Today I have decided to write my review on the PC/Steam version of Mad Max. Let me just say that it’s a shiny looking game; I mean it, even the sand glistens.
First lets start off with the stage-setting. I liked the Road Warrior and Mad Max movies, every single one of them. Liked though, not necessarily loved. I’m a fan of post-apocalyptic things, but don’t worry, not every review will be on that type of game. That being said, I AM a fan of the wasteland games, I am NOT a fan of paying $60 for them. Now one thing I do not do is steal games, mostly because I have a million ideas of my own but zero patience to act on them. So the thought of these companies spending years creating them is remarkable, and they deserve restitution when it’s due. However, I will find steals on the marketplace. Luckily with PC gaming there are a TON of sites out there that sell overstocked Steam keys for a fraction of the price. I was able to pick up Mad Max with the little DLC packs (Ripper car body) for a fraction of the price around $20. If I would not have stumbled on the deal, I can guarantee it would not be in my Steam collection. This isn’t because I don’t think it’s worthy, it’s because there are some games that just don’t capture my interest. And when companies release 10 – 15 blockbusters a month, it’s hard to keep up, and even harder to choose priority. But nonetheless, I purchased it.
Enter the Wasteland
One thing I need to mention about my PC rig is that I use NVIDIA Surround; by this I mean that my PC runs three 28″ LCD monitors, setup horizontally on a stand, with a stretched resolution of 5760 x 1080. I LOVE this setup, I do a ton of graphic design, web programming etc. and having three monitors to drag and drop different windows to is fantastic. One problem however is that a large majority of games don’t actually intend to support it, or they don’t tailor the experience to those with 2 or more monitors. Fortunately I didn’t really have a problem with Mad Max, as you can see from this blog .gif (notice my wicked neon paint job); the game supports the resolution effectively, in fact it works great. Being able to see outsiders approaching your car is fantastic and adds to your peripheral vision, and ultimately heightens the experience within the game. The games that I have experienced that really use this peripheral vision experience are:
- Battlefield Hardline
Now I have no doubt there are many more and I hope to experience them further down the road, but those three games (and Mad Max) all seem to really capture the experience, which makes me happy that I put funds into this investment.
ARG The Harpoon Is Jammed!
Okay the harpoon that is attached to your car isn’t really jammed; however, when I first started playing with my Xbox 360 controller attached, I noticed that Chumbucket (your friendly quirky troll of a companion) wouldn’t aim the harpoon. This is a big problem, without the harpoon the car is pretty much a battering ram, unfortunately so is every other car in the game. So, I unhooked the controller and assumed it must be a little glitch, low and behold it still didn’t work. However, after a little online research I noticed it was the NVIDIA Surround setup, a few tips were to switch to 1st person mode while driving OR disable the two extra monitors. Both were kind of a pain, and 1st person mode in games like Dirt are awesome and add to the racing experience, however when I’m trying to shoot a gas tank on the back of a raider’s car, this becomes no bueno. But, that was pretty much the only glitch I had, surprisingly it was a well made game; I had mixed feelings originally when the game was installing. On one hand they created Middle-earth Shadow of Mordor which was one of my favorite Xbox One games and now PC favorites, but then again WB also just released Arkham Knight which is still undergoing bugs, and was taken off the Steam store due to bugs, I mean Steam hasn’t even taken down Day One: Garry’s Incident that says something about it.
You will have sand in every orifice.
This is an understatement. The map is quite large and barren. This caused a lot of people to complain about this game. When they think of wastelands they think of Fallout or Borderlands where there is a random toilet or car pileup every couple of feet. Not Mad Max, you could be driving for quite some time with nary a bush to grace the desert landscape. For me this was PERFECT! Yes it can get boring, and it certainly is bleak; but it’s the post-apocalyptic wasteland, there’s not supposed to be adventure around every corner; it’s supposed to be depressing, it adds to the overall environment. For perception, take a mile walk, count how many toilets you see on the street. If you see even one… I am sorry. But in reality, a wasteland will be just that, wasted space. Nothing but long horizons and empty hopes, thank God for that.
Praise to the “Angel of Combustion”
Mad Max is a well designed game, it’s not my favorite game and it’s probably not on my top 10 list. However, it’s somewhat addicting, has a little grinding to it and offers a couple days straight of entertainment value. There’s little to no story-line and that’s okay since Mel Gibson isn’t a fan of doing those anyways. The graphics are well done, the menus’ work efficiently and the controls are set up nicely. Overall it’s a good game, a fun free-roamer that mixes Twisted Metal, Uncharted and Borderlands all in one.
UPDATE: Upon the conclusion of this review I wanted to try it out again and just see if I had missed anything that stuck out. Apparently with one of the later patches they fixed the harpoon issue and therefore solved the only bug that I had experienced. So, go WB for that, plus there are added gifts in the game. So longevity.
Rent or Buy: In this case since it’s PC you’re going to have to buy it; however it’s still listed at $59.99 on Steam and in my opinion it’s not worth it, there are few games that are to me. So I would say Deal it. Look around, there are a ton of ‘Safe’ sites out there to purchase it for cheaper, or wait until a sale, Black Friday is coming up.
Alternative: I would have to say Borderlands.