Wit­ness This

avalanche’s new­est open world gets wasted by war Boys

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

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.

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