Highway to the Thunderdome: check out Mad Max’s gameplay

Much like your disastrous spring break trip to Mexico, in Mad Max you wake up beaten, naked, and alone in the desert, with bandits having stolen all your belongings. This gives you a nice, clean slate, and motivation to go build a car, find some weapons, and take back the wasteland from its cruel warlords. Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios has released this extended gameplay trailer for Mad Max, its upcoming open-world vehicular combat game based on the definitive post-apocalyptic film franchise.

Building and upgrading your car is one of the central means of progression in the game. Because vehicular combat is pivotal, you will need a car that can handle whatever the wasteland throws at it. Your “Magnum Opus” can be fully customized with different bodies, engines, and of course weapons. These can be found, purchased, or built from scrap over the course of the game, giving you a tricked-out ride that’s ready for the Wacky Races.

Along with upgrading your Opus, Max also upgrades himself over the course of the game. In standard, third-person, open-world action RPG form, Max can upgrade his abilities, as well as find, buy, and create various weapon and armor for himself. Ammunition is scarce in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, which makes guns a powerful but limited option. Fortunately there are plenty of nasty melee weapons to keep you safe.

The combat here looks reminiscent of the fluid brawling pioneered by the Batman Arkham games, refined more recently in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor: flowing combos of light and heavy attacks, peppered with the occasional bit of slow-motion to make those takedowns and executions extra brutal. There also seems to be a bit of contextual, environmental engagement, such as when Max slams a bandit against a wall, or tosses one over the edge of a rope bridge.

Mad Max ostensibly has no connection to the upcoming film starring Tom Hardy. It does seem to draw from the general lore of the franchise, though, as evidenced by a brief glimpse of the Thunderdome. We’ll have to wait and see whether Tina Turner also makes an appearance.

Also, notably, the game’s villain is apparently named Scrotus, which I’ll just leave here for you to consider.

Mad Max comes out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, and Linux on September 1, 2015.

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