Mad Max: A Beautiful Wasteland

I hate video games that are tie-ins for movies or comics. They're usually horrible and rushed together clones of already popular games. The Arkham series is one of the few that has broken that mold. Mad Max has some great movies. I did not expect much from the game. Especially when I couldn't find many in depth reviews for the game and not all the reviews are exactly great. But the game just kept staring at me on PSN. Every time there was a PSN sale it was sitting there for $4 just taunting me. One day I caved. I bought the game and downloaded it. I loaded up a $4 dollar game expecting nothing.

The story of the Mad Max game sees you take control of Max in a story created just for the game. The only thing that remains the same is his trademark interceptor known as the black on black. (Why is it trademark when he only drove it for one and maybe a half of a movie) The car is taken from Max along with everything else by a Scrotus. He's left with the shirt on his back and a canteen for water. He soon reunites with an injured dog the Scrotus had abandoned. They meet Chumbucket and set out to build the Magnum Opus after seeing the black on black had been destroyed.

Along the way you form alliances with several strongholds and their leaders to clear the wasteland of of the Scrotus threats in hopes of reaching Gastown and getting revenge. Along the way you'll come across some colorful inhabitants of the wasteland that have heard rumors of Max from his adventures. Some believe Max is the real Max, others believe he is simply a man pretending to be the legend.

The cut scenes are going to be the first thing you notice because there's 10 minutes of them before you gain control of Max. They are amazing looking. Sure it takes place in a wasteland but that doesn't mean it can't be beautiful. You can see the grit on characters faces, sparks fly from cars. There's plenty of cut scenes in the game, but there's no loading time. It's not like the gameplay is a huge downgrade from cut scene quality either. It still looks fantastic, but those cut scenes look incredible.

The combat in the game is basically Arkham without gadgets other than the shotgun and a few shanks. It's still a ton of fun once you get some upgrades going. Max is a brutal fighter, none of those kicks and spins. He fights dirty, and hard. That's only fair because the enemies do too. Car combat is also fun. Each car has different weapons that can be used and they all provide a different feel to combat. The thundersticks are my favorite, but that harpoon is a classic and it remains useful through the entire game.

Sometimes gameplay can be repetitive. Your goal is to lower the threat in each region. You'll be doing the same thing in each of these regions. Taking out camps, destroying monuments, stopping convoys and clearing mine fields. It's the same thing in each area but they manage to make each unique. None of the camps are the same even if objectives are. There may be camps underground, suspended from cliffs, partially submerged in water. The same goes with convoys, none of them just drive in a circle, they all use different vehicles with various levels of armor.

There's other aspects of gameplay as well such as death races where you race, or kill all your opponents. Doesn't matter which one. My favorite part might actually be sandstorms. When they happen the litter the covers the wasteland flies through the sand and may take you out. It may take out an enemy. There are plenty of enemies in a sand storm because everyone is scurrying to find a safe space. Visibility is low, it's dark, you're taking damage from the sand flying so hard. It's chaos, but a wise man said chaos is a ladder. If you can take out enemies and get to them first the sandstorm has crates filled with scrap, scrap is the currency of the wasteland. Scrap is needed for everything, building cars, upgrading Max and everything else.

Does the game have it's bad? Sure, it's way too short, but there's a ton of stuff to do in the free roam world. Difficulty doesn't scale well. There's not much middle ground. A lot of things are really hard and a lot are really easy. After the second territory unlocked you won't be seeing any new enemy types. You'll just be seeing way bigger groups of them. Using the PS4's share button to capture screenshots is basically useless because it'll feature everything on screen including the HUD, enemy markers, objectives and so on. Instead they want you to use the in game camera which they never actually mention. You access it by clicking the two thumb sticks at once.

Mad Max can be repetitive, simple and just brain numbing. However, I ask which open world game isn't? For the price of $4 you just can't beat the amount of content you get with it. Even if you haven't seen Mad Max before the game is just fun. It sets you in an environment that I can't recall any other game ever visiting. I spent four dollars on this game and have put in dozens of hours just beating people up and blowing up cars. I didn't realize how much I loved the game until that point. Mad Max is almost always on sale so grab it. It'll be the best $4 you ever spend on a video game.

You can hear Darrell on the CP Time and Powerbomb Jutsu podcasts. He also plays classic arcade games on The Cabinet. You can also check out his playthrough of Sleeping Dogs or Skyrim
Mad Max: A Beautiful Wasteland Mad Max: A Beautiful Wasteland Reviewed by Blerds Online on Friday, August 18, 2017 Rating: 5

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