Impressions: Mad Max

I’m trying to work out what I think of the early hours of Mad Max [official site] through a fog of flu and headaches, which is something I’d hoped might help enliven an interpretation of George Miller’s ultra-violent feverish post-apocalyptic peculiarity. Oddly, I’m increasingly convinced that my fever is the closest this massive open desert world will get to capturing that distinct tone of the films. But what about the rest? The driving, the punching, the quest for silence?

We’d love to have provided you with a more detailed review of game by now, but unfortunately Warner only provided PC code after release, meaning we didn’t get our blood-encrusted hands on it in time. So instead I shall ramble semi-articulately about the atmosphere it sets in its early hours, and the odd mix of other people’s fun ideas delivered in a strangely flat way.

Coming from Avalanche, the assumption was that comparisons with Just Cause would be drawn. As it happens, the game it’s most like is Warner’s 2014 hit, Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor. Except without the wonderful Nemesis system, and most of the ingenuity. What we’ve got here is an enormous open world of bits and pieces, scrappy things to do, and nothing to cohere it into something meaningful.

It feels like, so far, a game made of the left-over sidequests from other open world games. Fetch this and bring it here, search that bunker for loot, drive that car off the road, and perhaps most significantly, clear this enemy encampment and take it as your own.

That last part sounds the most Just Causey, but again, is far more Mordor. Pockets of enemies clustered in various pseudo-arenas betwixt walkways and passages littered with gubbins to pick up. Before you go in, with a hefty dose of Far Cries 3 and 4, you can pick off particular enemies from afar, before alerting the camp to your presence, then storm the barricades and start punching everyone else in the face. Unlike Far Cry, there’s no option for a stealthy approach beyond this, especially as ammo needs to be very carefully preserved. Instead it’s a punch fest using the oddly limited melee combat of pressing X a lot, and sometimes Y. (Assuming you’re using a controller, which I am, as it clearly prefers it. Mouse/keyboard works fine, however.)

I thoroughly enjoy this sort of thing. Clearing out bases – it has that therapeutic tidying aspect, where you’re told you did “100%” of something, and afterwards the base is filled with good guys fixing the walls. I love gathering loot, and ticking off ridiculous kleptomaniac sidequests. I cleared Far Cry 4’s map entirely and thought, “Well, I guess I’ve finished the game then,” before remembering there was the main quest to do. So I’m trying to work out why it is that Max is leaving me feeling so flat.

It’s certainly to do with the combat. It’s so simplistic that Max’s extraordinary acrobatics and brutal finishing moves feel mostly like a mockery of my just tapping at the same button over and over. If you’re in a camp with a War Crier, and don’t take them out quickly enough, they buff the enemies making them tougher to fight. I’ve found the game is much improved if I deliberately allow this to happen, because then the fighting at least offers something. They dodge better, they’re tougher, and they’ll attack you harder. Instantly more entertaining.

The gathering is frustrated, too, by poor marking on the map, and an underwhelming result. You’re mostly after Scrap, which is essentially the game’s currency, spent on upgrading your main vehicle – your Magnum Opus – and Max’s abilities, as well as improving Strongholds. But you pick it up in such silly quantities, 3 here, 7 there, with an average early spend around 300, that it feels hollow. Having bases cleared means you regularly produce lumps of Scrap in the background, which arrives in piles of 50 to 100, again making the looting – so enthusiastically flagged up by the game – tiresome.

And then the driving. It’s mostly pretty good. You can steal enemy cars and bring them back to your stronghold if you want them, but apart from making you less likely to be spotted by the psychic snipers when scouting an enemy camp, there’s little incentive. For the most part, you’re driving your main car, which – demoralisingly – also forms the core plot.

Max loses “Black On Black”, the Pursuit Special that appears in Mad Max 1, 2 and Fury Road, right at the start, and believes it scrapped and gone. But he meets a hunchback mutant – Chumbucket – who offers to build him a new car (for some reason), based on his religious zealotry for vehicles. His “Angel”, the Magnum Opus, is to be Max’s ideal car, which he rather rudely demands must also be a V8 like his old Interceptor. Parts must be gathered, Scrap must be accrued, and missions must be completed (because, um, they just must, right) for important features to become available, to make the car strong enough to survive Max’s aim to reach the Plains Of Silence so he can find his peace. Or whatever.

As someone who generally loves games providing him with busywork, Mad Max is turning me off by being nothing but busywork. And yet, it’s wholly unfair to just write the game off because of it.

In many ways, this is an extraordinary game. Five years ago – good gracious, we’d have been organising parades in the streets for a game that offers so much freedom, so much to do, and so much driving cars off cliffs. They’ve built so much. I’ve barely scratched the south east regions of the map, and have already encountered 21 different enemy types, 12 different enemy car types, 13 of 64 locations, augmented my car with all manner of parts, given Max a long shaggy beard, and distracted myself on any drive to a mission by exploring a grounded shipwreck or gotten into a car-bashing road fight.

But it’s all felt like distraction, not meat. That grounded shipwreck – it had a marker on the map for an item I needed to find for some gathering quest or other. Despite looting everything in the region, the marker won’t go away, and I keep going back to find whatever it is I’ve apparently missed to no avail. That’s happened a couple of times, meaning the map markers are increasingly unhelpful. And those car fights – well, they are as annoying as car fights have been in every game that’s ever featured them.

You can either just headlong ram into enemy cars, or using a muddled method, slam into them from the side while pressing a corresponding button. Their health-markers go down, and eventually they’ll either blow up, or drive off at such a speed that chasing after them is either futile or takes you way off your path (and possibly into territory you won’t survive). Neither proves at all satisfying. At best they’ll drop a hood ornament or similar, but mostly you then have to get out of your car to pick up the five or six pieces of Scrap it earned you, and wonder why you didn’t just drive off the other way.

It’s odd which corners have been cut throughout, too, like no cloth physics. Dangling material is rigid like metal. Jumping is, well, it’s the funniest jump in gaming history. Max does a little pointless gallop as if skipping across stage in a children’s ballet. It’s there presumably because it would have been weird if he couldn’t jump, but it’s never used or useful. His inability to climb is also deeply odd – Max can only scramble his way up something if it has a whacking great yellow bar on it. Otherwise rocks half the height are impenetrable barriers. And his sprint – it’s negligibly faster, and weirdly, causes him to slow down when he starts it.

While the Magnum Opus has some sort of clumsy grappling hook, there’s nothing to compare with Just Cause’s sense of fun and freedom. And with ammo rightly rare, the game is very dependent upon its melee, making it strange how over-simplistic it is.

I’ve no great investment in the Mad Max series of films, so I’m not suffering from the old film-of-the-book frustrations of seeing something precious to me presented differently. But at the same time, it’s such a shame that none of the surrealism of the recent brilliant film has made it across. Where Fury Road felt like the feverish imaginings my addled mind might create for me tonight based on this input, Mad Max The Game feels plain, ordinary. Yes, there are severed corpses all over, and mutants with disfigured faces and bodies – hell, it’s a video game. But there’s none of the wildness, the sense that it could be a terrible dream, the madness.

