Conventional video game wisdom suggests that nothing good can come of a movie franchise turned video game. In the case of the 2015 WB Games title, “Mad Max,” conventional wisdom is quite wrong. “Mad Max” the video game came out in September of last year, a mere four months after “Mad Max: Fury Road,” the reboot of the 80s cult classic “Mad Max” series of films. Instead of an interactive retelling of the new film, the “Mad Max” video game is a fully open world experience set in the “Fury Road” universe. While the game makes reference to the events of the film, the only character that makes an appearance in both is Max himself. When playing the game, it becomes quickly apparent that the developers used the opportunity to expand on the story universe instead of relying on the plot already made in the film.
The basic premise is that the main protagonist, Max Rockatansky, a survivor of a horrible worldwide apocalypse, must fight to survive in what’s left of the Australian outback long enough to travel to the Plains of Silence (a place that Max believes will grant him peace). Max’s journey is impeded by Scabrous Scrotus and his War Boys who take Max’s car and leave him stranded. The player must take control of Max to help him find a new car and a means of surviving the wasteland. The player runs into Chumbucket, a hunchbacked mechanic of otherworldly skill that believes Max to be a Saint of the Angel Combustion (an automobile-based deity). Chumbucket offers Max his services and the Magnum Opus vehicle to make their way to the Plains of Silence.
The gameplay is divided up essentially into two sections: driving and on-foot exploration. The player travels across the large open map of the game in a car gathering scrap to ultimately upgrade the Magnum Opus before reaching the Plains of Silence. In order to do this the player is encouraged to find scavenging locations, assist several settlement leaders, take over Scrotus’ bases and take on enemy drivers among a myriad of other tasks. Some of these tasks require the player to fight using weapons on the car but also demand the player to take on enemies in hand-to-hand combat (especially during base infiltration.)
The game offers so many activities that the player may spend around 40 hours to complete everything. The gameplay is excellent with a fairly simple hand-to-hand combat system that feels both satisfying yet challenging. The operation of the Magnum Opus is rather straight-forward and flows nicely with the weaponry the car has to offer. The game even employs a slow motion assistance system for the firing of weapons to keep aiming accurate and easier to handle. Overall, “Mad Max” has a lot to offer in terms of gameplay, story and well-rendered graphics. It is available for PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.