“You know what the world needs? A videogame adaption of Mad Max, a franchise that’s sat in stagnation for almost three decades.” That’s apparently what someone at Avalanche Studios said, because here we are in 2013 as the Just Cause developers are working on their interpretation of the continuation of the saga (and yes, I know there’s a movie reboot on its way). To be fair, it might not be as outrageous as it seems, because the game looks really damn cool.
Mad Max’s theatric ties are obviously apparent because Avalanche looks as if it’s taken special effort to ensure that the game bleeds cinematic flair at every turn. In a style that’s somewhat reminiscent of Max Payne 3’s execution system, particular action shorts are graced with slow-motion camera attention, making the whole affair feel like two-thirds videogame, one-third movie.
Layered underneath the visual direction is the tool set for a fairly compelling game. It doesn’t appear like it’ll be the most robust of titles, but there are enough pieces for an action experience. In the 15-minute live hands-off demo that I saw, the developers displayed the car’s upgrade system. All sorts of different tires, front-end ramming grills, and other vehicular components can be equipped. Of course, heavier cars move more slowly and control worse than cars with lighter frames.
That’s really about all that was shown, as it’s pretty evident that Mad Max is in the early stages of development. Just enough was presented to make me intrigued for the future of this title. Avalanche has a track record of creating some legitimately fun games, and I only hope that this isn’t taken too conservatively and seriously in an effort to protect the subject material. As is, it looks like it’s on the right path.