In Warner Bros Games’ impressive lineup, featuring big hitters like Mortal Kombat 1 and Batman Arkham Knight, there’s a hidden gem—Mad Max.
The Mad Max game from 2015, inspired by the famous movie series, showcases the possibilities of open-world gaming. Despite its exciting car battles, the game did not receive much attention.
Launched alongside the critically acclaimed Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, it needed help finding its place in a market saturated with similar open-world action games.
Yet, the overshadowing doesn’t dull the game’s natural greatness. Whether you’re a Mad Max fan, love open-world adventures, or crave an adrenaline-fueled experience, this overlooked gem is worth a playthrough.
Why it matters: In a sea of open-world games, Mad Max sets itself apart with a game centered around vehicle combat.
From Fury Road to The Wasteland
In 2015, I dove into this world through the epic Mad Max: Fury Road. Little did I expect a digital adventure in the form of the Mad Max video game later that year, but it blew me away.
As the opening scenes unfolded, I felt something special. Amid the stress of college, the Magnum Opus became my refuge. Navigating the virtual wasteland allowed me to channel my inner turmoil, steering through the chaos of my own life.
While not a direct tie to the films, Mad Max had a profound impact with its stunning graphics despite minor performance hiccups. The immersive health mechanics and the need to keep the Guzzolene tank filled added a hint of realism to the overall experience.
Action Packed Narrative
In Mad Max, you become Max Rockatansky, the main character, on a journey for redemption and justice. The story begins when Max’s car is nabbed by Immortan Joe’s war boys, leaving him stuck in the harsh desert.
The narrative centers on Max’s determined mission to get back his stolen car and settle the score with those who did him wrong.
Mad Max seamlessly blends chaos and madness into a simple yet gripping tale of revenge and loyalty. Max’s quest, haunted by memories of a lost world, plays out amid run-ins with freaks, outlaws, and everyday folks, adding richness and character to the world.
Unlike some open-world games where freedom can divert from the main story, Mad Max ensures that every mission, whether main or side, is tightly connected to the world, creating a smooth narrative.
It’s the intense combat that grabs the spotlight in the game. In Mad Max’s on-foot combat, the game takes inspiration from Batman: Arkham series while adding its unique elements.
Max’s deliberate and less agile movements bring a distinctive feel to the combat, enhanced through melee weapons and occasional shotgun action. Each punch and finishing move hits home, offering a therapeutic release for built-up frustration.
The sparing use of the shotgun amplifies Max’s fists, much like a drive down Fury Road itself. Vehicle combat, a chaotic symphony, mirrors real-life battles—symbolically navigating from point A to B, a challenge in its own right.
The game’s therapeutic aspects go beyond combat. Every can of Dinki-Di dog food brings forth laughter and melancholy, reflecting the uncertainty of sustenance in the post-apocalyptic world.
Chum Bucket’s dedication to fixing the chariot adds emotional depth, making the losses and burdens of the apocalypse feel real.
Fun Vehicle Customization System
Max gets around in a collection of high-powered, customizable cars. The game brings a level of thought and strategy not often seen in open-world titles.
Each car has its distinct qualities, suited for various challenges. Whether for fighting, speed, or toughness, I needed to carefully pick my vehicle, bringing strategy to this part of the gameplay.
Mad Max put a big focus on car battles, giving me a variety of cars and tons of upgrades for my main vehicle. The high-energy car fights stood out as I drove into vehicular warfare across the desolate landscapes.
In my opinion, this emphasis on car combat distinguishes Mad Max from other open-world games.
Unique & Mysterious Open World
Mad Max is essentially a classic open-world journey, beckoning players to traverse a deserted wasteland teeming with interesting missions.
Unlike Red Dead Redemption 2, the world lacks lush greenery or overgrown forests. It also doesn’t offer the depth of Witcher 3, but the game creates a rugged and desolate atmosphere that perfectly fits the storyline.
This map is scattered with things to do, encouraging players to explore and take on a variety of tasks. The game features a dual upgrade system, enabling customization of both the protagonist Max’s skills and his reliable vehicle.
Worries about the open world being empty fade away once you start exploring. The expansive landscape is far from devoid of life, reminiscent of the deliberate emptiness found in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Expansive deserts, outposts, and enemy camps intensify the feeling of isolation, plunging players into the post-apocalyptic backdrop. The game smartly includes brief and enjoyable tasks, like wrecking camps and taking down structures, ensuring that exploration is both fulfilling and necessary.
Mad Max isn’t just a game; it’s a deep dive into a realm of chaos and release.
Beyond the constant enjoyment, it provides a special kind of escape. If you haven’t plunged into this over-the-top, open-world, ultra-violent, post-apocalyptic adventure, you’re overlooking an encounter beyond typical gaming.
Mad Max turned me into a diehard fan of the franchise, and it’s ready to do the same for you.
I hope Warner Bros. takes the initiative to remaster this wonderful game sometime in the future. Mad Max’s developer is currently working on a new IP that is expected to be cutting-edge.
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