Similar to the films, most recently Mad Max: Fury Road, Mad Max is a game about the death of a civilization and the story of losing hope in a better tomorrow. The franchise has been able to capture your attention because of the need to hold onto something in life that is worthwhile to the characters and then watch it burn as it is destroyed by the ever dangerous and extensive Wasteland.
As Max, you find yourself as the reluctant hero who is not trying to thrive as part of the Wasteland but trying to escape it. In the hoping 10 minutes of the game, you as Max, are beaten up, your car is taken, and you are nearly killed at the hands of the ruling Warlord of the refinery-city Gas Town, Scabrous Scrotus.
On your way to Gas Town to seek vengeance against Scrotus Max is aided by different residents of the Wasteland either. The help comes either because of your legend or because the locals need you a to do something for them before they offer you anything. Your largest help in the Wasteland comes in the form of Chumbucket. Chumbucket is a deformed Wastelander known for his ability to restore and repair cars. Chumbucket sees Max as an prophet of his religion, and that he has been sent to help build and drive the Magnum Opus. The Magnum Opus is to become the greatest vehicle ever seen in the Wasteland.
For the in-depth development of the story for all intense purposes traditional storytelling is thrown out of the window for the majority of Mad Max. By the ending the story is a well developed string through the game that left me wanting to see a bit more of it during the amount of hours I have spent playing but Mad Max isn’t about the story, it is about the Wasteland.
The Wasteland is alive and has a personality that leaks into every part of the game. Each character you meet has been changed by the Wasteland and their actions are direct results of their experiences in it. When looking at Mad Max as a open world game you are hard pressed to establish a land more developed than the Wasteland. Yes, it is a desert, but a desert with hundreds of little things to explore and discover.
If you are not a fan of the Wasteland, you will not be let down by the gameplay itself. I would compare the fighting mechanics of Mad Max to a mashup of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Twisted Metal. It isn’t perfect, but allows you to enjoy greatly each fight and after several hours of gameplay, ok more like 20 hours, I each battle felt specific allowing me the ability to eliminate in different ways. Believe me that you will be shocked when you are able to take into different areas and impale people with the Thunderstrick. A simple spear with a grenade on the end brought me a lot of joy and excitement during the game.
Mad Max is not a perfect game. Their are issues in the game where the developer needs to spend some time polishing, but the mechanics are sound and leave you really enjoying Mad Max. I have spent a lot of time in the Wasteland and I know that I will spend a lot of additional time building up to the perfect Magnum Opus so I don’t let Chumbucket down.