This Gen Gaming: 6.5
Mad Max isn’t going to be a game I call a must buy on release date or even something you must play. It’s defiantly worth giving a try because it can be quite fun to play at times. I liked the customization features for both Max and the cars, and I thought the game managed to be familiar but have a unique take on different things like combat for example. Although my thoughts of the game started strong, they dropped more and more as I advanced through the game. I’d say for now to hold off on your purchase until it drops in price.
Readers Gambit: 7.5
Mad Max will feel extremely familiar if you are a fan of the action-adventure genre. The map is expansive and strewn with shipwrecks, camps, and caves to investigate in search of salvage to upgrade Max, the Magnum Opus, and to help recreate areas of the wasteland. Although Mad Max’s approach to traversing these plains is on a completely different level. Mad Max truly shines is in the combat. The free flow combat system is something many players will be familiar with through its inclusion in Rocksteady’s Batman games, but where Mad Max differs is in the execution. Max is an unhinged brawler and his fighting style reflects that. Unlike Batman Max’s moves are unrefined and a blend of whatever feels good and the fastest way to inflict as much damage as possible. This includes clotheslines, Spartan kicks, agonising slams in to the ground that all feel unbelievably satisfying as you see dazed enemies lie before you. There are even extremely brutal shiv finishers Max can utilise when he has a knife, although instead of retrieving it he leaves it in the body, which is rather frustrating in a game in which resources are extremely scarce.
Mad Max is a juxtaposition of exciting, thrilling fun set in a world of disgusting, primal depravity – like a singing telegram informing you of a death in the family, or an ice-cream cake with your terminal test results written in frosting. It’s a conflicting place of despair, a personal playground of explosive action and compulsive, unending progression that I can’t wait to get back to, and one hell of a ride.
Mad Max's world in the game is beautiful, grim, and fascinating. Some interesting characters, impressive environments and great car combat draw you in and incentivise you to keep going, but it's when you get out of the car that things fall apart. Mad Max's combat system is too dumbed down to enjoy, and repetitive activities such as searching for scrap and invading small enemy camps gets old fast. Mad Max offers some great experiences, but for a game that tries to impose the realities of survival on you, it does a poor job of following up on this pressure. Mad Max is too focused on providing you with an open-world that's filled with missions, and not focused enough on making those missions worth your time.
At the end of the day, Max overtook some bases, ran a couple hundred cars off the road, met some forgettable characters, and buried his fist into the sunburnt skin of the villainous locals. Was it worth the effort? That ultimately depends on how much fun you had in performing these basic, repetitious open-world activities.
It’s this scale that’s both Mad Max’s greatest strength and, to a lesser degree, its weakness. There’s a good game here eventually, but one that takes some time to find itself. Early on it’s all a bit directionless with such an arbitrary overall objective: you’re trying to make your car better by completing missions to… um, make your car better. With such a woolly heading, the first 4-5 hours are a formless muddle lost in the wealth of things to do, making it easy to get lost or find yourself in trouble above your level.
Those inevitable wins felt empty, and that's really the biggest problem with Mad Max. The film franchise has always transcended the summer blockbuster genre, providing worlds and characters and scenarios that have stuck in my mind. Mad Max the game is the opposite; it's got chase scenes and big explosions and bloody fights, but nothing to remember it for. In spite of some annoying technical issues and questionable design, Mad Max is functional, but it's fluff, plain and simple.
Mad Max is a fun game. You’ll happily lose an hour or two here and there, and feel great about it Nobody quite does that open-world charm like Avalanche, and the harpoon never stops being a source of mirth. The combat is great, and if you’re after an open world third-person title, you could do a lot worse.
Despite being conventional, the mixture of genres, the wealth of content it offers and excellent level design are culplables to keep us hooked for weeks.
Gamer.no 910 (Norwegian site)