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Mad Max Review

Film licences have taken an interesting turn of late, in the past they had been a guaranteed mess, passed to the cheapest and quickest developers to knock out a game that loosely resembled the big screen outing; more often than not failing to capture the movies essence and the gamers attention; however now it seems publishers have taken note and are taking more care over their properties and with Warner Brothers in particular leading the charge, producing game based on hot properties rather than the movies themselves, allowing more freedom and time for the creators to do their thing. Just look at how good the Batman games have been of late, at the time Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy was arriving, rather than direct movie tie-ins we got the Arkham series. Shadows of Mordor is also another great example, with the Hobbit movies coming out we got a game adding even more to the already rich world that Tolkien left us.

Mad Max takes its inspiration from those previously mentioned games, heavily influenced by what came before but also its own thing in its own right, taking its inspiration from the movies, dropping Max in an open post-apocalyptic world, a desolate wilderness weathered by nuclear storms and drought.

Left for dead following a rather brutal sortie with ruler of the wastelands Scabrous Scrotus, Max is stranded without his beloved motor, gun and most importantly, water. Saved by chance by a scavenger of the sand, Chumbucket, who sees Max as a gift from the gods, his black fingers able to create Max the Magnum Opus, a V8 angel of the asphalt, but a little work is needed first and that is where the majority of the games story is focused, with Max carrying out lots of favours to slowly build his new motor and reach the Plains of Silence.

Though a post-apocalyptic wasteland there is a lot more going on than your first expectations, with pockets of marauders surviving on what little is left, scavenging dog food, collecting little water from the morning dew and even harvesting maggots from the dead. To survive Max also needs to use these unsavoury tactics; however most of these areas are well protected by the War Boys so more often than not Max will have to get a bit brutal to get what he needs.

Be it on foot or behind the wheel, Max is a killing machine, his cars are nimble and destructive and his fists are bloody, with beat-em up mechanics similar to the Batman games, using a free flow style of combo system, allowing you to focus on one character to and then switch with ease, using blocks, parries and also a few dropped weapons to your advantage. Travelling by foot or by car is essential for exploring the wastelands which is key for survival and progression, each area full of treasures that are hidden away, made easier to spot via hot air balloons that are littered around the map (also grants quick travel) that allows Max to scan the local area, noting the many points of interest like water holes, camps and possible fuel and scrap metal locations.

Apart from the story missions, pretty much everything else can be carried out in whatever order you see fit, though taking time to unlock a few basic skills and items is essential. Sadly this open approach does not extend to the actual missions, them being quite straight forward, though there has been an attempt to add a little variety with camp raids, either going in hot by smashing in the front gates and taking everything out by using your fists or using your head and scouting out the surrounding area, conversing with wastelanders to gather intel on the well-guarded keeps and hopefully discover an alternative entrance.

Even with such a huge world to explore there is also loads to unlock, many aspects of the wastelands upgradable, with sanctuary’s able to have armouries and maggot farms created, the various motors able to be improved from piercing harpoon guns and classic razor wire rims to stronger engines and handling. Max himself also has various ways of upgrading his abilities, be it spending scrap on a new jacket, knuckle dusters or a few choice new moves or via a strange mystic who roams the lands, who by spending challenge points on expands areas like boosting heath or making fuel las longer.

With an exciting world to explore full of Mad Max mythology this game is yet another fantastic open world title that has enough of its own ideas to separate it from the crowd and be another worthwhile purchase for your collection.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS4)


+ Scavenge the wastelands for survival
+ Upgrade your cars into four wheeled engines on death
+ Huge open world that looks fantastic


- Can be a little too easy

Edited On 11 Sep, 2015

( 3 )
yoda soldier's avatar
yoda soldier 1 year ago
I've played a couple of hours of this and really enjoying it.
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PHILIP 1 year ago
I would of probably passed on this but am seriously thinking of picking it up now. looks good xxx
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 1 year ago
Think i'm on about 10-15 hours and i'm still on chapter 1. just een doing all the side missions and upgrading my car - gonna continue the story today though :)

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