Mad Max, Cheevos and me

I’m still playing Mad Max, that game I snagged during a sale back in June. I finished the ‘story’ a long time ago (on July 4th) but now I’m chasing Trophies.

I used to hate Achievements/Trophies (which, tongue firmly-in-cheek, I will refer to collectively as CHEEVOS from here on out). I felt like they were intrusive and as a gaming ‘purist’ I felt like you should play games because they’re fun, not to get some arbitrary bragging points. But I mellowed over the years and finally my buddy Talyn converted me to a CHEEVO fan.

In particular I appreciate them in open world games since so often you’ll finish the story and have a ton of content left untouched. CHEEVOS give that post-story playtime a bit of structure and a way to track what is left to do and even when you can finally say you’ve ‘finished’ a game. Now mind you I’ve NEVER gotten all the CHEEVOS in a full-sized game, though check back in 6 months and I should have them all in Microsoft Solitaire (I need 6 more Bronze medals and you can only earn 1/month).

In the case of Mad Max there was a TON left to do after the story finished. I’ve been vacillating between uninstalling the game and trophy hunting for a week or so, mostly because even after 3 weeks of play the game still makes me sick thanks to a camera that lags a little and adjusts itself constantly. Makes my head throbs and my stomach churn whenever I’m on-foot in an enclosed area. After the story was done one of the biggest goals I had left was taking out camps that had me, yup, on foot in enclosed areas. So on the one hand, my stomach said “Ditch it!.”

On the other hand, as a single-player title I feel like I COULD get all the CHEEVOS if I just stick with the game. I pretty much suck at playing games so almost any MP CHEEVO is out of reach because they expect me to not-suck. Mad Max’s CHEEVOS are more or less based on putting in lots of time with the game.

Last night I finished the last camp though, so from here to the 100% complete line is mostly car combat (by far the best part of the game) and clearing out a lot of little on-foot bits. But there are 190 of the latter! Damn that sounds like a job. I’m at 66% complete now, CHEEVO-wise but there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit I’ll be knocking out in the next day or two. Then we’ll see. In my mind I see myself getting all the CHEEVOS then uninstalling the game to free up some drive space.

I dunno how well Mad Max did but I hope they make another one and take into account feedback from the first game. They did a great job of capturing the feel of the Road Warrior movies when it comes to the car stuff and the setting. The first part of the game takes place in a desert that is actually the bottom of a sea that somehow drained, so its full of white salt dust and crazy coral formations that splinter wonderfully when you lose control and smash one. Tracking a convoy by following it’s dust cloud feels really authentic. Very fun.

But when you get out of the car things are less good. First there’re the camera issues, but then there’s the requirement that you go into hideouts and find a bunch of collectibles. That’s just tedious. The combat is pretty fun but gets super easy once you power up Max a bit. The boss fights are all very easy. They charge, you roll to avoid then punch them in the back a couple times and roll away. Repeat until they’re dead.

All-in-all I’d give the car parts an A and the on-foot parts a B-. I’d love to see a sequel that improves the weaker areas of the game while retaining the fun car combat.

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