Two Very Australian Things The Mad Max Video Game Got Right

Two Very Australian Things The Mad Max Video Game Got Right

Chris didn't think much of Mad Max. I, on the other hand, am having some fun with it, though it might help that being an Australian who already lives in an interior wasteland I'm a little closer to the source material than he is.

There are two little touches in particular I'm appreciating, both of them related to my country of birth: the fact that the cars in the game are right-hand drive, and the fact there's an actual real Australian doing Max's voice.

Two Very Australian Things The Mad Max Video Game Got Right

The car thing sounds dumb, but I can assure you, it's a thing! The longer you've owned and driven a car in a place like Australia (or the UK, or Japan), the more it becomes instinctive to approach a car from the right-hand side. And since we've only ever driven on the left side of the road, that's why you so often see Aussies and Brits fucking everything up in the US when they try to get in a cab or cross the street.

So the same instinctiveness applies to video games! Even after all these years, I still find myself approaching GTA cars from the wrong side, and you'll find a cult appreciation of Sleeping Dogs for the fact it had right-hand drive.

So thanks, Mad Max, for giving post-apocalyptic Australia actual Australian cars. We, as small a market as we are, appreciate it.

Thanks also for making Max...well, Australian.

Australians and Hollywood have a long and weird relationship when it comes to accents, and the Mad Max franchise is a perfect example. It's a quintessentially Australian story, made by an Australian (George Miller) and starring a very Australian man, only Mel Gibson isn't and wasn't Australian, he just lived here long enough in his teens to have an accent by the time the first Mad Max came around. The latest film, despite being made by the same Australian and set once again in the country, stars a whole bunch of Aussies in supporting roles but has its two main parts played by a South African/American and Englishman respectively.

When this game was first revealed a few years back, and featured an American playing Max with an American accent, people were outraged! Never mind that an Australian has never actually played the role before, he's seen as a very Australian kind of hero, so fans figured his accent needed to match. They protested, and developers Avalanche made a change.

Two Very Australian Things The Mad Max Video Game Got Right

Enter the very Australian Bren Foster (above). An actor who you probably haven't seen playing roles in shows like The Last Ship and Days of Our Lives, he was brought in as a replacement to the original actor, and voices Max to perfection in this game, with his thoroughly deep and "blokey" Aussie accent.

So what, you might be thinking, a voice actor has done his job, is that worth praising? When it comes to Australian accents, yes! Like Scottish, or Irish, it's very easy to whip up a quick and funny caricature of Australian, but to actually settle in and produce a convincing impersonation of it seems to be incredibly difficult for someone from, say, the US or Canada, going by the number of times games, TV shows and movies have got it horribly wrong (see below).

Notice that I've yet to mention Tom Hardy's pretty terrible effort in Fury Road! Instead, here's something more familiar/enjoyable.

Australians are used to hearing foreigners butcher our accent, whether for laughs or not, but what usually makes it so weird for us is that there's no shortage of Australian actors in Los Angeles, New York and London to sit down and do the real thing! Like, maybe stop hiring us to pretend to be Americans (sometimes terribly) and we can pretend to be better Australians when the need arises? We're good at it when given the chance!

So well played Avalanche for making the switch and actually getting an Aussie to do the voice, and congratulations to Bren Foster, who not only did a good job, but gets to say he was the first Max Rockatansky to actually be Australian.


Comments

    Love this article completely agree with everything

      I find Bren Foster's Australian accent just ever so slightly strange. When I was listening to Max's lines I thought he might be either a New Zealander or a very good American/British voice actor doing an aussie accent. Then I read Bren Foster's biography and it kind of makes sense. Born in England, spent a major part of his time in the US. Reminds me a bit of accents like Greg Norman's or Mel Gibson's, just a little bit foreign :-) I wonder if Bren was directed to exaggerate the accent at all.

        Wow, if he was born in England then....

        and congratulations to Bren Foster, who not only did a good job, but gets to say he was the first Max Rockatansky to actually be Australian.

        Mel Gibson still holds that honour as NONE of them have been Australian by birth and two out of three are at least on equal footing (born overseas, raised here)! Dang! Not that it actually matters. I'm a firm believer in best actor for the job no matter the culture.

        Last edited 11/09/15 11:29 pm

    Funny that you pointed out the steering wheel position.
    A few streams iv seen on twitch and the yanks always point out how much sitting on the 'wrong side of the car' confuses them.
    Always gives me a good lul

      A reader on the American site says Chum will give you shit if you keep trying to get in on the left hand side...

        It reminds me of the time my friends and I were trying to finish Halo on the original Xbox on Legendary. They were alternating between trying to do it co-op or solo and in any case were up to the final mission which obviously is the gauntlet run with the Warthog and time is extremely precious. Many wasted seconds were had trying to get into the wrong side of the warthog, to the point that every time we reset at the checkpoint (which happened way, way too many times) we chanted "American car, American car!" as a reminder to jump over the warthog to get in on the left hand side.

        Of course after years of vehicle-heavy games, particularly GTA etc. not to mention Halo sequels, it became second nature, even though later GTA games would allow you to embark on the passenger side and scoot across.

        It didn't take me long to adjust to right-hand drive cars in the glorious time I spend tooling around Hong Kong in Sleeping Dogs, though.

    Unless he is eating a Kabab half pissed at the Valley train station at 5 am waiting for the half past 5 train to arrive then he isn't bloody strayan!

    He should be ashamed of himself running around the wasteland in his hoon car bludging on my tax money, give us a fair shake of the sauce bottle, mate.

