It sits in the pile, a fine game indeed. I cannot get up, cannot plug in. Time passes, i relent, I click Rocket League again.
Mad Max, is an open world game with exciting car chases, wandering and meaty combat.
Purchased at the beginning at the year I acquired Mad Max and immediately slogged through the early story missions. I fannied around in the sand dunes, an’ bombed around in Max’s car. Much enjoyment was had. After a few days of play I didn’t return. So how did I manage to play everything else in my collection but Mad Max?
How does that happen?
Wow Mad Max looks great. That’s not a fashionable thing to say when the screenshots a brown sludge. I recall plenty of publications complaining about how it looks, but how else do you get that Mad Max look? If you love the wasteland aesthetic, this looks ideal. Mad Max is not an ugly game. It sports a nice turn of motion blur. Lovely.
Pelting around at full speed, slamming your car into structures, rival cars and humans is bloody fun. Punching someone in the face is fun. It’s a fun game. I look at the box gathering dust in the collection and I can’t imagine turning this sucker on.
I might have to hire someone to put games on for me, when I’m “not in the mood”. Soon as the pads in my hand I wont stop playing it, until I need food or a piss.
So why is this?
Lets call this the “pre-emptive time sink“.
Maybe I wont put on Mad Max because, I know I wont turn it off.
It’s like starting a tv series with 9 seasons. It is an investment of precious time.
Another factor is “repetition”.
I enjoyed Sleeping Dogs and spoke (in a monotone voice) about it at length here. The gamey elements felt a lil’ randomised. You start an enjoyable race and the AI’s a scrappy human-like mess. You smash around and cause chaos. You get into a fist-fight and your moves are varied. You feel like Bruce Lee. The environments vibrant and you can smash someone headfirst into a gong. I didn’t mind spending vast amounts of time in this world. I mean, I just made a loud gong sound with someone’s face. None of my time here felt like a waste.
The Witcher 3 is quite possibly the greatest RPG of this generation. You start a mighty quest, and on your way you notice a weeping kid, running round the corner. You give chase and your investigation lures you into a trap. Bastard kid. You fight off the bandits, pick some plants, like you do, and go to a shop to whip up some potions. You stumble across a notice board in town. Sounds like an interesting job. You talk with the lady that put the contract on the board and start tracking your pray. The hunt is on. You find yourself yawning as it’s now 2am in the morning. Bloody hell. I wish I stayed on the path and just did that main quest. Where did the time go?
With Mad Max you drive around a bit.
It’s fun, but lacking. A session of Mad Max feels like a waste of precious life force. You don’t ruefully ruffle your own hair and say to yourself, “oh you silly lad, don’t stay up this late again”. It’s not worth the bleary eyed haunted look.
You could use this exact argument with, say, Assassins Creed or that other thing you’re thinking of. Lots to do, none of it exciting.
The last niggling point is “why“.
I don’t need to save the world in every game. In fact I’m rather tired of that whole saving the world thing. Conversely building a cool car doesn’t grip me. When the main reason to play Mad Max’s story is a series of muh’ upgrades, then the whole experience is a bit Muh’. It’s enough to drag me along for the ride. It’s not enough to get me on the ride in the first place. If the fighting was special, something you can’t get from similar games, I’d turn it on. If the car stuff was jaw-dropping, I’d turn it on. If it made me laugh, if, if, if…
Mad Max does nothing unique or special.
Additional I fucking hate the side characters, piss off Chumbucket you unlikable little sod. I forget the bad guys name, no, I’m not looking it up. His name is … erm… Big-Blaster-Bob-Fleming: Warlord for hire. The story is one big shrug.
At some point I figured I’d blitz through the “story” just to finish it, I always do. I’d have a good time, but starting that journey has been strangely painful. A quick blast at Shovel Knight, or Rocket League becomes an excellent distraction from the “sweeping open-world epic world” of Mad Max and friends.
There’s a good chance I’ll pick up a similar game, such as Just Cause 3 in the coming months and become enthralled by the random explosions and acts of violence. Sorry Mad Max, I guess you’ll have to sit on the side for another 3 months. In many respects this none-review speaks louder then a “proper” review ever could.
I guessed I figured out “why” I can’t play a “repetitive” “time-sink“.
Go on… Give it your own score.