avalanche’s newest open world gets wasted by war Boys
The folk at Swedish game studio avalanche are no stranger to open worlds, having put together their own Just Cause franchise to critical aplomb. But with its upcoming foray into the wasteland of Mad Max: Fury Road, the proposition of taking on someone else’s IP is very different.
“the key is to make it a game catered to gamers,” says Christofer Sundberg, the studio’s co- founder. “You need to have that mindset, and then add that layer of what the fans really want on top of that. obviously a lot of car combat, and that’s been the biggest hook for this game, but they also want a wasteland experience.”
with some hands- on time under our belts we can attest to this wider world sense filtering through loud and clear, from the need to source water to keep max’s health bar topped up, to scrounging tins of dog food for sustenance.
then there are those car fights. Convoys rumble around the expansive open world which you can identify from far off thanks to the atmospheric dust clouds they churn up. max feels lumbering on foot but get him into his customisable magnum opus car and he’s more than capable. You can harpoon enemy vehicles, peeling off armour like an oily onion before taking out the squishy war Boys within with some well placed slow motion shotgun blasts. those war Boys, by the way, will clamber onto your car and actively try to get at you, so preparing for a vehicle showdown with defensive spike placements and the like is essential.
Back to that on- foot combat, though. it appears as though avalanche is taking inspiration directly from another tie- in under the warner Bros publishing umbrella. Start flinging fists around and it’s impossible not to think of Batman: Arkham Asylum and its sequels. the emphasis is on counter attack timings, direction and meaty impacts over complexity or mechanical mastery.
“for us it was important to develop a good melee system that could evolve over time,” says Sundberg.
“in this day and age when games need to cater to such a wide audience and where there are also more casual players... i mean i’m not particularly interested in melee games. i don’t feel that need to be better. for me the world is what’s interesting. So we needed to develop a system that could cater to players like me.”
Mad Max rides historic on PS4, Xbox One and PC from 4 September.