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Mad Max Review

Replay Value:
Overall Rating:
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Avalanche Studios
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
September 1, 2015

Mad Max is a safe, grimy, bombastic set piece that, while unable or perhaps unwilling to explore new frontiers, still delivers a solid and enjoyable wasteland experience. Provided you’re not looking for innovation or a gripping narrative and all your want to do is tear around, beating the crap out of faceless desert nutjobs and improving your beast of a car, this game will satisfy. There are times when a mindless romp will suffice. There are times when, after a tough day at work, we don’t want to think too much. If you are familiar with such times and you need a brainless game to fill those luxurious downtimes, Mad Max has it where it counts.

One wonders how to properly analyze the graphics when in fact, there isn’t that much to analyze. The game looks pretty good and plays well; you don’t have to worry too much about hitches and frame rate issues, for example. The character designs are good without being overly impressive and the general overarching design is appealing without being inspired. I wouldn’t say the visuals occupy the middle ground – they’re substantially more advanced than that – but they’re not really a focal point. That may sound strange to say considering the sheer size of this adventure, but it’s absolutely true that the emphasis remains squarely on gameplay. In this way, it’s definitely an Avalanche production.

Just Cause was never known for its photorealistic graphics, either, but it is well-known for its fixation on over-the-top gameplay. I’ll get to that in a minute but let me add that in terms of audio presentation, Mad Max ranges from average to excellent. The voice performances are solid and the soundtrack is decent, but the effects are stellar; combat is where the sound shines, as you’ll notice within the first hour of playing. This is all part of a concerted effort to keep you playing, to keep the game’s emphasis on the ceaseless action. So long as the game runs well, is technically proficient, and doesn’t lag too much on elements like voice acting, we can happily fixate on the task(s) at hand.

The wasteland is aptly named. Max is your prototypical protagonist; a guy with a troubled history and a chip on his shoulder the size of Montana. At his disposal are his car, the Magnum Opus, and an assortment of weapons and combat maneuvers that wreak havoc on baddies. Right from the start, you’re locked in a bitter battle with Scrotus and his army of violence-loving cronies, and you will continue to wage war throughout the game. In addition to the Magnum Opus, Max will also have assistance in the form of Chumbucket – a strange little mechanic – who believes Max is “Angel,” the hero of legend. Chumbucket might be a little bizarre but he’s a genius when it comes to beefing up the car. Your goal is to enhance the vehicle to the point where it can finally cross the Plains of Silence. We’re just not sure what’s on the other side…