Following the incredibly well conceived Mad Max: Fury Road movie earlier this year comes an open-world romp through the wasteland that puts us in the boots of the legendary road warrior. While the game does lend some characters, themes and locations from the established movie franchise; Mad Max is a standalone chapter in the post-apocalyptic universe. While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel or bring much new to the table, Mad Max is still a solid open-world adventure that most fans of the franchise should definitively consider checking out.

The story starts out much like Fury Road as Max’s iconic V8 interceptor is destroyed by warboys. That’s where the story similarities end however, as you encounter a deformed hunchback and master mechanic called Chumbucket that believes Max is a saviour sent from the heavens and pledges his allegiance to him and vows to help him build the ultimate wasteland vehicle; The Magnum Opus. That is really what the whole story is, more or less. The story missions all revolve around the ultimate goal of upgrading and improving your vehicle in one way or another.

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A lot of the meat of the game is found in the side-quests where you explore various locations, take down warlords, capture enemy forts and help out the good people of the wasteland. These activities get a little repetitive at times, but the rewards allow you to acquire new attacks and perks and further upgrade the Magnum Opus, which all make the game more enjoyable to play.

The game play is a solid blend of exploration and on-foot and vehicular combat. The exploration is reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed as you discover points of interests on the map as you ascend hot-air balloon vantage points. Any one that has played the Arkham series (or any of the multiple action games that emulate their mechanics) will be very comfortable with the melee combat. A simple, yet fun and addictive, system that has you dealing blows and timing counter-attacks while throwing in some gadgets and guns in between as you bash in the faces of warboys willing to die for their masters. While not really original, it is all very well implemented and satisfying.

The vehicular combat brings a bit more new things to the table, building on Avalanche Studios’ Just Cause mechanics, and does a fantastic job of capturing the essence of the Mad Max universe’s vehicular carnage. Your loyal companion Chumbucket always accompanies you and performs several useful duties while you ride around the desert. He will repair the Magnum Opus whenever you exit the vehicle, and a couple of missions into the game you mount a harpoon cannon in the back that can be used to tear down gates, vehicle parts, and various other useful things. Once you get some decent upgrades installed on your vehicle it truly is a joy to take down convoys and make short work of enemy vehicles attempting to mess with you. Car handling is on the arcade’y side of things, which suits the game play just fine

The presentation is very decent, but not without its faults. Character and vehicle models are faithfully recreated in the style you would expect from a Mad Max experience. Everything looks rusty and pieced together, and Avalanche did a great job of capturing the look and feel of the Mad Max wasteland. The sound design is also good with a fitting score and quite strong voice acting. There are however a lot of strange graphics and physics glitches that can be quite intrusive, but will hopefully be remedied in future updates.

Mad Max is a fun game that will resonate with anyone that loves the franchise’s universe and would like to explore the wasteland as Max. While not without faults and with limited variety, it still offers a decent amount of bang for your buck and is worth picking up if you are hungry for a new open-world action adventure.

Mad Max Review
Graphics75%
Audio80%
Gameplay75%
Story65%
Pros
  • Faithful adaptation of the universe
  • Satisfying melee & vehicle combat
  • Strong voice acting
Cons
  • Repetetive
  • Graphical glitches
  • Appeals mostly to fans of franchise
74%Overall Score
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About The Author

Ingólfur Ólafsson

Metal head, front-man, natural gamer and editor at Eskimo Press.