And unless something changes dramatically in forthcoming stages, the angry hordes who launched their furious protests at the recent movie’s subjugation of men – by the gallish presence of an actual woman – will be much relieved. Max is the unquestionable solo hero this time out, and the only women I’ve seen have been stood around a stronghold griping their three or four repeated lines of nothing.

I’m conscious how overtly negative this piece is, and it’s a strange phenomenon of Mad Max that to describe it is to find fault with it. But, in reality, it’s enough. It’s a huge undertaking, a massive game stuffed with things to do, and it’s mostly competently delivered. (The physics get a touch odd in places, especially in the form of eternally spinning pots.) The issue is that nothing shines, and absolutely every single aspect of it feels distinctly derivative of better games from recent years.

This may all change as things move on, and it opens up into something far more magnificent. But in those first few hours, the madness is very much missing.

126 Comments

Top comments

  1. PoundCoin says:

    Ok, I've put in 42 hours (holy crap) I'm about halfway through pinkeye's quests (just did the desert church)

    And im fucking loving this game, I'm ripping wheels off jerks with a harpoon gun before shotgunning their mate's fuel tanks the car combat is really meaty and fun. The on foot combat not so much, coming from mordors to this is kinda a downgrade but I can understand that Max isn't a fantasy swords man or whatever. but having the fights boil down to counter mash X is a bit sad and the Top dogs (mini-bosses at the top of fortresses that unlock car paint jobs) are all identical save a reskin, with identical attack patterns. but it's about the cars isn't it. and those shine through.

    As for scrap, firstly you should unlock cleanup crews ASAP, getting out of the car for like 10 scrap after every fight is boring and a total waste of time. Secondly, if you want scrap, go out in a storm. Dodge the flying death the physic fuck-you lightning and the giant fireballs and harpoon a flying junk crate. 300 scrap right there. you can make 1000 in a single storm easy.
  1. Mud says:

    Guess this review is based on you didn’t receive a copy of Mad Max to review before launch.

    • LuminosXI says:

      Not really sure why you would assume that seeing as there’s nothing particularly glaring or glowing about the review thus far.

      I don’t think them receiving preview code before release would’ve changed the overall “meh” vibe I got from it to anything more that a possible “shmeh” (and honestly, who didn’t think this might be the case from a movie adaptation game with vehicular combat, and nothing particularly unique to offer other than the namesake influencing the generic wasteland backdrop)

      • EhexT says:

        Plenty glaring(ly wrong) stuff in this review.

        Complaints about busywork, which the game doesn’t force you to do. If you obsessively pick up every piece of scrap every time you destroy a car, you have nobody to blame for that but yourself (the scrap amounts from destroyed cars are trivially small and you even get an upgrade that collects it automatically).

        Stealing cars adds them to your collection for RACES, not just because you can then use them to sneak into bases. Incidentally, sneaking into bases is hardly the only thing the collected cars do – they often come with special abilities and traits you can’t get for your Opus. There’s an extremely tough cars that drain fuel really fast, there’s fantastic off-road cars, there’s flamethrower cars – there’s even one with a minelayer, which is awesome for Convoy attacks.

        And anyone who thinks the car combat in this is bad either hasn’t played it long enough to encounter anything but basic enemy cars or has no taste. No other game has car combat even remotely as good. And there’s a LOT more to it than just “front ram and side ram” – hit location matters, harpoon upgrades give you extra moves, there’s tons of different enemy car designs which all behave differently and have different strengths.

        Cloth physics is clearly in the game by the way, just to point out yet another thing the reviewer is plain wrong on. Not that there’s a lack of those things.

    • pellep says:

      dont listen to the haters
      @ this moment on steam
      Positive (2,594) Negative (99) reviewers
      the players love it

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        John Walker says:

        To be clear, if I were picking between the binary choice of positive or negative, I’d pick positive. As the article says, it’s a failure to shine brighter than the games around it. But nothing (apart from the jumping/climbing) is *bad*. Were I marking it (which I absolutely wouldn’t having not played enough to be at all accurate) I’d give it high 70s at this point. Which is, when translated to Steam’s Yes/No system, very clearly a Yes.

        • Andrew says:

          High 70s?! Really? Because game gets better and/or, since it’s open world, you can pick and choose activities to do and to ignore. For me, it somewhere between 65 and 75, and I’m loving it. Maybe I’m bad at scores…

          And what score “Mordor” was for you, to compare?

      • king0zymandias says:

        It’s because “gamers” generally tend to like repetitive-unimaginative-generic-unchallenging pieces of crap. That’s why we can’t have nice things.

      • MisterFurious says:

        And how many of those positive reviews were written by Fanboys that only played 30 minutes or hadn’t actually played the game yet? Users reviews are meaningless because of those types of morons and I, for one, pay them no heed.

        • pellep says:

          take a look for yourself? a lot of them have played more then 10 hrs

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      John Walker says:

      What an odd thing to say. It’s the reason why it’s not a review of the whole game, but only impressions of the opening hours. The rest is based on my experience of the game.

  2. Veav says:

    I’m only a few more hours in than the reviewer, but there is a womenfolk introduced at the second outpost. They seem like they’ll need rescuing, delivery services, and/or righteous murder performed sometime later. (But so does everyone else. Welcome to video games!)

    You also run across random wasteland wanderers who give you intel and little scrap boosts, and they’re evenly gendered as far as I can tell. But they’re not named characters.

    • BreadBitten says:

      Glad we have someone looking out for these things. You’re doing God’s work, brother. Jesus loves you.

  3. Andrew says:

    We can argue about details, or overall (I don’t mind it being “shallow”: important parts — like driving, combat and collecting stuff — are fine for my taste), but it’s hard to deny that game runs very smoothly on PCs and gorgeous in postapocalyptic-barren-wasteland kinda sense.

    So, yeah, no story, no quest to speak of, but still good. Decent, if you will.

    But, sadly, gonna be buried under that one game with half-naked sniper. *sigh*

    • Andrew says:

      You know, what a bigger issue here? Or moral, or whatever. We are spoiled. We are spoiled so much. There are a lot of good games. There are a lot of good open-world games. There are a lot… well, a few of good open-world kinda-tie-in-but-not-really games from WB alone. Even 5—6 years ago (“Batman: Arkham Asylum” was in 2009), a lot of people would’ve kill for this “Mad Max” game. Now? “Meh, ‘Shadow of Mordor’ was better”.

      Just think for a second: minus technical issues and weird stuff with preorders, DLCs and like that, we get good game, after a good game in “Far Cry”, “Batman” and “Assassin’s Creed” series alone. Objectively good games.

      And mind you, I’m saying “we” for a reason. I’m spoiled too. For example, I’m not gonna play MGSV. Partly because I don’t like all the shit that Kojima thinks important/funny/appropriate, but partly because I have “Mad Max”, I still didn’t finished “Witcher 3”, and my backlog is bursting with other games too. But 5—6 years ago? Open world action game with stealth, base building and a horse? Are you friggin kidding me?! I would’ve play it to death!

