Why I Fell In Love With Hope In Avalanche Studios' Mad Max

I fell in love with Hope while playing the Mad Max game.

By RON, Posted 05 Jul 2018

Video games have reached an age where you no longer just shoot and kill, but spend hours after hours spending time in exploring stories, character and experience trill. It’s said that a good game is far better than a good movie, especially because it not only deliver a good story but an engaging experience too. Just a few years back, three to be precise; Avalanche Studios developed the game Mad Max, published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment been widely praised by both the gamers and critics.

Personally, I’ve never been a fan of video games that are developed based on movies. Recently however, Mad Max was in the list of free PS Plus games on PlayStation 4, and I thought of giving it a go.

Hope,Female Character,Mad Max

Initially the game felt just like any other average open world game, with limitations such as Max can’t even jump over a feet or use any weapon other than a shotgun or knife. The game felt like any other racing game, until its story started to unveil. Well, I’m not here to review this game, since the title refers to a character that had me moved deeply. Yes, she’s Hope. A single mother with her daughter surviving the wasteland, and ready to do anything to protect her child, Glory. Her character screen says - Whatever it takes to survive, whatever it takes to keep my Glory alive.

As Max, I first met her locked in the holding cells of Gutgash. Without knowing much about her, I was curious to see a normal character in the game while everyone else looked different. Incase if you’re unaware, all the characters are Mad Max game had an apparent filthy appearance, but not Hope. So when I first saw her in Gutgash, I just knew that this character had a role to play in this game. And soon I was right, but her appearance only lasted for a short period. From there I started to look for her everywhere. And found her during a siege of Pink Eye's Stronghold. But her stay didn’t last too long there either, as she was captured by Stank Gum. It took me a while to find her again in Gastown; again as a prisoner.

Later on, Max won her as a price by defeating Stank Gum in a race. But again that didn’t last for long, as Max was attacked immediately and left wounded after the race by Scabrous Scrotus; the final boss of this game. This time Hope finds him and saves his life. When Max recovers, she pledged for his help to finding her daughter. Max does find her, and when both Hope and Glory wanted to leave wasteland with Max, he denied. Only if the game gave us a choice to say yes. Because his decision gave Scabrous Scrotus the chance to kill them both to wound Max. And it truly did. It felt awful when I knew that there’s not going to be any happy ending of this game and there won’t be any Hope in the end. Why Avalanche Studios? Why?

Hope,Female Character,Mad Max

There’s a concept in narrative called organic integration which, simply put, refers to the fact that in a work of narrative every element (or a majority of them at least) are connected to the general theme and, more importantly, work together as a system without imposing or being forcefully fit. For anyone who played 2015’s Mad Max or saw Fury Road, organic integration may appear fairly evident in the way the story and characters are mapped out. In this sense, there is a general theme in both works of narrative, some even could argue it is a bold exploration of feminism and how women (both female characters and the broader concept of womanhood) are able not only to survive but to fight back a, clearly, patriarchal society.

We see women subjugated to society dominated by over-the-top masculinity, a society built upon war, violence, exploitation, where women are treated as cattle. It is in the mist of this fucked up post-apocalypse where strong female characters shine the most and here’s where Hope comes into play. If Furiosa was the embodiment of the statement “we’re not gonna take it anymore”, then Hope embodies the message “this is why we fight”. Not only the name of the character is of the outmost importance, because of the heaviest of burdens hope (as an ideal) has in every post-apocalyptic narrative, but because it is both the impulse the character needs and the McGuffin he is pursuing.

Hope,Female Character,Mad Max

It’s everything but random that Hope plays such a major role in the story in the way she does. Being a single mother is a struggle of its own and Hope has to do while trying to survive and fight back. In a metaphorical and literal way, it is Hope who gives birth to Glory, as if it were a necessary step for one to exist before the other one can come into the world. In the end, because the main character needs to lose it all before he can emerge a changed man, he loses both Hope and, in doing so, Glory. This is a necessary step in every narrative following the Monomyth as established by Joseph Campbell’s Hero of a Thousand Faces. Once the hero touches rock bottom, there’s nowhere else to go but up, without Hope and Glory, there’s nothing left to lose.

That’s why a character like Hope is of the greatest importance; here mere presence transforms a rather generic narrative into something powerful, it gives substance to matter, conveys a message that needs to be heard, if also, deciphered.


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General Information

Mad Max


Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Publisher(s): Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer(s): Avalanche Studios
Genres: Vehicular Combat
Themes: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2015-00-00

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