    Australians are used to hearing foreigners butcher our accent, whether for laughs or not, but what usually makes it so weird for us is that there’s no shortage of Australian actors in Los Angeles, New York and London to sit down and do the real thing! Like, maybe stop hiring us to pretend to be Americans (sometimes terribly) and we can pretend to be better Australians when the need arises? We’re good at it when given the chance!

    Simpsons said it best:

    "Why don't you just use real cows?"
    "Cows don't look like cows on film. You gotta use horses."
    "What do you do if you want something that looks like a horse?"
    "Ehh, usually we just tape a bunch of cats together."

    Also, while playing a red moon came out and it was spot on Australian desert moon.

      The sky is Australian, it just feels so Australian and not in a over the top look at me way.

      I wonder if that makes me enjoy it more. Although every time somebody says Dinky Dee I still get jarred. It does make me do the Minefields to stop him saying it.

        Thankyou! It's Dinky "Die". Not "Dee".

          I find myself correcting Chum and his "Dinky Dee" every single time he says it. Really annoying!

        Thank you!!!!! It pisses me off way more than it should. I can't remember who i watched but one reviewer said it 15 to 20 times. Like nails down a chalkboard

        im enjoying the game but its amazing how much getting that pronunciation wrong is starting to annoy the piss out of me. i dont get it though, he says guzzoline as well but that doesnt annoy me

          Guzzoline is a made up slang which fits into the world.

          Dinky Dee on a can that literally says Dinky Di, which is a well known piece of Aussie Slang is maddening.

    I liked how Sleeping Dogs had it true to HK. I hated myself for always getting in on the left side and driving on the right side. Video gaming has conditioned me so.

      its actually kinda funny i sucked at loosing heat in that game because in every game id always drive on the left, thus into on comming traffic which id avoid but the ai wouldnt. so in sleeping dogs i was actually driving on the correct side of the road thus i had a much harder time loosing the heat when compared to the the likes of saints row or GTA

        Gaming has conditioned me to drive on whichever bit of the road doesn't have too many cars on it, which is usually both sides. Just like I take corners by scraping along the outside edge barriers.

        The real world is probably lucky that I don't have a licence.

    Thank god you didn't mention Dead Island "aussie" character, so ear grating the voice i turned the game off and uninstalled it from my computer... and don't forget Quintin Tarintino "aussie" accent in Django Unchained.

      I absolutely hated Tarantino's character in that movie, it felt so forced.

        Is it weird that I loved it because it was forced.

          Agreed. It was hilariously ridiculous. John Jaratt has said as much on coaching him for it.

          Tarantino can write an ok movie but he's not a great actor, way too hammy. Giving him a shitty Australian accent to focus reined him in a little.

            Yes this exactly, but in that time period would the accent have been in effect?

    The one thing that shits me in the game is chumbucket pronouncing "dinki di" as "dinki dee". Fair enough, maybe he just read the can of dog food and assumed without anyone telling him but its still like nails down a blackboard for me. Wish Max would shake him yelling " It's die! Dinki fucking Die!"

      I so agree when I first heard it I found myself yelling at the TV its DINKI DIE cumbucket omg

    and bam just like the pre-sqeuel, anything that is australian and new zealand based gets rather poor reviews because the rest of the world just doesnt understand our story telling and humour

      PreSequel's "walkabout" quest made me so happy.

    You know what they massively screwed up that continues to annoy me though?

    Those bloody drongoes have "Dinky-Di" continually pronounced by Chumbucket as "Dinky-DEE" not "Dinkey-DIE", as in "A Dinky-Di Australian".

    A super glaring oversight in my bloody opinion. Strewth.

    I actually didn't think that the voice actor was australian at all, i was thinking american.

    He seems over emphasized in some points and then it slightly disappears or Americanizes in others, not sure why they didn't pick someone else most actors would have killed for this chance.

      Apparently when the controversy about it first hit Mel Gibson's actual brother (who is a voice actor) put his hand up for the role. I wonder if the devs even took the offer seriously or not.

        Oh well, it's still not stopping me from enjoying the game.

        Though neither did having Tom Hardy in the movie haha, not sure why they didn't go with someone like Jai Courtney for that.

    The Far Cry one doesn't sound too off, to me... yeah, I hear the guy's actually Irish or whatever. But it's not like he's hitting Pacific Rim-levels of awful.

      Oh good, I'm not the only one who thought that! I had to listen really hard to spot the bits that weren't quite your typical Australian accent.

        I didn't think it was great, but people do tend to forget that that there are a number of Australian accents. You could pick up a few born-and-bred Aussies, put them in America with an American voice director, and you'd have listeners arguing how "authentic" their accents were.

        I'm constantly asked where I'm from because I grew up in Canberra and we talk a little differently. A little more refined, if you will. I've had a couple of people flat out argue with me and call me a liar (no joke) when they asked me what country I was from and I answered "Australia".

          The ACT is just as much a part of Australia as Tasmania. Technically there, but no one likes to recognise this

    Concerning the driving side, if you ever get in your car on the left side Chumbucket sometimes says 'Surely you jest Saint, you of course know the side where the holy wheel has always resided! You test my faith!' or something along those lines.

    Is this a good game, how does it compare alongside Far Cry, and GTA

      Far Cry and GTA are two very different games,

      I've been really enjoying it but i'm a massive gear head, it's definitely not a game to pick up for the story but if you enjoyed games like SoM i'd highly recommend it.

      It might not be GOTY, but it's a total blast to play.
      Sleeper title of this year. Kinda like Sleeping Dogs in that respect.
      it's a really fun awesome game.

      Last edited 11/09/15 10:55 pm

    I still try to get into a warthog or scorpion tank by the wrong side in Halo! Wastes a few precious seconds.

    Bren Foster is a complete bad ass in The Last Ship.

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