By Marc Saltzman,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
More violent than film, adventure has fun but flawed play.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players rewarded for roaming wasteland, killing and stealing. Doesn't have a very positive message.
Positive Role Models
As "Mad" Max, you're killing, maiming, stealing to complete contract jobs. Not much known about your character, but he's assaulted at start of game and seeks revenge.
Ease of Play
Slightly easy controls; easy to learn.
Violence & Scariness
Extremely violent. As with the iconic movie franchise on which it's based, Mad Max is about survival of the fittest. You'll roam around the wasteland, kill enemies using guns, harpoons, vehicles, finishing moves such as neck snaps. Some cut-scene sequences violent, bloody, too, such as someone killed by chain saw, throat slitting. Bodies seen piled up, rotting in desert heat.
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Frequent strong profanity, including "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "damn," "hell," "bitch."
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Products & Purchases
Directly based on the cult film franchise, beginning with 1979's Mad Max, related merchandise.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drugs referenced in dialogue sequences, such as, "When she's not fighting, she likes to huff inhalants such as nitrous, gasoline, and fume." In one case, you can see a character inhaling vaporous drugs by mask.
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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.
Where to Play
Videos and Photos
Based on 5 parent reviews
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12 and up but 11 if you think your kids mature enough
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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 ...
Families can talk about violence in media such as that in Mad Max. What's the appeal in a game like this? Is it fun to play in a popular fictional world first seen in movie form? Is that better than a realistic shooter?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Release date: September 1, 2015
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Magic and Fantasy, Adventures
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Use of Drugs
- Last updated: October 29, 2019
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