Available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One
After Scrotus and his War Boys beat up Max and steal his beloved Interceptor car, aka the Black on Black, Max is left battered and bruised with Scrotus’ disobeying injured dog and no vehicle. Fortunately for Max, he comes across hunchback mechanic Chumbucket who’s able to fix up the dog and promises to build Max a new car after Scrotus’ crew will have torn it to pieces for scrap. As Max, you will need to find scrap to build Max’s new ride, the Magnum Opus, and defeat Scrotus’ army at Gastown to get the much needed fuel for Max to continue his journey to the Plains of Silence.
Mad Max is a single player, open-world action game that pits the player as reluctant hero Max Rockatansky. With nothing to his name, he must rely on the help of black finger Chumbucket to get him back on the path to solace. As with any open world game, there are missions that act initially as tutorials with mandatory missions Max must complete to upgrade his Magnum opus car and progress with the story whilst side missions are available to complete for Max to upgrade his stats and to acquire enough scrap to turn the Magnum Opus into a deadly force to be reckoned with.
Set in a dusty wasteland, different factions run particular territory and to win over the leaders residing over these parts, you must do jobs for them. With Scrotus spreading fear among the territories, they are out of the control of the various factions who seek to reclaim them. As Max, your job is to destroy Scrotus’ control of the area and return it to the individual leaders by beating up the War Boys and War Pups who scavenge local areas, knocking down Scrotus’ scarecrows, destroying Scrotus’ convoys and hitting Scrotus’ main compounds in the various territories. Doing this will put Max in favour with the local leaders who will offer the services of their stronghold to aid Max in his quest.
As well as the aforementioned side missions, there’s plenty of driving to be done in the game, such as races, with vehicles playing a large part of the Mad Max franchise. Apart from the Magnum Opus, there’s other machines that will fuel your excitement, looking as though they’ve been taken straight out of the movie. As you collect scrap in the game, you’ll be able to upgrade your car with a harpoon, sniper rifle, new tyres, grills and all sorts of other mods that will serve to weaponise or help defend/armour your vehicle. Most importantly, you’ll always need fuel to run your machine so you need to keep an eye out at various locations to refuel your tank and store an extra fuel container in the back of the Magnum Opus just in case you run out anytime.
Whilst there’s an opportunity to fire guns in Mad Max, these moments are few and far between with ammo quite scarce in the game. Instead, you’ll find yourself performing hand-to-hand or melee combat against Scrotus’ goons. The combat system is very easy to control with the ability to chain techniques fluidly. If you’ve played other Warner Bros. releases such as Batman or Shadow of Mordor, you’ll already be familiar with the combat system which is very similar in this game. There’s the attacks that flow into one another which are rather realistic and are impressive to watch, and defence such as counters and evades, the latter for those attacks that just cannot be parried. If you manage to string enough strikes together without taking a hit, Max will enter rage mode where he’ll pretty much destroy every human in his path very quickly.
As a videogame, Mad Max is utterly beautiful to look at. You can see Max’s boots leaving an imprint in the sand and when he’s hit by a sandstorm, you feel every bit of it as though you were there yourself. It’s such a piece of art to behold and never has a barren landscape such as this looked so good and I bet it’d look even better with a higher spec graphics card. At first I thought I might experience some issues attempting to run the game with my Nvidia GTX 560 graphic card, with the game displaying its minimum spec on Steam as Nvidia GTX 660Ti, however the game runs perfectly fine with my older card. It’s not as shiny as it could be with a GTX 560 but even with my older spec rig it still a stunning game to look at. My only qualm with the visuals of the game is a result of the blur and FOV. Fortunately, the blur can be reduced and turned off, but the FOV presents a problem for motion sickness sufferers such as myself. When driving the car in the game and various other moments where the camera spins, the game quickly makes me nauseous, so much so I’ve unfortunately had to play the game in short bursts once a day. If there was a way to change the FOV, other than the quick fix using video mode which sometimes resets itself, this would really help gamers who suffer from motion sickness.
With its levelling upgrade elements that allow you to customise your car and Max in any way and order you see fit, the game has plenty of appeal. It’s by no means a perfect game like Shadow of Mordor was but it has everything you could want from a Mad Max game, replicating the deserted Australian landscape remarkably. The character design and voice acting are top notch and you can tell the developers have really put some thorough thought into the game. The story is engaging and although the open world missions can be a little repetitive after a bit, it’s still an enjoyable ride to take with the engaging gameplay mechanics a thrill to play.
An absolute must for fans of the Mad Max film franchise.