Mad Max (2015): Drive crazy cars in a repetitive wasteland

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I don’t know why but I have a personal love for open-world games. I feel it has something to do with the exploration and reward involved. Usually open world games reward you for exploring their mass landscape. They could reward you with easter eggs, dungeons, or a hard enemy that makes you wish you never opened the game. Mad Max (2015) does and doesn’t do this at the same time.

Mad Max is a series that revolves around the adventures of a man named Max in a post apocalyptic Australia. The game takes place in a nondescript time in Max’s life, traveling the wasteland. He gets attacked by some bandits and they take out his car while he takes out their leader. The rest of the games story revolves around Max trying to get a master car called the Magnum Opus, as well as dealing with remaining bandits and helping survivors. I don’t want to spoil the story because it’s honestly the best part of the game. It’s like something straight out of the movies and it gets you invested in many of the side characters as well as the in-game environment.

Magnum Opus ramming into a salvage car.

There are two man gameplay types in Mad Max (2015), car based and ground based. The car game play is actually pretty fun. There are various types of weapons that you can use to take out enemy vehicles and it’s always fun to experiment. The car controls mildly well and is just awesome to use. When your car is damaged, the in-game side kick climbs on the hood and goes to fix the car, which I found as a nice little touch. The only issue is that cross map travel in the car is annoying and burdensome. On top of that, there are some vehicles that are needed for specific side quests and in order to change the car you need to return to base, go to the car, hit the change car button, and then choose the car. I would have no issue with this if it wasn’t so burdensome.

Max taking on a group of enemies in front of the Magnum Opus

The ground base hand to hand combat is about the same as everything else at the time. Button mash the attack button and hit triangle at the right time. One interesting thing about the ground based gameplay is that when injured, you can eat food and drink water to increase health and both are scarce throughout the land. Unless,  of course, you buy enough upgrades at garages that completely refill your water and ammo. When exploring, you can collect stuff called salvage, which you can use to upgrade the Magnum Opus, upgrade Max’s equipment, upgrade bases, and even get Max a new hairstyle. Out of the two types of gameplay, I’d say the driving is actually the best thing. It is just so much fun even though there are very few things to discover with them . . . which leads me into my next point.

For an open world game, discovering stuff sucks. Usually when you discover stuff it’s going to be either an enemy thing (base, outpost, etc), a place littered with salvage, or if you are lucky, you will find a survivor who has information. The best thing out of these 3 is the survivor information. They give you extra side quests as well as sometimes leading you to dungeon-like areas where you can find salvage and more car stuff. It gets pretty fun and gives you a sense of discovery. Another good thing about the discovery is backstory things such as photographs and letters. They depict either people’s lives before the apocalypse or their lives during. It helps with world building and makes the wasteland much more interesting. The reason I didn’t bring up the salvage posts or the enemy stuff is because it is involved with my next point.

Somethings in this game are far too repetitive in terms of land base details. A lot of the bases are going to involve getting salvage, shooting these marker things, and killing the boss of the base. The only thing is, almost all of them have the same feel. You enter into a biggish area with a bunch of enemies, take them out, go through hallways with a few, then take out another biggish room and then the boss. It doesn’t help that almost all enemies look and feel the same say for a few movement differences.

Mad Max (2015) is one of those games where I can find almost as many bad as I can good. I contemplated giving this game a really low rating until I thought it over. I can’t truly give it a bad rating because I can’t say I didn’t enjoy myself while playing this. Even though there is repetitive gameplay, and almost all the on-foot stuff sucks, there is so much good in terms of story, world building, and car gameplay. That is why I give Mad Max (2015) a 6.2 out of 10. The game looks great and has a really good story as well as some of the best car fights I have experienced in games, but the limitations such as horrible enemy bases, repetitive gameplay, and minor annoyances hold this game back.