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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mad Max is an action-adventure game that's extremely violent and sometimes gory. Players can kill enemies using shotguns, harpoons, and other weapons, on foot or while in a vehicle. It's possible to throw a modified spear at a rival driver, yank back on the chain to pull him off a car, and drive over him. Finishing moves include the ability to snap someone's neck. Some cut-scene sequences are potentially disturbing, such as a character being impaled by a chain saw, a throat being slit, or piles of dead bodies on the desert sand. The game also includes profanity and drug imagery and references. Frequent profanity is used, including "f--k," "s--t," and others, and along with references to drugs players will see characters inhale substances through masks. Fans of the game may also find themselves interested in other Mad Max-related merchandise.
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What's it about?
Based on the iconic 1979 feature film of the same name, MAD MAX is an open-world, third-person, postapocalyptic action game. In this original story, players assume the role of "Mad" Max, whose vehicle is stolen near the start of the game by Scrotus and his gang. Max partners with a gifted mechanic, Chumbucket, to build the ultimate survival vehicle, dubbed the "Magnum Opus," and vows to even the score with Scrotus. As Max, you'll take on contracts that have you facing off against deadly tribes throughout the gritty wasteland, played on foot or while riding (and fighting) in your vehicle. After missions have been completed, you'll spend time customizing and upgrading your vehicle -- including the addition of mounted weapons and armor.
Is it any good?
This is a gorgeous open world to explore, take on contracts and side jobs, and upgrade your abilities over time, but there are some unfortunate gameplay issues. For example, some of the earlier missions are fun and challenging, while others are repetitive and/or seem unrelated to the story. Vehicular combat is a blast, but on-foot, hand-to-combat isn't nearly as rewarding. Plus, the difficulty level seems inconsistent; in some missions and areas, bullets and fuel are rare resources, but in other stages, it's not unusual to see fuel cans respawn in front of you. One more discrepancy: You have a big open world but can lose the game if you drive the wrong way and cross an invisible barrier. You get the idea.
For such a promising game, it's too bad these problems exist, but perhaps many of them can be ironed out with a downloadable update ("patch") for it to live up to the hype. It's not a bad game at all, but you might not want to spend $60 on it until (and if) many of these issues are addressed.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Release date: September 1, 2015
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Use of Drugs
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.