Thunderpwn: The Mad Max Trailer

Car jacking Jack's car.
Following the glorious excesses of Just Cause 2, where a man can dangle a jeep from a helicopter and swing it like an explosive pendulum of doom into a dictator’s face, even Mad Max can seem a bit ordinary. I watched the trailer below feeling that Avalanche might have had their wings clipped a little. That said, it’s exactly what you’d expect: big open world, full of vehicular violence and punches. Max’s double-barreled shotgun showers everyone in buckshot and fire, and cars flip at the slightest nudge. He also appears to have an awesome headbutt.

So a more melee focused game than previous Avalanche games. There is at least one concession to the missing madness: I spotted a zipline being used, which I think is an under appreciated medium of transportation. When I was 12, if I had to select one method of transport to be dominant in the future, I’d have selected the zipline. I was a realist by then: and knew jetpacks wouldn’t make it, and Marty McFly’s floating skateboard was pie in the sky. So this game is basically my idiot child-brain’s vision of the future. Hooray!


“The World Goes Mad. 2014. Pre-Order Now.” Pre-ordering a game so far in advance is the definition of madness.


  1. aldo_14 says:

    It doesn’t seem very…. Australian. Which is sort of a distinguishing feature of Mad Max nowadays.

    • roryok says:

      That was my exact first thought. The first film was actually redubbed with US accents because they believed it wouldn’t sell. Could be that fuckery all over again

    • jonahcutter says:

      Yeah, I think I read they’re not using Aussie accents. Which as an American who is a a fanboy of the series I say is absolute and utter bullshit. We can handle it just fine. The accent certainly didn’t keep Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome from being successful in the U.S.

      I don’t know if Max’s likeness is based on the new film’s actor. But if not, it’s a careful redesign away from Mel Gibson without being too overt. I was prepared to dislike it, but it seems workable. In this trailer at least.

      And thankfully the game does not look like it’s a machine gun/rockets-on-cars game. Instead, lots of crashing, derby-style vehicular violence. Which is good.

      In some of those shots though, the Interceptor looks like it’s got a lift on it.

      As well, hopefully there is a good melee system with limited firearms. Bullets being hard to come by is a key element of the series. What would a lot of fun is a decent melee weapon system along with something like I Am Alive’s intimidation mechanic.

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      Avalanche announced a couple of weeks ago that they’re doing a 180 and using Aussie accents instead due to keyboard slappery from internerds. While that’s good, I can’t get excited by the game. Rage/Borderlands/Fallout have all been here before, and probably did it better.

      • aldo_14 says:

        I read they’d only said that about the protagonist; it might be all the NPCs have US actors.

        The other problem being that, if the game is already scripted for US actors, it’ll not be scripted for that authentic Ozzie feel.

        • FurryLippedSquid says:

          Ah, perhaps. It’d certainly make more financial sense to only alter the one voice.

          We’ll see.

      • XhomeB says:

        I remember the times when “Fallout” was considered an RPG and wouldn’t have been mentioned along games like Borderlands or Rage. Those were wonderful times.
        And then Bethesda and Todd Howard happened and ruined everything. F1/2 FOREVAR.

        • FurryLippedSquid says:

          I wasn’t suggesting they were in the same genre or league, just very similar settings.

          • defunct says:

            And Wasteland! which preceded all of them.

            Oh, and Borderlands is a FPSRPG, as are the new Fallouts. Getting fixated on the past isn’t healthy….

          • Cinek says:

            but getting fixated on the good games is.

          • blackmyron says:

            Touting Fallout 2 – an unfinished game with ridiculously silly elements that make the “Wild Wasteland” trait tame by comparison – as a ‘good game’ borders on gamer hipsterism.
            And Rage, a mediocre railshooter, shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath as the Fallout games.

          • greenbananas says:

            The only ridiculous element here is your notion that the game’s quality is defined by its silliness.

          • Nick says:

            This argument,.. this argument never changes.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      Maybe they decided that the Australian accents are just too annoying.

      • Flammablezeus says:

        Australian accents aren’t annoying. Fake Australian accents done by Americans are.

  2. Discopanda says:

    I hope we get a cameo from some of our favorite Just Cause characters. Like, um…. uhhhhh…. that one guy…. with the funny accent. Yes, I hope they bring back funny-accent man. He was my favorite.

  3. Keyrock says:

    Hopefully it winds up being less of a disappointment than Rage.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      I liked Rage. Did you even play it?

      Everything was perfectly fine except for the ending. Great FPS.

      • roryok says:

        I played it, and like keyrock I was disappointed. Pleasantly surprised by some things (character design and facial animation was amazing!) but disappointed in general by it not being the open world wasteland driving game I expected.

        • Ultra Superior says:

          Quite not sure why you would expect open world.

          It was supposed to be shooter with car racing. The shooty bits were excellent, and even though I don’t like racing games, I found the racey bits accessible and fun.

          • aldo_14 says:

            I distinctly remember the previews suggesting a Borderlands-style direction rather than the linear-but-branching game we got. The use of vehicular transport also implied that a bit… although it’s hard to know if some of the linearity came from porting to the 360 (and necessitating breaking the environment into DVD-sized chungs), or from the apparent use of texture streaming.

