Just want to point out I am a terrible writer. Okay, here we go.
So to those of you that never heard of Mad Max, it's a series of movies that originally starred Mel Gibson as a cop gone rogue in a world that is pretty much entering the apocalypse with the downfall of civilized society. The movies that come out after the first already takes place in the post apocalyptic world with insane people and fast cars. The newest one was Fury Road with Tom Hardy as Max, but there was Mad Max, Mad Max: The Road Warrior and Mad Max beyond the Thunderdome.
Now that I filled you in with some basics you may be asking, how was the game? Was it like the movies? But my biggest question from everyone that knew I got the game was: What do you do? My answer is, you are Mad Max, that's what you do. A simple answer but really the game isn't that complex and that isn't a bad thing.
Alright let's dive in:
The graphics are pretty good but not great. It gets the job done. To be honest it looked like a better version of a possible PS3 game. Now if it looks better on the Xbone I have no idea since I played it on the PS4. It gets the job done and it's to make everything basically look decayed and broken, which is great. But when you see parts of people, even in cut scenes go through objects and walls and stuff that doesn't look so hot. I feel like the game needed more polish.
The game is developed by Avalanche Studios, same developer that make the Just Cause series and soon FF15. Just Cause is an open world game. Mad Max is also an open world game. Just Cause generally takes place in vibrant areas with tons to do. Mad Max takes place in a destroyed post apocalyptic wasteland and that's the problem. I need to break down gameplay in a few parts here.
The setting: The game is an open world game and you may think, awesome I bet there is so much to do. I mean Batman was open world, GTA is open world those were great right? Mad Max definitely gets the job done at displaying the world, you know something terrible happened, you know everything is in ruins. It honestly feels like the movie, it feels like you are driving down Fury Road, at least cosmetically. They really get the idea down that it's a Wasteland, a barren Wasteland, and that's the problem, it's barren. Most of the time I found myself driving around from mission to mission with really nothing to do inbetween aside from listening to my engine roar loudly and characters talk from time to time about random things in the environment. Even though I love me some Mad Max apocalyptic Wasteland, I was bored. Which leads to..
Driving: In the movies you have tons of driving, Mad Max drives he's beloved Interceptor (Or Black on Black in the game) or huge War Machine Trucks (like in Road Warrior or Fury Road). Instead in this game you drive around the Magnum Opus which is a customized car that you can make and buy parts for. At first that sounds awesome. A customized car in a Mad Max game? Holy crap!! Honestly though, the car always felt and handled like crap. You always miss a turn or bump into something and the defense of your car is never good enough, I found myself constantly stopping in the middle of the action to allow my car to heal which is great or realistic and all but the last thing I want to do in a car chase once I actually find something to do in the wasteland is sit and do nothing while my car heals.
I never felt like a bad ass in the car, I felt like an old timer driving 20 mph on the interstate. I felt like if I bumped into something I would be royally screwed and there's alot to bump into, trust me. Despite it being a Wasteland there's rocks, everywhere. And you may think, just turn out of the way, use your camera. The camera is terrible. I'll get to that in a moment. But the driving was bad, and the lack of vehicles in the game was weird too. I mean there are trucks and bikes in the movies, they are in the Just Cause games.. why aren't they in Mad Max? The cars are cool.. but that's it. Just cars. In the movies the cars were nuts too like people swing around on giant poles or hanging around with chainsaws. None of that was in the game. Just ragtag cars that you attack by literally playing bumper car and harpoons at. It gets repetitive and dull.
Camera: The camera in the game is terrible, you never get used to it really, you just accept it for being terrible. I love not seeing where I am going when I drive. It's so cool that it changes automatically when I attack another car and veer off the road because I have no idea where I am going while I attacked. That's so much fun. Oh man, even when I am on the ground it still sucks? Awesome. It's so cool to get hit by enemies off screen. So cool.
Sorry couldn't help but become sarcastic here, the camera is terrible though.
Combat: Well driving sucks, I mean that's okay. Most of the movies take place with Max DRIVING. How bad can on foot combat be? I mean there was some of that in the movies. Well the combat is a total rip off from the Batman: Arkham Asylum games. That being said it's fine. The only difference is that it's not as fluid, your counters have to be more exact and you can get hit while you do combos. I thought that was weird.
Okay so let me explain why that's weird. So in this game if you attack enough times you enter a fury mode where the camera goes crazy and Mad Max gets more stronger. You may think cool right? I thought so too I mean with the crazy combos and how he throws a kick at people and does suplexes. All cool looking until you realize the enemies can attack you during your long ass animations and hurt you. Like I get you want Max to look cool or whatever but don't make his animations for attacks so long that you literally get hit by other enemies while you do them that it interrupts the animation and stops the attack from even happening. I don't know if this is a glitch or what but get used to it.
