Sony has announced its PlayStation Plus games selection for the month of April, and it's another good 'un, dropping Mad Max and Trackmania Turbo into the laps of subscribers.
Mad Max released on PS4 back in 2015, not long after George Miller's Fury Road movie, and saw Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios turn its open-world expertise from tropical stunt action to dusty desert bowl driving. The result, said Martin Robinson in his Eurogamer review, is the "curious, enjoyable wreckage that comes after a head-on collision between My Summer Car and a post-apocalyptic Assassin's Creed".
On the surface, it's a fairly typical open-world adventure, set across a sprawling map that's positively rammed with icons, objectives, and points of interest, but Mad Max's strength is in the way it adapts that familiar template to fit with its iconic cinematic universe. The real star, said Martin, is the open road, where "dust devils whirl across dunes and sand sweeps across tired asphalt, while the skyboxes sell the post-apocalyptic drama better than any other element".
"You'll have played other, better examples of the genre," concluded Martin, "and you've likely been a tourist to the post-apocalypse a few too many times before, yet Avalanche wears the fiction so well it's hard not to be charmed by this brutal, beautiful open world."
Trackmania Turbo, meanwhile, arrived on PS4 in 2016, and marked the first time since 2009 that developer Nadeo's long-running driving series had appeared on console. Luckily then, it's fantastic, feeling like a cross between an arcade racer and a physics puzzler, thanks to its preposterous, gravity defying tracks - over 200 in total - and its various challenges.
Alongside Trackmania Turbo's campaign mode, there's co-operative multiplayer, competitive multiplayer (including split-screen for up to four players), and a fully featured track editor to infinitely extend its exuberant possibilities. There's even PSVR support.
Martin reviewed this one too, noting its "unashamed and glorious debt to 90s arcade sensibilities that lends it an approachability and vibrancy", and calling it a "gleeful celebration of one of the finest racing series around, packaged with care and a new-found sense of style."
Elsewhere, the fairly uninspiring Q*Bert Rebooted - an update of the 80s arcade classic - is available for PS4, PS3, and Vita. PlayStation 3 owners, meanwhile, can add In Space We Brawl and Toy Home to their libraries, and 99 VIDAS comes to Vita.