The New Mad Max Game Will Be Vast, Violent And Not Sound Australian

I detected nary an Australian accent from the characters in the new Mad Max game that made its surprise debut at E3 earlier this week. There will be no Australian voices, one of the game's creators told me. OK. At least Max's steering wheel's on the right. What else have they got here?

The new Mad Max comes from Avalanche Studios, the creators of Just Cause. This is a team that specialises in vast open-world games that are designed to let players let loose. From the 12-minute demo shown of the game in a theatre at E3, it seems that that's what we'll be getting. The game is open and appears to be huge. It's set in a massive desert wasteland. It's focused on driving and car combat and lots of close-up killing of people in aggressively gruesome ways.

The publicity strategy for this game appears to be to have reporters like me tell you rather than show you what this game's about. You can't see the demo I and other attendees saw. You can see three released screenshots, but they don't really convey what the game looked like.

Picture this...

A huge desert.

And a car. I don't know what you call it (paging Jalopnik!), but it's sort of a muscle car with the back punched out to function more like the bed of a pickup truck. The camera hangs back so you can see how much bright, sandy desert there is to drive through. In deeper sand, the tires make ruts and push the sand aside. The sand blows in the air when the car jams a tight turn.

Max drives the car. His mechanic, a guy called Chumbucket, stands in the back with a harpoon gun in his grip. Enemy cars speed on by and start side-swiping and harassing our hero and sidekick.

The car is called the Magnum Opus. You upgrade it throughout the game. That's one of the selling points. It got blurbed on-screen in the theatre demo: BUILD YOUR OWN ICONIC CAR.

You can upgrade the wheels, the engine, and the frame of the car so you can better ram other cars with it. You can change the handling, the performance, the vehicle weight, and the weaponry.

The game is full of car combat. Max's car will be smashing into enemy bandits' cars. It's all physics, one of the game's creators told E3 attendees during the demos. There aren't canned animations, he'd say. There will be consequences to fenders, consequences determined by how one car hits another, by how fast Max's car is going or could go, by what kind of battering ram he has on there.

From the back of the car, Chumbucket can aim his harpoon gun at enemy cars and fish off out tires (the player controlled this). A bad guy could jump onto Max's car and Max could take out his shotgun and shoot the guy off (the player controlled this, too). As the Magnum Opus bounces over the dunes, Chumbucket gets rocked around a lot. It's not easy to stand up in the back of a car, not even in a video game.

In the desert, you can loot and scavenge, grab car parts and go on side quests. You can jump out of your car at any time.

On wheels, Mad Max might well be a more spartan version of iconic car combat series Twisted Metal by way of Just Cause, though so far we're just talking about a single-player game. Crazy cars vs. crazy cars. No word on multiplayer.

When Max is on foot, that's when we get what looks like a super-violent character action game. Max may have a shotgun, but it seems to just be used for close kills. He swings a "thunderstick" that electrifies the enemy he stabs in the chest. He punches. He can use a knife. In the demo trailer's blurbs, the creators promise BRUTAL MELEE FIGHTING. They add: ONLY THE SAVAGE SURVIVE. E3 attendees were shown Max infiltrating a ramshackle enemy base, killing a lot of guards and then, in the interest of time, queue reel of Max badassedly murdering a bunch more. Quick cuts. Slow-mo. Violence porn, as these types of video games do.

There was one unexplained aspect of the demo. In the corner of the screen there was a meter with the words Rest, Eat and Drink. That suggests some sort of survival aspect for the game, but the developers weren't divulging details.

Forgetting all the all-caps hype blurbs, the real selling points of the game will be the Mad Max setting and Avalanche's hands on the wheel of this thing. Games do post-apocalypse all the time, but not quite in the brightly dusty and hard-edged way the Mad Max films did. As for Avalanche, the Just Cause games have felt more like platforms or playgrounds than games you sit and play through for some story. They're about the enablement of virtual world mayhem, of figuring out that, hey, if the physics of the game are going to let me grapple myself from this speeding jeep I'm surfing to that helicopter that's buzzing by, then I'm going to do that and then glide through the air before catching a boat and zipping onward. These Avalanche people clearly revel in making the physically implausible virtually possible.

My worry for just about any non-gaming series that is turned into a video game is that the need to make things interactive puts game creators down a path to making their gaming version of a thing like Mad Max more violent than the movie or book or whatever else ever was. And in so doing, I worry that they lose the atmosphere. Mad Max was already fiction on the edge, so there's less risk here and a smart focus on wasteland car combat should prevent the game from just being a close-up murder-fest.

Hopefully, we'll see more soon. Hopefully, you'll at least see what I saw soon. The game is set for a 2014 release on Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

This preview is partially based on a live hands-off 12-minute developer playthrough of the game that was shown in a theatre at E3.


Comments

    I hope it has multiplayer......car wars style

    "And a car. I don’t know what you call it (paging Jalopnik!), but it’s sort of a muscle car with the back punched out to function more like the bed of a pickup truck."

    It's called a Ute.

