Monday, 14 September 2015

Mad Max: PS4 Review

Mad Max: PS4 Review

Developer: Avalanche Studios
Platform: PS4

Mad Max has had a great year.

What with the cinematic epic chase film Fury Road starring Tom Hardy earlier this year and now an extremely enjoyable entry into the console world, it's been all about the return of Max.

Set in the post apocalyptic world we're all familiar with, this open world game gives you the chance to become Mad Max and to scavenge the wastelands and get revenge. When Max finds his vehicle stolen by local warlord Scrotus, he's on a quest to get it back - with only help coming from an oddball mechanic called Chumbucket (looking like the hunchback from 300), Max has to build a war vehicle, survive the baddies and get his beloved Interceptor back.

With missions and side-missions, the majority of which are aimed at getting Max's new vehicle built, scavenging parts and tooling up, there's plenty to do and plenty of places to explore in Mad Max. Which is a great thing, because the open world that's been created by Avalanche is simply stunning, a wasteland of epic proportions which really does translate well on the small screen following the film's magnum opus. Salvaging scrap from areas also helps Max reach his goals as well, and gives you extra reasons to hang around areas.

Using the usual combat methods and fisticuffs to take out various members of the warboys who stand in your way, Max has a kind of gritty realistic feel to its fighting that's both familiar and welcoming. Running up to a victim and smacking them squarely in the face with a power punch has quite the impact and Max can even unleash his Fury when hitting enough of the right anger points.

And the driving elements of the game prove to be exciting too - powering through sand dunes in buggies and taking on bad guys as you head to your next mission gives this game a feeling of place within the Mad Max canon - equally, the initial opening sequences and cut scenes really are perfect; a mix of the gut-punching violence and the superb execution (both literally and figuratively) give Mad Max a sense of brutality and tension that's welcome.

Oddly though, there are some glitches, including moments when Max tries to run through vehicles and simply melds into them rather than stopping and going around and occasionally some of the movement and execution of jumping doesn't quite work. But these are minor niggles that don't fully detract from the game once you embrace their quirkiness.

All in all, Mad Max is a well-executed take on what was undoubtedly one of the action films of the year. Brutally faithful to its source material and with some uniquely Aussie twang and slang, it certainly hits all the key moments and gives the open world game an authenticity that's worth embracing.


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