Since i was a little kid, i was really into mad max, and you can only imagine how much i jizzed my pants when i saw the new movie “fury road” and than they announced the game, witch was in the same style as the movie, it looked really good and promising and i couldn’t wait for it to come out.
And so, it finally came and i came as well, at least at my first few hours of play. It was everything i expected it to be and so much more, but as i continued playing, i started feeling a bit disappointed, there were no bikes, no big rigs, no epic huge car chases, and while the car stuff is really fun on its own, it just doesn’t really capture that epic mad max car chase spirit that you would come to expect from a thing titled “mad max”.
Furthermore, the whole game feels like it was made out of a demo of a much bigger game. Its like they only made a small handful of game assets and copypasted them all over the map, this is either some really small team that was working on it or they had a very limited budget or only worked on this game part time. Like for example, every single boss fight you fight the same exact boss, the same moves and tactics and even the same 3D model (although later on it gets 2 other 3D models to mix things up a bit but its still the same exact moves and everything), later on they introduce another boss that is different, but it also gets reused multiple times with a different 3D model, i think it gets used 3 times in total, the rest of the boss encounters are the same guy you had to fight from your very first boss encounter.
So all in all you got like, 5 enemy types that are reskinned for every faction, 1 playable vehicle type (no bikes, no big rigs, just regular cars) 2 boss types, 5 or 6 types of activities littered all over the map. While those things are awesome the first few times you do them, after some time it becomes repetitive joyless grind, especially shit like locating and disarming the minefields, and you have to do them all in order to unlock the car part you need.
While at its core the gameplay is solid and mostly fun, there’s a lot of things that are a not completely thought through by the people who made this game.
For example, the game has a jump feature, but nothing to jump on or over, there is no platforming and the jump isn’t high enough for it to be of any use for anything. Often times you end up not being able to jump over objects that are at your knee height, and there’s no climbing feature that could be combined with the jump to get on top of high objects, you can only climb things marked for climbing.
There’s also a knife, that you can only use once…. yeah like you stab someone and the knife magically disappears, having you scavenge for a new knife every time you kill a guy. There are upgrades that extend your ammo belt capacity and that also lets you have more knifes, so you end up walking around with a collection of knifes, why the fuck not just have one fucking knife that never disappears after a kill instead of having to carry 943759843 knifes in your inventory, this is the most bizarre game design choice i have seen in a while.
No matter how much you max out your car, its still week and slow as shit. You can have your engine maxed out but you will still have a hard time catching up to enemy cars and you will never be able to outrun them. You can add all the armor and spikes and turn your car into a barely moving tank, but they will still be able to knock your car’s health by more than half in just one side ram, it feels like everything you do to make your car formidable is futile, you might just steal one of their cars and drive that instead.
By default, the game has this really nice survival element to it, you have to scavenge for food, water, gasoline and ammo to survive in the wasteland, but than you get to upgrade your stronghold and this is where all this neat survival stuff gets thrown out the window. Once you get to one of your strongholds, it automatically refills your health, water, car, ammo belt. you no longer have to scavenge for anything when you are running low and finding stuff like water or gas cans no longer has that joy to it because you already have an unlimited amount of it, this is essentially like using a cheat code.
Speaking of stronghold upgrades, there’s this one upgrade called stockpile, it costs a lot and it literally does nothing, you waste all your money that could have been used to pimp out your ride, on a thing that has no function in the game.
And if we are speaking of wasting money, you cant just buy whatever upgrades you want for max and his car even if you already did the missions to unlock them, gotta waste money on all the crap ones before them first to be able to buy the ones you need.
You gotta grind a lot to get it, random scrap(money is called scrap in this game) that enemies drop or you find in looting locations only give you like +2 +5 scrap, and you need 4100 of it to get that fancy V8 carburetor for your car. You waste countless hours and hours chasing after cars and looting random villages, that you could have used to actually play and enjoy the game. It’s like one of those shitty “free” to play phone games where you have to pay micro transactions to get game coins to be able to progress faster, only this game has no micro transactions and you are stuck with the free to play part of it.
Than there’s also this thing where for whatever reason, to perform an action you have to hold down E (or whatever button you assign) instead of just pressing it once. I would understand it for actions that take time like breaking doors open, but why the fuck did they think its a good idea to make you hold E for every single action such as picking up an a weapon in the middle of combat, its so frustrating. and than there’s the ridiculously tiny distances you have to be from a thing to perform an action, you can be standing right on top of a weapon but nope you cant pick it up till you move one pixel closer, its also very frustrating in combat.
There’s many more smaller problems but i wont list them because this is already getting too tl;dr and i haven’t even got to the whats good about this game
The combat is good and very fun for the most part, i never got bored of it but even that has its problems.
The camera will often times position itself in ways that leave you blind to whats going on around you, getting lots of cheep shots from the enemies offscreen, attacks that you never see coming.
The game has sort of an element of sneaking up on the enemies, but it doesn’t really work because they always somehow get alerted before you are close enough to silently execute them, its like as if they have some 360 vision or something, i only managed to sneak attack once in my entire playthrough. And also things like you turning on your flashlight in the middle of a dark room when you are standing behind enemies, does not alert them, just goes to show how much thought they put in this too.
The car combat is pretty fun too, although the game has a problem with input delay that prevents me from fully enjoying the car part, and that is a real shame because mad max is all about the car chases and stuff.
Speaking of cars, the game has racing in it but suck as all the other things in this game, racing had little to no thought given to it, the enemy drivers will fail miserably to keep up with you and you will always end up driving alone with no one to rival you, but somehow you will barely have time to make it to the finish line.
There are some serious technical problems with the game as well, such as a strange and very noticeable input delay on everything, while its not really a big deal and wont hinder your gameplay experience on foot much, driving is another story and this is where it feels the most. It ruins the driving experience and makes some of the missions and cars borderline unplayable and undrivable.
Bugged missions, events that fail to trigger making you stuck and sometimes even having you redo the whole thing. But worst of all is the minefield bug that makes minefields disappear or impossible to interact, as if finding hidden minefields and than disarming them wasn’t enough of a chore as it was.
And than there’s the hilarious bugs that send max or his car flying and spinning through the air on slightest bump on things with an angle.
Now for the story of the game, dunno how to put this without spoiling anything so i will just say that the story was terrible for the most part, the writing was awful and if you don’t do the optional missions, the characters will still act like you did and be all strange and you are supposed to have this emotional connection to them that doesn’t exist and make you go “who the fuck is this guy even?” The story itself is really short and it artificially lengthens the game by forcing you to do all these repetitive “go here, do that” things that you already done a million times over to get your car parts or whatever, until it lets you progress further with the story.
So all in all, at first i was mind blown but than the game slowly turned into a joyless repetitive grind. The game is fun and its solid enough in general even with all the bugs and weird game design choices, but if you wanna get the most enjoyment out of this game, only do the main story missions and only do all the side quests if the main story missions forces you to do them.