It’s been over two decades since gamers last blazed a post-apocalyptic, Australian wasteland behind the wheel of the beloved beloved V8 Interceptor. Now, Avalanche Studios, the developers behind the acclaimed gung-ho action series Just Cause, have teamed up with Mad Max creator and director George Miller to create an authentic, open-world, Mad Max experience, simply titled Mad Max. First teased during the early days of next-gen consoles, Mad Max survived several delays until arriving at its final launch date of Sept 1, 2015. While not a tie-in to the recently released film Mad Max: Fury Road, this iteration of the resurging Road Warrior franchise aims to bring PS4, XBOX One, PC, and Linux owners a definitive speed and survival driven, post-apocalyptic experience that lives up the legacy of the original madman.
The story begins with lone Max getting his V8 Interceptor stolen by the psychotic warlord Scrotus and his gang. Before he can reclaim his glorious ride, Max will need to build a fast and dangerous vehicle. Max must ally with Chumbucket, a grease monkey with a garage full of upgradeable and customizable clunkers, to get mobile again and begin his journey to take down Scrotus.
The vehicular combat from the films will come into full throttle in Mad Max. Early gameplay trailers show off demolition-derby like motor battles and makeshift weaponry, including spiked tires, plows, explosive javelins, and flame throwers. While exploring the world, Chumbucket will ride shotgun with Max, dishing out fire and scaling the vehicle to perform repairs amid the hi-octane combat. Players will be able to collect and employ found scrap metal to improve their vehicles as well as contribute to Chumbucket’s chef-dœuvre The Magnum Opus – a big, bad Wasteland racer that’s armed to the teeth.
Max must scavenge to stay fueled and survive a Wasteland ruled by bandits and disastrous storms. As bullets are precious in the wasteland, fans will want to refrain from the indulging of Max’s signature double-barrel, sawed-off shotgun. Instead, players can duke it out using the game’s free-flow combat system and makeshift weapons. Although the game will feature a minor stealth system, developers explain that the game will emphasize action.
Navigating the Fallout
The game’s open-world will be divided into enemy occupied sectors. Tracking down and taking out enemy centers of operations across the map will reduce the amount of enemy activity and population in a corresponding sector. Dynamic weather that affects terrain as well as a day and night system will impact how players navigate the world and combat. The constant search for fuel, ammo, and food – including maggots, lizards, and dog food – has always been a staple to the franchise will be a key element to survival, shaping players’ adventures and adding gravity to real-time decisions: a wreckage in the distance could yield some fuel or a corpse riddled with maggots could make for a meal.
Waiting On the Wasteland
While still a season away from release, the recent release of Mad Max: Fury Road has many gamers pumped up and ready for more of the franchise. Can the consistent quality of Avalanche Studios’ previous titles speak to the fate of Mad Max? Will the title expand beyond the standards and tropes frequented by open-world titles? Survive and find out this fall.