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Mad Max story is standalone because 'movie tie-in games tend to be bad'


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Back at E3, Avalanche Studios said the story in its Mad Max game is "standalone," which seemed a bit strange given the existence of upcoming Mad Max film Fury Road. At Gamescom we asked senior game designer Emil Kraftling to clarify the relationship between game and movie, and why Avalanche Studios went with its own standalone story.

"We aren't limited as such by the contents of the [new] movie," Kraftling told us. "But we are able to use whatever contents of the movie that ties well into the games."

The game is Avalanche's own interpretation of Mad Max's manic, post-apocalyptic universe, and the studio wants to stay true to its core aspects. That said, the thought of doing a movie tie-in clearly didn't appeal to Kraftling.

"It is a standalone experience," Kraftling reiterated. "From the get go that's how we wanted it, because movie tie-in games tend to be quite bad, and we really want to be wary of heading there. We wanted to create the game with a game experience as the primary focus, and we want core gamers to be able to enjoy this game. We want to enjoy the game ourselves. We want to make a game that we want to play."

Gallery: Mad Max (Gamescom 2013) | 3 Photos

The game's story is clearly important to Avalanche Studios. Kraftling said the Swedish developer is doing more with plot and narrative than it's done before, and wants to create a world and story that's more grounded than that of its 2010 game, Just Cause 2.

"That's really something that we are really enthusiastic to bring to the table this time, that we haven't proven before," Kraftling added.

Of course, Mad Max will still have Avalanche Studios' brand of open-world mayhem, and the build we saw at Gamescom added to that sense. The game features accumulator challenges that track as you plow through the wastleland, cleaning up the various enemies to defeat, tasks to do, and goodies to find. The challenges tie in to a character progression system; Kraftling said they definitely aren't a purely achievement or trophy-driven thing.

Mad Max, Aussie accents and all, rides onto Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC sometime next year. In the meantime, be sure to check out our E3 preview.

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