      I don't know if he was asking the type of car or the cars name itself, in which case he was looking Interceptor

      Nooo it's not. Max's original car was an XB Falcon sedan. That looks like either a chopped XB coupe or XC.

        Looks like a '68 Mustang GT with the back chopped up.

        Max's original car was an XB fairmont, the interceptor(she's the last of the v8's, she sucks nitrous!) was an XB falcon coupe, & my mate cundolini wants his hand back...

        Last edited 27/06/13 2:35 pm

      Haha... how does he not know what a ute is?? Stephen Totilo you dozy Yank!

    the real selling points of the game will be the Mad Max setting

    Been a while since I watched it, but I seem to recall Mad Max being set in Australia. You know... that place where people talk with Australian accents.

      For the sake of being a devil's advocate...is it actually set in Australia? Does the word Australia get mentioned at all in the movies? It could be that the film's actual setting is just a fictional wasteland that was filmed in Australia with Australian actors. "filmed in" is not the same as "set in".

      This was a serious question. All the googling I did says it's 'set in' Australia but I'm not sure if there's a reference in the script to any specific Australian locations.

      Last edited 27/06/13 11:44 am

        The part when they show a destroyed Sydney might imply it's Australia. Also the entire movie has Australian accents in it.

        Yes it is. For reference: See the original Mad Max. Where they talk about Australia, have it set in an Australian town and talk about Australian police.

          or the third one, where they show sydney

          EDIT: Nevermind, crotchdot said it before I saw it. Carry on.

          Last edited 27/06/13 9:27 pm

        Recognisably Australian accents, cars and landscapes, I think it's a safe bet to assume the setting.
        Plus it's been a while, but I'm pretty sure you see a post-apocalyptic Sydney at the end of Mad Max 3.

          Yeah... most movies don't explicitly say "we're in America", either, but things like accents, cars, landscapes, etc make it pretty obvious by implication.

            They filmed a miniature, apocalyptic Sydney:

            http://www.madmaxmovies.com/mad-max-beyond-thunderdome/filming-locations/sydneyscape-model-set/index.html

          Plus there's a direct reference to Surfers Paradise in MAD MAX 2.

      I can't really believe Avalanche Studio has much love for the franchise, if they're unwilling to have the game set in the place the franchise exists. And if they don't have any love for the franchise, I don't have many expectations about this game.

      It seems more like they had an engine perfectly fit for an open-world wasteland environment.

      This will tank in Australia because of the lack of love.

      How are people surprised about this? Max in the next Mad Max is played by a Brit, and there are the only Aussies in the movie are models and the wrestler from Ong Bak, it's not even filmed in Australia I'm not keen on this movie at all

    Just Cause 2 in the style of Mad Max... That sounds epic.

    Just waiting for this to get refused classification in Australia

      Yeah, in the picture where Max in kneeing that guy, I see some blood. I hope the Australian government protects my fragile mind from this kind of stuff.

        It's the dust I'm worried about. That stuff HURTS when you get it in your eyes! Definitely a call for a ban in my opinion.

          Dust!? Hold the phone, nobody said anything about dust. Ban this game now. I don't want to hear anymore about it.

          I'm pretty sure their main complaint will be they've heard you can get high on something the street is calling 'dust'. It could be a euphemism.

          It's ok, there will be the PPE (personal protective equipment) DLC pack, which will come complete with safety glasses, ear plugs and a high-vis vest for Max. He'll also be able to unlock the Certificate IV in manual handling to fully comply with Australian standards.
          Available for only 1200 Microsoft Points.

          Last edited 30/06/13 12:36 pm

            I hope to god there isn't anyone from BHP or Rio Tinto on the advisory board. We will be royally screwed...

        Blood's fine. As long as he doesn't knee the guy in the dick. That would be sexual violence.

          Remember Bulletstorm? That actually gave you bonus points if you shot a guy in the nuts ("Nutcracker!") or up the arse ("Rear Entry!"). And that only got an MA15+...

            to be fair to the censorship dunces they probably didnt know this. you know, because they dont get these wizz bang video game thingymajigs.

    Hopefully someone will take the time to dub the game so we can understand it without reading subtitles.

    Last edited 27/06/13 12:26 pm

      Fandub mod, we should get on that, who here knows how to mod?

        See below. If its anything like modding JC2, we'll be all over it. Closer to release, if people are interested they should PM(?) me.

          I'd be interested in helping if I could, I think it'd be a great little project.

          You work with an indie dev team? What do you guys do?

      Yeah, pray it's not someone in Europe or the US dubbing it in what they think is Oz, otherwise it'll be full of sheilas, struths, crikeys, bonzas, tuckers and chuzzwozzazs.

        I'm not sure I understand your point.

        I mean, that's how I talk - don't you?

          i'm gonna lose me vegemite if it contains any question marks. all Australian sentences should end with eh, right eh.

    Yay, i cannot wait for Captain Generic's Adventures in Generica.

    But it's seems that now Mad Max is a generic, cookie cutter "post apocalyptic survivor" then he won't have an offensively bad American voice actor trying to portray an Australian accent, i'm looking at you Dead Island.