          • blackmyron says:

            Id was touting it as ‘revolutionary’ as Doom or Quake, which is completely failed to be. It also touted the graphics, while admitting that they couldn’t build a Fallout open world with the engine because of severe limitations.

      • XhomeB says:

        Yes, it was fine apart from the ending AND atrocious, on-rails level design AND omnipresent invisible walls AND way too few shooting sections AND way too many pointless driving sections AND the completely pointless “wasteland” which served no purpose whatsoever apart from being an empty hub meant to make the game feel longer than it actually is.

        No, I didn’t hate it, the gunplay felt great, but overall it was easily the worst game id have ever made. Have I mentioned how bad the level design in Rage is (I did, but I’ll do it again)? It makes CoD feel like a sandbox, that’s how terrible it is. I couldn’t believe “the creators of Doom & Quake” were responsible for it.

        • Chorltonwheelie says:

          I thought it was all good ‘cept for ..
          1) The atrocious ending.
          2) The stupid driving bits that you have to stupidly do to progress all the stupid time…just.bloody.interminable.

        • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

          Can we also talk about the horribly low-res textures—and worse, those intermixed with high res ones for maximum jarring effect? My eyes just couldn’t take it.

        • Cinek says:

          You forgot to mention constant crashes and gameplay bugged to hell?
          Than I will mention that: Constant crashes and gameplay bugged to hell.

      • aldo_14 says:

        The car racing bits ruined RAGE for me. I got to the first one or so, got bored, and it’s put me off ever reloading it. Also the texture pop-in is still horrendous (I’m running it on a GTX670, which should be more than enough for the max settings I have it set at), especially given that the textures weren’t even all that good.

        • defunct says:

          I liked the racing in the game. It was a bit easy, though. I came in first place every time without trying with a couple exceptions at the end of the game. Shooting other cars, and knocking them around, reminded me very much of Max’s world.

      • F3ck says:

        Precisely the opposite of this.

        Rage (so aptly titled) exemplified everything right & wrong with AAA games; gorgeous to look at (though, not really all that special, with everything of interest held out of player reach) and no heart whatsoever.

        Leveling was pointless and ineffective, upgrades did little to nothing, ammo variables were meaningless. Once you visited an area it was essentially done, then sealed off…yet you could still fast-travel to it – why? Invisible walls everywhere. No shooter (with supposed “open-world elements”) ever felt so off-limits to me…like an exhibit in a museum, to be hurriedly ushered past. Then it just stops. Thud.

        At least Borderlands is virtually endless silliness and Fallout can be explored thoroughly…Rage was the worst parts of everygame.

        Sorry, but any notions to the contrary are simply wrong.

  4. Ultra Superior says:

    Maximum Madness.

    I hate avalanche for NOT churning out DLCs for Just Cause 2.
    Stupidos, I’d buy every extra mission they’d release.

    • -Spooky- says:

      No need for DLCs. The madness was the non multiplayer for a awesome game, like JC2. And no: I´m not talkin´ about a community / fan based of.

      • Ultra Superior says:

        I agree about MP !

        Though still I’d buy extra missions just for the humor. I know I’m not alone in this.
        It’s like they hated money or something.

        Also underwater and space!

        • The Random One says:

          They could hardly come up with enough missions for the single player, so they had to repeat the same one every time you need to capture a stronghold…

  5. roryok says:

    There are lots of parts of this that worry me. Good to see the old v8 interceptor is front and centre, but the kung-fu grip and neck breaking stuff is a bit stupid. Mad Max is not a ninja – he’s a hard, damaged bastard who’s smarter than the other guy. He’s practically sweeping legs and doing roundhouse kicks in this trailer. And I must comment yet again on the lack of any antipodean locution

    • jonahcutter says:

      I hope they steer away from the martial-arts holds and takedowns (that we unfortunately see in the vid). It would be great to see a melee system that revolves around slugging, dirty-minded, opportunistic bar-brawl-violence and scrounged melee weapons.

  6. Alien426 says:

    I’m skeptical about Mad Max. I heard there was a gameplay demo at E3 where you had to blow up lots of fuel barrels. FUEL!

    I don’t like the trailer, either. Seems too much like those cheesy ones for the Assassin’s Creed games. And how is that “gameplay”?

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Exactly – in the first trailer, he CONSERVES AMMO and rather BURNS FUEL.

      It’s madness.

      • iniudan says:

        Yes, but a real Max would have conserved both ammo and fuel, has the guy was not dangerous in the state he was.

      • Convolvulus says:

        Resource scarcity changes with the timeline, assuming this story is set in the same universe. Max in the first movie torched a fully fueled car out of spite. Max in the second movie didn’t have ammo to conserve and ran around sticking filthy containers under overturned cars to catch fuel drips while ignoring the pained cries of his enemies. If the game takes place before Mad Max 2 it’s possible that resources are just plentiful enough that the character would splurge on a mercy killing. Or maybe his sat nav told him to turn around, so, all right, might as well crush that guy’s head.

