Mad Max is a marvelous games that I had to wait to long to play because of so many other gaming distractions. It's such a well designed game in it's mechanics, visualizations, characters, and world building. The game is set in the 2015 Fury Road world of Mad Max and not the Mel Gibson era. Of course they don’t use Tom Hardy’s likeness because then they would have to pay him. You begin the game losing everything you own at the hands of Scabrous Scrotus, one of Immortal Joe’s sons. Soon after you meet up with a black finger (a creative name for mechanics in this world) named Chumbucket (another creative name considering where he resides when you meet), with his help you build a new vehicle called The Magnum Opus to enact vengeance in this desolate world. As you open up the world map you will immediately notice it’s huge. Your starting area is a dried out coral filled sea bed full of aquatic antiques from navigation buoys to submarines. With this landscape I imagine that somehow man’s destructive nature has cracked the earth open and the ocean just disappeared into it. This kind of wondrous detail creates ambiance that draws you into this apocalyptic setting. The sea floor is also littered with ships, bridges, docks, pipelines, and wind turbines. These rusted out remnants of a once thriving world just suck you into the fantasy further. I loved playing in this world so much that I took a ton of photos and started a Mad Max Monday showcase of my adventures on my Twitter & Minds feeds (links will be provided at the bottom of the review). The world the developers created is just pretty, even if it is an apocalyptic wasteland.
In this amazing setting as your backdrop you then have to build up your character and vehicle by fighting the crazed factioned gangs of the wasteland. There are roaming gangs on the roads as you move to mission objectives like camps and outposts that keeps the game very interesting. Which brings me to the combat. Some have said that the hand to hand fighting style is a clone of the Batman Arkham games. I can agree with that some and that is not a bad thing because it is still a good deal of fun. Also take into consideration that Warner Brothers has a hand in both games, so why wouldn’t they utilize a good asset. However, Mad Max combat may be better with the additional abilities you gain. Throw into the mix that you can also choice to use your iconic shotgun, shivs, or even improvised explosive devices. It has been some time since I played the Arkham game and from my recollection that game was more about stealth. It was fun in its own way, Mad Max’s style is a lot more of an all out brawl.
What Batman doesn’t have is vehicular carnage. This aspect of the game can also be a lot of fun because of the many choices at hand, such as using a harpoon hook to dismantle other vehicle’s tires or other targetable parts. You can use your shotgun to target week points like gas tanks or even shoot the driver. You have rims that will grind into the enemies vehicles and even explosive tipped spears. You can also go the stealth route and snipe enemies from afar, while Chumbucket slowly maneuvers the car into position. There are lots of dangers and your car can easily get wreaked. However, you can salvage it by stopping and jumping out of your car. You then get to fight off the other vehicles on foot as they circle around you while Chumbucket quickly makes repairs. If that is not enough, in the middle of all this you may even get hit with a violent blinding sandstorm. You can survive, but it is hard with all the flying debris and lightning strikes. This isn’t your normal apocalyptic sandstorm after all.
You will spend a lot of time fighting and scavenging for scrap, special parts, food, and water while you build your character, your car, and the territory bases you have formed agreements with. Fighting off the factions and reclaiming their camps and outposts will loosen Scrotus’ grip in the area freeing the terrirtory from his tyranny. The game has many upgrades for both Max and his vehicles to chose from. As I mentioned before the world is pretty, so you will be exploring the different landscapes the developers have distinctively created. The further inland from the sea bed you go, the closer you get to Gas Town an engulfing black pit of muck that is a speck on the horizon when you start the game, but it looms over you with reckless abandon. It’s an environmentalists nightmare through and through. There you will find a powerful V8 that will run the Magnum Opus. It’s the ultimate goal of the game as you face off with many of the citizens of the wastelands to acquire it.
Along the way you will meet all sorts of characters. Chumbucket is the first of course. He is a mechanically gifted hunchback who has managed to survive despite his appearance, which some would consider a disadvantage. He will be the closest thing to a friend you get in this world. He fixes your car, he gives you info, and advise. Throughout all of it he is your guide and he also gives you great little quips enriching the gaming experience. He rejoices with “We Are Feared!” when vanquishing your foes. I loved his name from the start. He is the device that enables all the carnage in the world. He builds the cars that attract the sharks, like blood in the water. The faction and the leaders are diverse. The game has a really great and easy system that keeps track of all the collectables in the game. It also inform you about the vehicles, factions, and bosses. Reading their descriptions are enjoyable considering the atmosphere.Their roles in this world are as creative and detailed as George Miller’s film which adds flavor to the game. It’s the totality of the game’s aspects that makes this one of my favorite games from the Xbox One generation. I just wish I had played it sooner.
Note - The following achievement will be unattainable:
Up To the Task
Mad Max Monday Links:
Twitter - https://twitter.com/MarvzMitts
Minds - https://www.minds.com/marvzmitts/
I also have a Mad Max playlist that will give you a taste from the Wasteland here:
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