I’ve journeyed into the Wastelands and have survived it – barely, but in a good way. While I attempt to finish Assassin’s Creed Origins, here’s another open world game that I did finish.
Like Max himself, you are thrown into the Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland, with nothing but your shotgun. You must build a car, your Magnum Opus, since your Interceptor was taken and you were left for dead in the desert.
And I have to say that my expectations were succeeded. I wanted to not only be playing as Max, but also be living and breathing in the Wasteland; this game performed.
You are really made to feel as if you are living – as if surviving for scraps in order to reclaim your prized vehicle and, ultimately, Max’s self-identity. You encounter a companion early in the game – essentially your guide and mechanic throughout the game. What Avalanche has created here is the perfect Mad Max sandbox.
Firstly, let’s talk about the environment. By the Force the Wasteland is a gorgeous environment. Each new area you enter has its own distinct characteristics – great in many ways. Every area is distinctly different, with each possessing its own set of challenges. And using photo mode is fantastic.
There is one common rinse and repeat while exploring each territory held by a warlord/leader – taking back control from Scrotus, the main antagonist. The system here was reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, wherein you are taking out the Templar towers in each part of the city, whilst slowly progressing through the map. You must earn the trust of the leaders in order to gain new resources to not only customise your car but also to improve Max himself.
The combat system in this game is solid. It’s quite similar to the Arkham games or Shadow of Mordor, but the one thing I feel they could have done was give more oomph to the hits that Max dishes out to the enemies. That’s one thing I really enjoyed from the Batman combat system – the impact from each hit. Other than that the combat system is good.
The enemy units are varied and each require their own strategy for defeat. During overwhelming moments, you can bring out your shotgun out and start blowing the enemy to pieces. The boss fight encounters are one of the weakest parts of the game, because they are all very similar. Not much strategy is required to take them out – they all have the same repertoire except the last boss fight. That was a highlight for me. I just wish all the previous boss fights were like the final one.
The other big positive factor in this game is the driving. Your car is not only your home but also your weapon and companion in surviving the desert wasteland. Completing tasks and collecting and gathering resources will further to unlock and upgrade your Magnum Opus – from upgrading the engines to adding explosive harpoons in taking out enemy convoys, or even various war parties that roam the roads. The vehicular combat in this game is second to none. It’s one of my favourite parts of the game because if you recently seen Mad Max: Fury Road, you experience those kinds of flavours in this game and then some. It’s fantastic. I’m a racing car gamer and I felt right at home with driving around this world and having random encounters with the varied enemy vehicles.
As you go deeper into enemy territory and upgrade your car, the enemy car units also become stronger and more well-armoured and the car battles add another layer of strategy. This is especially apparent when going after the convoys that rule certain sections of each territory. After successfully defeating them, you earn their hood ornament as your trophy and can place it on your car. When enemy units roam the roads, some will go after you and others will turn tail and run because you and your car’s reputation grow. It really makes you feel like you are a true badass and the enemy will fear you because of your deeds throughout the wasteland.
And before I wrap this up, one important note I want to add is that the voice acting is solid. They nailed the Aussie accent, which is nice for me, being an Australian myself. It’s good that they maintained the style of George Miller’s world with the voice acting with all the characters.
All in all, Mad Max is one hell of a ride. It is a slow burn but once you’ve established yourself in this sandbox, there is nothing ahead but the road to glory! And there are some Easter eggs from the films especially the moment you hear the words “Two men enter, one man leaves” chanted by a crowd.