Mad Max and Chumbucket: The Ultimate Road Warriors

When a stone-cold champion and a crafty mechanic team up in the harsh wasteland in Mad Max, almost nothing can stand in their way.

The smells of burnt oil and gunpowder dance in his nostrils and mock his pride. His car, the once mighty Interceptor, has bled out. The tranquil vacancy of his immediate surroundings forms a foggy mirage; an image of the fabled Plains of Silence--his final destination--momentarily takes hold. He relishes the moment while it lasts. Only death could prove an adequate detour, but with the Plains' promise of solace too great to ignore, he trudges forward with a heavy heart and clouded thoughts.

Daylight gives way to blinding darkness, and the weary warrior stumbles headlong into a trap. Slung from a tree, buckled in dank netting, he senses his captor approaching and readies a single slug in the chamber of his shotgun. The mumbling, wheezy hunchback cuts the net. Max untangles the web and rams the rusty barrel of his weapon into the hunter's temple. They pause. "Angel Combustion, you delivered him to Chumbucket," the hunter said, flush with unbridled, disturbed glee.

And thus, the unlikely duo of Max and Chumbucket is formed, kicking off this fresh take on the legend of Mad Max from Avalanche Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. During a presentation at Gamescom, press members got a closer look at the game's structure, car customization, and, most importantly, vehicular skirmishes. With the introduction of Chumbucket, Max's harpoon-wielding Igor-like companion, the game from the team behind Just Cause 2 left a much stronger impression than it had after its unveiling at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

For Chumbucket, a master mechanic, Max is the prophesied champion destined to aid him along his quest to piece together the Magnum Opus, a war machine to be without equal in the wasteland. Without his trusty Ford Falcon GT Coupe, the Interceptor, Max has no choice but to accept the partnership. After all, a ronin in the wasteland without a car is as good as dust. The pair henceforth spend the majority of their time roaming the barren landscape, fending off ravenous bandit convoys and infiltrating fortified strongholds in search of valuable parts and scrap.

Max can face off against enemies on foot by himself, but fighting against uninspired AI with simple quick time event based tactics pales in comparison to the excitement and spectacle of taking the fight to the road, due in no small part to Chumbucket's efforts. His harpoons let you tug and whip vehicles into obstacles, or draw them in for a well-placed shotgun blast to the driver's face. With cars bursting out of dunes at high speeds, flames belching from fractured gas barrels--which can easily set the unfortunate but hardy Chumbucket ablaze--and enemies attempting to board your chariot mid-battle, Max needs all the help he can get.

Sometimes, frantic action takes a backseat to calculated assaults. When the pair approached an enemy encampment during the demo, a warning from Chum prompted Max to spot a lookout through the sight on his rifle. However, rather than waste precious ammunition, Max and Chum snuck through the shadows, latched their harpoon to the tower's supports, and wrenched the lofty structure to the ground, allowing them to sneak further into the stronghold. Though you can certainly bust your way into forts with the might of your car, guns blazing, it's often beneficial to mitigate the risk of vehicular damage if possible.

If, however, you chose to walk the chaotic path, Chumbucket can help bolster your car's defenses using parts salvaged from other cars during your quest. Your engine, chassis, and wheels are swappable at his garage; with the option for custom bodywork should you need it. If you plan on busting through fortifications, a heavy ramming grille will prove most effective, but it will also slow your car down and alter its handling characteristics, requiring the addition of a new suspension and a fuel injector to counteract the imbalance. Customizing your ride is all about give and take, and it seems to be an integral part of diversifying your tactics.

Max alone is a force to be reckoned with, but with Chumbucket by his side, there's little the two can't overcome. Plus, Chumbucket's presence seems to make for a more enjoyable game; their verbal interactions give substance to otherwise mundane excursions, and the car combat is a richer experience thanks to the flexibility afforded by their combined strengths. Were it not for their cooperative efforts, the Gamescom demo may not have left as positive an impression as it did. If the promise seen there can expand and persist in the final game, Avalanche Studios may have a game worthy of the reputation for bombastic action earned by the original Mad Max trilogy.

