Last year, Monolith Productions? Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor redefined the open-world action-adventure by fusing exploration, intense combat and the innovative Nemesis System, which delivered a vendetta with every slain Uruk.
For those who love the potential of that concept but can?t stand to have their games filled with dwarves, elves, Uruks and other Lord of the Rings fantasy favorites, Avalanche Studios has created a chest-pounding equivalent.
That’s not to say that Mad Max is a blatant ripoff of Shadow of Mordor (for one thing, an equivalent of the Nemesis system isn’t confirmed here), but the game definitely takes what has worked in other open-world, action-adventure titles and adds a special, post-apocalyptic twist straight from the wasteland.
It features the scowl made famous by Mel Gibson back in the ’80s and resurrected by Tom Hardy in the recently released reboot, Fury Road. More importantly, it brings authentic attitude to the experience. And nowhere is that more apparent than when Max hops in one of his makeshift vehicles.
Car combat is integral to any Mad Max experience. This game takes a cue from Mordor‘s intense mounted-caragor combat, though here you’re dealing with a rubber-burning hunk of metal that can unleash destruction in seconds.
?You have all sorts of awesome weapons available in car combat,? said QA outsourcing supervisor, Justin Parker. ?There’s the Thunderpoon, which is the most powerful and delivers a huge blast, but the regular harpoon can pull out enemy drivers from the windshield, take out bumpers and rip their wheels off. There’s a ton of diversity in Max’s arsenal.?
It’s during the down-and-dirty, hand-to-hand combat, however, that players will feel the most striking Mordor connection. Max can unleash a fury of fists as easily as Mordor‘s Talion lets loose a string of deadly sword strikes. This means plenty of players will easily slide into the action here; the combat is so intuitive that even those who’ve never touched Mordor will quickly grasp what makes Mad Max tick.
Fans of Mad Max may be disappointed that the game isn’t directly tied to Gibson’s classic movies or Fury Road. ?It’s all-new characters, built from the ground up, other than Max,? Parker said. ?Some locations will be familiar, but it’s really a new take on the Mad Max universe.?
However, as Fury Road demonstrated, a different vision of George Miller’s classic wasteland isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Plus, it allows Avalanche Studios to craft their own take on the franchise without worrying about whether they can match the sepia-tinged spectacle seen on the silver screen. And hey, Avalanche Studios has already delivered one of the best open-world experiences in gaming with the sublime Just Cause series, so they?ve got a track record you can trust.
Mad Max is currently scheduled for a Sept. 1 release on Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC.