Before I begin this review I have a confession to make. I have never seen the Mad Max movies and have never really been drawn to the franchise. Until now… Mad Max was free on PS4 through April and in all honesty, I didn’t think this game was going to be for me, oh how wrong I was.
Throughout the course of the game, we follow Mad Max in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, on a personal mission to get a V8 engine and defeat the Scrotus hordes. The player will be accompanied by a humpback mechanic known as Chumbucket, a series of territory owners with enjoyable names like Pink Eye and we have a less than pampered pooch, Dinki Di. This game will provide hours upon hours of entertainment for you, whether you are new to Mad Max or an old fan of the franchise. Rev your engine and get ready to rip up the wasteland on a quest for retribution and restoration.
The game plays like a dream, it’s great and offers days upon days of fun. Before I go into praising each individual sector of the gameplay you should be aware of the overall style of the game. It is an open-world adventure set in the wastelands of a dead earth. Ammo is scarce and most combat is dealt with using fists and melee weaponry. The pride centrepiece of the gameplay revolves around cars, for combat and for getting around. Combining all this with a wide variety of things to do makes one hell of an experience.
You will be taking over forts, scavenging for ancient treasure and clearing mine-fields among other things. The wasteland has a series of main missions and side missions for you to take on. You will have to complete certain tasks to gain the favour of the territory owners and unlock new parts to pimp your ride! Mad Max also offers players some RPG style elements with its Griffa level up Tokens. These are used to increase the amount of damage you take, how much health eating food restores and how much damage you deal, among other things to choose from. Max will accumulate Scrap through a wide range of sources that he will then use to purchase various things throughout his adventure.
Vehicles are the main focus of the game, they aren’t just a means of transportation. The vehicles can be modified to complete a wide range of tasks. Blowing up rival cars is just a fraction of the things you can do. We see equipment like the Harpoon come into play that can be used to pull down structures, and the Sniper for long distance engagement. You can upgrade your car in every way by unlocking access to parts and purchasing them with Scrap. Max will also find a series of racing styled challenges littered throughout the wasteland, so if you ever fancy a change of pace, Crow Dazzle should have something for you!
When you reach various points in the wasteland you’re going to get out of your car and enjoy beating the crap out of raiders and villains. The combat system works similar to the Batman games and Shadow of Mordor, it’s very timing based. The use of a shotgun is also very handy, although ammo is scarce, this little guy will help you in many a situation. Also the use of Shivs for instant kills is very handy and beautiful to see. Max can be upgraded to make him more efficient at hand-to-hand combat, things like what he wears, his ammo capacity, shotgun upgrades and a wide variety of skills will make Mad Max a whole lot madder.
The game also has a wide variety of in-game challenges to complete to push the player to experiment and continue playing, even long after the end-game. Before I continue, let me warn you, there are a serious of game-breaking glitches in Mad Max that have stopped me giving this game a perfect ten. The worst one I encountered was where I searched every scavenging location, received the relevant trophy, but the challenge for the scavenging locations was not completed. You must complete all of these challenges to get the platinum trophy, this is the only thing that left a serious bad taste in my mouth.
The game looks the part, and the many different areas you visit all look surprisingly different for a wasteland of sand. The team have done a grand job with Max’s visual in every aspect. Throughout the game you will encounter lots of things that strike the eye. From the change of day through to the night, the random storms that you encounter and the general aesthetic style of the structures and cave systems that give a real decaying wasteland feel to life. Alongside this we have beautiful thunder, explosive and smoke effects that mesmerize the eye and really aid the immersion factor. The developers have also added a lovely camera system that you can use to show off those graphics and get those perfect screenshots for that review you’re writing *Wink *Wink.
From the revving of the engines to the screaming and shouting of a world where everyone is Australian, Mad Max doesnt just look great, it sounds great! The kaboom of explosions, the crashing of metal on metal, the cracking of breaking bones, it’s all truly a work of art. The voice acting in this game is pretty good too, it provides humour and class to the game. Max has the perfect voice, it really suits the character. His companion, Chumbucket, is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best gaming characters I’ve seen in a while. He is hilarious, his somewhat perverted attachment issues to the car you drive is the funniest. He refers to the car as his Angel and to Mad Max as the Saint. He is arguably the unsung hero of the whole thing with his call outs indicating enemies approaching, storms readying in the distance and snipers with their eyes on you.
In short, Mad Max is a masterpiece of a game! Was it not for some upsetting bugs with the Wasteland challenges that have affected many players upon research, I would have given Max a big fat 10. But don’t let that stop you, there’s a chance that these bugs may not affect you or your game. If you aren’t interested in platniums or 100% then by all means this will be a ten for you. It sounds great, it looks and plays even better. This game was a free-game in April 2018 for PS4 and I would not have otherwise experienced a true gem of a game. The Wasteland awaits you Road Warrior, answer it…