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26 comments
vivalatour
vivalatour

I always liked the little weirdo wing the boomerang , the little rat was a hero !

Carton_of_milk
Carton_of_milk

1- The author's attempt at fiction writing in the first few paragraphs was eye roll inducing.


2- Really? You want to have a character in your game whose name is one letter removed from Cumbucket? I don't know....

magicalclick
magicalclick

Looks great. WB always publish interesting games with good quality.

Evl_Leprechaun
Evl_Leprechaun

Although hated by hollywood currently, Mel Gibson's likeness and Mad Max attitude and voice would have made this game golden in my mind, bet I'll get backlash for this one lol.

Johny_47
Johny_47

This is turning out to be an alright game, shame about the no Aussie accent though,. Would have been much better because of the obvious authenticity. One other thing though, I really hope his Ford Interceptor sounds just like the one in the films, always puts a smile on my face hearing that supercharger whine and the roaring V8 =)

Karmazyn
Karmazyn

why not to make just cause 3 instead. It is looking quite decent but main character looks like smoothen version of Joel from TLOU. This is not how mad max should look like...

scatterbrain007
scatterbrain007

"Max can face off against enemies on foot by himself, but fighting against uninspired AI with simple quick time event based tactics..." Ok that sounds horrible and they better change it.

From the article it seems like the on foot combat is pretty boring, which really sucks.  The car combat does sound like a lot of fun, though.  

starduke
starduke

"simple quick time event based tactics"

Darn it, I was hoping this game would be good. With QTEs a game is NEVER good. With QTEs the game plays you!

ggregd
ggregd

That's not Mad Max.  I can understand not wanting to use Mel Gibson's face, not not being given permission, but then just don't do it at all.  It's not the same.

plm3d_basic
plm3d_basic

This game sounds like Rage but a third person shooter instead.  It has potential.

Holy-Rapture
Holy-Rapture

The more I read about this game the more it's sounding like it's not going to be good :/

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Good old Chumbucket..

I expect Plankton to show his face with a plan to take the secret recipe for the krabby patty.  If not I'll be disappointed.

sullyliam
sullyliam

Starting to become less excited for this game the more I hear about it. Seems too gimmicky with stupid sidekicks and bad hand to hand combat. Mad Max should be a bit more serious and not as whacky as Just Cause. Hopefully I'm proven wrong and it turns out to be a good game.

mustafa_miasar
mustafa_miasar

Why always MAX !
Like max payne , mad max and apocalypse Max :)
I hope this game is great.

tightwad34
tightwad34

Chumbucket? I would never want to be called that. It's too close to another term that's grosser than gross.

hystavito
hystavito

The way the car combat is described here has me less worried.  I was concerned that it was going to be very much not like Mad Max, attaching crazy guns or rocket launchers or whatever to your car.  Still, it's highly likely I won't love the game nearly as much as the movies, but that's expected.  It's not some indie game or something made for the niche audience of purist Mad Max fans, I get that.

xxfrijolxx
xxfrijolxx

to tide you over till this game is released google a sega genesis game called, Outlander.  It has that mad max feel to it.

oskuuu
oskuuu

i've got really high hopes for this game, hopefully it turns out to be a good one =P

CaveManCobb
CaveManCobb

Oh how I hope this game is good. I really don't want it to turn out like Colonial Marines. 

shikori_4
shikori_4

@scatterbrain007 Its not as bad as it is made out to be.I guess the author felt this way because the car combat is so great, it over shadows the standard on foot combat. Its sort of a mix between farcry 3 and red dead. As for the AI, the author forgot to mention that this is pre-alpha and the game doesn't drop until fall 2014, so stuff like ai are not finalized at this point. They have not even finalized the size of the world or the contents of it yet. From what I have seen the animation does need some minor tweaking, but the graphics do look amazing though, for such an early build.