Lets make one thing clear, before I start this review, despite riding the coat-tails of Fury Road’s success, Mad Max the game has nothing to do with Fury Road, the new-ish movie. Sure, it has the same feel, and look, but the main character and story is different.
The game’s story follows Max, left for dead and car-less by Scrotus, a wasteland big boss who takes and scraps his car. Max, however is very lucky as he soon finds Chumbucket, a pivotal character who is ever so slightly delusional although he is a savant when it comes to fixing and building cars. Better still he wants to help Max build the Magnum Opus, the greatest car the wasteland has ever seen.
To do this however, Max is going to have to find a hell of a lot of scrap metal.
Mad Max is an open-world game that’s built around exploring, scavenging for scrap metal, and other life saving goodies, upgrading both Max and his ride. But other than helping Max survive, why are you doing this? Well revenge is a good enough reason, so weakening the grip that Scabrous Scrotus has on the Wasteland seems to be a good enough reason. After a few missions you’ll have an upgraded car with ramming capabilities and a harpoon. Then you can start taking on some of the smaller vehicles in the wasteland in vehicular combat, trashing them and collecting the scrap.
Soon you’ll have to visit a friend of Chumbucket’s and use his base as your temporary home, doing missions for him, that help beef up his stronghold – which also has benefits for you. This is how the story progresses, but being an open world game there is plenty of other things to do.
The Wasteland is enormous, and has a seemingly un-ending number of activities to participate in. I mean you have the main mission, but even driving to the next location can see you having vehicular combat with one or two vehicles, and if you’re brave enough early on in the game, you may even have the opportunity to take on a convoy, though these are tricky beasts. But the you have all manner of things to do outside the main quests, including pulling down gang signs (to reduce their influence in a certain area), taking control of hot air balloon outposts and going to a ride to unlock additional locations on your map. Then you can go investigate areas for scrap and mission specific items, attack strongholds, enter races or just explore the massive wasteland.
Max borrows heavily from other games, the recent Batman games and Far Cry spring to mind. But this is not a bad thing. The free flowing combat from Batman’s Arkham series fits in well, but it’s been tweaked, taking damage is a lot easier, and hitting the Y button to parry won’t always save you from damage. Being in the wasteland, damage is important to keep an eye on. You have to drink from your canteen to replenish health, or eat dog food. Neither of which you can do during combat. Dog food is scarce and your canteen only hold so much water. Sources of water to refill said canteen are also scarce. This is the post-apocalyptic wasteland after all.
The enemy strongholds are a varied affair, but often have plenty of vertical design, both above an below ground. A lot of attention has gone into creating some wonderful places to explore, scavenge and fight over. Even a common scavenging location that looks like it’s just airplane wreak can hod a sub-terrarium lair that requires careful exploration.
To be precise, Mad Max is a blast to play, there is so much to do, and the quest to upgrade both Max and his car is weirdly addictive.
Of course, Max has a few subtle issues. Sometimes climbing up ladders gets frustrating as you have top be in the exact right spot to be able to press the right button, and on one occasion I found a ladder that I just could not climb. But this is but a minor blip in a game that has the ability to suck you in and keep you occupied for hours on end.
This is Max’s year, first Fury Road blows us away on the big screen, and now Max has come to take over your life on your console of choice.
Reviewed on: XBox One
Rating: R16 Violence,offensive language and content that may disturb.
Reviewed by: Jonathan