Ego plays

Okay, I had some other articles I had planned to write and publish before this, but they’re going to get pushed off. Spolier – one is about D&D and the other, an introspective piece regarding the concept of ‘quality’ based on a request from a customer intrigued by my blog. That being said: Here’s today’s entry.

Mad Max, and the first impressions thereof.

Last year, I took a chance on pre-ordering a game. It was Mad Max. Now, I have zero exposure to the franchise. I missed Fury Road in theaters (as I’d expressed recently) and I generally despise Mel Gibson (again, covered)…Well, I’ll give him Braveheart. I do like that movie. So, when I saw the original gameplay videos teased at the E word last year, and to a lesser extent, this past event, my interest piqued.

With any game like this, where I don’t know what to expect, but at the same time I’m excited for its eventual release, I attempt to keep myself as pure as I possibly can before actually sinking my teeth into it. With Mad Max, it was especially difficult. It seemed to be proliferating the media. Mostly due, I’m guessing, to it’s rampant success in the box offices.

I left work yesterday, hoping that I would be lucky if the game actually made it to me before I got home. The likelihood, given past experiences, was low. However, I was fortunate that this particular situation was in the minority.

Graphics: Amazing. Breathtaking. I could throw a slew of synonyms at this game and not hesitate with any of them. The intro is live action, and sets the theme of desolation, redemption so well. It’s entirely engaging. And then, you start your game and get treated to a fast-paced, action-packed car chase, explosions and stylized violence. Cliche-ridden as that sentence was, it’s apt. The game really does start off like an exploding punch in the face.

Gameplay: I’ve only sunk about two hours into it so far, but there isn’t anything I don’t like. I mean, it’s basically a Batman game with vehicle combat and shotguns. What’s not to like? The controls are smooth, the fighting is tight. The only issue so far is I find the driving a bit off. I think everyone wants to do it like GTA and just can’t. That being said, improving your car and building your own “Magnum Opus” probably increases the competency of the driving and improves the handling with newer, better parts. Well, probably anyway.

Story: Can’t say as much of it has been developed as of yet. This is clearly a tale of redemption and pain. That much I can say with confidence. Broken and left to die, Mad Max has got a lot of work ahead of him before he’s ready to go gentle into the good night. That being said: The characters encountered even in the first five minutes are varied and cool. The dialogue between Max and Chumbucket is engaging. I mean, who would normally take anything said by a character named Chumbucket seriously, let alone enjoy it? I know I wouldn’t normally count myself among that list, but, he’s pretty awesome. The voice actor did an amazing job at selling the character. Beyond that, the choice of words is impeccable. His “old-time religion” themed delusion regarding Max and his place in the world sets him apart from the usual tutorial “lackey” that one often is met with in the beginning of any game.

Even the names are funny and fitting. The main antagonist being named “Scabrous Scrotus” is similarly funny and appropriate.

This game, thus far, is exactly what I hoped it would be. Without delving deeper, I can’t say one way or another if it will live up to it’s own ambitions, but I really can’t see how it will disappoint. It’s got just about everything it needs to push for the game of the year status that I predicted before even playing it.

– The Ego

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