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Avalanche Studios has been hard at work on Mad Max. The game has been in development for a couple of years now and the team finally made the announcement that most people should have expected by now: The Xbox 360 and PS3 version of the game have been cancelled. The game's release date has also been set for September 1st in North America and September 4th in the United Kingdom for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
IGN picked up the news from a rather lengthy editorial about the game on Game Informer, where they wax poetics on their cover story that will span a 12-page feature in the upcoming issue of the April edition of the GameStop-owned magazine.
According to Jeff Cork...
“Much has changed since the game was announced at E3 a few years ago. Most notably, the studio has decided to leave the planned Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions by the wayside. That move has allowed the team to deliver stunning vistas and effects that will challenge your expectations of what the Wasteland might look like.”
I've learned to temper expectations during this generation of gaming. Yes, the PC version could definitely end up being as big and as amazing as ever. However, the flip-side is that there are still consoles with mid-tier technology under the hood. The PS4 has a little bit of leg-room with the 8GB of GDDR5 shared memory setup between the GPU and CPU on its specialized APU, but the Xbox One has the eSRAM issue and standard 8GB of DDR3 RAM. So it's slower and slightly hindered by the 32MB of eSRAM, which means that there's going to be a certain ceiling of visual fidelity on the resolution and frame-rate front. That's not to mention that the GPU in both the PS4 and Xbox One is nothing to write home about, but with a few extra compute units on the PS4, there's still another technical ceiling that Avalanche Studios has to take into account.
All of the above is to say that while the PS4 version could look better than the Xbox One version and the PC version could look twice as good as its console counterparts, the problem is that when you have NDAs locking down devs from talking about how they're contracted to maintain parity at release for some AAA games – something we saw with the corked benchmarks for Call of Duty: Ghosts, the 5th being pleaded by the devs when asked about parity and a Ubisoft engineer later revealing that parity is the name of the game this gen between the Xbox One and PS4 – don't expect eye-popping graphics from Mad Max. There's always the option of a post-launch patch, like Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag or Call of Duty: Ghosts to raise the resolution or spec performance of the game on the PS4 over the Xbox One, or in the case of Watch Dogs, modders having to unlock the full potential of the PC version that was corked to keep the game from making the home console version look weak by comparison.
Of course, we won't know exactly what kind of visual trickery Avalanche Studios will have to employ to get the game looking and running its best on the home consoles. One thing is for sure, they cut out the extra costs of having to down-scale, limit and restrict Mad Max to run on the near-decade old Xbox 360 and PS3.
Anyway, those who pre-order the game will also receive a special body-kit upgrade for the Magnum Opus called The Ripper.
Mad Max is due for release this September for the eighth-gen systems (barring the Wii U) and PC. Need more info? Feel free to visit the official website.