Mad Max Promises To Ride Eternal, Shiny And Chrome
The developers of the Just Cause series are bringing Mad Max to our gaming machines – will it ride eternal, shiny and chrome, or falter in the shadow of Mad Max: Fury Road?
Name: Mad Max
Genre: Fallout with cars
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Developers: Avalanche Studios
Publishers: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: 1 September 2015 (NA) 4 September 2015 (EU)
As far as video games go, nobody will be saying, “Wow, I’ve never seen anything like it!” about Mad Max. It’s a post-apocalyptic (✓) open world (✓) third-person (✓) action adventure (✓) game based on an existing license (✓). That’s not to say that Mad Max is wholly unoriginal; much like Sleeping Dogs before, it seeks to mesh elements of other games into what will hopefully be a polished experience with its own identity.
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Avalanche Studios will be trading their Just Cause games’ usual tropical islands for Mad Max’s desert wasteland where the few humans who survive are all, well, mad. The game starts off with Max journeying to the Plains of Silence when he’s intercepted by a group of Scabrous Scrotus’ War Boys. They run him off the road and take everything he has: his weapons, supplies, prized car, and even the clothes he’s wearing before leaving him to die.
There, stumbling hopelessly through the desert, Max meet Chumbucket, a hunchbacked mechanic obsessed with building the perfect vehicle, his Magnum Opus. The unlikely duo team up, and thus begins a journey of vengeance and redemption in a world gone mad. In the middle of nowhere without gear and weapons, but with a vehicle provided by an unlikely ally – sounds like the perfect way to start off a Mad Max game, doesn’t it?
Of course, driving is a major part of the game. This wouldn’t be Mad Max without vehicular combat, would it? According to the developers, 60% of Mad Max’s campaign will be spent in a vehicle. With Chumbucket riding on the back of the Opus, you’ll be able to fight back when enemies attack. Driving and aiming at the same time isn’t an easy thing, though, so the game will go into slow motion whenever you take aim and let you switch between targets.
Through finding, building and equipping upgrades, you’ll outfit the Opus with a veritable armoury. Think flamethrowers, cannons, grappling hooks, and rams. Upgrading the Opus will be a major focus during the course of Mad Max, with players finding scrap and scavenged parts while exploring the game’s world. Aside from weapons, you’ll be able to add nitro boosts, change the chassis, upgrade the engine, switch out the wheels, and add hazards to kill enterprising enemies who decide to jump onto the Opus to attack it.
What about the 40% you don’t spend driving though? Well, the game features on-foot combat very much like the Batman Arkham series’ free-flow combat system. Unlike Batman however, Max isn’t a giant wuss about killing so expect to see some nasty enemy death animations. You’ll also be able to make use of guns (including Max’s trusty shotgun) but this is a wasteland, so ammo will be quite scarce.
The game’s world is divided into seven regions comprised of wastelands, canyons, deserts and caves. Each region will content lots of side content such as enemy forts and convoys to eliminate, lowering the threat level in that region and making the world easier to traverse. There’ll also be races and time trials to complete and friendly fortresses to ally with, gaining new quests and rewards.
Finally, survival will supposedly play an important part. Max will need food and water, and both resources will be scarce out in the desert. The only resource you’ll find readily available everywhere is fuel. Players will notice crows flying around areas where they’ll be able to find food but in the case that there’s nothing in the vicinity, can resort to eating rats or maggots. Yuck.
Suspected Selling Points
- It’s Mad friggin’ Max
- Avalanche Studios have a great track record
- The emphasis on vehicular combat should set it apart from other open world games
- Licensed games have a rocky history
- Warner Bros. are already 2 for 2 on broken PC ports this year
- Open world action adventure games are a dime a dozen this generation
It’s hard to say if Mad Max will be one of 2015’s must-play titles, but it’s definitely an interesting one to look out for. Game studios and publishers are finally realising how important it is that licensed titles are good games first and foremost if they want to cash in, so here’s hoping it follows in Shadow of Mordor’s footsteps and blows us out of the water.