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Mad Max review

A worthy companion to this summer’s most bonkers blockbuster

The Arkham series transformed the action game canon, and now, six years after the release of Asylum, some games are still paying very direct homage. We all know Batman: Tolkien Edition, aka Shadow of Mordor, and now I’d like to introduce the next Bats wannabe: Batty Batman, aka Mad Max.

The principal ingredients to the recipe invented by Rocksteady remain unchanged: timing-dependent combat with an emphasis on flow, open environments strewn with challenges, and trophies and rewards that must be sought. Mad Max adds a dash of its own spice to the pot, creating an action-game flavour many will enjoy, even though its sensory overload won’t live particularly long in the memory.

Magnum Opus: a sweet desert ride

Those fools who thought that Furiosa undeservedly stole the show in Max’s recent cinematic outing will be disappointed to discover he’s been upstaged yet again – this time by his car.

As the opening credits close Max stumbles upon a hunchback mechanic (disconcertingly called Chumbucket) with a plan to make the Sistine Chapel of desert rides: the Magnum Opus. Constructing, and then endlessly tinkering with this four-wheeled death machine is the game’s true MO.

High-octane thrills worthy of the franchise

High-octane thrills worthy of the franchise

In the vast apocalyptic wastes a front-facing battering ram or upgraded harpoon make all the difference. Max must use the Opus to face off against other cars, but also to eradicate the static defences of the many encampments. Snipers, flamethrowers, and waterfalls of molotov cocktails stand in your way, and ridding yourself of them is exhilarating.

It’s in these high-octane engagements that Mad Max is most successful; exploding through other cars or pulling a sniper from their tower with a harpoon to the chest. Both in their visual splendour and in spirit, this half of the game is worthy of the frivolity for which the franchise is so well known.

And if you enjoy this as much as I do then you’re in luck: there’s a hell of a lot of it. The world map is gargantuan, and packed with sites of interest. The degree to which the environment scales, moving from vast vistas of desert dunes to the innards of a claustrophobic shanty town is truly impressive. However, the more time you spend on foot, the more the game’s issues make themselves known.

Lets all go to ShropshireEverybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Profile image of Justin Mahboubian-Jones Justin Mahboubian-Jones Contributor


When not earning a living as England's only Jafar look-a-like, Justin spends his time surigcally attached to a gaming PC and keeping you up to date with everything in the land of button bashing. Other specialist interests include mobile computing, VR, biofeedback, wearable tech and the perfect bowl of cereal. 

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