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        Thing is, you’re not spoiled if that’s the universal standard. Yes, back in ’07 or ’08 it might have blown us all out of the water, but it’s 2015, and the playing field has changed. It’s not unreasonable to expect big budget games to innovate their genres. I know some people will take issue with that, saying that AAA studios generally stagnate instead of innovate, but that doesn’t have to be the rule – as shown by Shadow of Mordor. Large studios have the means and talent at their disposal to make games that are unique and set new standards, so when they fail to do so, it’s hard to make excuses for them.

        Mind you, I’m not specifically referring to Mad Max here. I haven’t played the game yet, so I have no opinion on it. All I’m saying is that the bar for open-world exploro-stabathon games has been raised since the period you’re referencing.

        • Andrew says:

          Same difference. It doesn’t matter if it’s objective universal standard or subjective taste, there are enough games to choose from. I, personally, can afford to be more nitpicky, ‘cause there are two games to play already and another couple around the corner. So, yes, I’m spoiled. Granted, I wouldn’t play bad game, no matter what, but I would play decent game if it’s rare or unique.

  4. Krazen says:

    My initial impressions are a lot more positive that this review. The game definitely improves content-wise once you leave the first base. Sure it’s basically Middle-Earth: Shadow Of Mordor “Nuclear Apocalypse” Edition. But if you like that kind of game there’s plenty to like here.

    I’m surprised there’s no mention of the fact this is a PC release with almost no stability or performance issues on day 1. In fact it looks amazing with rock-solid framerates even with most of the GFX settings on max on lower end cards. Avalanche deserve praise for that.

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      John Walker says:

      I’m not really willing to let absolute basic requirements of a PC game become things to celebrate because other games have fallen short of them. It’s good that it’s running well on PC (although for me it started to struggle and stagger if I also had Chrome running, despite 16gb ram!), but not a feature.

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        Chrome is just a beast when it comes to RAM usage. I find it’s always best to shut it down before playing anything more demanding than Race the Sun (and that’s coming from someone who also has 16gb of RAM in their rig).

      • Krazen says:

        Well since every recent RPS article about a major PC release has made mention of graphical & performance woes, Batman Arkam Knight being the zenith. The fact one comes along that suffers from none of that should be of note.

  5. melnificent says:

    I’ve been pottering around the wasteland playing with photo mode (X+C or L3+R3) more than anything. It’s a lovely looking wasteland apart from the occasional low-res texture.

    Still in the first area.

  6. Philomelle says:

    Liberating areas is actually not very beneficial for you as the player, which I found amusing because reflects how everyone only needs Max so long as they need to dispense a good murder somewhere. Reducing threat in the regions reduces enemy patrols, but also eliminates the appearance of their supply trucks, which are easily the most lucrative ways of earning scrap (capturing and driving one home offloads 500 scrap into your inventory in a single pop).

    Overall I found that people focus too much on the on-foot gameplay, which is mostly there to be polite to the publisher. The meat of the game is in the driving and the vehicular combat, and eventually in exploring the Big Nothing.

    Incidentally, the Big Nothing is easily the best way to handle the “edges of the map” that I’ve ever seen in an open world video game. Driving off the edge of the map and into a vast and hostile procedurally generated landscape that lasts for as long as you can survive in it? Sure, count me in.

    • Renevent says:

      You also get regular scrap stipend from each liberated stronghold. It’s 20 scrap on some regular basis…and while not initially all that amazing, when you get a few conquered it starts adding up. I think the idea is you can now move to newer areas, and still collect scrap from all the older areas at the same time.

    • ffordesoon says:

      That “Big Nothing” thing you just described is something they should have put in the marketing. What an amazingly clever idea. They put the roguelike version of the game inside the game!

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        Makes me wonder, what level of detail does the proc-gen have? Does it include buildings and interesting terrain features, or is it just a sea of sand dunes? I mean, proper proc-gen would be amazing, but if it’s just an empty wasteland (à la Fallout 3 borderless map mods) then it doesn’t sound particularly appealing.

    • JohnGreenArt says:

      I was excited when I heard about this, and even saw that the developers did mention this in some articles and stuff, but unless there are different edges of the map that you need to go for this or something, it’s really not as great as it sounds.

      I went to a map edge and started driving straight out, and it let me (with warning) and I noticed my scrap kept going up, but then my health started going down WAY fast for no reason, and I couldn’t turn back around fast enough before dying. That was maybe 30 seconds of off the map total.

      It sounds cool, but if really it’s just “you’ve got 30 seconds to drive out and back, and keep whatever scrap you rack up if you survive”, it’s not as exciting a feature.

  7. Megarlin says:

    They arent fixing up the walls, they are tearing them down for scrap. Also the loot location indicator always go away once you collected all the stuff, it just happens that said stuff is often really well hidden.
    What bothers me the most about the review its how you only pointed out 2 car combat methods when you can shoot gas tanks, shoot wheels harpoon the driver out of some cars with the basic harpoon or if thats not an option, harpoon the door and shoot the driver or even harpoon wheels and other parts with an upgraded harpoon, grind their wheels off with the spiked rims, burn them down with the side burners and dont even get me started on the thunderpoon!
    The foot sections are kinda lame? sure, but you didnt even witness the full glory that is to witness the angel take flight and smite the infidels with fire and thunder.

  8. Carlos Danger says:

    Wonder how many white males he had to kill in order to see those few woman with their small lines of dialogue. I would wager is was legion and it didn’t bother him at all while he pondered why there were not more female characters he could talk with. I sure there could be quests from them to go kill some more white guys, because it would be for justice.

    • Beefenstein says:

      I wonder how many clues you had to walk past until you decided you’d missed enough.

    • Sarfrin says:

      Help, I’m being oppressed!

      • nindustrial says:

        Did you here that, did you here that, eh? That’s what I’m on about — did you see him repressing me, you saw it didn’t you?

        • nindustrial says:

          Sadface, no edit. Excuse the typos, just one more form of my being repressed for being a white male.

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      Oh, precious. This is just adorable.

  9. Plake says:

    thank god im not alone with the “meh” feeling… I never played shadow of mordor, but love JC2 and when i first started Mad Max i thought it could change once the story gets going. But now i’m a little worried, that this comes from the same studio that developed one of the best sandbox-who-needs-a-story games out there.
    Oh and @ Krazen: i have a good pc, where GTAV and MGSV run perfectly fine on the highest settings, but this game doesn’t allow me to go higher then 30 fps and keeps dropping the framerate in very odd situations (like driving around with nothing close, or ~10 seconds after leaving a car)…

    • EhexT says:

      There’s something wrong with your PC and it’s interaction with Mad Max then. Performance wise it’s one of the best ports in years – pretty much everyone is reporting rock solid FPS at pretty much any hardware level. There’s an Nvidia driver out for it, you could try that?

  10. jonahcutter says:

    Even though looking the part, it only occasionally feels like Mad Max. In a high-speed, multi-car battle the game is at its best. That’s when it feels most right. Even then though it’s a bit more fireball-explodey than the crunching, low-fi feel if the films.

