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4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Skip Out on Mad Max

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4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Skip Out on Mad Max

It just had an unfortunate release date.

It Isn’t Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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Mad Max is actually a pretty solid game that may have drawn the short straw when it decided on a rather questionable launch date. It came out on the same day as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. You know, the game that everyone is in love with at the moment? The thing is, one of Mad Max’s biggest strengths is that it is not MGS V.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with The Phantom Pain, but that game is intense and a break every now and then from its captivating world is necessary. What better way to break free than by jumping into another amazing world, filled with its own threats, lore, and activities?

Mad Max provides its own special type of open world. One where the desert is alive and there are no allies (none you can truly trust, anyway) as you scavenge your way through the wasteland. No choppers to come evacuate you from danger, no buddies to cover your back, and no army ready to do your bidding. Its lack of all the grandiose makes it a more intimate affair that is definitely worth your time if you’re looking for something a bit different.

 

Magnum Opus

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Customizing cars is nothing new to the realm of video games. Using cars to destroy everything in sight is also nothing new. But something must be said about being able to fine tune a lean mean death machine in order to use it in some of the most viscerally satisfying vehicular combat.

The Magnum Opus in Mad Max is much more than just a means of transportation, it is as much of a main protagonist as Max himself. Players make their way across the wasteland in order to seek revenge and reclaim what’s theirs. Every single piece of scrap put into it, every decision made regarding its tuning, every weapon upgrade added on makes this vehicle the living embodiment of your struggle and your perseverance.

Many games try to provide that one iconic element (just take a look at the hit and miss with Aiden’s hat in Watch_Dogs), but Avalanche managed to hit the ball right out of the park in a glorious homerun, and it all began with a rusty frame on a beat up chassis.

 

Hand to Hand with Attitude

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Taking a gaze at Mad Max will instantly give you a sense of familiarity when you see the combat system. The Batman Arkham series and Shadow of Mordor clearly provided huge inspiration to the brutality of the wasteland. But Mad Max manages to take the familiar and still make it feel like its own. The combat has a much more weighty crunch to it.

Players won’t glide between enemies as they swiftly kick, punch, and string up scavengers and bandits. There are no pretty beheadings as they rack up incredibly high combos and use powers to brainwash the enemy masses. There is no beauty in the violence of Mad Max, and in a way that is the most beautiful thing. Combat makes you feel despair. Taking a hit hurts, killing is ugly and bloody, but it must be done if you are to survive.

There is no sugar coating, no praise, only survival as you use everything around you to bash the ever-loving life out of whoever dares to cross you during your journey.

 

The Beauty of Nothingness

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Mad Max is set in a post apocalyptic world that has lost all ties to the beauty of nature. No bodies of water, no plants to provide lush, vibrant colors to the stark world that has been overrun with golden dunes of shifting death. The world is brown as far as the eyes can see, and that is something that probably shouldn’t be beautiful, yet it is.

The decay is so beautifully put on display that one can’t help but marvel at the emptiness as they slowly coast through in their magnum opus, gaze down from a hot air balloon, or walk through as they search for supplies. it is empty of eye candy, yes, but it is far from devoid of character, of lives lived and lost, and of something worth fighting for.

As the sands shift and storms fall upon the player, it’s easy to imagine the world that once was, the world that Max so sorely remembers and can’t get out of his head. Avalanche has managed to make the essence of nothing as beautiful as the most impressive landscapes in video games to date. The Last of Us may have had its overgrown forestry to accentuate its take on the end of humanity, but Mad Max’s use of no window dressing whatsoever manages to bring the very same chills to the bones of those who walk it’s desolate planes.

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