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Mad Max

Mad Max: Surviving the Road Rage

Seven tips for staying alive in the wasteland.

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We rather enjoyed our jaunt through the post-apocalyptic wastelands with Max Rockatansky in the recently released Mad Max (you can read our review of the game here). Avalanche Studios did a decent job when it came to realising the peril-filled dust-covered open-world of the future, and old Max (and his car) gets in plenty of scrapes as he cruises through the literal sandbox. Here we offer a few suggestions that may help you on your own journey, especially at the beginning when the going can be tough.

1. Scrap for Everything

Scrap is the resource that you'll find strewn across the wasteland, and it allows players to upgrade their car(s) and improve Max and his various abilities (not all of them mind). Progress is slow at first and collecting the scrap you need can be a painstaking process that feels very much a grind. There are, however, ways to speed up the process.

The most obvious is Griffa, a mysterious wanderer who frequents a couple of spots on the map that Max can visit once he has completed certain challenges. You can use Griffa to boost various skills and abilities, things like increasing maximum health and improving resource management. However, one you should consider improving at the first available opportunity is Max's ability to collect extra scrap, because it'll directly help you improve both car and character.

The other option is to upgrade the various strongholds you uncover around the map. To start, as soon as you've got inside Jeet's base and completed the first mission, ask him about improving the base. In all the bases there are upgrades that can be tracked and completed in the wasteland, so work out which one you want - in this case the Cleanup Crew - mark it on your map, get out there and get it done. With the Cleanup Crew perk, every time you wreck an enemy car the scrap that's dropped will automatically get added to your stash, saving you the hassle of having to stop and pick it up. Time is scrap people, time is scrap!

Mad Max
The more scrap you have, the quicker you can upgrade the Magnum Opus.

2. Get Gas

With all the extra scrap you'll be earning, the next thing you need to do is make sure that you've got the fuel you need to get around the place. If truth be told, gas is a plentiful resource early on in the game and you'll not want for it. But later on in proceedings, once you've fitted flamethrowers to your ride, you're going to want to keep an extra canister in the boot of your car, because you'll end up using a whole lot more, especially during the convoy missions when you have to take out multiple enemies.

Fuel has other useful applications, which means having a spare can is a handy option to have. There's doors that need destroying, you can refuel the hot air balloons that give you overview of the world (which in turn offers you the chance to fast travel between these points on the map, saving even more fuel), and best of all, you can if needs must use them as grenades if and when a cluster of enemies rushes you en masse.

3. Harpoon the Chumbucket

Chumbucket is your faithful friend, and while you can go out with a dog on the back of your car, it's best to go with the mechanic. There's a couple of reasons to do this, and there's enough incentive to do so that makes it worth putting up with the sometimes annoying lines of dialogue that you're subjected to along the way.

His most important ability is that he can fix the car while you're out on the road. Simply pull over (it doesn't even need to be a quiet spot for roadside assistance, he'll work through a pitched battle) and let the crazy old boy do this thing while you take care of other business.

Not only is Chum oh so useful when it comes to patching up your car, he's also better at identifying minefields, AND he gives you nitro boosts and access to the harpoon gun. Speaking of the harpoon, make an effort to level that up as early as possible, because not only is it helpful for pulling down towers and skewering snipers, you can also use it on other cars during vehicular duels.

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4. Spiky Personality

The Magnum Opus is very handy when it comes to splattering your adversaries across the sand, but you need to be achieving decent speeds if they're to be fatal collisions. When driving in close proximity to enemies and if you're moving too slowly, it can be all too easy for your opponents to hop on the hood of the car and start smashing you in the face with something sharp/blunt/knuckle-shaped.

There is, however, a vehicle upgrade that lets you stick big pointy spikes all over the front and rear of your car, which stops enemies from jumping aboard. If you can deck the car out with these sharp deterrents then you become much more effective against on-foot opponents, because even when you're manoeuvring around structures and turning your car, it's harder for enemies to damage you. Plus they look cool.

5. Stop for a Fight

Sometimes your car will be simply too battered to be of any use when fighting it out against multiple opponents. While you might be tempted to simply run away and fight another day, consider standing your ground and settling the score with your fisticuffs.

Initially your opponents will try and run you over a few times, and you'll need to do some creative ducking and diving if you're to avoid becoming a hood ornament, but eventually they'll stop their cars and get out to come and fight you, in a stroke making themselves much more vulnerable then they were before. The fools!

It can be an excellent way of getting out of a tight situation, and even better, once the battle is done you can take the car left behind by your fallen adversaries and drop it off at the nearest friendly base, adding it to your ever growing collection of post-apocalyptic vehicles.

Mad Max
He thought that getting out of his car was a good idea. Silly boy.

6. Stock up on Ammo

Ammo is almost as rare as unicorn poop in the harsh barren wasteland of the future, not that Max has much in the way of weapons. There are a couple of options that you need to be mindful of though. First is the shotgun, which is ever so handy in a scrap, as it can potentially take out a dangerous enemy with one blast. Alas you'll never have enough ammo to be going in all guns blazing, and as such you need to know when to strike for maximum effect.

Our advice is to target the hardier opponents in a group with the shotgun. Not only will this thin out the crowd, but it will remove your biggest threat from the battle in a single stroke. You can upgrade the shotgun to make it even more potent if you want, but for the most part we found the standard issue powerful enough for our purposes.

The other firearm available to Max is the sniper rifle, which lives in the back of the car, and can only be fired while perched over the roof of the vehicle. It's a handy option that should mainly be used for softening up the defences of enemy strongholds that you're about to dismantle.

7. Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

There's several bosses located in enemy strongholds dotted around the world, and they're usually the final challenge to overcome when taking over said bases. While there are often NPCs located nearby who offer tidbits of information regarding how best to tackle these powerful enemies, after we had sussed out how to take them out with relatively little fuss, we stopped seeking out these advisors and just went straight for the jugular.

Enemy bosses will initiate a battle by activating flamethrowers supposed to pen you in and keep you in the fight, but this offensive move on their part is also their downfall. Simply stand near the flames and wait for the boss to charge, roll out of the way and quickly land a flurry of blows and push him into the fire, causing additional damage and speeding up these repetitive bouts. Once the boss has fallen they'll relinquish a nice amount of scrap to feed back into your character and car.

There's a lot to take in and plenty of other things you can do to keep yourself alive for longer, like keeping stocked up on water (watch out for this precious resource on the map), or making sure that you don't stick around when a storm kicks off, but you'll also discover your own tricks as you play. In the meantime, if you want to see more of Mad Max in action then you're in luck as we took it out for a spin during a recent GRTV livestream, and you can watch our adventures by heading this way.

Mad Max
Boss fights might be repetitive, but they're certainly not fireproof.

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Mad MaxScore

Mad Max

REVIEW. Written by Mike Holmes

"There's a good game here, and while it might not have the legs to go on indefinitely, it's a blast while the ride lasts."



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