Exactly. I’ve played something like three hours so far, and even if there’s lots of tedium, the “wow” moments largely make up for it.
All in all, I guess it’s a really good game to play in small sessions. Fire up the game, land on a planet, explore, find some stuff, rinse and repeat.
The car is indeniably the best part of Mad Max, and is actually (IMO) the main character. Driving it is fun (to the point I don’t see why I’d ride anything else despite having a dozen other cars in my inventory) and upgrading your car from a wreck found in a boneyard to a chrome warmachine with spikes and a freaking anti-material rifle mounted on top of it is great. The game almost manages to give you the feeling that it’s your car.
It’s a bit overwhelming, though. You’re drowned in missions, scrap to collect, people to talk to, side missions, places to discover, camps to clear…until you realize that most of them are useless and you can gain 900 scrap by driving in a sandstorm.
Combat is pretty anecdotal, I can survive with two buttons and it’s essentially Batman. I’m not a fan of that, thematically. Max is a badass (as seen in Fury Road especially) but he is not a god among men like Batman, I’d expect to struggle a bit more. There’s not much depth. Parry, counter attack, until everyone is dead. Oh and sometime you can perform a knife execution. Oh and sometimes there’s a guy with a baseball bat. There are some nice abilities - like shooting a guy in the belly and letting him die will make the rest of the group panic - but that’s all.
I found vehicular combat quite good on the contrary, despite the fact that the AI doesn’t know how to drive. It’s not a metaphor, it litteraly can’t handle a U-turn without crashing into a cliff sometimes.
The game really shines, as the RPS review rightfully stated, when you remember that you’re Mad Max. When you’re chasing a convoy, a sandstorm appears and despite the game telling you the contrary you’re like “whatever, LET’S DO THIS !”. In these situations the game has moments of pure brilliance.
Also it’s gorgeous. Desert environments are very hard to make interesting in games (looking at your, Borderlands 1) but in Mad Max there’s a very great work on colors and lighting : you can perfectly tell in which part of the desert you’re in just with the lighting. Also it takes places in a drained seabed, which means an automatic +1 for me.