E3 2013: Mad Max

June 13, 2013

The classic Aussie film franchise Mad Max is returning to the world of video games for the first time since the NES era. We took a look at the new title at E3, and it’s looking like it’ll live up to the legend.

The version on show at E3 is a pre-alpha, so it’s still fairly rough around the edges, especially in the graphics department. The game will be an open-world single-player experience, not unlike games such as Fallout and Borderlands, both of which borrow heavily from the Mad Max concept to begin with.

There will be over fifty different kinds of vehicles to drive, and the game has a heavy focus on vehicle-based combat. Max himself will be able to execute enemies who try to enter his vehicle as he drives. The game also has a bullet-time mechanic that allows for targeting of individual parts of enemy cars, such as their tyres or fuel tanks.

The demo we saw involved driving through a large desert area with regular bandit attacks. Vehicles react naturally to the dynamic terrain, right down to the suspension working to keep the car stable. All the cars can be upgraded via parts scavenged from vanquished opponents and other parts of the desert.

The combat is quite brutal, with Max using his shotgun and close range for maximum damage. He can also take advantage of objects in the environment to take enemies out. It’s not all shooting and beating, however, as there will be some brief stealth sections, though developers Avalanche Studios were quick to note that this is not a major part of the game.

For a film that’s been so influential on the video game scene— pretty much any post-apocalyptic setting owes something to Mad Max— it’s amazing to think that it’s taken this long for a game based on it to appear.

Mad Max will be available in 2014 for PS3, PS4, XBox 360, XBox One and PC.

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