The classic black-on-black V8 Interceptor storms through the devastated wasteland that some called Australia, before the end of the world. In the driver’s seat, a grim, bearded man stares intently at the emptiness ahead. His name is Max, and he is very much on the brink of sanity. Mad, if you will.
Mad Max is a third-person action adventure game that follows the titular character through his survival in the desolate wasteland. Armed with nothing but his powerful car, a sawed-off shotgun, and a rage that can only be sourced from insanity, Max simply moves from place to place. In this game, he seeks ‘The Planes of Silence’ where he can live quietly. He is haunted by his past, by those who he failed to protect. For him, silence is the only thing he wishes for.
Developer: Avalanche Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Studios
Release Date: Out Now
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
As always is the way with Max, something gets in the way. A warlord by the name of Scaborous Scrotus (son to Immortan Joe in the most recent Mad Max film, Fury Road), halts his progress. He and his men take everything from Max, leaving him bloodied and barely alive in the dirt. The main goal of the game is to build a new car; one that is capable of getting him through the violent wasteland and to the fabled ‘Planes of Silence’.
Max is aided by a hunchback named Chumbucket, who offers him help as he views Max as a saint and saviour to the wastes. Chumbucket offers his greatest possession, ‘The Magnum Opus’. At first it is simply the chassis and bones of a car, but with Max’s help it will become the car that he needs. The game revolves around Max and Chum building the car, improving it and arming it so that they can survive the trip north.
The main mechanics of the game are based on combat; vehicular and hand-to-hand combat. Vehicular combat is everything one would expect from a Mad Max title: fast, ruthless, and absolutely full of explosions. Chumbucket will employ a grappling hook which can pull off wheels of enemy cars and even the drivers from their seats. Max has his shotgun, which he can use to disable wheels or blow up the gas tank most cars have on their backs. There are a variety of weapons to be used in the Magnum Opus which make this fast-paced combat simultaneously frantic and measured.
On the ground, Max is a brutal fighter. The combat system works similar to that of the Arkham games; enemies have attacks that have to be parried in time, there are a number of skills that Max can use like using his fists to break the shields of his attacks, or a vicious gut-shot from his shotgun to terrify his enemies. Unlike Batman, Max is an ‘on-the-fly’ fighter, using a mix-match of brutal moves to take down his opponents.
The world is what makes this game perfect. It is almost empty, but filled with enough people to give it an actual apocalyptic feel. Chaotic lightning and sandstorms fill the world at times, these arrive quickly and are unexpected. The world itself feels good; it feels mad. But the story is lacking, and is the game’s weakest point. The combat however is satisfying on both fronts. The customisation available for the Magnum Opus lends itself hugely to the appeal of the game, and the same can be said for the the upgrade system. Essential playing for any fan of Mad Max and the perfect companion piece to Fury Road.