E3 2013: Mad Max First Look Preview – We Don't Need Another Hero
Written Saturday, June 15, 2013 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
In Mad Max, Mad Max doesn't look much like Mad Max. That's to say he doesn't look anything like Mel Gibson or indeed Tom Hardy, who's supposed to be filling the boots of Mr. Rockatansky in the new movie. Who cares when it looks this damn appealing though? Taking its cue from Avalanche's Just Cause games, Mad Max takes place in a massive open-world that looks to be comprised mostly of sand. Post-apocalyptic sand that makes up Mad Max's post-apocalyptic Wasteland. It's a desert out there.
An all-new story and a fully modern realisation of the movie series, Mad Max sees the Road Warrior without his beloved car, the Interceptor, meaning you'll need to build a new one for him called the 'Magnum Opus'. It's a vehicle that you'll come to rely on in the hostile Wasteland, so you'll want to make it as good as, if not better than Max's old Interceptor. There's a ton of customisation options to help you do just that and as vehicular combat plays a major role in the game. There are over 50 different rides in Mad Max, but you'll want to pimp the Magnum Opus as much as you possibly can.
Enlisting the help of Mad Max's 'idiot savant' mechanic Chumbucket, you'll fit the Magnum Opus with a variety of upgrades that have an impact on the vehicle in multiple ways. Say you equip the car with a huge ram on the grill; it'll cause the front suspension to drop, meaning you'll need to fit beefier tyres and a more powerful engine to compensate. That's precisely what Avalanche shows us as it takes the Magnum Opus from a standard growling muscle car, to a roaring turbo-injected, armoured beast that can withstand almost anything. It'll handle differently too, based on what upgrades you've got fused to the vehicle.
Out in the “dangerous, brutal, vicious and treacherous” Wasteland, you'll need all the help you can get, as bandits and marauders will attempt to jump onto your vehicle, batter it to bits and shoot you through the windscreen. Max can lean out of the window and blast attackers off his car with his trusty double-barrel sawn-off in slow-motion, while Chumbucket rides in the back doing his bit to lend a hand.
Max needs to take down the Top Dog during this bout of vehicle-based mayhem, requiring a few shotgun blasts to the bad guy's red fuel tanks on his car. Ride around with those, and you're bound to end up leaving a huge trail of billowing orange flame, before exploding in spectacular fashion. With the Top Dog out of the picture, Max is free to pick through the twisted metal and scrap left behind by the destroyed vehicles, scavenging precious resources that can be used for upgrades on the Magnum Opus.
Scavenging and gathering resources will be one of the most crucial aspects in Mad Max, ultimately determining whether you'll be able to survive the inhospitable Wasteland and fend off its insane, unrelenting inhabitants. Max retrieves the 'talon', a harpoon grapple that he needs to tear down a gate in Dead Barrens Pass called 'The Jaw'. With a huge ramming rig attached to the front of Max's car, rugged spiked tyres equipped for the terrain and a massive engine that'd make Jeremy Clarkson weep like a frightened child, we're ready to assault The Jaw.
Setting a waypoint for Dead Barrens Pass, Avalanche zooms out to show Mad Max's entire world map. It's gargantuan, and made up of a bunch of locked areas that you'll need to gain access to during your journey. Getting out of the car outside the pass, Max proves as efficient in hand-to-hand combat as he is behind the wheel, taking out a sniper with a brutal execution, before hurling an explosive thunder stick right into the chest of an attacking bandit.
Wielding a knife and shotgun, Max can also bust heads over his shoulder, blast foes at point blank range, or simply bludgeon them to death. It's a dog eat dog world in Mad Max. You also have tactical options to utilise, as we're shown with the binoculars, used to scope out the defences around the gate. Max busts out a massive sniper weapon that fires hefty 50.cal bullets, blowing up fuel tanks around one sniper nest that falls to flaming pieces, before executing a bloody headshot as the camera follows the bullet from muzzle to brain in cinematic style.
The bandits bang the alarm – an empty oil drum on a rope – alerting the rest of the maniacs stationed around The Jaw, prompting some more frenetic vehicle combat. Bandits can latch onto your car with grappling wires just like you can, swinging you out of control, and they'll gleefully hurl thunder sticks at your ride with nary a second thought.
Clearly Max needs to smash through The Jaw fast, highlighting that sometimes fleeing a particularly fraught and dangerous situation like this one can be the best strategy for survival. Ramming through the imposing gate, the demo concludes, and Avalanche look rather pleased with themselves. And based on quite a strong next-gen demo, they should be. Mad Max looks like yet another promising next-gen title, and another expansive open-world to lose yourself in. We couldn't care less that Mad Max neither looks nor sounds like Mel Gibson; he kicks ass.
Mad Max is coming to Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2014.