Like, I never had this problem in Batman, ever. You do a combo, you see it happen and the enemy gets hit. Not you do a combo, an enemy hits you during the animation and it stops. It's like Ryu doing his mini cutscene to do an ultimate hadouken in SF4 and the other player being able to actually hit him during that mini cutscene and stopping the attack altogether. It's weird.
So the game isn't a total loss and I touched on this a bit in graphics but I felt this needed it's own little thing. The environment and setting of this game is amazing. When I first turned on the game I was blown away. It felt like I was first playing a Mad Max movie. The history, the griddines of the world, it's all there. Every bit of it. I loved finding relics of the pre-apocalypse world and learning about the quick and brutal downfall of mankind. It wasn't really explained much in the movies, but in this game, the bits you find out are always so cool to find and read about, this was one of the highlights of the game, finding all these things. Even finding hidden locations and listening to Max talk about his immediate environment and seeing what these crazy horrible people have done to other people to just survive.. it's all shown well in the game and this is really well done.
It's really here I can tell there was some effort and care brought into this game. I think Avalanche cared about the Mad Max franchise but like many other developers, may not of had enough time to bring out all of their ideas to the table. I felt like if this much care was put into the gameplay it would have been a much different experience.
Okay, so I saved this for last because to me, this is the big deal. This answers the, What do you do in a Mad Max game? What IS there to do? The world already ended, and it wasn't like it was yesterday, it's a given it was awhile ago. So what happens now?
Well, if you ever seen the movies, they all have simple stories really, Mad Max is a loner, gets caught up in someone else's problem and an adventure is created by this. The only movie that didn't do this was the first one, so I'll break it down:
Mad Max 1: Biker gang kills Max's family and police partner. Max goes crazy, or MAD, goes rogue and kills everyone.
Mad Max 2: Some warlord is trying to steal gas from some people. Max gets caught up in the fight and helps out for gas.
Mad Max 3: Max agrees to kill some people for gas.
Mad Max 4: Max drives people around to escape other people and get gas.
Those are the movies in a nutshell. So the game?
Mad Max the video game: Max wants to drive out to the middle of nowhere to forget his terrible life. Meets mutants and a concubine with her kid. Fights some War Boys, Kills insane people and is basically an errand boy for everyone he meets. Oh right, it's all for gas.
Yeah, at least the gas part is there for consistency. You may ask, that's it? Well if you read my summaries of the movies then you will understand that there isn't much to work with.
It's really the rich environment and crazy characters that Max meets that tells the story. I don't want to spoil it too much but that's what makes the movies so good and that's what made me want to play the game even more. I kept thinking what else are they going to show? Who or what else is Max going to meet. It was that stuff that made you want to play more.
The only thing I didn't like was they made Max everyones errand boy. Like some missions felt like huge fetch quests, which is okay but this is Mad Max. MAD MAX. Max doesn't wanna do anything for anyone but agrees to do stuff in seconds, like, why?
In Fury Road he didn't even want to help anyone and would rather wait for Immortan Joe to come and kill everyone than help. It was the fact that Furiosa had a file she would give him to remove his crazy mask that made Max wanna actually do stuff.
In Thunderdome he didn't want to help those children at all until they promised gas.
In Road Warrior he didn't want to help those people until they promised gas.
In Mad Max he didn't do much until his family and friends were killed.
He's a dick that ends up doing good anyway.
But in the game he just does good and acts kinda like an asshole while doing it. Which I felt was way off.
The game does capture some elements from the movies and the characters are all screwed up and crazy and I love it. The graphics aren't bad but could be better. The gameplay needs work and the camera is bad. But the story and the setting of the game are pretty much spot on for a Mad Max Story.
If you are a Mad Max fan then I think you should play this game. It has tons of easter eggs and nods to the movies with: raggity man and two men enter, one man leaves! And I live I die I live again! And all that crazy aussie talk goodness. Not to mention bad ass looking cars.
If you are looking for an action game then try it out, especially if you liked Batman Arkham Asylum and open worlds.
If you are undecided then I say save your money and watch Let's Play Videos. Especially watch them if the player is a Mad Max Fan.
Overall: If 1 was god awful and 5 was the second coming I would pit this at a solid 3.
Anything else you wanna know then just ask.
Edited by poofka, 30 September 2015 - 10:30 AM.