After the many years in turmoil and "production hell", we finally saw Mad Max rear his head once more in 2010, as we heard that location scouting was underway. In the months that followed, our information on Mad Max grew and grew piece by piece. Finally, we received the word we'd waiting for! Tom Hardy was indeed going to play Max. He confirmed the news that he'd be playing the titular character in the film on Jonathan Ross' show, therefore putting the rumours of Mel Gibson's return to rest.
So [Mad Max: Fury Road](movie:41445) is well on the way with a release date of May 15th, then of course we have the game, with the very original title of...Mad Max. Now, normally I wouldn't be someone to give video game movie tie-ins (well it's kind of a tie-in but not really) any credence what so ever. But in saying that, I can't ignore the blissful joy that Avalanche Studios has given me in the past with the ridiculous Just Cause games (though mostly Just Cause 2)!
Let's examine the films and this gaming studio as two separate entities in order to further understand the potential for both Mad Max and Mad Max: Fury Road!
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Mad Max: Fury Road & The Original Trilogy
If we examine George Miller's debut film from 1979, we can observe some of the chore elements that may actually benefit a studio like Avalanche in terms of Just Cause 2-like gameplay. The film was most certainly dark at times, though it had a bizarre kind of cult-like sensibility, in that the film occasionally mocked its own genre. It was certainly a self-parodying exercise, one that worked remarkably well and made an overnight star of Mel Gibson.
Mad Max is an ultraviolent and rather insane post-apocalyptic title, that has inspired filmmakers the world over. Though what's even more impressive about the series, is how Miller actually improved upon its formula in Mad Max 2. The sequel is a glorious exercise in intelligent popular filmmaking.
The chase scenes are a consistent delight, demonstrating a crew of extreme talent. The editing is compact, the cinematography is sublime and Miller's overall orchestration of plot, character and car chase scenes makes you wonder about why he even considered to move away from this genre with the likes of Babe: Pig in the City.
Even down to the set design and over-the-top acting style, Mad Max 2 really is a delight. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdrome wasn't exactly a disappointment, but attached to the two films before it, it's similar to the Alien 3 situation, though the latter is ten times worse. Therefore, where does Mad Max: Fury Road stand? You really can't go by a trailer; trailers lie, end of story.
What I'm interested in, is whether Miller is prepared to engage with his filmmaking roots once more. Is he prepared to demonstrate that beautiful and exuberant raw talent he exhibited in his youth, or has his recent exploits dulled his abilities? We don't have too long to wait and find out!
Mad Max The Game
Let's face it, Just Cause 2 was an absolute blast. It was one of the few games that one person could play as a group of friends looked on and everyone in the room would be entertained. The physics were ridiculous, the voice acting was laughably horrendous and then you were also gifted free roam in a world of genuine beauty and variety.
The Mad Max game is in a similar situation as Miller is with Mad Max Fury Road. If the company can demonstrate their greatest aspects and strengths in Mad Max, the title is likely to excite a lot of players. The game focuses heavily on its car battles, though allegedly you can navigate the world on foot just as much as you do with your car. The last game that did this was Rage, look how that turned out.
Ammo is scarce but there area a lot of items in the environment that we can use to our advantage, including weapons we collect from the corpses of our enemies. The world seems very true to the Mad Max films, though contains its own story that doesn't relate to series at all. Generally, I like to stay far away from games that are released at the same time as the film of that particular universe. But then Arkham Knight came out around the time of Nolan's trilogy.
Avalanche are in a similar situation as their game is not exactly linked to the upcoming film, whether this will benefit them remains to be seen. The game was due to come out much earlier this year though has been pushed into 2015, is this due to poor performance issues, or did they want to expand upon what they already had? We'll find out soon!
To be honest, I want to believe in Miller more than I do Avalanche, I'd love to see Max kick ass again on the big screen rather than on my console. But I'd gladly take both, both sounds good. But what about you guys? Are you looking forward to the game or the film more? Let me know in the comments!