    When you finally start controlling Max at the start, you’re trudging around on foot and get into fist fights. In a Mad Max game. Why they didn’t start with the sound and fury of some vehicular slaughter is beyond me.

    Car physics vary from feeling properly solid and heavy to cartoonishly absurd. The cars seem to never flip. No matter what jump you take at what angle, they right themselves like weeble wobbles. It is ridiculous.

    Sound design is excellent. From the car roars to their almost-not-there idling. The thudding combat and the distant, haunting atmospherics. Really really well done.

    Fighting lacks the comic book acrobatics of Batman/Mordor. That stylization wouldn’t fit here anyway, but it makes for slower, less visually engaging combat. Still works exactly as expected.

    A lot of the performances are of the big-gesturing, over-the-top variety. It gets old. It made me appreciate Road Warrior’s Lord Humungus all the more for his rather fatherly and restrained menace.

    It reminds me of Red Faction: Guerilla Most, in structure. Definitely an open-world throwback as John pointed out.

    There is occasional usage of the curb-high jump. I was stumped by a single step at a balloon base for the longest time, as I hadnt realized there even was a jump.

    It’s a decent, zone-clearing, open-world game. But it can only rarely summon up the spirit of Mad Max.

    • frightlever says:

      Max has a knackered leg so most acrobatics are going to be out. He does pull off a neat suplex and some of the bone-breaking stuff is eye-watering. Combat has an upgrade path like everything else in the game.

      • jonahcutter says:

        Yeah the combat is fine, it’s just more grounded and a bit slower-paced than Batman and Mordor.

        Speaking of his leg, they did a neat little thing with that. Apparently these devs have a bit of sense about fall damage in a video game, and don’t practically kill you for jumping off something the height of a park bench. You can actually fall from greater than your own height and not take damage. But if you do fall from a little too high, Max gets up limping on his bad leg, moving slower for a bit. I thought it was a nice play off an existing character trait, while also avoiding the extreme fall damage from low heights that is inexplicably in so many games.

        • ffordesoon says:

          What a delightful touch. Shame the game seems to be a little by-the-numbers structurally.

          • jonahcutter says:

            It is by the numbers in structure. But if you like those numbers it’s all good. Or skip the ones that bore you. You don’t have to 100% every last little thing.

            The vehicle combat isn’t by the numbers. If you avoid playing it like circling bumper cars, and focus on high-speed, multi-car combat, it’s really good. That’s the game at its most Mad Max-like.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      Totally off-topic, but props for using “sound and fury” conversationally (I’m assuming it was an intentional reference). I always loved performing that soliloquy back in the day, and that line in particular. The sentence is beautifully formed for an actor who wants to deliver it with real, biting bitterness.

  11. aircool says:

    I’m still on the fence. I thought Shadow of Mordor was excellent and even encouraged be to dig out my xbox 360 controller.

    It looks good, and it’s tempting, but those car battles look overly complicated, and after playing Shadow of Mordor for so long, I’m bound to press all the wrong buttons in combat.

    However, I thought Shadow of Mordor looked overly complicated. If Mad Max is Shadow of Mordor with cars, then it will move quite far up my wish list.

  12. seroto9 says:

    In a game based on a series of films that have been SO influential on other games (Borderlands, Fallout, Rage et al), it’s well-nigh impossible to get it to shine. Nothing thrills, surprises or shocks because it’s been done elsewhere in games to the point of cliche.

    Of course, there’s always Alien: Isolation as an exception to the above rule!

    Also: I’m quite enjoying it so far (3 hours in)…

  13. Thule says:

    I feel like alot of reviewers give Mad Max bad reviews because they play alot of open-world games and are therefore pretty tired of the whole genre. But as someone who maybe plays one of these per year, I think Mad Max is a good, fun game. It’s not a great game, sure, but I’m having a ton of fun driving around and upgrading my murder-car. I think most people who actually play the game feel the same, since the game has many positive reviews on the steam store.
    The game is also beautiful, runs amazingly well on pc and the sounds are amazing.

    Basically, if you like the occasional open-world game and like the Mad Max setting, this is a good buy.

    • ffordesoon says:

      I’m not sure it’s getting bad reviews so much as “perfectly competent, but not orgasmic” reviews. And given that MGSV is also out and also massive and also has an impossibly large open-world desert to explore and also takes gameplay cues from Far Cry and also involves collecting stuff to upgrade your toolset and so on, and MGSV is the orgasmic experience Mad Max isn’t and has eons of hype built up, “perfectly competent” ain’t gonna cut it. You might be right to say that people who’ve bought the game and are actively playing it are having a great time with it, but they kinda still have to buy the game first. I think most people will have already purchased MGSV first, and once you’ve parted with sixty Yanqui dollars or an equivalent, you won’t be super-psyched to part with it again, you know?

      Which isn’t fair, necessarily, but WB arrogantly invited that comparison by releasing Mad Max on the same day for the same price. Since WB is chiefly a film company, they probably thought Mad Max would act as “counterprogramming” to MGSV if they thought about it at all. But counterprogramming doesn’t work in games – not full-priced retail games, anyway.

      • Papageno says:

        About the MGS V comparisons: I’ve never played a “Metaru Gia” game myself and always hesitated to get into the series because the story stuff sounds so overwrought and melodramatic (probably due to its Japanese origins). Should I just grab the Legacy Collection for the PS3 if I want to try one out for cheap?
        As to Mad Max, I’m really enjoying it so far (maybe 7 hours in). I completed the “scrap collector” project (the one that accumulates scrap while you’re not in the game) for Jeet’s stronghold last night so the scrap should start rolling in in greater quantities.

      • malkav11 says:

        Of course, there’s been a variety of ways to get Mad Max for around 40-50% off MSRP both before and after launch. I paid $28 on Indiegala and also got some random RPG Maker game thrown in for good measure. MGS V, by contrast? The cheapest price I’ve personally seen was $53, and that was only because it was being sold in a different region with a currency that’s weak next to the dollar (but priced accordingly). So, I mean, might I prefer MGS V if it were the same price? Sure. But it’s actually almost twice as much.

    • MisterFurious says:

      There’s nothing wrong with comparing a genre game or movie or book to others in it’s genre. If it doesn’t hold up as well as others in that particular genre then it’s perfectly fair to say so.

  14. Ghinbi says:

    The game begin to be crazy good when you actually get your V8. Until then it’s just a big, slow paced, somehow underwhelming introduction. Then all of a sudden it change into a more furious adventure

  15. Soopah says:

    I’m surprised how much critics seem to find Mad Max mediocre but if you look at the steam reviews, people are really digging it.
    I personally like it. I agree that a lot of the elements in the game are nothing ground breaking but it is quite fun for me.

    • frightlever says:

      Beats me. I’m loving it. I’m guessing John hasn’t really played all that much since there’s more to combat than either pressing X or Y, there are female quest givers (though it is pretty male-centric and so far for me all the enemies are male) and the harpoon is epic.

      Horses for courses, sure, but it’s weird as hell most prominent review sites, except Eurogamer, have been very dismissive.

