10 Things Mad Max: Fury Road Shares With The Upcoming Game
Mad Max: Fury Road released last weekend to rave reviews. George Miller's fourth Mad Max film firmly grabs viewers, straps them to the front of the raging cinematic convoy, and doesn't relent until the two nonstop, high-octane hours pass. Avalanche Studios, the team behind the Just Cause series, is currently developing a Mad Max game due out for Xbox One, PS4, and PC September 1. While those developers with Miller early on about ideas for the game's world, Avalanche says it's absolutely not a game-version of Fury Road. While we agree with that based on what we've seen and played (check out our exclusive cover story from earlier this year), we noticed several interesting key areas where the incredible film overlaps with the upcoming game.
Article by Tim Turi and Jeff Cork
Warning: This article assumes that you've already watched Mad Max: Fury Road or that you don't care about spoilers! Seriously, go watch that movie.
Gastown, the Petrol Paradise
One of the biggest, most surprising commonalities between Fury Road and the Mad Max game plays a big role in each. We first saw Gastown when we played Mad Max at Avalanche's Stockholm, Sweden office. The huge oil refinery settlement looks almost the same in both, belching flames into the sky from its huge stacks and supplying plentiful gasoline to the area. Gastown is called out as a destination early in Fury Road, but some exciting surprises go down when the convoy veers off course. In the Mad Max game, we actually arrive at Gastown and see the interior. It's the home of big badguy Scabrous Scrotus, houses a Thunderdome-like battle arena, and hosts a race Max needs to win a V8 engine. Gastown exists as little more than a diversion in Fury Road, so it's exciting that'll we'll get to see more of it in the upcoming game.
Thundersticks, the Spears That Go Boom
We've known that the loonies of Fury Road wield explosive-strapped spears since the earliest trailers for the film. Immortan Joe's grease-striped War Boys love to chuck these projectiles at the vehicles of their enemies, usually causing them to flip out of control as a chain of explosions sends metal flying. They're not explicitly called Thundersticks in Fury Road, but that's the name they're given in the world of Avalanche's game. Enemies can wield these devastating weapons in battle, but so can Max. Thundersticks come in handy for detonating far-off fuel reservoirs or turning a War Boy into pulpy goo.
Max can ram and shotgun blast enemy vehicles to bits in the upcoming game, but his mounted harpoon launcher makes things a little personal. Manned by his hunchbacked mechanic assistant, Chumbucket, Max can tether onto other cars to tear of bits of protective armor and wheels or just make sure they don't speed off. The War Boys of Fury Road employ these methods to slow down Max and Imperiosa's big rig, with multiple vehicles latching onto the truck as our hero attempts to disconnect them. A harpoon spear even plays a pivotal role in taking out the nasty Immortan Joe at the film's jaw-dropping climax.
The Gnarly, Twisted Fate of the Interceptor
Max's iconic black-on-black Interceptor doesn't fare well at the beginnings of both Fury Road and Avalanche's game. In the game, Max loses the Interceptor to a pack of War Boys who strip down the four-wheeled beauty for parts, forcing him to pursue the creation of a new car: the Magnum Opus. Max crashes the Interceptor in the opening of Fury Road, presumably to never be seen again after its taken by Immortan Joe's men. Yet lo and behold, the Interceptor reappears during the film's climactic final chase, being driven by an enemy no less. But before Max manages to reclaim he prized vehicle, it gets squished between twin semis and is torn to scrap under the wheels. Good night, sweet stead.
Lightning-filled Sandstorms from Hell
The brutal raiders driving across the open desert world of Avalanche's game aren't the only threats. Huge sandstorms can kick up out of nowhere, an ominous cloud of dust, flying metal shards, and lightning that envelops Max's car. The game's open world is surrounded by an endless expanse called The Big Nothing, which is rocked by even huger versions of these deadly sandstorms. Max's car can be instantly blown to bits if he's not careful about the frequent lightning strikes. Max and his pursuers are forced to drive through a similar storm in Fury Road, with even more brutal weather. The tornado-like conditions pull heavy vehicles off the road and tosses them into the sky like toys as lightning cracks everywhere. The film's representation of this massive natural phenomenon also inconveniences its victims with low visibility, forcing some to rely on the fleeting illumination of lightning to find their way.
