As far as all the current and upcoming revisitations old franchises go — most of them remakes — Mad Max: Fury Road is by far one of the most intriguing, and for one simple reason: it’s actually being made by George Miller, the guy who created the franchise in the first place. It’s still not entirely clear whether Fury Road is a sequel, prequel, reboot, or what, but Tom Hardy (Bane in The Dark Knight Rises) is taking over the role of Max made iconic by Mel Gibson, and the project is clearly intended to revive the franchise for a new generation. Standard operating procedure for a property like this these days: make a video game tie in. And indeed, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Avalanche Studios have a Mad Max game scheduled for next year, and you can check out the first gameplay trailer above.
Much of the so-called “gameplay” looks to be cinematics with a moody song setting the tone, but we do see some footage that reveals what the game will have to offer. When the game was first announced last month at E3, it was described as a “third-person open-world vehicular combat game,” and you can see three distinct play styles on display in the trailer. Third-person gunplauy? Check. Some brutal up-close fighting? Yep. No Mad Max game would complete without some balls-to-the-wall car-on-car violence, and it looks like they’ve got that covered nicely as well. All in all, the Mad Max game is one I’ll be keeping my eye on, and keeping my fingers crossed that they don’t much it up.
The trailer does answer one outstanding question: the in-game character of Max Rockatansky doesn’t look to be modeled after either Gibson or Hardy, That’s just as well, since using the licensed image of an actor without their voice behind it can be a distracting annoyance. Although that wouldn’t necessarily be a problem since Gibson might be voicing the game version of Max.
I should probably specify, that’s Donal Gibson, not Mel.
Donal is Mel’s considerably-less-famous brother. He does have some experience with both acting and voice acting in particular. Among other things, he took over the role of Captain John Smith in Disney’s Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World — his brother Mel played Smith in the first Pocahontas flick. Donal is specifically campaigning for the Mad Max game gig, and even recorded a demo, which you can head over at Ausgamers. And I gotta say, he does a pretty solid Max voice. Assuming Avalanche doesn’t opt for a more famous celebrity to voice the game’s lead, they could certainly do worse than hiring Donal.
Of course, even if they get the voice right, there’s still a lot that will need to work for the Mad Max game to avoid the curse of movie tie-ins, which are usually, let’s be honest here, awful. Plus, the Mad Max films helped inspire other post-apocalyptic games such as the Fallout and Borderlands series, so the Mad Max adaptation will need to find a way to make this type of game fresh and entertaining, rather than just feeling like a cheap rip-off of the games its source material paved the way for in the first place.
Fury Road is the fourth installment in Miller’s Mad Max series, the first since 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Neither the movie nor the game has an official release date yet, but I’m betting they’ll come out around the same time.