  7. ZIGS says:

    Still coming out to PS3/Xbox 360, which probably means they’ll hold back on the technical side… and worse, I predict this trend to last well into 2014, maybe even 2015

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      There were several years when PS2 came out that the same games showed up on PS1, same for PS3 and PS2. They wouldn’t really even be ports, more like comparing a game with its mobile version. By I suspect there will still be games released on PS3 and 360 for a few years, although they will be knock offs and not really ports soon enough. Kind of like the wii version of games.

  8. RedViv says:

    Glad that this got beyond Thunderdome.

  9. XhomeB says:

    I don’t know about this trailer… I don’t think Avalanche can pull this one off, as much as I’d like them to.
    Max’s face looks like something that was randomly generated by a computer, it’s… generic. Or maybe I simply instictively expect the in-game model to look like Mel Gibson.
    As for the gameplay – Just Cause 2 was fun in short doses, but mostly because of the parachute and the things it allowed you to do. This game will be much more traditional and grounded in reality somewhat and that’s what makes me worried. If it wasn’t for the parachute, JC2 would have been a boring game set in a boring, empty world.

    • bit.bat says:

      I completely agree about the Max’s face, it somehow lacks character.

      • Davie says:

        It’s because it’s Brownhair McStubbly again. We’ve seen it dozens of times before in some iteration, and unfortunately it’s pretty close to the usual look of Max.

        • jonahcutter says:

          Yeah, the character pretty much defined the look.

          It’s not just to look cool though. He does have a legit excuse. It’s an apocalypse. They’re fighting over fuel. No time to shave! Hell, no shaving cream!

          Suppose he could use old motor oil…

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Shouldn’t he look more like ZZTop or Santa Claus if he doesn’t have time to shave?

      • The Random One says:

        Is it just me, or he looks exactly like a young Gil Grissom?

  10. Artist says:

    Oh cool, a mod for Rage…!

    • PopeRatzo says:

      Odds are it won’t be nearly as good as Rage. Something feels a little off about this project. I don’t know why, but just a hunch. I would be overjoyed if it was as good as Rage and that wasn’t even that good.

  11. int says:

    You’re wasting your time! The Scag don’t rate!

  12. Monchberter says:

    It’s not funny, it’s not slightly irreverent, it’s not about a desperate man scrabbling around trying to stay alive, it’s not even slightly S&M.

    It’s therefore NOT Mad Max.

  13. MechaZoidAnimatedMuppet says:

    I made the trailer more “heart-thumpingly exciting” by the way of finding a replacement audio track to dub it with.

  14. Lemming says:

    Narrator should’ve been Aussie.

  15. PopeRatzo says:

    Those are all just rendered scenes. The actual game is a turn-based 2D platforming third-person cover-based F2P strategy RPG.

    XBONE exclusive! Coming, December 31, 2014.

    I’m just in a pessimistic mood today, because of how bad Might & Magic Heroes VI turned out to be, even at the low summer sale price of $10. I guess somehow all the learning of how vid games is made been lost to the dust.

    Two game company enters, one game company leaves!

  16. Tei says:

    If this is Just Cause 3: Post Apocalypse, melee combat looks like improved. But I can’t even tell if this is in-game or not.

    The protagonist character model is ugly as hell.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      What in the trailer video would make you think melee combat is improved? Was any of that in-game footage?

  17. MeestaNob says:

    It’s a mad mad mad mad mad mad Mel? Doesn’t look that much like him.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Maybe it’s just me, but any inclusion of Gibson would definitely sour any excitement.

  18. Branthog says:

    Wait, I thought this was going to be an MMO… this is just going to be a shitty FPS, instead? So it’s basically Joel, sans Ellie, with more guns and less Australia than Mad Max?


    • Star_Drowned says:

      It’s third person and based around driving and melee, from the looks of it, so no, it’s not an FPS.

      And yes, literally the most famous character in post-apocalyptic fiction of all time is “basically Joel, sans Ellie.” Look, I really enjoyed The Last of Us, too, but this is complete nonsense.

      Not sure where your getting the “more guns” thing from either. I also highly doubt they’re moving it away from the Outback, regardless of the ONE voice that’s been heard so far (Max is confirmed to have an Aussie accent.)

      You also seem disappointed that it’s NOT an MMO. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you’re in the minority on that one.

      So, overall, you don’t make sense. Is this a satirical take on overly jaded game commenters?

      I don’t have the highest hopes for this game either (though I’m sure I’ll get some enjoyment out of it, I’m a sucker for post apocalypse and open world, and a life long Mad Max fan to boot) but please, hate on it for things you at least have evidence on, and not because a made up image of it in your head.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        Yeah it’s a third person game. Basically the default generic game type for a licensed game.

  19. Stevostin says:

    This Max has no charisma at all.
    They made it look like vaguely Fallout. The movies provided better material (as in: with their own vibe).
    They entirely missed an opportunity to excite us with that tasteless soundtrack.
    Apart from that, hey sure, why not ?

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      vaguely fallout without charisma? So this is using the SPEIAL system.

  20. Richard Burton says:

    So, what happened? Is the game still in dev or was it put on hold or..? Any news?