      Dude! I couldn't agree more. I can't stand a yank doing a British accent and calling it Australian. So few people can do it right.

        Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained, anyone?

          Haven't seen it. I'd have to say though that I commend Robert Downey JR's Aussie accent in Tropic Thunder, that was pretty good.

            Tarantino's wasn't :P

              Oh dear, I just looked it up and saw the oscars interview where he puts the accent on ... oh dear. That wasn't British OR Australian. I don't know what it was

                Wasn't it South African?

            I found him really hard to understand, but he was still better than most.

          I thought he was south african?

            All American actors who try to sound like Australians usually end up falling either on the British side or the South African side and rarely hit the sweet spot.

            To be honest though, sometimes even genuine Aussies sound a bit weird. Almost like they've had their accent hybridized from spending too much time (say, 5 minutes? I kid, I kid...) in the US.

              6 years ina non English speaking country. I came home and everyone thinks I'm British

                same. worked w bunch of scots and saxons in singapore, came home sounding like some weird brit hybrid.

                also, have read interviews w Oz actors in Hollywood who do the method acting style thing, and avoid contact w other Oz actors while in prep for fear of falling back into Oz accent.

                  I've been back home for 3 weeks and my (British) girlfriend already says I sound more Australian. Pity nobody here can hear it.

          It was South African.

            No it wasn't. Or at least it wasn't SUPPOSED to be, although it may well sound that way.

            http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/watch-quentin-tarantino-awkwardly-explains-django-unchained-deleted-scene-with-australian-accent-20130227

      I really have to start calling America: 'Generica'. That' s a good one, well done.

    The only drawback about this game will be the lack of Australian accents. I'm sure they had this in mind when making the game so I am not going to hold back when buying this game as I believe they will do this unique 'post-apocalyptic' world justice :)

      Calling it now. Day 1 DLC; Aussie accent pack!(a.k.a. the Flamin' strewth mongrel pack)

    Ugh, its the Australia Day door code in Bioshock, 0126 not 2601.

    I saw the MM presentation at E3. The set they designed seemed to even include Aussie road signs but when i asked the developer about it being set in AUS.. he simply said it was southern hemisphere.. he also suggested that if you know your stars, you'd be able to figure out where in the world it was.. but he gave no indication that it was AUS and I was dissapointed.

      How in the hell is keeping the location of the game a secret going to serve them? Looks like we aren't getting a proper Mad Max treatment at this point if this is how it's going.

        Because that's how America works. They don't really like to glorify other countries.

          Hence that fine Japanese actor Tom Cruise as the Last Samurai.

          That's all well and fine, but Avalanche Studios is Swedish...

    Why even bother. It's going to be refused calssification anyway, going off the last few games.

    Banjo Kazooie 3 anybody?

    all i want is to drive max's ford xb coupe interceptor but that car is a valiant charger with the roof cut out also why does the top car have snow chains?
    edit . the tramiler shows the xb they even got the dashboard console right

    Last edited 27/06/13 11:28 am

      They look more like paddle tires for driving through sand.
      https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTb2BSwKjUFbq8c_gUn1LBA5CWdIuyx-NRIMTJCS0pSUi6iEr0RDA

    Fun Fact.
    I once googled where the aussie accent came from. Apparently is a mix of real lower class brits and irish smooshed together.

      Depends on the state.

      The SA accent has a higher class brit in it, because they weren't a colony settled by "convicts" etc. etc.

      No fucking clue what Julia Gillard's accent is.

        Oh really? Well there you go haha :)

        JG's is probably a dash of Welsh, which is pretty distinct by UK/Irish standards.

        Australian accents have changed in last few decades - we went from three general accents: Broad, Standard and High (the latter being the old school 'proper' accent - my school teacher grandparents, country Qld born and raised, had that accent). High has disappeared largely, leaving Broad and Standard.

    Cor blimey, that's just not cricket cobber.

    Well, OK. It still looks like a decent game, even though I'm a little disappointed by the lack of faithfulness to the original, and the lack of the wonderful Aussie accent. In fact, if I think about it, more than just a little disappointed... what are they saying, that they can't get Aussies to voice things? Not bloody likely. We're everywhere. What, do they think the accent's too difficult to understand or something? What happened to the romance, eh? In fact, that's even offensive, and downright outrageous - ie: something which makes me outraged. I am now outraged! BOYCOTT! PICKET! APPLY FOR JOBS! RAR!

    Oops. Getting disproportionately mad at things again.

    Hopefully the pc versin will get mods with the right accents and cars.

      You can quote me here, but myself and the indie dev team I work with have already promised to redub the entire game in Australian accents on PC.

    "There will be no Australian voices."

    Pfft - that would be like remaking Deus Ex, but as a platform game. It might be cool as hell, but they've completely missed the point of the series.

      look man all i heard was Commander Deus Ex Keen.

      Yep.. no Aussie Accent in a Mad Max game = non-purchase.

      Besides, I'd rather wear the one armed leather jacket in Fallout 4 instead.

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