Mad Max

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JaySevenZero
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Mad Max

Post by JaySevenZero » December 24th, 2016, 11:09 am

Here is where you can leave your thoughts regarding the Mad Max for possible inclusion in the podcast when it's recorded.
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deacon05oc
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Re: Mad Max

Post by deacon05oc » February 7th, 2017, 7:50 pm

Mad Max is a gem of an open world. Not just open world games, but in its vastness and emptiness, it is one of the best video games that I have inhabited. I'n 2015 I was a newcomer to Mad Max. I had never seen any of George Miller's films and I really wanted to see Fury Road. I did and loved it. Not just the movie, but the universe Miller created. So I was excited to hear that a game was being developed. Here was my chance to play in this world. There was one problem though, the game was to be released on the same day as Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. I easily picked the Kojima game as I knew I wanted to complete the Metal Gear saga. The wasteland would have to wait. I ended up regretting this as MGS 5 wasn't what I expected it to be.

I finally got Mad Max on Black Friday 2016. I finally have been able to participate in this visually stunning world. I love exploring structures and locations to find history relics of the past. Seeing something like a simple note saying phones have been down or a photo explaining to a person who someone in their family is explains so much with so little. Driving across the "sea" to see the remains of a cruise ship is quite the spectacle. The creative team did a fantastic job with environmental storytelling. The game's plot didn't really matter to me, the story of the world was more important and I find that unique.

There may be 4 Mad Max films, but as I played the game I imagined I was playing Max in more movies as I helped the various strongholds clear the threats around them. Since there are so many ways of completing these objectives, it never felt repetitive to me. Typically, I know I won't complete 100% of an open world game, but I am still working on this. The last time I wanted to finish things in the open world, was Assassin's Creed 2.

Mad Max isn't the best game of It's kind. But I do feel it's a special game that makes up for it pretty standard gameplay mechanics by making you forget they are there. You just focus on helping people just like The Road Warrior and surviving in a hostile world while you seek the Plains of Silence.

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Yacobg42
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Re: Mad Max

Post by Yacobg42 » April 1st, 2017, 3:23 pm

Mad Max may be the perfect podcast game. The concept of this is worth a discussion in its own right- is a game truly good if you prefer to play it with people blabbering on in the background?- but personally, when I want to really just zone out for a while, podcasts and games are my go-to.

Mad Max excels in this combo. It has some brilliant eye candy, with one of the most striking desert worlds I've seen. The lighting, the gentle rolls of the dunes, and that huge open sky all contribute to a world that feels like Max's. It's an absolute triumph of art direction. And when those sandstorms roll in...whew.

The game doesn't have a lot of depth. This isn't necessarily a bad thing- I enjoyed punching my 700th baddie as much as I enjoyed punching my first, but was doing so with essentially the same skills each time. There's not the flexibility of the arkham games here, so even though things like the shotgun and shivs are fun, I still essentially clobbered my way through most fights. I'm sure other people will have more to say on the driving- I'll just say that switching to first person and taking on a caravan was almost as thrilling as it was inconvenient.

Mad Max isn't an "important" game. It won't go down in the annals of history, or be remembered for any particularly revolutionary mechanics or innovations. What it is, is just some pure, distilled fun. Max is a simple man, and his world doesn't need complexity to feel interesting. Plus, if he had the option to listen to Sound of Play while sliding around the dunes, I'm sure he would too.

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macstat
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Re: Mad Max

Post by macstat » April 13th, 2017, 6:40 am

Mad Max was arguably one of biggest sleepers of 2015, especially with Avalanche releasing Just Cause 3 months later. With more hyped competition and overall opinion on quality of licensed games no one expected Mad Max to be mediocre at best.

Ill start with saying that in some aspects MM is still very much a typical mediocre game. For example on-foot combat is very standard copy of batman-like counter mechanics. Also open world is filled with a bunch of chores, towers to climb (in form of baloons) so there's a lot of familiar things that dont try to excel in any way.

