After the success of Mad Max: Fury Road, expectations for this game were very high. Mad Max (the video game) is not directly tied into Fury Road but you could not help but notice the correlations. The game feels like a mash between Just Cause and Far Cry 3. Mad Max is an open-world adventure game with plenty of space to explore and lots of side missions in addition to the story missions. A high amount of your time in the post-apocalyptic wasteland will be spent in your vehicle, which can be customized and upgraded along the way. Did Mad Max ride off into the BlueBall Reviews proverbial sunset? Let’s find out!
Blue Ball Score: 16 out of 25 balls
Mad Max utilizes a third-person view. As with most third-person games, the camera can be tricky to get right. Mad Max was no exception. The camera would often hinder your performance as you were constantly re-adjusting the camera to fit the moment especially during intense combat sequences. The non-stop fiddling would get annoying at times, but this should be expected with third-person shooters. I personally didn’t find the camera to be beyond reasonable.
The controls for the game were fairly easy after acclimating yourself to the wide array of controls for both combat and driving. In addition to the standard joystick controls, the d-pad was used to switch weapons and issue commands. Driving controls were very standard as well. My only complaint was the turn sensitivity. A few millimeters could mean the difference between a slight curve to the left or a 90-degree Nascar crash into a wall going into turn 3. Mad Max involves a ton of vehicular combat, so this could be very frustrating. Accurate trajectories were necessary when trying to ram a speeding enemy or side-swipe them into oblivion. Other than the driving issue, the controls were solid.
Another heavy aspect of the game was combat, including both vehicular combat and combat on foot. Throughout the story and side-missions, you will be using weapons and melee to defeat your foes. Ammo is scarce in the beginning, but upgrading your strongholds can provide you with ammo when you’re running low. For this reason, you will be using plenty of melee combat in the beginning stages. Melee battles involve chaining together punches while simultaneously blocking/counter-attacking. Some enemies will wield melee weapons which can be picked up and used by Max. This can be very helpful when dealing with a mob of enemies at one time.
Overall, gameplay was good. However, repetitive combat and overly sensitive driving controls hurt the score a bit. Gameplay earns 3.5 balls.
The world map is very large and spans a vast wasteland. There are plenty of locations to explore, scavenge, liberate, and conquer. If you are into side-missions, Mad Max has you covered better than Sprint’s 4G network. Enemy camps are sprinkled throughout the map for you to invade and conquer. Taking over an enemy camp yields rewards as they will generate the all-important scrap that you will use to upgrade your car and Max himself. The game will often distract you with enemy supply routes, scarecrows (enemy monuments of sorts), vantage points, and scavenge locations, so expect to spend some extra leisure time between destinations. Each new area brings new dangers with optional goals available to complete which lower the enemy threat in the area.
Your pride and joy, the Magnum Opus, will be your ride for this adventure. You will upgrade it with better armor, tires, weapons, and other items to assist you in your journey. Chumbucket will be there with you and rides with you in the car. He is a great asset when your car takes damage, as he can repair it whenever the car is not in motion or if you get out of the car. This can make vehicular battle very intense while watching your damage meter. If the Magnum Opus takes too much damage, you can always commandeer enemy vehicles in a pinch.
While there are many great aspects of the campaign, it is the story itself which falls flat. It wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped and there were no WTF moments to get you on the edge of your seat. Overall, it was just dry and blaaaah. A weak story holds back an otherwise great campaign, which earns 3.5 balls.
Out of the vehicle, combat was a little better and more satisfying. You could incorporate a mix of weapons, melee, and environmental hazards to lay waste to your foes. Chaining together multiple strikes could produce some satisfying finishers. The ability to counter attacks wasn’t always consistent, but it worked fairly well. My main issue with this form of combat was that it quickly became repetitive. Repetitive = boring. The fun of fighting faded away like a sunset and felt more like a chore. Mad Max incorporated several possibilities to try to spice it up, but it wasn’t enough.
Touchy vehicle controls and repetitive combat earns a donkey punch in the nuts with a score of 2.5 balls.
My eyes were not the only things unsatisfied. Mad Max also failed to make my ears climax. Most of your time is spent in your pimp-mobile filling your ears with roaring engines. For all you gearheads out there, I’m sure that is a pleasing sound. For the rest of us… it just gets old after a while. Explosions and gunfire were not enough to fill the void. The voice acting lacked any major substance in my opinion. All around, sound was less than average and under par.
Graphics and sound earns 3 balls.
In conclusion, the game was definitely fun at first. The repetitive nature of the missions coupled with the void of diverse gameplay mechanics held me back from loving this game. If you love open-world games such as Just Cause and Far Cry, then you might really enjoy this game. I would absolutely recommend it as a rental before buying it. The game fell short for even an avid fan of Mad Max and that is disappointing. I really wanted to give this game a better score. Mad Max earns a final score of 16 balls.