by: RILEY GOLDEN/Staff Writer
As the player takes control of Mad Max, you are instantly immersed in the disparity of the wasteland. As soon as you are dropped into the game, you are looking for gas to fill your Magnum Opus, the car that you can upgrade and customize throughout the entire game. Gas is not something you necessarily come across all willy-nilly in the world of Mad Max. Several times I caught myself without a spare tank of gas in the back of my trusty ol’ Opus when the gas light comes on and I’m thinking: “Am I going to run out of gas and have to run from location to location until I find what could be only a quarter of a tank of gas.
On top of that, any location could be home to any number of hostile, pale-skinned wastelanders just looking to ruin your day. At first, each individual is a challenge, but as you level up Max’s damage dealing and receiving abilities, as well as Max’s armor and handcrafted brass knuckles, you become more able to handle these enemies. But they don’t just exist on foot as you can find all enemies in a spike-covered, armor-covered vehicle of their own. While engaged in car combat you can ram drivers on either side of you, shoot their exposed gas tanks with your shotgun, harpoon gun, or the wasteland version of a rocket launcher: the Thunderpoon, many of these resulting in glorious explosions. Those encounters that don’t end in a boom, have the potential to transfer right into a brutal round of fisticuffs.
Mad Max’s hand-to-hand combat is one of the most brutal I have seen in a while, and it’s all glamorous. Mad Max has a similar strike-and-counter system to that of Batman: Arkham Knight, being able to build up to a “fury” mode, unleashing even more brutality. Fighting as Max is extremely satisfying from the basic jab-and-weave to the glorious body slams and shotgun finishers. The combat is great, but how about the story?
The story elements would be the only place Mad Max is lacking, however not by too much. The overall goal is to build your Magnum Opus up enough to make it into “Gastown,” the town that controls all of the gas. Max needs a lot of gas to get where he’s going, assuming throughout the game that his final destination is where his wife and daughter are. On this journey you encounter group leaders that provide Max with assistance, going by names such Pink Eye, an elderly lady that has lost both of her legs.
One of the coolest things in the game is Max’s little hunchback-help, Chumbucket; Chum fires all of your harpoons and Thunderpoons, and my personal favorite, Chum will repair the Magnum Opus for you wherever you are in the wasteland. You have to be fully stopped and when you get out of the car, he will automatically start repairing the Opus for you.
Mad Max may be lacking in a few ways but it still meets what you could consider to be the most import element of a video game: Mad Max is generally a very fun game to play, though it tends to get a little boring and repetitive after being played for longer periods of time. Mad Max is a great playthrough and makes waiting for November’s Fallout 4 that much easier. I give Mad Max four out of five stars.