Fallout 4 is mere weeks away from its November release date for PC, XBOX One and PS4. Normally, with Bethesda, you'd assume that their product would walk away with the coveted Game of the Year award. But am I the only one who feels like they have some stark competition in what has been an excellent year for Video Games? Think about it.
With The Witcher 3 basically being one of the best RPGs we've seen in years, Fallout 4 has some serious competition in its category. Bloodborne is my personal pick for Game of the Year...or at least it was up until September 1st. And no, I'm not talking about Mad Max, but rather one of the finest games I've played to date; [Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain](tag:2683985). But even though Fallout 4 could learn from these masterpieces, there is one game that it is naturally compared with, Mad Max.
Should Fallout 4 Take Anything From Avalanche's New Mad Max Game?
Let's make this clear, Mad Max is nowhere near a Game of the Year contender, however there's something about Avalanche's open world design that I can't help but enjoy. Just Cause has given me some of the most fun I've ever had in an open world game and I assume that Just Cause 3 is going to further the series' reputation. But even though Mad Max has a much darker tone than the Just Cause franchise, it still exudes that definitive Avalanche style.
I think Mad Max and its post-apocalyptic setting has something to teach Fallout 4. Both in terms of positives and negatives. Mad Max is by no means a perfect game, but I personally had a lot of fun traversing the Australian wilderness. Its combat is satisfying, its driving mechanics are heavy and enjoyable, and it looks incredible.
In terms of negatives, Mad Max suffers from something that we all hope Fallout 4 avoids; repetition. While its open world is beautiful and extremely vast, driving from location to location can often see you venturing through miles of nothing. I understand that we're talking about a post-apocalyptic desert here, but a lot of Mad Max's map has nothing for you to engage with.
Naturally, Avalanche knew that you'd be spending most of your time driving so the need for a lot of sights would have been unnecessary. But we seriously hope that walking through Fallout 4's Boston gives us more than enough to interact with.
Then we come to this age old debate of driving in a Fallout game. Fallout 2 had it and we haven't seen it before or since. After engaging with Mad Max, I'm entirely convinced that Bethesda should avoid allowing us to drive at all costs. Mad Max suffers from similar issues that Rage experienced. If you've played either of them you'll know that the focus they placed on driving makes other forms of interaction with the open world seem poorly conceived.
Should Vehicles Be in Fallout 4?
Additionally, the ability to drive around naturally reduces your focus on the world around you. After a while you're just trying to get from point to point and your immersion in the world suffers. I've never liked fast travelling in Fallout games, you miss so much by hopping from place to place and I think a few gamers out there miss out on some of Bethesda's greatest qualities by doing so. But driving is not an answer to this problem so I seriously hope the option isn't in Fallout 4.
Other than that, I sincerely hope that Fallout 4's combat is as enjoyable as Mad Max's. As a first-person shooter, Fallout 3 simply did not function. If we can enjoy VATS alongside regular combat, a lot of additional gamers will be able to enjoy Bethesda's exceptional series. Next to Metal Gear Solid 5, Mad Max is nothing. But if you've enjoyed Avalanche's work in the past, there's a lot of fun to be had in this dark open world!