Up next: Dead children and the corrosive effects of the post-apocalypse...
Max Had a Daughter
During our time with the game, we spied a photo showing a woman and a young girl. It was in Max's Interceptor before things went pear-shaped, and it was clear that it held sentimental value for him. In Fury Road, we see repeated shots of his daughter. At first, she's a horrifying reminder of his past, and Max is bombarded with extremely brief flashes of her getting hit by a truck – a nod to the original Mad Max. Later, she becomes a more benevolent presence, guiding him toward his allies and helping him express what remains of his dwindling humanity through an act of sacrifice. We still have a lot to learn about Avalanche's interpretation of Max's family, including their fate. It seems likely that they met a similarly awful end.
The Plains of Silence Beckon
In the game, the Plains of Silence are Max's initial motivation for getting involved with Chumbucket, Scabrous Scrotus, and all of the other Wasteland threats. This legendary place is where the character thinks he can find the peace he yearns for, but getting there is going to be quite the challenge. After all, his car is wrecked and he has to drive through the unwelcoming gates of Gastown to get there. The plains are mentioned in the movie, but the reference is vague. As Furiosa and the rest of the crew gaze at the night sky, she talks about a passing satellite and makes mention of the Plains of Silence. Perhaps it was a term that director George Miller mentioned to Avalanche, and they liked the sound of it enough to build a story around it.
War Boys are Primed for Action
The War Boys are a constant threat in both Fury Road and the game. Think of them as young men with a short lifespan and a hunger for martyrdom. They're virtually identical in both formats, with a propensity toward scarification, chalky white bodies, and blacked-out raccoon masks. Fury Road's Immortan Joe has a seemingly unending supply of the foot soldiers in his Citadel base, which makes them perfect disposable warriors. There are multicolored variants in the game, but the black-on-white originals are a major part of Scabrous Scrotus' forces, too.
Those Cars Sure Look Familiar
Watching Fury Road felt like getting a flashback to our game demo. It's definitely not a chicken-or-egg scenario, since George Miller steered the top-level visual design for the game, and Avalanche took the film's lead in many ways. One of the most prominent similarities is in the vehicle designs. There's one shot in the film that looks almost exactly like our cover image (but in reverse), with the War Boys attacking Furiosa's truck from the comfort of Max's Interceptor. Even the lower-tiered cars and trucks share the same aesthetic. The Buzzards are a faction in the movie that outfits their cars with porcupine-like spikes. If you liked watching them crash and burn, you'll be able to do it yourself in the game. Max can also customize his Magnum Opus car to look like classic hot rods and other styles seen in Fury Road. Taking it one step further, players can customize the car with things like flamethrowers and wheel-shredding spikes, just like the movie.
Mad Max Maladies
People barely have enough to drink in the Wasteland, so it's no surprise that health-care is on the primitive side of things in Mad Max's world. Whether you're watching Fury Road or playing the game, you'll notice that the most prominent people you encounter (as friends or adversaries) are suffering from various tumors, burns, or respiratory issues. Both Immortan Joe and Scabrous Scrotus are outfitted with breathing apparatuses that give them a supply of fresh oxygen. Looking at the sorry states of their bodies, it seems less like a luxury and more of a necessity. Both leaders have used the poisonous environments to their benefit. If you have a populace with nothing to live for, it's easier to shape their will and have them do much of the dirty work on your behalf. It's a grim place, this Wasteland.
Mad Max is nothing without his car. Read more about the game's vehicular combat and customizing The Magnum Opus. For even more on Mad Max, click on the banner below to enter our hub of exclusive content that will be updated throughout the month.