But there are some things that make this game stand out in the end. First of all vehicular combat is really great, and its coming out from person who doesnt play racing games at all. Your car moves very smoothly, everything is well animated and is responsive the way it should feel. Ramming your oponents, shooting drivers through a window or trying to rip away their armor or wheels feels very satisfying and combat tempo is really great.
World design is also something that really impressed me. When i heard this game is going to be all deserts i though that were gonna get boring copy-paste zones with little else going on. I was so wrong. Creativity of world designers was through the roof. We have huge dunes like Sahara, he have rocky canyons like in grand canyon, we have tar pits (like in movie with mud and stuff), we have colorful sulfur hot springs. All looks really well done, animation is spot on. Sand launches from underneath your tires, you see huge dust could where enemy convoy is, and seeing sand storm going your way (and finally hitting you) was really one of tensest moments. They really did a good in creating atmosphere.
Story was also good. Its not Citizen Kane, but voice acting (especially chumbucket) is really good, and characters are interesting enough to keep me going.

There's one more thing, that photo mode is just amazing. Its so powerful. You basically pause game at any point and then you can rotate, zoom in/out, place filters on basically any scene you can imagine. I wish all games had things like that.

3-word review: Good Boy Dinky-D
"A man who never eats pork bun is NEVER a whole man" - Pork buns vendor

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ThirdDrawing
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Re: Our next but one podcast recording (27.4.17) Mad Max

Post by ThirdDrawing » April 17th, 2017, 2:29 pm

I don't play a ton of open world games like this but I found this on sale two weeks after it was out and thought, "Why not?"

Mad Max is a quintessential "B" game. It's not as stylish as blockbuster games, it's not as polished as "Triple A" games, but it does what it does well. The fighting mechanics are solid, the driving is fun and it's very pretty.

However, I did get hit by the map glitch, which was frustrating. There were a couple of races I found infuriating. And the last boss was a tad too easy for my taste.

Despite those hiccoughs, I genuinely enjoyed my time with it. It's a bit of an unpolished gem. There's real potential in this series with a sequel, and I'd rather play that than another Assassin's Creed.

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Re: Our next-but-one podcast recording (29.4.17) Mad Max

Post by PapaJupe13 » April 20th, 2017, 2:31 pm

And now for a different take...

In baseball, there is a term called a "meatball". A meatball is perfect pitch right down the middle that is easily hit for a home run.
Mad Max should have been a meatball.
Instead it is the laziest game I have ever played in my life. They basically took the Assassin's Creed/Mordor/Arkham model and slapped a coat of Mad Max-ish paint on it. All games can feel repetitive, but it is compounded with Mad max by the fact that we have already done all this over and over before countless times in better games.
The Mad Max series has always been my favorite series of movies. Since I was a kid. The license deserves so much better than a lazy remake of superior games. It deserved to be buried by MGSV.

My 3 word review would be Lazy, lazy, lazy.

Though I am thinking of firing it up again before you podcast airs. Maybe so much time away from it and adjusted expectations will change my view of it. Doubt it, but maybe.

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Re: Our next-but-one podcast recording (29.4.17) Mad Max

Post by MarkHoog » April 24th, 2017, 3:34 pm

So I bought this the week it came out. Not because I'm such a huge fan of Mad Max or open world games, but because a friend of mine kept going on about it and at one point I wanted to experience at least some bits of it myself instead of having it all spelled out to me. What followed were 50 hours of enjoyment, fittingly spent during a stretch of those broody hot late summer nights.

Yes, Mad Max can be woefully repetitive, its story is about as thin as a sheet of paper and the ways of unlocking areas and/or missions feel silly and outdated ("you need level 3 tires before you can try and rescue this person in grave danger so go do a bunch of side missions first.") Yet, I terribly enjoyed clearing enemy camps in Arkham-style fashion, stringing melee combos together and blowing up fuel supplies. I loved getting into car chases in first person, trying hard to avoid the exploding cars soaring past me left and right. And when all the punch-and-crunch violence got a bit overwhelming, I'd just stand somewhere pretty and fool about with the photo mode.

