By Ujaan Pal Chawdhury
Movie tie-in video games were a thing a few generations back. Sadly most of these games came out as bland follow ups of their respective movies, extending their plot or completely ditched every aspect of the movies and went off the rails. The main idea here was to cash in the popularity of the movies. But a few titles like Peter Jackson's King Kong and X-Men Origins: Wolverine proved to be quite enjoyable games. Similarly a game that stands out is 2015’s Mad Max.
Although released only a few months after the release of the film Mad Max: Fury Road, the game provides a completely fresh story where we play the role of Max in his journey to reach the Plains of Silence. Along the way we meet different stronghold leaders to help, enemy factions to fight and participate in races, in the vast open wasteland. Throughout the game you will be helping out friendly characters by eliminating threat from their region by clearing enemy camps, minefields, patrolling convoys and upgrading friendly strongholds. In return these characters will help you out by providing important upgrades in reaching your goal. This makes every story and side missions worthwhile.
The gameplay here is extremely action packed. The hand-to-hand combat system is taken directly from the Arkham series. New brutal moves and finishers can be unlocked as you upgrade Max’s arsenal. Then comes the amazing vehicular-combat and customization. In the very beginning of the game you meet Chumbucket, who becomes your trusty sidekick, influenced by a brilliantly responsive AI. Chumbucket helps you throughout combat scenarios by bombarding enemies with harpoons and thunderpoons. And when it comes to vehicle customization, you have a wide array of options. You can make your car a speedy beast, a heavy tank or a mid-build vehicle. Along with designing your own Magnum Opus, you can also collect numerous cars from the three enemy factions- the War Boys, Roadkills and the Buzzards, with each faction having unique collection of cars.
With all these magnetic features there are also some drawbacks. The entire game suffers from the lack of polish. Although the voice acting and character designs of the important characters are quite decent, every now and then you will notice the same character model being reused for many minor NPCs. Also the combat lacks the fluidity of the Arkham games. Often you will hit the parry button to counter an enemy attack, only to see that the enemy was way out of range and you just broke your combo for no reason. It is evident that the Mad Max franchise is set in a post-apocalyptic desert, but the vast open world might seem empty sometimes.
However, the game still remains a healthy dose of chaos and engaging story, extending on the world of Mad Max and a great example of an underappreciated gem.