Paint My Name In Blood – Mad Max Review Redux

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Alright fellow Wastelanders, now that I have finished Mad Max in all its glory, it’s time to conclude my earlier review and give a more informed opinion. My Xbox needs a rest.

My original Mad Max post was very positive, but also very early so let’s take a more balanced look at a game which seems to be getting mixed reviews across the board.

I had fun with this game. Was it the Mad Max game I wanted? Not necessarily. The story was surprisingly repetitive.  Every single warlord whether it be Jeet, Gutgash or PinkEye all want  the exact same thing. Your quest is always the same; lower the threat in their territory.

One can do this by taking down scarecrows (towers erected by Scrotus, the evil leader, as symbols of his power), yanking down sniper towers, taking on enemy camps, or wrecking convoys. The convoys are fun as shit to destroy. Nothing makes you feel more badass than driving away from fiery carnage you just brought down. However, all these things get boring because you have to do them over and over.

He’s A Nice Boy

Max has always been a reluctant hero. Here’s somebody who starts off a loner whose only desire is to keep moving, and surviving, but always ends up helping others.

Whether it be the refinery tribe from The Road Warrior, the Lost Tribe from Beyond Thunderdome, or Fury Road’s Furiosa and the Five Wives, Max always ends up helping.

This is a key point at which game failed. At one point you meet Hope, the concubine of the sadistic StankGum (Scrotus’ right hand man).  You strike a deal with her to get a V8 engine in return for finding her daughter Glory, but you’re not given enough time to develop any kind of empathy with either of them.

Opportunity Missed

I didn’t give a shit about Hope, and I certainly didn’t give a shit about her missing daughter. Hope herself has no personality, no purpose.  She’s just another hot game girl to serving as a love interest for Max, which is incredibly stupid.

Max does not have love interests. He lost his family. He is broken. You can’t just throw another potential family at him, and expect it to gel. This is an especially poor choice because it draws the comparison to the brilliant Furiosa from Fury Road, and fails miserably.

Hope just becomes another stereotypical female character who’s body is more important than her toughness, grit or brains, and the game failed to give her ANY of those.

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This Is A Driving Game After All

Let’s talk cars, the crux of any Mad Max game or movie, The car combat is great. Using the harpoon to dismantle a baddie’s car, and rip his ass out of the drivers seat is amazing/hilarious, and the amount of carnage one can cause simply with their vehicle is immense.

You truly feel like Max when deep in a vehicular battle. The rush one gets from cars blowing up around you is incredible, and once you upgrade your car the roar of your engine might as well the voice of the Reaper himself. The vehicular combat is easily the highlight of this game, and obviously what the developers spent the most time perfecting. Your vehicle has huge upgradability.

You can customize your vehicle with everything from engines, to spikes, to paint. Everyone is different therefore each person’s vehicle will also be different. Some people will create a War Machine whilst others will focus on speed and handling, and all these choices have consequences. More speed means worse handling, more armor means less speed, etc. You must be judicious.

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Mad Max – Infuriating Road

The downside of the vehicles in Mad Max is that no matter what upgrades you put on it, the handling will always be garbage.  This fact makes the racing aspects of this game horribly frustrating. Luckily, there is only one race that you have to do, and it is ridiculously infuriating. Not only does the handling suck, but if you’re one of those gamers like me who does only a handful of story missions early on, and then run around for hours and hours collecting resources to get upgrades, and make a beast of a machine early you will be disappointed.

In order to win this race you will actually have to de-power your vehicle! You need a specific set of upgrades in order to participate in it (even if your current upgrades have surpassed the ones required) and yes, it’s part of the story so it’s required. THAT’S NOT EVEN THE WORST PART. The worst aspect is the handling, you’ll die far more often from running into shit than you will in combat with other vehicles. So I hope you enjoy Russian dash cam footage, because you’ll be living it.

 Mad Max Infuriating Road

      Mad Max
   Infuriating Road

Ground Mechanics

Now that we have the car shit out of the way lets get to the ground mechanics, I’m sad to report it is a bit clunky and the parry sometimes just doesn’t work. Sometimes after you get hit once it’s difficult to recover, and Max ends up just getting continually slammed until he dies.

Another thing about the general mechanics of the game that absolutely infuriated me, was the fact that I couldn’t move with my shotgun drawn. The player cannot move and fire, which as we all know is bullshit! Who the hell stands still and shoots in combat?!?!?!?!

This game desperately needs the ability to climb. Traversing the wasteland without being able to climb sometimes made exploration a pain in the ass.  I was taking down a camp and needed to get to another location. I could see where I needed to go but couldn’t get there. Why you ask? Because there was a fucking guard rail in the way.  Mad Max. Great driver, great fighter, apocalypse survivor… stopped by a fucking guard rail.

Max’s ability to jump is comically pathetic, it’s more like a hop than a jump, he can’t jump forward, or jump hurdles or jump over  obstacles.

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Infuriating And Boring?

Now, some people have complained about this game being boring, and to an extent it is, but what do you think the post apocalyptic world would be like? Action around every corner? No.

A large percentage of the Earth’s population is dead. I think it’s safe to say theres a whole lot of down time so I enjoyed that.

Overall I don’t think this is the definitive Mad Max game, but the world is beautiful and the car combat is wonderful, so Avalanche Studios got the basics right. With a little polishing, a better, more engaging story, and a little mission diversity and they might have a slam dunk. This game is alright, and I hope it sells enough copies for Avalanche to do another and work out the kinks.

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