      • frightlever says:

        Oh, make canteens fill up and balloons rise and lower and the other repetitive things happen about ten times quicker, or without an animation and I’d be happier. It makes no sense to have to eg hunt for fuel for the balloon when you know there’s going to be fuel within ten feet of it. Find fuel the first time and stick it in the generator, and that’s the balloon fuelled up. Not enough to distract from my enjoyment, but it would really make it more fun overall if they reduced the duration of the busywork animations.

        • Renevent says:

          I’m really enjoying the game myself but those are valid complaints. I also don’t like how the screen fades to black and back on certain activities like filling up your canteen. It doesn’t add that much more time but it’s kind of annoying.

          I’ve kinda decided to cut some of the fat from the game and I’m enjoying the game even more. I don’t stop at regular scrap locations anymore because a) they don’t all that much scrap anyways and b) it’s repetitive with so many of them. I’ll only stop if there’s also some project items there, or the location just looks really cool.

          This really cuts down on having to stop so much, and makes it when you do stop to do stuff on foot less tedious.

          Anyways I did my first convoy last night and holy shit, that’s fun! That’s about as close as you can get to the movies in game and it’s done very well. Picking off the guard cars in various ways (harpooning drivers out of their seats, knocking them off cliffs, ramming, shotgun blast to a gas can on their buggy, etc)…then finally taking down the head vehicle is just awesome stuff.

      • frightlever says:

        Stupid comment system. The other thing about enemy vehicles is that, certainly at the start, they’re just better than the Magnum Opus at certain tasks. eg taking out a convoy. You can do it with the MO early on, but there’s an armoured convoy where having either a faster or heavier armed car is advantageous.

        John didn’t even mention the DOG.

    • Andrew says:

      Schism between game journalists and common folk is growing!

      But, in all seriousness, I find that focus of most Steam reviews in general is PC specific technical stuff. Performance, K&M controls, a lot of settings, etc. And “Mad Max” is delivering there.

      Or, as Thule points out ↑ there, maybe it’s fatigue of similar open-world games. That’s my favorite genre (if you can call it genre), so personally I’m happy, but I skipped all of Ubi open-world games since “Black Flag”. And besides “Witcher 3” (that I need to finish! argh!) there was… nothing? That can’t be right.

    • Philomelle says:

      From what I’ve read of the reviews so far, it’s because journalists keep playing it like Far Cry 3, with slow mind-numbing zone-clearing. Mad Max actively discourages that playstyle by spacing the objectives so they would turn into a chore if handled via zone-clearing (do you seriously want to spend 15 hours clearing zones just to install the armory in Gutgash’s stronghold when you can handle it with a wild 20-minute drive through hostile territory), and clearing out zones early actually kills such lucrative sources of scrap income as preying on War Boys’ supply trucks in the wild.

      It’s like they take a Mad Max game, play it like a lowly mercenary scavenger on the payroll of the local warlords and are surprised that they’re not having fun. Geez, I wonder why.

      • Premium User Badge

        boundless08 says:

        I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there. I, like a few others haven’t played many open world games in a while and I find this amazing. Maybe it is just fatigue for some people, I was going to say slower paced but I really don’t think it is. I gave up on Ass Creed after half way through brotherhood because it was just repeating the motions. I’m just about at the 12-14 hour mark with Max and I’m finding it hard to turn off my PC and go to sleep.

        One thing I will agree with is the jump. Like why even bother? I know someone else said about Max’s leg and it’s bad but then they should have left jump out altogether and made it into a mantle button. If E3 thought is anything, mantling is the future… or at least next gen!

        I don’t see why anyone can give out about the car mechanics and vehicle battles, they’re just so much fun. The main thing that’s really annoying me is no one, especially reviewers, seem to be mentioning the camera mode. I’ve spent ages just messing about with it. It is one of the most beautiful game worlds not just wastelands. And those draw distances.. wow! I’m a bit off from recommended specs but there’s seriously only about 3-4 options that are High and not Ultra High but I still get a steady framerate. This thing is smooth as greased butter!

        but then again my favourite movie is Pacific Rim so maybe I’m a bad person? :)

    • nindustrial says:

      To be fair, part of the steam recommendation system is that it’s a binary ‘yea or nay’ system, and I think if you were to boil down most of the “eh, it’s decent, but” reviews you would still come out with a thumbs up… you just can’t get into nuance when looking at the steam ratio (of course, you can always read the user reviews which can occasionally be enlightening).

    • foop says:

      I wonder how far the steam reviewers have got into the game? I’ve been watching someone stream the game on Twitch the last few days. I loved the gameplay, but the last parts of the story have really put me off. The bits leading up to the ending are just rather uninspiring.

      That’s probably my fault for watching someone else play it, though.

      I’ll still probably buy it on sale at some stage, but more than anything else it has made me want to replay Shadows of Mordor.

  16. Ufofighter says:

    Ten hours in. In my opinion is a fun game, nothing revolutionary, but nothing annoying or gamebreaking (yet).

    • Ufofighter says:

      6 hours more.

      I’m starting to agree with the first comment by Mud. The car combat by itself is way deeper than “You can either just headlong ram into enemy cars, or using a muddled method, slam into them from the side while pressing a corresponding button.”

      In fact summarize the mechanic with these two phases is just lazy and unprofessional.

      • wu wei says:

        While John didn’t say exactly how long he’d played, he did stress “early hours”, which sounds substantially less than 16. Giving his impression of those early hours isn’t “unprofessional”, this isn’t a WIT.

  17. shagen454 says:

    Sounds like a legit adaptation of the film. I liked Fury Road but, for me, it wasn’t the Mad Max I want. The one observing terrible, terrible things, real raw, running out of gusoline and water. Willing to sneak & kill for it, alone. Chaos, anarchy, atmosphere. The film to me was under too much control. If it were the real Mad Max, he’d never have turned back.

    • suibhne says:

      Maybe your Max, in your head, wouldn’t have done so, but the movies are about George Miller’s Max, and they have been from the beginning. Max’s behavior in Fury Road is entirely consistent with the character’s choices in the second and third films.

  18. frightlever says:

    It helped that there was/is a thirteen quid key for the game which a lot, if not most, people are using instead of paying nearly forty quid.

  19. Stevostin says:

    I may be a bit silly but all of this review lack crucial information to me.
    – does it allow for first person view driving ?
    – does it allow for first person view shooting ?
    – does it allow for first person view melee ?
    The last one is unlikely, the second matters as there is no such a thing as good TPV shooting and the first one is a deal breaker if missing. Which mean reading a review would not even be needed.

    • Andrew says:

      — Yes. But it’s claustrophobic as hell.
      — Not really. There barely any shooting on foot (think Batman with occasional batarang), and in car you shoot a lot (shotgun, harpoon, etc.). Both are in slow-mo. There is sniper riffle with first person scope, though.
      — No.

      • Stevostin says:

        Hmm… I don’t know what you mean. I played all GTA first person view driving. Speed is way more spectacular, it’s way more efficient (you don’t spend half your action fixing the camera) and of course it’s immersive, which matters in open world games quite a lot. Can I shoot in first person view in the driving section ?

