The world belongs to the Max!
After delays and a cancellation on old gen, Mad Max is finally here to kick off the start of a crazy gaming season. It feels like we are being bombarded with games that are open world, begging us to spend hours and hours of our lives investing and completing every little mission. So far the only game to make me do that this year has been The Witcher 3 (for obvious reasons!) so it was a complete surprise that Mad Max drew me in and made me want to finish every little mission and side quest. The graphics are dark and gritty and with mechanics similar to Shadow Of Mordor and Arkham Knight, this game hits all the right notes and is another winner for the WB in 2015.
You play as Max, the famed wanderer from the films (definitely the Fury Road version!) who is targeted by Scarbrous Scrotus (son of Immortan Joe). His War Boys steal Max’s immortal car and beat you into a pulp. Fortunately odd-ball mechanic Chumbucket comes along and offers to help you build a new one, as long as you find the parts.
Playing as Max you take on contracts with local tribes for parts to build the new Magnum Opus, a car equipped with a harpoon that can take down other vehicles and guard posts for Max to scrounge through.
Combat wise, this game shines in hand-to-hand, and uses the Shadow Of Mordor/Arkham Knight mechanics to great effect. Bullets are VERY hard to come by in this game, so use them wisely and only when absolutely necessary. In the same way, water, food and fuel are also extremely rare, adding to the effect of isolation and desperation that this game nails.
The hand-to-hand combat is fierce, the punches come hard and fast and knock you out after two or three blows, however if a car happens to be headed towards your character, the effects are practically nothing and take a while to deplete your health bar. This is the only part of the game that I found ridiculous (yet also convenient!).
Graphically the game cannot be faulted, the weather effects are beautifully detailed and highlight the capabilities of the new generation of consoles. Fire and bolt tornadoes rush through the environment changing the pace and game-play. Max himself stands out as a Max type, but not a carbon copy of the Mel Gibson or Tom Hardy film versions. Great detail has been given to the car parts and metal that help the game feel authentic and showcase the care and time that has been put into these parts of the game.
Mad Max delivers a high quality open-world action game that will please both fans of the films, and gamers in general. This genre feels a little crowded at the moment, but Max has enough tricks up his sleeve to keep things fresh and invigorating in a non-fantasy style environment. The many missions and contracts are varied enough to make you want to complete them, this is also helped by the depth of the characters and their oddities. Graphics wise this game takes things to the next level and is one the most beautiful apocalyptic style settings made for a game. Mordor and Arkham Knight fans will see the similarities and appreciate the simplicity and style of the fight techniques. Developer Avalanche Studios has crafted an engaging experience for fans and gamers alike.
Mad Max is available now on PS4, Xbox One & PC.
Review by Alaisdair Dewar