In the world of Mad Max, having a reliable set of wheels is everything. I know this from having the pleasure of spending time with the gameplay demo of Avalanche’s upcoming open-world wasteland title. Perhaps the most important item to note in regards to Mad Max is that it is in fact a standalone title, while it may rely heavily on the source movies as inspiration, the game itself has its own unique story.
The story of Mad Max seems to be one of survival. While this was only a gameplay demo, looting and scavenging play an integral role to the Mad Max experience; specifically when it comes to finding upgrades for Max’s car. Without a car, survival would be no walk in the park and because of this, much time in Mad Max will be spent collecting various car upgrades. New tires can be obtained, as well as improvements to suspension, chassis, and even the car’s offensive components.
These offensive components, such as harpoons, are a imperative to making it through the day in the Wasteland. Vehicular management and combat, as was stressed numerous times by the developers, are a huge facet to the experience in Mad Max. Along with the aforementioned harpoons and tire upgrades, Max can outfit his car with armor plating, which he will need to defend from the bandits that so often try to ram him to death. In a system similar to the battles of Burnout Paradise, Max will ram to kill and huge explosions will ensue.
Car based combat isn’t everything there is to Mad Max, however. Max can handle himself quite well when on foot. Mixing melee combat with various weapons, Max proves to be a more than adequate fighter, even entering a bullet-time inspired mode that allows him to pull off some seriously violent finishing moves. Such is life in the wastes.
Max’s time spent roaming the Wastelands won’t all be in solitude, and while Max’s dog from The Road Warrior sadly won’t be returning, Chum Bucket, is more than an adequate companion. Chum serves as Max’s NPC companion, and has the ability to target specific areas of enemy cars to fire harpoons at.
Mad Max looks great so far, despite the semi-bland looking wasteland world. Frame rates seemed stable throughout the demo, even with all the onscreen carnage. While the full game world was not shown in the demo, a quick look at the map shows that it is exceptionally large, and that parts of the map won’t be accessible until Max gets specific car-related items.
If my time checking out the game is any indication, the final product of Mad Max will be one that is talked about for years to come.[#ff entbuddha] “Making you a better geek, one post at a time!” [ratings]