Mad Max on PS4 – Just Cause 2 devs brings the pain to a Gibson-less wasteland
Don’t write off Max as just another rusty retread of the apocalyptic junkyard world you’ve seen in so many games already. The Mad Max film series invented this stuff in 1981, and any variant you’ve seen in a game since has sprouted directly from that movie’s less-than-verdant ground. With games having profited from Max’s influence for decades, it’s about time that the original Road Warrior took his rather dubious turf back on PS4.
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Combining hectic, deliciously violent vehicular action with open-world exploration and more directed hand-to-hand and stealth combat, Mad Max is a teeth-rattlingly aggressive game. Its brutal beatdowns in particular transcend their roots in the Arkham series’ combat system by way of their pounding, matter-of-fact depiction of violence. Like Batman, Max is no superhero. But unlike Batman, he’s not a trained martial artist with a plethora of expensive gadgets and non-lethal takedown options. Quite the opposite, in fact.
His combat style is heavy, meaty, and bluntly effective, with a no-messing world-weariness absolutely fitting to the character. Expect broken bones, snapped necks, smashed skulls and incredibly nasty environmental kills. Ever seen a shotgun blast used as a melee execution? You will here.
Avalanche are promising meaningful car customisation in Mad Max on PS4
But the game is as beautiful as it is brutal, particularly on PS4. Set beneath savagely pretty skies the like of which make Red Dead Redemption look tame, Max’s wild, rolling wasteland transfixes and intimidates all at the same time. And you’ll be covering a lot of its ground in Mad Max, because driving is going to be a very big deal indeed.
Avalanche is promising long-term, meaningful customisation to Max’s car, the Magnum Opus, with a plethora of gadgets, armour upgrades and mechanical tweaks bringing real evolution to the beast and how it performs. With breakneck, wildly freeform car combat another cornerstone of the game, you should effectively be able to reshape how the game plays by adapting your automotive avatar to your every whim.
Overall, the game looks a dizzying, uncompromisingly brutal spectacle, with an affecting, oddly human vibe underpinning all the visceral aggression. As such, as an adaptation of the Mad Max mythos, it seems to have exactly the right idea.