I must admit I was essentially forced by my group of friends to go see 'Mad Max: Fury Road' - I don't do well with little to no real story and endless chaos and explosions. But it was oddly charming. As beautiful and captivating that movie was... the game is even more so. Stepping into Max's shoes as you guide him through his trials puts the chaos on a whole other level. As much fun as I've had with the game, the game isn't really for me. Is it for you? Let's take a look.
Plot (no spoilers - of course)
To be honest. Like the movie, this game isn't really about the story. There is one, but it's barely worth while. Here's the plot anyway: Max goes on an epic adventure to reclaim his priced possession, which is, his car of course. After having being jumped by War Boys, commanded by Immortan Joe's psychopathic son Scabrous Scrotus, they steal Max's clothes, food and water, but worst of all. His priced car.
Max must build his new car, the "Magnum Opus" with the help of his hunchback friend Chumbucket, upgrading it to the max... the MAD MAX (sorry I had to) - The two work together to survive. Forge alliances. And ultimately exact your vengeance on Scabrous Scrotus.
How it looks and sounds
Graphics: Open world games always have some problem with texture work. Mad Max is no different. It's nothing severe but it did break my immersion on occasion. The lighting effects are stellar. The explosions are rich in color and epic as such. And the explosion quality is important, because there are a lot of them. The Magnum Opus itself is very well detailed. Over all the game looks beautiful. I suppose it's not that hard to create a desert. But creating one at this level of unconventional beauty... that's impressive, at least to me.
Sound: WROOOM! The engine sounds are rich and roaring. They scream POWER at you. You could listen to music. Or you could enjoy the raw thunderous ooomf of your Magnum Opus. The explosions and gun shots are good, nothing special really, hard to mess up.
This is where this game shines through. It knows it isn't story heavy. It doesn't even bother trying. Mad Max is about cars, speed, explosions and epic vehicular combat. This game does what it means to do, and it does it well. With a comprehensive upgrade system that requires you to think a bit about what kind of car you want.
Vehicle exploration: At first I felt the driving system had this annoying weight to it. It was hard to judge when to turn, how much to break and how fast you should be going into the corners. But I got used to it fairly quickly, maybe an hour or two. After that it feels great. The weight now feels less troubling and feels like it gives you more precise control.
Combat (hand): The combat is very much like other Warner Bros. games, such as the "Batman: Arkham" series and "Middle Earth: The shadow of mordor" - The system was quite cleverly labeled by Totalbiscuit as "Arkham Lite" (a play on the game title of Batman: Arkham Knight) That is actually very much what it is. To me it seemed a bit too much like just, punch, counter, punch, punch, counter.
Combat (vehicle): Like I mentioned before. The vehicle has a weight to it. When you're charging up to ram someone, you feel that weight + the speed and you feel POWERFUL! When you harpoon a look out tower and pull it down full speed with your monster of a car, again you feel POWERFUL! Shaking War Boys of your car is very satisfying and blowing up their cars is even more so satisfying.
Upgrading: The game is very clever and surprisingly detailed when it comes to the upgrades. Ranging from the tires, engine power, frame weight and other options. There are a lot of variables to thing about when creating YOUR Magnum Opus. Do you want a light, agile machine to get in and out of trouble easily? Get a light powerful engine, light frame, wide tires, and above all, avoid getting rammed. Do you want a tanky beast? Get a ultra powerful engine, a sturdy frame, wide chain covered tires, and make sure you are ready at all times to ram, run over and wrestle with other cars.
The 7 or so hours that I played this game I mostly enjoyed the experience. What turned me off it was the lack of story and interesting side missions. For me it's a bit repetitive. The world certainly has more play time to it than 7 hours. One of my friends has a playtime of 16 hours. He absolutely loves the game. I write this in part with his input. So don't scare away just because I didn't play for very long. The world has a lot of dynamic destruction. And a lot of content, just not the kind of content I personally look for. For what it is, I love the game. But to invest multiple hours in addition to those I've already invested in the game... that's probably not going to happen, but that's not the case for all. So now I pose the question.
Is it for you?
Do you like: Epic driving, Epic explosions, Epic jumps, Epic fist fights, Epic vehicle battles, Epic epicness - If yes, then my god this is the game for you.
Do you like: Story... yeah skip this one, unless you're up for a change of pace.
Pros: The driving is excellent, The hand to hand combat is great, Upgrading is fun and in depth, Chumbucket.
Cons: Lack of story