Mad Max has finally received a triple A game thanks to the developers at Avalanche, best known for the Just Cause series. So can Mad Max translate well into a game? For the most part yes.
One thing that Avalanche has nailed is the world of Mad Max. It’s full of sand dunes, mountains, wreckages of the world that was before, it really feels like Mad Max. The way the world is silent and peaceful when on foot really captures the essence of being in a desert wasteland. Although it isn’t all peaceful, there are sandstorms that hit out of nowhere and they are epic and easily one of the best parts of the game. The lightning smashing down all around you, scrap flying everywhere, mini tornadoes and strong wind gusts are exhilarating and terrifying.
There are two combat systems in the game, on foot and vehicular combat. On foot combat is similar to the Arkham series combat except a lot slower and more brutal. Although the combat is similar to the Arkham games it doesn’t feel as polished or as fun as them. There isn’t any button combinations you need to remember and it becomes boring after a while. It’s really just one button to attack, another to counter and another to execute and that’s it. One thing I do like about the combat though is the way you counter, they make it so that you have a much smaller window to counter and it’s very unforgiving but it fits the setting and it’s really rewarding when you get a perfect parry. Most of the enemies you will meet on foot are varied, from bombers throwing thunder sticks to big top dogs with hammers the game always tries to keep the combat fresh.
The vehicular combat on the other hand is great, upgrading your magnum opus and fighting convoys or war parties is so much fun. With a large array of weapons at your arsenal from a harpoon that can rip enemies out of their vehicles or pull tires off to thunderpoons that blow the enemy vehicle up. The way the magnum opus takes damage is also very well done, its real and just because you have the best armor doesn’t mean your invincible, simply running into a rock at too much speed can take a chunk of your health.
The customization is great and deep for both Max and the Magnum Opus. With Max you will be upgrading your armor and gauntlets as well as Maxs trusty shotgun. I also appreciate how they added the way you can change Maxs appearance and give him a balla beard. The Magnum Opus customisation is where most of your time will be spent though, upgrading armor and the engine is a lot of fun and worth working towards, the way that if you have too much weight in the car it affects your acceleration and such is so clever and well done, it means that the best armor isn’t always the best.
The story of Mad Max starts out strong but fizzles for most of the time until you get to the final act. It’s quite disappointing that they couldn’t come up with some cool things to do in the middle of the game. Most of your time in Mad Max will be spent taking out convoys, liberating camps and upgrading strongholds as well as collecting scrap so you can upgrade your precious Magnum Opus. This is where I get torn on the game, all of these activities become incredibly repetitive and after a while I found doing them a chore. You will be doing these things over and over again and because the game world is so big they cram it full of this stuff. Collecting scrap is the big chore though, I think throughout my 40 hours play through I picked up around about 1500 scrap boxes. I will add it isn’t compulsory but if you want to upgrade your Magnum Opus you will need to do this.
Mad Max is a fun game that captures the world of Mad Max perfectly but is held down by repetitive game play and a so so story.