Unfortunately, the release of Mad Max by Warner Bros. on September 1st 2015 was utterly eclipsed by Hideo Kojimas incomplete MGS 5. "What fuck-wits were responsible for slating the release date for this game?" I caught myself muttering after picking up copies of both games the same day. Mad Max is by no means a terrible game at all, so which marketing muppet at Avalanche Studios felt it was a fantastic idea to directly compete with one of the biggest game franchises existing today?! I'm sure they no longer have a job now. Or maybe Warner Bros felt that the incredible hype from the film earlier in the summer would be a grand enough pedestal for the game to sit on top of- waving solid gold scepters indignantly at established IP.
I dipped my toes in the tepid and murky waters of Mad Max out of respect for the doomed release date before i sunk my teeth into MGS5 and ended up with some sort of food poisoning or stomach virus. So it had been a few months of neglect since i played it last and was anxious to give it some attention. It found its way back into the digital bowels of my PS4 and i have been absolutely enamored with one thing in particular.
Look at this fucking sky!
Point form review of the game below the screen caps.
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on a summer's day, listening to the wind, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
― John Lubbock
That goes doubly so for a simulated version of the horizon. I suppose the Devs felt that the barren wasteland needed something beautiful to contrast the hoplessness of a dystopia. But man did they ever outdo themselves. Every games sky from now on will be compared to this in my mind. Once you see something great its really hard to un-see it.
SO there i stood, which is something i very seldom do in a game. Totally ignoring the mission prompts. Protesting the list of tasks before me to stare at this incredibly dynamic, show stopping sky Avalanche Studios has created. i left Max standing in one place and took screen caps every 5 min or so as i replied to emails over the course of about an hour and a half.
...and my view came to an extremely abrupt and violent end my friends.
Suddenly a 'mighty duster' tossed me like a cobb salad, to and fro. The car also landed onto of me.
I was attempting to not write a review of the game and simply show off some of the compelling eye candy it had to offer but i do have to share a few thoughts about the gameplay and the state of open world games lately. Point form i think would be appropriate here.
- The game ties in with the film quite well. keeping certain themes while creating a stand alone story which is where most movie based games go wrong. Its been a long time since a video game/ movie crossover impressed me as much as Mad Max did.
- There are War-boys and they do scream 'Valhalla' as they roll up on you. There are thundersticks and they are really fun to play with. Gas town is in the game as well.
- i never felt without in the game. There were too many resources littered throughout the game. i always had water, Dinkie-D dog food, and gazzoline so the mechanic of looting and pillaging fell a bit flat since the scarcity of essentials is the primary theme of the franchise.
- You'll do lots of driving and the cars feel awesome to handle. The customization and vehicle variety will keep you busy and hungry for upgrades. The trouble is the commerce system doesn't give you enough parts to upgrade much at all. You will find yourself a bit frustrated that you cant have the cool cars until you complete a lot of the mostly cookie-cutter side quests.
- The first person view in the vehicle is my favorite part of driving. Shooting a War-boy off the hood of your car with the shotgun from a first person perspective...fergetaboutit! The engine is roaring away and the dust is kicking up everywhere, when you aim your shotty you can barely see the barrel in view but its there!
- The major problem with open world games for me is the fetch questing. i know that's what most, if not all open world/ RPG games utilize and it would be very hard to subtract them entirely. But they all just feel the same to me and i've been loosing patience over the years, probably because they are the same. Fuck, our lives are a fetch quest so i understand the necessity. I would just like to see more variety and story behind the mundane tasks. That would require a lot more work but would hold any game that does this way higher and keep the audience captivated longer. Needles to say Mad Max suffers from this 'go fetch doggie' style. So i lost motivation to build my car collection because to get them you have to do the boring shit. Maybe have a few ways of approaching the commerce side of the game itself?
- The narrative is kinda forgettable.
- The bosses in the strongholds throughout the wasteland are identical. Big dudes that look like Lord Humungus from 'The Road Warrior.' Pretty lame. Gives us no insentive as a gamer for variety.
- All that i was really looking for is for Avalanche to capture the feel of Mad Max and they did an outstanding job of that. So i would endorse spending about 15hrs with the thing. If you saw Mad Max last summer and loved it youll really enjoy yourself.