Maximum Action Review- No Really, It Is Literally The Maximum Amount Of Action
A lot of games are unfortunately named. Not that they’re bad names, they just don’t represent what the game is about. In Minecraft Dungeons you neither mine nor craft, Disintegration involves very little disintegrating, and Half-Life is probably only 1/1000th of Gordon Freeman’s life. However, some surpass their title. It’s not hyperbole to say that Maximum Action lives up to its name. I don’t know where I’m going with this intro, but I am legally obligated to have one. I’m just out of surgery, I’ll make it better when I’m not on pain meds (edit: he did not).
In Maximum Action, you play as a nameless action hero who finds himself in a variety of typical 80s cinema scenarios. With nothing but his guns, his wits, his bullet-time ability, and his rib cage crushed into dust, he must fight his way through dozens of armed gunmen (sometimes swordsmen) in order to make it through each sequence.
Each sequence in Maximum Action is its own self-contained area, with themes independent of the rest. You might find yourself in a gun battle through a hospital, and the next level, fighting guerrillas in the jungle. As it stands, there really is no plot, because that would take away from the action. Then it would have to be called “Mostly Action” instead, and we can’t have that.
Maximum Action, at least currently, seems to be more focused on refining the interesting gameplay more than anything. There are no audio logs or collectibles (other than one, which I will talk about later) and the only objective is to kill. On occasion, there will be a boss fight, but beyond that, the storytelling comes through the environment and your own imagination.
The gameplay for Maximum Action is the real draw. Taking inspiration from classic Hong Kong cinema, Maximum Action plays like a mix of Max Payne and Superhot. High speed FPS gameplay, except you’re always either in bullet-time or leaping. And of course, you are never not shooting.
One cool aspect of Maximum Action is that you can dual wield any two guns. Double SMGs are always fun, or you can do a shotgun in one hand and a magnum revolver in the other. Or if you’re feeling really bold, maybe even RPGs akimbo. Each hand is independent, allowing you to reload any one gun while continuing to shoot with the other.
And I must say, there are a *lot* of guns. SMGs, MGs, AKs, RPGs, HPVs, RL Steins, you name it. On top of that, almost every weapon class has multiple model variants. Every time I thought of something that could be added, like a katana or a crossbow, was already added! I thought Maximum Action had shown me it all and then I found myself in a wild-west gun battle, with six-shooters, long rifles, and more. I seriously struggle to think of any more weapons that could be added, but I have faith there is still more in store for us.
Also worth noting, and I’m sure this will be removed, is the grenades mechanic. Maximum Action currently has unlimited grenades for you to throw. And frankly, it’s almost unnecessary because of how much fun the gunplay is. I found myself completely forgetting about this impossibly powerful tool at my disposal because there was literally too much action going on for my tiny mind to focus.
Maximum Action is very generous with the bullet-time meter, allowing for more tactical and fluid choices during fights. Much like Superhot, you can empty a magazine into one enemy, whip the empty gun into another guy’s head, and grab his gun in midair to continue the rampage. And perhaps this is just due to perspective, but it seems like the rag doll gets even more extreme during bullet-time.
One last mechanic is the dive. Maximum Action takes heavy inspiration from the severely broken sternum of Max Payne by allowing your character the ability to dive on to the ground at any time. While this is certainly cool, it’s often not all too useful for dodging bullets. But it certainly gives this game some real style points, and that’s what counts.
At the moment, Maximum Action is still in very early early-access. As such, there isn’t as much content out as one might like. Currently there are nine levels, one of which is a tutorial. Each of the levels take anywhere from one minute to maybe six to beat. While this does give it a Hotline Miami esque feel, where you rerun bite sized missions to get the most efficient playthrough, it’s still quite limited. Again, I must stress that this is early access, and in-game notes point to either more missions or more length for the current list. But in the current state of the game, about an hour of campaign is what you should expect.
To make up for the current lack of missions, Maximum Action has a few different “endless mode” levels. These can be unlocked by finding a VCR cassette hidden within some of the main missions. While it is fun to be stuck in a room with endless waves of increasingly difficult enemies, the beginning stages start very slow (maybe fighting two to four guys per wave), and there is a sizable pause between waves. As it ramps up the endless mode gets a lot more interesting, but it would be nice if the difficulty was a bit more customizable.
As awesome as Maximum Action is, the game is still not complete. I would say there’s probably two hours of content thus far. However, the content is a lot of fun and certainly very replayable. Judging from the rest of New Blood’s roster, there’s going to be a good amount more added before the final cut. For its current price, I would absolutely recommend it.