Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Mad Max PS4 Review

The barren desert lies before me, the clang of metal on metal rings in my ears as Chumbucket desperately fixes the car. I lock eyes with the driver in front of me, he smiles, his scarred face contorting into a twisted grin. He revs his engine, rushes forward, his car lurching like a waking beast, charging at me, gnashing, angry. At the last second I dive to the left, he misses me, barely. The rush of air washing over me as he speeds past. Speeds, brakes, spins in the sand, out of control. Mad. I rush over to The Magnum Opus, Chumbucket leaps into the back, me into the driver's seat. I lock eyes with the driver, smile and rev, firing nitrous oxide to fly forward whilst Chumbucket impales him on a harpoon and drags him, screaming, through the air, crashing face down, dead, in the sand.

This is Mad Max and this is why it’s a shame the game is held back from realising its full potential. The world and characters of Mad Max are superbly realised by developer Avalanche. The cutscenes, environments and characters all feel like they belong in the movie universe without ever feeling like a cheap rip off.

Give 'im the old one two!
The moment to moment gameplay of the game is filled with exploration of one of the most vast, desolate and enjoyable sandboxes in all of gaming. Amazing car chases, fist fights, sniper duels and more await you. The game feels desperate, you feel desperate. Everyone is an animal and everyone wants you dead. Max just wants to leave and, after having his car destroyed, works with the deranged mechanic named Chumbucket to rebuild and leave.

It’s a decent premise built upon a solid foundation of great core gameplay, amazing visuals and world design, fantastic script writing and great acting. The problem is the story missions and side missions are diabolically uninspired. Each time Max needs to upgrade his car he needs to do a favour for one of the power players in the region. This boils down to liberating camps (by blowing up oil pumps etc.) tearing down enemy towers, going there, fetching that. Wash, rinse, repeat ad nauseam. It’s such a shame, if the side missions and story could match the great foundations they are built on then this would have been one of the finest open world games ever made.

The car chases are awesome.
Each mission feels like a mission from a game like Grand Theft Auto or Watch Dogs that was cut from the game. They are tedious chores built into a fun day off. I would rather watch Batman Vs. Superman than play another Mad Max story mission. I would rather crawl through broken glass than watch Batman Vs. Superman.

Get my point?

For every breathtaking view, every action packed cutscene, every random car chase there is an uninspired mission to trudge through and the game just isn't worth it.

If you’re able to pick it up cheaply then Mad Max is worth purchasing for its world, cutscenes, and the gameplay that occurs between missions - use it as a sandbox to play in but don’t expect anything more, it can’t deliver.

Have you played this game? If so what did you think? Let me know in the comments and don't forget to pester me on Twitter and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

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