Feature

Exclusive Mad Max Screens Show Off The Brutal Wasteland

by Jeff Cork on Mar 09, 2015 at 09:00 AM

We haven’t seen Mad Max in a game for a long while, which makes his return exciting enough.  Couple that with the fact that the new title is being developed by Just Cause creators Avalanche Studios, and you’ve got the makings of something special. We got to play the game for several hours during our studio visit, and you can read our impressions in the April cover story of Game Informer magazine. If you missed it, now’s your chance to see a few screenshots from the game, which cover some of its highlights.

Be sure to click the images to see them at full resolution.

The shot above shows more than just a man and his car. If you’ve watched the films, you’ll probably recognize Max’s black-leather getup. You won’t, however, recognize Max’s face or voice. He follows the antihero’s broad strokes, but Avalanche says its version of the character is essentially a reset. Take a close look at the car, too. It’s just one of a dizzying array of possible customized versions of Max’s car, which is affectionately called the Magnum Opus by the mechanic/companion who designed it. Players can tinker with a variety of the vehicle’s aspects, including ramming bumpers, tires, armor, engines, exhaust systems, and gearboxes. You can also pick one of several bodies, so you aren’t stuck with a muscle car if that’s not your thing. The car’s finish is worth a quick call out, too. Avalanche hesitates to call them paint jobs, since paint isn’t exactly commonplace in the Wasteland. Here, you can see that the car is blackened by a layer of tar, which has been etched to create the look of a street rod’s flame-inspired decorations. Sometimes you just have to make do.

Even though he spends much of his time behind the wheel, Max still has to hoof it from time to time. From our hands-on time, it’s rarely for a relaxing walk. As you clear out enemy outposts and accept other missions, you run into a variety of Wasteland scum. Here, Max is taking on a small crowd with his double-barreled shotgun. It’s certainly an effective way to remove a threat, but it’s not necessarily the most efficient tactic. Ammunition is scarce (expect to see a lot of arrows, like in the later films), which means that every frivolous shot you take could come back to haunt you later. Combat takes the center stage in this shot, but take a look at the Magnum Opus in the background. It’s another, rustier variation that players can create.

Here’s one of those situations where having shotgun ammo comes in handy. During our demo, we could only carry four shells. When enemies leap from their vehicle onto yours, you have several options. You can try to shake them off with erratic steering, but that could leave you open to attacks from other vehicles. When it’s a battle with more than one enemy car, sometimes the quickest solution is best: Blast a hole in your roof with the shotgun and watch your uninvited hitchhiker fly away. This Magnum Opus has been equipped with defensive spikes on the side, but its roof is an irresistible landing strip. Perhaps it’s time to go into the garage and rethink things.

This last image highlights yet another body for the Magnum Opus, styled after an old-school coupe. It’s spent some considerable time in the garage, as you can see. The wheels are equipped with gaping metal spikes, which spell doom for anyone who tries to ram into Max without their own set of armored tires. The most noticeable upgrade is the fire-spewing exhaust system. Perhaps this explains why Max’s mechanic companion Chumbucket is covered with scars. He was like this before we met him, but hanging out in this kind of environment can’t be good for his skin. Here, you can see canyons that line this part of the Wasteland. Mad Max’s world is home to a variety of different (and inhospitable) terrain. There are sections with sandy dunes, as well as remnants of undersea caves and volcanic vents – just to highlight a few. In short, expect a lot more than strings of boring zones with only slight variations in sand color to break up the monotony.

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