The poetry of names in Mad Max

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The little troll in that image is Chumbucket. He’s really the star of Mad Max, the open-world car combat brawler from Avalanche Studios and Warner Bros. Entertainment. You may have thought titular Max was the star, but after staring at Chumbucket’s ass for 80% of the game, you’ll make peace with the idea that this little mutant mechanic with the evocative name is the main character. Just like in George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road, Max may be the hero, but the star is someone else. Avalanche got that right.

The writers at Avalanche also got the wonderfully twisted naming convention from the movies right. Max’s car is the Magnum Opus. His nemesis is Scabrous Scrotus who is the son of Immortan Joe. Chumbucket lives in The Great White, an ocean turned into a monstrous desert. (Three meanings in one! It has white sandy dunes! It used to be an ocean! It’s also a remorseless killer!) Jeet. Gutgash. The Plains of Silence. Pink Eye. Griffa. Stank Gum. These aren’t the names of people and places in our world, or even mythical Australia. These are the proper nouns of orcs in Warhammer. While some of the names are nonsense collections of consonants, others are as illuminating as Imperator Furiosa’s grand title. Who can hear the name Scabrous Scrotus and not immediately know they are dealing with a bad guy? The game may end up wearing thin after a few hours, but the names are going to stick.

Mad Max is available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

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