Mad Max was a whole lot of fun when I got to play it earlier this year. Of course, they only let us play the game for a short while in a preview, which means that we don’t get a feel of how it might play out over time. But these lucky news outlets got their hands on review samples, and here are their thoughts about the whole experience.
Mad Max is a juxtaposition of exciting, thrilling fun set in a world of disgusting, primal depravity – like a singing telegram informing you of a death in the family, or an ice-cream cake with your terminal test results written in frosting. It’s a conflicting place of despair, a personal playground of explosive action and compulsive, unending progression that I can’t wait to get back to, and one hell of a ride.
This may not be breaking any new ground but it’s a satisfying experience with plenty to do. By the time I’d finished the main story I’d clocked 38 hours and apparently completed 39% (!). The main story, despite its mundane crux, does ultimately deliver a worthy climax (it’d be spoilers to say more) before returning you to a still daunting map full of bases, side quests, diversions and everything else to mop up. The plot might barely exist for the majority of the game, while direction and focus takes its time to come together, but none of that matters. Just being in the being the world is enough. You are Mad Max, a violent stranger roaring across the wasteland in a cloud of dust and violence.
At the end of the day, Max overtook some bases, ran a couple hundred cars off the road, met some forgettable characters, and buried his fist into the sunburnt skin of the villainous locals. Was it worth the effort? That ultimately depends on how much fun you had in performing these basic, repetitious open-world activities.
It’s a shame because Mad Max’s world in the game is beautiful, grim, and fascinating. Some interesting characters, impressive environments and great car combat draw you in and incentivise you to keep going, but it’s when you get out of the car that things fall apart. Mad Max’s combat system is too dumbed down to enjoy, and repetitive activities such as searching for scrap and invading small enemy camps gets old fast. Mad Max offers some great experiences, but for a game that tries to impose the realities of survival on you, it does a poor job of following up on this pressure. Mad Max is too focused on providing you with an open-world that’s filled with missions, and not focused enough on making those missions worth your time.
Mad Max is a shallow, forgettable experience. Those inevitable wins felt empty, and that’s really the biggest problem with Mad Max. The film franchise has always transcended the summer blockbuster genre, providing worlds and characters and scenarios that have stuck in my mind. Mad Max the game is the opposite; it’s got chase scenes and big explosions and bloody fights, but nothing to remember it for. In spite of some annoying technical issues and questionable design, Mad Max is functional, but it’s fluff, plain and simple.
Sounds like a pretty bland experience to me, despite all the explosions and mayhem. Mehd Mehx indeed, then. If you’re wondering where our review is, fear not – we are just still waiting for our review samples to arrive and then we will let you know if it’s actually a glorious thrill ride or if we were left wondering why you heff to be so mad.
Last Updated: September 1, 2015