Mad Max is an iconic property. To hear the name is to remember a young Mel Gibson roaring his way through an apocalyptic Australian outback, gunning down motorcycle gangs and encountering Tina Turner’s hair. The movie is famous for encouraging the global markets’ interest in Australian New Wave. Set in Australia, starring Australian actors, filmed in the Australian outback, and written and directed by Australian talent, there are few other films that can fight it for most quintessential Australian film.
So it stands to reason that the Mad Max video game, announced this past week at E3, would at least carry some of that Australian-ness. Avalanche Studios, in charge of bringing this long beloved film franchise to consoles, would surely keep Mad Max’s accent.
Or, you know, they could make him a standard Mid-Western American everyman.
According to Avalanche Founder Christofer Sundberg, the studio is treating Mad Max as a “completely new property.” He continued, “And we wanted to treat it like an original IP. The setting – where it is in the world – has really nothing to do with the Mad Max video game. It’s really a game to do with the relationships between different people in this world.”
Relationships were not really the strong suit of the Mad Max series, and memories of the film are not filled with Mad Max thoughtfully interacting with motorcycle thugs. One of the set pieces of the Mad Max series is the Australian setting, completely desolate, and utterly empty. That, and Tina Turner’s hair in the sequel.
If Avalanche Studios was not going to treat the IP as a long standing franchise, then why not just make a regular post-apocalyptic game without the Mad Max name? Why tie Max to an unrelated project?
What do you think? Does it matter to you whether or not Max keeps his Australian roots?