good thing. The game offers heaps of content, with the accompaniment of a great atmosphere. You’ll be able to fulfill your vehicular-manslaughter-needs with this scorching hot title. This time you might find yourself riding into the sunset, albeit a very bloody one.

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Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Mad Max - Review, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

1 Comment

  1. […] It hasn’t been long since we let Max roam around the desolate wasteland we call Earth and we’re already back to test his strength once again. The Mad Max ‘hype’ has been real since the series that started in 1979 was brought back to life quite recently, with the new installment Fury Road. We were already quite sure it would be a visual spectacle but we weren’t all too sure about the story value of this new action packed flick. Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicles at all times, things are about to get explosive. […]

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