Look, I'm the target audience for a Mad Max video game. My gaming tastes run towards the post-apocalyptic (obligatory shoutout to Fallout here). In film, my tastes gravitate towards the Mad Max (obligatory "21 days until Fury Road here). And when it comes to open-world sandbox games, precious few game developers know how to fill a big-ass, open space with my kind of fun (obligatory "the grappling hook in Just Cause 2 is my everything" notation here) quite as thoroughly as the folks at Avalanche Studios do. From the moment the Mad Max game was announced, I was onboard.
And yet: the trailer above. I woke up this morning to a battery of messages from friends, all of them asking what I thought of this, Mad Max's first extended gameplay trailer. The tone of these messages implied that my friends expected me to be climbing the walls with excitement ("DUDE"), and - let's be frank - that's exactly what I was expecting, as well. Finally, a good look at this thing! I brewed a pot of coffee, got comfortable, and hit "Play."
And: nope, I'm not feeling it.
My problems here are legion, but the gist of it is this: Avalanche's Mad Max looks all too familiar. The settings - the ones seen in this trailer, anyway - all look like standard-issue post-apocalyptic environments, areas that didn't make the cut in the first Borderlands. The combat looks more than a little beholden to the combat of WB Interactive's Arkham series, which would've been exciting maybe five years ago. The vehicular stuff (go here, drag a piece of scrap metal there, upgrade your Magnum Opus) looks tedious and purposefully time-filling. And, perhaps worst of all, the deep weirdness of George Miller's Mad Max series seems largely absent.
In other words: the whole thing looks uninspired. Drab, even by post-apocalyptic standards. Too tame. And it really doesn't help that this was a last-gen title that's being upgraded to current-gen. It shows.
Time will tell! I'm a big enough Mad Max fan that picking up this game has always been an inevitability (*submits day-off request for September 1st*), but man, I really wish I were more excited about the prospect of playing it. This trailer has not instilled me with confidence. I am bummed. What do you guys think?