        • Andrew says:

          What do you mean what I mean? I’m just saying what you can and can’t do in the game.
          – Does it allow for first person view driving? Yes.
          – Does it allow for first person view shooting? Only with sniper rifle. So, no.
          – Does it allow for first person view melee? No.
          – Can I shoot in first person view in the driving section? Yes.

          • Stevostin says:

            “But it’s claustrophobic as hell.”
            How so? As I explained, I am used to other FPV driving game. Is there anything special here ?

        • Chaz says:

          You can’t shoot in first person, only drive. The only other first person bits are looking through binoculars and when using your sniper rifle from the back of the car. In relation to it feeling quite claustrophobic, it’s probably because all the cars are beaten down a bit or have bits of armour stuck over them. You still get more than enough of a view to see out though and it does look great zipping through the desert at high speed in a growling muscle car.

    • Companion_Cube says:

      Strictly speaking the first-person driving camera is about a foot in front of Max’s head; if you spin the camera around you can see Max (blurry because he’s not the focus). But it certainly feels first-person, and even though it’s more difficult to keep track of where everything is in a road battle, I much prefer it because it feels so visceral. In a first person road battle the speed is overwhelming, the explosions are deafening, the storms are terrifying, and the combat is brutal, to a degree you don’t get when you’re just watching Max’s car from a chase camera instead of placed in the driver’s seat.
      Also, while there’s no first-person camera on foot (except for when using binoculars or the sniper scope), you can still shoot from the car while in first person driver mode, and car combat is where this game really shines anyway.

  20. madAzrael says:

    I’m a huge Mad Max fan, but this game…
    I played only 10 minutes on the gamescom and it instantly felt odd. Generic and just not right.
    For example: Am I the only one bothered by how Mad Max is beating up random guys like he is Batman? How does that fit into this world? Run and try to survive, only fight if you must is turned into a rampage.
    There was so much potential – i’m even disappointed, that you play as Mad Max.
    I will wait for a sale and give it a shot then. Until then… meh

    • skabb15 says:

      Thank you for your opinion based on on out of context 10 minutes of playtime with a beta. I’m a moron.

      • Catweasel says:

        Yeah, clearly not enjoying a short impression of the game makes him unintelligent. What a brilliant observation, sir!

      • Andrew says:

        Who changed his comment? John, was that you? :)

      • madAzrael says:

        oh wow, Really? It’s my first impression. Every review i read so far supported my view, that this is probably not my favorite game.

        With my post i only wanted to point out that beating up dudes all the time feels wrong in a mad max game. Doesn’t it to you?

        I’m not allowed to have an opinion because i didnt play 10 hours of it? Tell you what, i even would have an opinion if i played not a single minute – my opinion would be based on the review i read above. If this is stupid, then we both should stop reading rps and waste our time with games we dont like! So clever! yay! :p

  21. Hensler says:

    I’d think I’d really like this… if I hadn’t bought The Phantom Pain at the same time. Switching between the two games does not lead to a comparison that favors Mad Max in anyway.

  22. Chaz says:

    Well you can add me to the list of people that are really enjoying the game.

    Personally I think it feels really atmospheric and it feels like a far more real and natural environment than those of the 2 recent Far Cry games. Pickups and items are where you would expect to find them, not just randomly scattered around the world and hidden up on ledges in a cave somewhere which makes no sense.

    A really good fun game, and a solid, and as far as I can tell bug free, conversion that runs great and looks great.

  23. Thirdrail says:

    It’s funny how the user reviews of this game are so glowing and happy, and then the professional reviews are all exactly like this one.

    “Well, for a game I had to start playing TODAY, like some kind of GOD DAMNED NORMAL, I guess it’s ok. I just can’t seem to get into it, but I assure you all that has nothing to do with the hour I spent crying in the bathroom because the publishers didn’t make me feel special by sending me a free review copy early, with a bouquet of pretty flowers. NO, IT’S FINE. REALLY.”

    Could you be any more petty? Or any more obvious about it? (Spoiler alert: the answer, in both cases, is no.)

    • nindustrial says:

      Say what you want about why critics are reviewing it the way they are, but it’s a common occurrence that PC code doesn’t get pre-released, and RPS has a history of pointing that out as a way of explaining why there isn’t a full review yet. I don’t for a second believe, and really hope you don’t, that the entire content of this first impression is down to petty crying about review code. On the other hand, if you simply have an axe to grind with RPS, then I suggest you re-examine your statement about who’s being petty in this situation before ascribing tenuous, unsupported, conspiratorial motivations to a middling post giving first impressions.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      Oh god, really? If they’d sent us review code when they had said they were, we could have given a proper review of the game. Because it arrived late, we were unable to do this, and so I wrote impressions of the early hours, and explained why.

      You think after 16 years in this job I think it’s special or exciting to get a game a few days early? Lordy.

    • wu wei says:

      It’s funny how the user reviews of this game are so glowing and happy, and then the professional reviews are all exactly like this one.

      I wonder if it’s due to more reviewers having played Phantom Pain in close proximity to MM than users.

      Could you be any more petty? Or any more obvious about it? (Spoiler alert: the answer, in both cases, is no.)

      But at least you took the high road and didn’t act petty yourself, right?

  24. PancakeWizard says:

    Looks like the WB/Ubisoft formula is starting to wear a bit thin.

    More than a few apologists glossing over the reported lack of polish as well.

    • EhexT says:

      If there’s one thing Mad Max is then it’s polished.

    • EhexT says:

      I love the white knighting for the reviewers by the way. People actually playing the game are “apologists” and the “reported” (by whom?) lack of polish is gospel.

    • anHorse says:

      The only lack of polish I’ve noticed is some context actions having small trigger areas

      But hey I’m only an apologist who has actually played the game for 6 hours whilst you’ve read SOME MOTHERFUCKING REPORTS on it

  25. Enough. says:

    I’ve been waiting to write this for a long time.

    I’ve never felt that John’s reviews are accurate. Not. One. Time. Next to this, even when I don’t look at the author, I can tell from the negativity: “Oh, it’s John Walker writing”. Literally skip every John Walker article. I can’t put into words how disappointed I was that John wrote this piece, because I was looking forward to an opinion I could trust.

    On top of my complaints, he’s feeling worse than usual so obviously the review is more skewed than normal…

    • nindustrial says:

      But see, this is one of the great benefits of following various critics. With time, you can determine whether your taste lines up with John’s or not. I agree that I often find myself in disagreement with his opinions on games. Not always, but enough to begin my own critical thinking about what he does or doesn’t like that I in fact happen to or to not. And wallah! He’s still done me a service by giving insight into whether I might enjoy the game. It’s the same with movie reviews; I’ve learned which critics I tend to have similar taste in, but just because I disagree or have different taste doesn’t make them wrong. You don’t often find commenters on the NY Times excoriating A.O. Scott just because he didn’t like a film.

