[Review] Max Payne 3

“The way I see it there’s two types of people, those who spend their lives trying to build a future and those who spend their lives trying to rebuild the past.”

Max Payne 3 is a gritty action movie 3rd person shooter with bullet time mechanics. Max is back and at first not much has changed. He’s still depressed about the past and drinking at the local bar where he meets his old pal, Passos. Max doesn’t remember him but he says they knew each other from the academy. Then they drink and catch up until they get into a fight with some trouble making Jersey Shore wannabe jerks. Passos helps Max fight and get away and tells him about a job opportunity, something for Max to do instead of drowning himself in booze and pills. He’s reluctant at first but eventually agrees. The job involves working with Passos as private security for a rich family in Brazil but you soon find out he took on more than just protecting rich people.

“This kind of place made me want to puke. I needed a real drink to cope with the electronic music and robotic people.”

The rest of the story can get a little confusing if you’re not paying attention. It’s full of twists, betrayal, and murder and Max is strung along through it while being left in the dark. The story is told through Max’s perspective so you’re also left in the dark until later on. This effect is emphasized by the fact that the game takes place in a foreign land where the locals don’t speak English and they don’t translate.

“Haven’t you figured this out yet? I DON’T SPEAK YOUR @$*%#&+ LANGUAGE! “

The game has lots and lots of cut-scenes which makes it feel like watching a movie. The cut-scenes are there to mask loading times. Instead of staring at a loading screen you get to watch cut-scenes. They’ve got a lot of effects on them which was a stylistic choice that compliments the fact that Max is usually drunk, hung over and on pain pills, so his vision is affected. It makes sense to me but I think they could have cut back a little bit. Also, if you’re running around shooting dudes with a machine gun and then get to a cut-scene, sometimes the game will change your weapon to the pistol to match the cut-scene. Not a huge deal, just change it back when the cut-scene is over but still annoying especially in the later levels when you need more than just a pistol.

“Look at me, I’m standing in a nightclub, listening to music I can’t stand, I’m five thousand miles from home, I’m armed and I’m drinking. You don’t want to listen to advice from me, amigo.”

Bullet time is back as well as most of the mechanics and things that make a Max Payne game… a Max Payne game. (The shooting, bullet time, Max’s fantastic, sarcastic, cynical, narration, painkillers) But this time Rockstar added a cover system which I think works pretty well. The gameplay involves running through the levels shooting lots and lots of goons and finding out what happens next in the story. You can only hold 3 guns at a time. Two hand guns and a rifle type gun. If you dual wield, you loose your third “rifle type gun”. Kinda annoying but I could deal with it. There were plenty of guns dropped by the bad guys you fight.

At the beginning of a few levels you get to do these awesome, forced slow motion- shoot every one scenes were Max jumps from a ledge or jumps through a window and then your given control to try and shoot up all the bad guys in the room before hitting the ground. These are so cool and some of the most memorable parts of the gameplay for me.

When your health bar goes up all the way but you still have unused painkillers you get to do this last stand thing where if you shoot the guy that shot you, you get a second chance, and loose a painkiller. I like this… when it works. Half the time the guy that shot you is hidden behind a wall, or Max is facing the wrong way and you can’t turn around within the time they give you, or, my personal favorite, you’re out of ammo and aren’t allowed to reload. You just get to sit there, listening to the click click click of your empty gun until Max falls down dead.

“I had a hole in my second favorite drinking arm…”

The game feels good playing it. The controls work and make sense, I played it on PC with mouse and keyboard. I aim better with a mouse than a controller. I ran into one big glitch during my play throughs where the camera stops following Max and the top half of every character was missing. It was just a bunch of pants running around. It was hilarious! I didn’t have any other problems playing the game and thoroughly enjoyed it. There’s a lot of chapters which is good, means you’re getting a lot of content for your money but there were a few chapters that got pretty repetitive. Max goes to a new location full of bad guys waiting for you to come and shoot them, run, shoot dodge, cover, rinse and repeat, but the devs did a good job of throwing new and interesting parts in the levels to keep it from getting stale. There’s also collectables like the golden gun parts, the extra clues and Max’s narration keep you into it.

Max Payne 3 was released in 2012 and still looks good on pc today (2017) but I did notice some things that showed it’s age. Little things that are easy to look past. There is a multiplayer mode but I could care less about that. Overall it’s a fantastic game. It has a interesting story, fun shooter gameplay with slow motion bullet time, good characters and lots of memorable quotes.

“So I guess I’d become what they wanted me to be, a killer. Some rent-a-clown with a gun who puts holes in other bad guys. Well that’s what they had paid for, so in the end that’s what they got. Say what you want about Americans but we understand capitalism. You buy yourself a product and you get what you pay for, and these chumps had paid for some angry gringo without the sensibilities to know right from wrong.”

You should go play it.



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