sat 20/04/2019

Mad Max | reviews, news & interviews

Mad Max

Mad Max

The wastelands have far too much going on in this generic action-adventure

'Mad Max': Back and forth across the dusty desert…

From the sublime, to the mundane. Last week's insane Metal Gear Solid V gives way to this freeroaming action-adventure cash-in on the Mad Max: Fury Road film. But a threadbare plot and far too much back-and-forth in play does this game no favours. Particularly in comparison to the other big action game out this week.

When Max's infamous Interceptor car is grabbed and scrapped by a group of Scabrous Scrotus' War Boys, the wheels are set in motion for a showdown. But first, Max needs a new car – the Magnum Opus – created piece by piece by insane, hunchback mutant mechanic Chumbucket.

To build the car, and tackle Scrotus in his Gas Town fortress, Max has to do what every action hero in a modern freeroaming videogame must do. First he's got to collect stuff from camps he finds dotted about the map; second he's got to play career-advancing story missions that move the plot forward; third he's got to grind his way up a career structure by performing tasks such as liberating nearby outposts from Scrotus' control – resulting in improvements to Max's combat abilities and his car.

So, that's exactly what you do – head out on the broken highway and explore camps, fetch gadgets and grind your way through the game. The problem, as you might be surmising by now, is how little actual life and verve there is to the utterly generic environments, baddies, missions etc. you have to face. And how many of them there are you need to do in repetitive order.

Mad Max less Fury Road and more generic dusty action adventureOut of your car, you're endlessly exploring the same ruined containers and scavenged camps, while beating up the same generic enemies using generic counter-and-retaliate melee combat techniques done far better recently in Batman: Arkham Knight. The controls for engaging in much out-of-car action are also, unfortunately, the single non-generic element of play. And worse for it.

On top of the sheer number of repetitive missions and work you have to grind through before facing Scrotus, there's also the way the game plays through it so slowly. You need water to heal. Draining water from a source means filling your canteen by holding a button for ten seconds while the water slowly transfers. To heal, you then need to drink from the canteen – cuing another canned animation for another ten seconds. For a man of action, the result is Max spends a lot of time standing around.

Get in the customisable Magnum Opus car, however, and things rapidly improve. Armed to the teeth with grappling hooks, shotguns to pepper gas tanks and flaming side lances, the car combat is frequently the thrilling highlight of this game. But there's far too much other stuff dragging it down into the dust.

@psimonk

Car combat is frequently the thrilling highlight of this game.

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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