      I think people on gaming sites take an altogether too negative approach to reviews that don’t coincide with their own opinions (and while I realize the metacritic scores are a plague on the industry, we don’t have that problem at RPS–everything’s a 7/10!). Maybe we chalk it up to the youth of games as art capable of criticism.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      “Literally skip every John Walker article.” If only, eh?

    • TomA says:

      I agree with you nindustrial, it’s important to have variation however sometimes it’s just terrible journalism. Example his LISA review which could have been summed up with “The controls are bad, I don’t know how to set the controls, the opening is too long, I’m not playing it.” Why even bother posting an article?

  26. Shizzle says:

    6 hours in and so far I’m really enjoying Mad Max. Technically very polished. Runs great, butter smooth framerates. No bugs, no crashes. Wasteland look amazing, cars, explosions etc. Really an amazing port and overall a fun game. Much MUCH better than I’ve expected tbh.

    • Andrew says:

      Can we teach people not to use “port” as a “version” or is it too late? “Port” is then it wasn’t intended for specific platform and later was ported to it. Here we have three versions of the game, developed at the same time, by one company. One for Xbone, one for PS4 and one for Windows (and later for Linux, allegedly).

      • EhexT says:

        It clearly is a port though, because there’s areas of the game (interface mostly) that were clearly made for consoles and they still exist (and confound) in the PC version. So it’s a port.

        • Andrew says:

          Designing game with gamepad in mind have nothing to do with porting. There are PC-only games like that. Again, you using “port” wrong.

  27. derbefrier says:

    Its 40% off on greenmangaming right now. After reading a bit about it on other sites i decided to give it a shot for that price. sounds like my kind of game.

  28. PoundCoin says:

    Ok, I’ve put in 42 hours (holy crap) I’m about halfway through pinkeye’s quests (just did the desert church)

    And im fucking loving this game, I’m ripping wheels off jerks with a harpoon gun before shotgunning their mate’s fuel tanks the car combat is really meaty and fun. The on foot combat not so much, coming from mordors to this is kinda a downgrade but I can understand that Max isn’t a fantasy swords man or whatever. but having the fights boil down to counter mash X is a bit sad and the Top dogs (mini-bosses at the top of fortresses that unlock car paint jobs) are all identical save a reskin, with identical attack patterns. but it’s about the cars isn’t it. and those shine through.

    As for scrap, firstly you should unlock cleanup crews ASAP, getting out of the car for like 10 scrap after every fight is boring and a total waste of time. Secondly, if you want scrap, go out in a storm. Dodge the flying death the physic fuck-you lightning and the giant fireballs and harpoon a flying junk crate. 300 scrap right there. you can make 1000 in a single storm easy.

  29. KenTWOu says:

    For the most part, you’re driving your main car, which – demoralisingly – also forms the core plot.

    What’s wrong with that? The story was written around gameplay. On the contrary, we should celebrate it.

  30. alms says:

    What, the John Walker Hate Hour is on again and I wasn’t sent the memo?

    Quick, hand ove ra pitchfork and torch, let’s get ready to burn everyone who so brazenly refuses to embrace the Right Opinion!

  31. Lynda says:

    This game is HEAPS better than the reviewer says it is. I absolutely hate the way some reviewers try and make a game sound really bad just because it wasn’t a super next-gen, break-your-PC, only 1 in 10000 people have a machine that can play it, kind of thing.

    The fact is, this game looks gorgeous, it’s VERY Mad Max (it takes HEAPS of cues from the second film), and it’s very playable. Oh boo hoo… just the kind of thing a self-important reviewer must hate hearing.

  32. TJ says:

    I’ve got to agree with John. It’s slick, but it’s completely facile. Driving is spectacular, but lacks long-term depth. Combat is poor man’s Arkham. Missions are mostly ‘Drive here, then drive through some empty tunnels with traps, then watch a cutscene and drive back’. It is almost as if the game is trying to distract you from the core systems.

  33. Sinjun says:

    Shadow of Mordor was just as derivative yet it was praised as one of the best games of last year. Weird.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      It’s the crucial difference between taking ideas from other games and doing them better, or doing them worse. Mordor felt like a wonderful use of those ideas, as well as adding one of the best new ideas in action gaming. Max feels like a pedestrian (ha) use of those ideas, and while none of it is bad (imagine if any of these furious commenters actually read what I wrote!) it doesn’t shine like something new.

  34. Press X to Gary Busey says:

    MEDIOCRE!

  35. vash47 says:

    “And unless something changes dramatically in forthcoming stages, the angry hordes who launched their furious protests at the recent movie’s subjugation of men – by the gallish presence of an actual woman – will be much relieved.”

    You just couldn’t help it, could you? I wonder who wrote this piece? – I thought to myself.

    Oh, no wonder.

    • Distec says:

      It’s a load of horseshit too. There was no “MRA backlash” to Mad Max outside of what some whingey blogs made up on their own. I see John is continuing to bury his head in the ground to drink deeply from that reservoir.

      I guess there’s some consistency to respect there.

  36. IReadDescriptions says:

    Can we all just enjoy the fact that in most cases if you’d rather not fist fight, you can always just harpoon the guy or tap him with your car to kill him? I mean, let’s be honest we’ve all done it at least once… And there’s an overwhelming “I just saved a lot of time” feeling for every person you extinguish this way in game.

  37. GhostBoy says:

    I’m about 15 hours in, though that number is slightly deceptive since I have limited myself to the first area on purpose. I could have seen more story and unlockaed more stuff, but I wanted to clean out the area just to see how big a task it was.

    I can get behind the reviews, here and elsewhere, that state “competent, but a rote experience”. While the camps are, so far, all unique in their layout, I can see the beginnings of a game, where clearing icons on the map is the bulk of a game, with a few interspersed cutscenes here and there. It certainly feels very much like Shadow of Mordor sans Nemesis system, with a less complex combat system. And the cutscenes that are there, certainly nailed the tone and style of the Mad Max in their chracter gallery.

    Now, don’t get me wrong: That is all I wanted from the game, but sandboxes latelay have gotten better at story integration (either via more character interaction in missions, or on a systems level like the Nemesis thing). Mad Max, so far, doesn’t do that, and I can see how that is a strike against it, especially since there is *so much* on the map. I wouldn’t have minded a bit more plot scattered between the many map icons.

    Combat in cars improve by unlocking a few things, especially upgrading the harpoon. Foot combat becomes more varied with skills, but sadly many of the are just contextual auto-triggers, so it doesn’t really change much for the player.

    A decent game, good even, the dodgy combat camera nonewithstanding, but much as I like it, I can’t bring myself to call it more than that. And I cannot fault people for thinking that a Mad Max skinned collect-a-thon was perhaps a bit less than they were hoping for.

  38. MrBRAD! says:

    MEDIOCRE REVIEW!

    I really have to bring it up in the comments because it is such a bizarre thing to say in the review: “No Cloth Physics”

    Your sidekick mechanic who is almost permanently attached to the back of your car in full view has a big yellow strip of fabric hanging off the front of his pants down to his knees flapping in the breeze.

    … i don’t even.

