When it comes to games based on licensed properties – be it film, comic, or toy line – Warner Bros. Interactive is leading the way, with some amazing titles in recent years (such as the fantastic Batman: Arkham series and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor). So you know the that all-new Mad Max game is in pretty good hands. And when it comes to open-world, explosive, action packed gameplay, developer Avalanche Studios has proven its merit with the amazingly fun Just Cause 2. With a pedigree like this, it should come as no shock when we say that Mad Max is freakin’ awesome.
Set in the universe built by George Miller – but not based on any of the movies – Mad Max sees the titular hero and his shotgun-riding sidekick Chumbucket tearing through the desert wasteland and doing what they do best. Namely, fighting off crazed marauders.
Fans of the films will know that cars play a huge role in the universe, and Max’s car is his pride and joy. Players can customize nearly every element of the vehicle: engine, tires, armor, weapons, paint job, boost, and more. The car is extremely important, because a lot of the battles against wastelanders are vehicle-based.
While exploring the desert, Max drives by default, with Chumbucket operating the weapons. The weapons in your arsenal are diverse, and Max and Chumbucket can use them to attack enemies and as tools. The harpoon is great for impaling crazed marauders, but it also works for ripping the engine covers off vehicles and exposing their innards for an explosive attack.
Once out of the car, Mad Max becomes a more familiar kind of action game. Anyone who’s played the Batman: Arkham series or Shadow of Mordor will recognize the combat system, but Mad Max gives it a unique flair – with different timing, and an often-brutal counter system that turns the tables rather violently.
The tone of Mad Max dances that line of dark and humorous that the films have done so well, and the grisly elements add some real weight to the story. The bad guys in Mad Max are some of the meanest badass psychopaths in video games. This is truly a world without order.
If you can’t wait to get your hands on the wheel in Mad Max, good news: It’s out today for Xbox One.