No, Mad Max might not be a masterpiece, but I'll remember this game for its meaty sound design, desolate vistas and explosive action. Also, and it's a bit tragic to add this as a plus, it ran like an abosulate charm on my pc at release. Smooth performance, no bugs in sight - it's one of the best pc ports I've ever played (take notes, Arkham Knight and Just Cause 3!)

Oh, by the way, my mate never finished the game.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (29.4.17) Mad Max

Post by Chopper » April 27th, 2017, 10:09 am

While recognising that the actual gameplay could be pedestrian at times, I really enjoyed Mad Max. With all these modern cookie cutter open worlds (towers, strongholds, mini games, map icons), I was struck by the thought that the environment artists are now the stars of the show. Mad Max really nailed the feel of the franchise, and the detailed and beautiful world was fantastic.

Three word review: Dog was underutilised.

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DeadpoolNegative
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Re: Our next podcast recording (29.4.17) Mad Max

Post by DeadpoolNegative » April 28th, 2017, 6:36 am

Mad Max has always been one of my favorite franchises. I remember renting Beyond Thunderdome first, because it was PG-13, and being thrilled by it, but being AMAZED years later when I finally saw The Road Warrior. I've always been impressed with the visceral experience George Miller puts on screen, using practical effects.

I liked the movies so much I even bought the NES Mad Max. That game was... well, let's just say their take on the Interceptor was nice looking for its time.

25 years later, Avalanche Studios has brought us their own take on Mad Max. While I can't say I'm a huge fan of the Just Cause series, I do get a kick out of their ambition and the many ways the player can scramble across the map causing chaos. It's a game series that always comes shy of being really fantastic. Chaos is not the order of the day in Mad Max- the world has already been destroyed and flattened by war and environmental disaster. Avalanche took to heart the bleak outlook of the films and set out to created a world just as vast as the playgrounds of Rico Rodriguez but its vastness is intimidating, alienating, yet at times also beautiful.

The world of the Mad Max game is almost oppressively bleak, probably the bleakest entry in the franchise since the original film. The relic collectible-photographs telling bits and bobs of the collapse of civilization at different points in time- is effective but it also can be a bit much. The very act of driving around the world, looking for small signs of life and settlements with only the madman Chumbucket to keep you company gave me a strange, isolated feeling. If we're simply judging on mood Avalanche really knocks it out of the park.

However, Mad Max falls in to many common traps that have befallen open world games in recent years. In terms of how the world is structured it feels a lot more like an Assassin's Creed game than Just Cause. Our hero drives around looking for waypoints to reveal more things to go to on the map. Instead of synch points in this game we have the hot air balloons. And like Assassin's Creed we can invest in structures for greater benefits, in this case the outposts. But also like an Assassin's Creed game there is little motivation to do the side missions outside of those necessary to progressing the story. Yes, you can build up outposts to fix and fuel your car and replenish your health and earn scrap, but you only really need to build up one of these outposts and that will be enough to get you through the game. There are some effective side missions, but just as many that feel like busywork. Eventually, like a weaker Assassin's Creed game, the points on the map all blur into a glob of stuff you have to do... but only if you feel like it. Then why are they there?

Combat is one of the better aspects of the game, though not perfect. I appreciated the Arkham style combat, and how I had to be very patient with timing my strikes and counters, though multiple counters was something I never quite got the hang of. I loved the kickback of the shotgun attack and the amazing crunch of the weaponry and fury attacks. It can be extremely satisfying.

Car combat was even better, though there didn't seem to be quite enough of it. Once you get the hang of the Harpoon yanking off the side door of an opposing vehicle, THEN yanking out the driver is immensely satisfying, as is using it when assaulting strongholds. The sniper battles can be surprisingly tense too.

I'm pretty down on the game's story, though it has some merits. While I appreciate the pared down "Max just wants his car back" plot, he often feels too much like a supporting player in his own story. Which makes sense when you're watching the films but feels off when you're actually playing him. There are some embarrassingly cliched elements- Hope and Glory are well acted characters but their entire arc is painfully predictable and just makes Max as a character look foolish. Pacing, which can be deadly in open world games if done wrong, can be really good then the story will just slow down for a few pointless digressions. so it's a mixed bag there. And speaking of pacing, why do I have to see the same cut scene animations every time Max fills a gas tank or his bottle of water?

