With a release of September 1st 2015, it was always going to be tough for Mad Max. Everyone knows that this date belongs to Metal Gear Solid V, and after such critical praise for the game, it makes you think if many people would give Mad Max a chance due to the hype surrounding MGS V.
In Mad Max you play as Max who was left left for dead after all of his equipment was taken from him by a group which is ran by the main villian Scabrous Scrotus. Not long after you meet your partner in crime named Chumbucket who helps Max with the all the vehicle mechanical stuff.
Vehicles are a major focus point of Mad Max. You will actually find yourself being in your vehicle (named The Magnum Opus) more than on foot which is very unique for an open world game. With that in mind, the development team had to make The Magnum Opus different than your average open world vehicle, which they managed to do by adding a deep customization menu. Purchasing items for The Magnum Opus opens up a whole new array of gameplay options like using a harpoon or a sniper rifle.
The Magnum Opus and how other enemies in vehicles are presented does feel very similar to Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag’s ship and other enemies in their ships, which was a great comparison Hardcore Gamer made. The Magnum Opus feels like it’s your personal car, you choose the body, the color, decals, and a hood ornament to add that extra personality to your Magnum Opus.
Then you have all the extra upgrades like ramming grill, armor, spikes, ect to make the absolute best in this post apocalyptic world. This is all how you get that “Black Flag feel” as in Black Flag, you had The Jackdaw which was your ship which you constantly upgraded to make it the best ship on the seas. While in Mad Max you have The Magnum Opus which is the vehicle you get which you constantly upgrade to make it the best vehicle of the wasteland.
Then you have the enemy vehicles that have that resemblance to Assassin’s Creed IV with variety of vehicles with some being weak, and easy to take out while some would be a death wish to even go near until you upgrade your Magnum Opus to a certain point. The harder vehicles also contain items that you can collect if you manage to take out that vehicle, but special enemy vehicles like these come with a lot of other vehicles that are there to protect the main vehicle.
The customization goes even further with Max himself having customization features. You can change the look of Max by choosing one of the many head upgrades, you can also change Max’s jacket which comes with different benefits, and other features like knuckledusters, wrist armor, and ammo belt. To earn these different customization options for Max you will have to keep levelling up as these options will unlock at certain levels rather than exchanging them for an in game currency. There is an in game currency called griffa tokens which can be exchanged for increased abilities like maximum health, lowering vehicle fuel usage, and being able to boost levelling up by 1 point.
Melee combat will feel like other Warner Bros published games (Batman Arkham and Shadow Of Mordor) with its free-flow style combat system. The hand to hand combat feels brutal to use against enemies with the sounds and animations used. Environments like walls can be used in your favor as you can press an enemy against the wall, and punch the crap out of him until he’s finished off. There is also a “fury meter” which can be built up during ground combat. Once the meter is full you will enter “Fury Mode” were strikes become much more powerful.
Mad Max has a very unique setting for an open world video game. It is set in a post apocalyptic wasteland with a desert like terrain. This means there is no buildings and very little scenery. Some may find this boring and repetitive as it’s not what you’d expect with an open world game. Then you also have some pretty cool features with this kind of setting like random dust devils and sandstorms throughout the map. We’ve been too used to the open world game that features a vast amounts of buildings, land, and color so I personally like the setting just for it being so different than your average open world title, but I understand some will not like it.
What put me off of Mad Max the most was the story missions are not enjoyable at all, and totally threw me off the story altogether. The main story missions are mostly go to this place and take it over, or collect items to upgrade your vehicle. It all felt like a pile of side missions/activities were turned in to main missions and felt longer due to the grinding style of these missions. I also found using the car to become quite tiresome pretty early in the game due to how much you have to use it, and most of that time spent is just driving from one place to the other.
The Final Verdict
Mad Max isn’t going to be a game I call a must buy on release date or even something you must play. It’s definitely worth giving a try because it can be quite fun to play at times. I liked the customization features for both Max and the cars, and I thought the game managed to be familiar but have a unique take on different things like combat for example. Although my thoughts of the game started strong, they dropped more and more as I advanced through the game. I’d say for now to hold off on your purchase until it drops in price.
+ Mad Max has a unique take on successful features of popular games
+ Customization features
-Story missions feel repetitive and aren’t fun to play
-Driving becomes tedious quite quickly
Here are the patch 1.01 details for Mad Max which has been dubbed “Day Zero Patch” http://thisgengaming.com/2015/08/29/mad-max-day-one-patch-includes-improvements-to-story-animations-audio-and-more/