It's hard to describe Mad Max as a direct correlation between other games on the market. So far, the best we've came up with, is it's like playing a mergence project between Borderlands and RAGE. Except it doesn't have the mundane boredom of RAGE. The game itself is very brutal, the live action orientated Batman style hand to hand comvat is satisfying, with more than enough enemy types to keep you interested. The combo chain (just like Batman) is there but the more you build it up, the more likely a Fury Kill is to take places, which is often one hit after you've been fighting for a while. Can also be pretty brutal too.
On top of that we have the ability to upgrade anything available to Max. Cars being the obvious one, you get the Magnum Opus early on in the game, a fabled car made by a crazy engineer, Chumbucket, that you meet in the open sequences of the storyline.
This car can be upgraded and downgraded at anytime from the pause menu. You can have it in V6 or V8 depending on your progression of the story and what you're doing at the time. You find different bodies for it as you go along and the parts unlock as Maxes 'Legend rank' increases. The legend rank is determined by ingame achievements that increase your popularity as you complete them. Driving itself is really fun. You'll find more use of the brake than the handbrake for makibg sharp turns in this title, but the combat in cars is brilliant.
Once you get nitrous, you can kit it out with a ram to destroy the cars of your enemies, you can even side ram other road users as well as using your harpoon to either destroy the tyre or pull the unsuspecting driver out his seat and over your roof. Very satisfying when you get it right. The best thing is, if you screw up bad, you can simply get out the car and veat everyone up hand to hand, while Chum fixes up the Magnus for you.
You can also upgrade Maxes equipment, for example, his jacket for better defence or brass knuckles for better combat damage output. You also have basic equipment designed to make exploration easier. Ofcourse, these upgrades don't come free. You have to explore hidden locations, complete quests for locals, build up strongholds or liberate camps to gain scrap, which you can turn in to buold better equipment. Much like other survival games you can also loot dead people you've just killed for tiny pieces of scrap.
Max can also be upgraded by earning tokens, these are earnt through races and completing quests. You turn these in at the mysterious wanderer, who in return gives you more base trait bonuses, such as earning more scrap when scavaging or better health regeneration.
The map is huge, you shouldn't take it too lightly either. There is danger aroubd every corner and if you don't go prepared for every eventuality, you can end up being savagely beaten down. It's alqays wise to try and keep Shotgun shells and sniper ammo for when you want to lay seige to camps, rather than using them for no reason. Scavaging also comes with survival, you need to find tins of food to eat or find water repositories to replenish water to regen your health. Again never walk away from an area unless you've filled up your water first. It becomes hard to find once you've been hitting them all quickly.
The story takes place in different holds. These holds have a different leader and you must break the warlords will over the strongholds to restore them. There are several ways to do this. First, as I already mentioned, liberating camps. Sounds easy you think, but these camps have difficulty ratings and show you how prepared you should be before traversing into there. Thankfully, you can do missions for friendly wastelanders that may give you ideas to gain you the upper hand. It's worth seeking these out before hand.
You can also take your new best friend, Dinki-di out in your buggy (Dinki-di, is a canine hero in my books) and Dinki will lead you to landmines that you can disarm to reduce the warlords influence. Also, destroying Totems and destroying supply convoys will reduce the level of threat posed.
Graphics are pretty incredible, at times a little iffy, but nothing WB's engine can't handle. You see it especially in cut scenes between Chum and Max more than anything. Sound is great, you can really hear Max's rage as the combat rolls on.
Other than scrap, you can collect other bits and pieces too, the Magnum Opus runs out of Fuel every now and again, so hunting down fuel cans and keeping them in the back with Chum is a great way to keep it going. The downside is that you may need to occasionally use said fuel to blow up a gate that the Magnus can't force its way passed. My favourite of the collectables thiugh has to be the historic ones, these will give you back story or will give you glimpses in to the world that war forgot. Mostly the best thing to scavenge.
Overal, there are bits and pieces that make you cringe, but the open world calls you out of the story so often, you won't even care. There is more than enough to keep you occupied and may even be able to give Shadow of Mordor a run for its money as best WB open world game.