One of the best parts of the story, however, is Chumbucket, the sad, mad hunchback who "befriends" Max and sees him as the man to drive his Magnum Opus. Chumbucket's idolization of Max is a source of humor and tragedy. Which makes the ending of the game all the more brutal. The only way Max can truly destroy Scrotus is by ramming his truck with the Opus. What the game does- switching for the only time in the game to first person view to show Chumbucket begging the player NOT to destroy his life's work- but of course, the only way to beat the game is to push down on that right trigger. It stuck with me for quite a while.

IT may sound like I'm down on Mad Max and while I was playing it to write this post I did feel myself alternately thrilled and annoyed. But I think in the end I was more thrilled than annoyed since I've spent over 32 hours with good old Chumbucket. And I think that's the issue: There's so much that's good in the Mad Max game, and so much that's tiring, I can just see maybe a few more months in development or just some tighter editing, and we could have had a truly great open world experience. In any case, however, I do recommend it, with reservations.

--Dan Coyle

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GoodShrewsbury
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Re: Our next podcast recording (29.4.17) Mad Max

Post by GoodShrewsbury » April 28th, 2017, 10:24 pm

I’m a casual fan of both open-world games and Mad Max, I really like both but definitely not a raving fan of either. So, going into Mad Max I expected to enjoy it but not be blown away by it, and that’s exactly what happened. There were elements that I thought were really well done. Car combat was exciting, especially the convoy encounters, and it reminded me of the funner parts of Full Auto 2 for the PS3. In fact, car combat may have been my favorite gameplay aspect. Exploration in the open-world Avalanche designed was breathtaking. I’ve never seen a desert in a video game this diverse and well-crafted. There are the inevitable comparisons with MGSV’s open-world desert, and for me Mad Max put it to shame. From the continental shelf to the inland desert to the lovely skybox I marveled at the environmental design of Mad Max’s world. Painted over the level design was a fantastic, believable post-apocalyptic aesthetic. Drinking in the spectacle of Top Dog and NPC bases was simply awesome. The size and scale of a deteriorating drill rig, a ruined wind farm, a battered nuclear cooling silo, or a large, stranded tanker, all of which house a powerful leader in this forsaken world, was really impressive design. I paused dozens of times traversing the world to enter photo mode, or just marinate in a sunset, or stare at the bellowing smoke of Gastown on the horizon. I truly think it’s one of the prettiest open-worlds I’ve seen.

Apart from the general design motif of the game, most other elements were merely adequate. When I could tear myself away from gorgeous vistas and actually play the game I generally enjoyed it, but never found myself screaming in elation at combat encounters. I had fun with the “Arkham-lite” combat, and appreciated the variety of enemy types amongst the grunts. However, the larger enemies, including the Top Dog boss battles, were brutally repetitive. On the Shadow of Mordor show, Karl said Mad Max would have benefitted from the Nemesis system and I couldn’t agree more. If this game world was littered with a spectrum of procedurally generated mini-bosses, a la Mordor, I think Mad Max would be up there as absolute classic. I enjoyed Shadow of Mordor, but I preferred Mad Max in almost every way other than the throw away boss battles, so having unique faction bosses held up in their own fortresses would have been a blast to tackle as Max.

As far as story goes, I love a great story in games and that was not in Mad Max. However, I felt it was a pretty fitting, very serviceable, story as far as a Mad Max experience goes. I really enjoyed the collectible photos you could find strewn about the game world because unlike so many other games they were a narrative device that told dozens of micro-stories which helped paint a rough narrative of the downfall of Max’s civilization. I enjoyed these small bits of story just as much as the main story. With that said, I think the NPCs were interesting and well voice-acted. Personally, I thought Chumbucket was great. For me, the story was simply a device to allow the player to exist and affect this bleak world through an iconic character in fun ways. And it totally worked for me.

Three word review: Never Forget Chum

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