  39. DangerousDoritos says:

    I made an account just to reply to this review. I have read a lot of RPS reviews in the past, but this one has reduced my respect for this site’s opinions to the point where they will become irrelevant to me and have zero to no influence on which games I buy.

    There is no reason to compare this to Shadow of Mordor, go play some Assassins Creed if you want a studio to crap out clone after clone. Apart from some of the combat, this game feels nothing like it.

    At first I was disappointed that the free climbing was absent, but the vehicles make up for that 10 fold and anyone who came into this expecting a true representation of Mad Max will understand how important vehicles are to the story and “lore” of the wasteland.

    SoM was repetitive to the point that I got to 90% completion of the story and just gave up. There are no customization options in that game unless you dish out cash. You can fight off an entire horde of enemies, clear out a fort, and then turn around and see another group just walking past dead bodies like there is nothing there.

    Mad Max is absolutely fantastic. and I hope that WB continues to see RPS as irrelevant and never gives them an early access ever again if this is the quality of crap that they accept. I hope that you just had an off day because you were sick, but seriously, take a sick day. You made a point to complain about the jumping in the game, stand up and jump, did you just clear 4 feet, do a front flip and then scale a 20 foot wall? No, you didn’t. This review is nit picky to the point where you could have fooled me to say it was written by an ubisoft exec.

    I’m severely disappointing in whomever made the decision to actually let this review make the site. I won’t be following any more links to RPS from Steam until a fair review is done by someone in their right state of mind.

    • wu wei says:

      You’ve read “lots of RPS reviews” but you didn’t notice this was “Impressions” and not “Wot I Think”?

      I hope that WB continues to see RPS as irrelevant and never gives them an early access ever again if this is the quality of crap that they accept.

      Ah yes, because the game industry would be best served by publishers only distributing review titles to people who suck their cocks.

      I’m severely disappointing in whomever made the decision to actually let this review make the site.

      Uh, John Walker is one of the founders of RPS, I’m pretty sure he can post whatever the fuck he likes.

    • DangerousDoritos says:

      Admittedly, and embarrassingly, I was very drunk when I wrote this comment.

      After reading over the review again, I still disagree with the authors opinion. However, after reading my comment, I apologize for my abrasiveness.

      The author does make a few valid points about this game, but I think many of the things he finds obnoxious are fixed a few more hours into the game by upgrading Strongholds.

      The side quests to unlock the armory and the scrap crew are probably the best ways to make this game a little bit less tedious.

      If you go into this game expecting Shadow of Mordor you may be disappointed. It is much more Road Warrior-esque than similar to Furry Road.

      I apologize to the author for being a dick, and I do hope that once you get over your Flu you will be able to enjoy this game a bit more.

  40. Ako says:

    I’m really surprised by how much people are angrily defending this game. Pre-order culture again?

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      People who choose this instead of the (objectively) best game on Steam, then a review that isn’t glowing pops up right there on the library page on Steam, invalidating their choice unless they defend it.

  41. derbefrier says:

    bought it last night and I have to say i think its pretty fun. For one, it runs freaking great( getting a rock solid 50FPS medium\high settings on my aging 560)

    Its worth it just for the car combat honestly. that shit is just fun. The punching and kicking is alright, it works fine but i do hope it opens up a bit later on but if it doesn’t i don’t think it will be a game breaker( i am a fan of this style of combat anyway). The story has kept me entertained so far but its really to early for me to make a judgement on that.

    Over the years of coming to this site I have discovered mine and John’s taste doesn’t always line up. He seems a little disappointed,with perfectly reasonable complaints I might add, whether or not you can enjoy this game will depend on whether or not you can overlook them. i think explains the mixed reviews this game seems to be getting. They don’t bother me and I am having a lot of fun with the game. If you have an interest and can take advantage of one of sales going on I would say its worth a shot

  42. tk421242 says:

    I should first state that I absolutely love the Mad Max films and that has had an impact of my enjoyment of the game. Max is not what I would call a deep game but my god is it beautiful and it really does feel like Mad Max. The visuals, the sound and the dialogue just fits. I love the car combat and I DESPISE driving games! This is just fun as hell. The ground combat though is so weak. I have made it a point to increase my ammo capacity as fast as possible so I can simply shoot my way through a camp and get the goods and get back to the car. I enjoy finding new loot spots and camps and seeing how various caves, buildings and wrecks have been turned into encampments. Just all around it is a fun time.

    Perfect? No. Great? No. Fun? For me, hell yes!

    So while I do love this game so far I also think mediocre scores are perfectly fine for it. If it was not in the Mad Max setting I would have already stopped playing it, just as I did with other open world games that do not hold my interest. People love GTA and Far Cry but personally I have never finished a single one of those games.. just not that interested in the settings or the stories. I would not recommend this game to someone that was not a fan or even casually liked the Mad Max films but I would highly recommend it to someone like myself that loves the smell of guzzoline!

    Now I must depart… my steel chariot awaits and longs to once again breath fire as I roar across the sands!!

  43. CookPassBabtridge says:

    The driving is what is putting me off buying at all. Any game featuring deserts and driving that I played in the past has always had that driving as the most mundane or irritating part of the gameplay – I am thinking mainly of Borderlands and RAGE here. Its fine if its just a quick map-traversing tool, but to make it a huge chunk of gameplay completely puts me off. Its one of the reasons I gave up on RAGE – I just couldn’t be bothered to keep buying parts and gathering cash to get through the driving-section difficulty spikes after I traveled to that new world.

    • JohnGreenArt says:

      The driving is, in my opinion, really awesome in Mad Max. Soooooo much better than the driving/car combat in Borderlands. Haven’t played Rage, so I can’t compare there. And there’s also fast travel, so after driving to a location for a task, you can just fast travel to a stronghold after.

      That said, they should really release a timed demo so players can get a feel for the game.

  44. JohnGreenArt says:

    After playing the game for about 15 hours, I think the one real misstep the game, for what it is, missed is how it began.

    The game shows a cinematic of a car chase and boss fight. What it should have done is made that playable. Start the game with a big, playable car battle. You’d have your souped-up car, and can perform all these cool tricks, destroying enemy vehicles with it. Then some fist fights on the back of that convoy truck, then a boss battle at top. But, because story, you lose and then get left for dead without your car.

    This would be enough to see how awesome the car combat is, once you upgrade your new car to that level again. You’d get a taste of what’s to come, so you know the grind is worth it. And plenty of games have done this, probably to the point where if the developers did open the game like that it would even get criticized as a gaming trope. But starting the game with an actual playable car chase/battle would definitely have been better than just a cinematic and then the first interactive bit is walking.

    Would it make the game overall better? Not really, but I like the game as is. It just didn’t have a good enough hook from the start.

  45. MellowKrogoth says:

    Wait, which angry hordes? Mad Max had a “strong female lead” but also a bunch of emotional girly girls that were used as breeders, so I think it pleased as many feminists as it angered. And none of the males or females I know ever complained about the cast. I think the authors just made the story they wanted to and said screw you to ideological extremists of all kinds.