Max Payne 3 Review
Max Payne 3 Review
Author: David Leach
It’s almost hard to believe that the original Max Payne was released over a decade ago. Typically when there is a large gap of stagnant time between game releases it is almost always headed towards a complete fail (as we’ve seen before). Fortunately I can tell you right off the bat that Max Payne 3 is definitely a strong followup to the dark and engrossing series. While the game touches lightly on building the past story (for first time gameplayers) it does so in a way that fits well even for series fanbois.
Traditional with the Max Payne series a lot of the game’s core aspects hasn’t changed. The controls are still a bit wonky and you do spend an enormous amount of time…err..slowing time (Bullet Time) and jumping and diving in cinematic style as you hail bullets to criminals and thugs who are not capable of doing the same. The setting takes place in Sao Paulo and from a story, theme and directive perspective it comes across as a marriage between the movies “City of Gods” and “Man on Fire”, I’ll speak more on that in a bit. Without spoiling the story, it is pretty self evident that things don’t go well for Max Payne and you are sent on a overwhelming task of rescuing a damsel in distress throughout the drug and gang infested slums of Brazil.
While playing the game you can’t help but notice that the creative direction seems to be taken play by play from “Man on Fire” which isn’t necessarily a bad thing (it’s a great movie), but it does seem like an overused parlor trick by mid-game. Also I thought I should mention that midway through the game Max Payne shaves his head and ends up looking like Walter White from Breaking Bad…just sayin. Like me, most of you will be sitting on the edge of your seat (solely) enjoying the wanton violence and witty vulgar remarks and trash talking that only Max Payne could deliver with such a somber overtone. Though some critics say that perfoming bullet time over and over get’s old fast, taking half of the skull off a bad guy with an AK never does and Max Payne 3 will only leave you desiring “more gibs more gibs!”. Amidst the massive pill popping (yes Max Payne is still on painkillers as a form of replenishing your health) and scarcity of ammo, I did feel that the game was a tad on the easy side, this is attributed to the bullet time…it’s easy to shoot shit when time slows down to a fraction. If your like me and tend to go for headshots or bust, you’ll most likely feel the same.
The overall story plays well throughout the game with numerous cutscenes and witty dialogue and at no point do you feel your really on a pointless “errands bitch” mission. Between flashbacks and what environments Max Payne is currently in, it’s pretty straightforward. Max Payne 3 follows a typical linear gameplay style (you won’t get lost) and there is only one path for each mission, while this is commonly used in a lot of games it does ding Max Payne 3 in the gameplay factor. After your 7th try running into a room with limited ammo or painkillers, it does seem like the characters tend to pursue the same routes, hide behind the same cover, and walk the same paths a little too frequently. While the simple mechanics will eventually test your patience it doesn’t completely kill the game. As far as replay-ability, there is none. Once you’ve beaten the game there is little to entice you to replay the game knowing the outcome of the story, however if your the type that likes to watch movies over and over, well to each his/her own.
Did I mention that Max Payne 3 is unforgivably violent? Although you will slaughter hundreds of spanish speaking gangbangers in glorious slow motion, bullet tracking, blood splattering fashion, you ultimately do feel like your delivering digital justice. One of the downsides to Max Payne 3 is that at no part in the entire game did I feel like the gameplay combined with story put me in any suspense. I knew that there was absolutely no repercussions to failing a mission, or using a run and gun technique. This goes back to my whole “linear” comment and this is when it seems that the storyline and game is shoving you through a ride at Disneyland.
When it comes to Max Payne 3′s graphics it does a decent job of having good visuals without breaking the performance. Max Payne 3 will not win any advances to graphics technology awards however playing at 2560×1600 with all options maxed there are certain areas within the game that stand definitively that this game was released in 2012 and not 2009. If I were to compare the graphics in Max Payne 3 to another game, I’d say that it is absolutely equal to Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell series, however the physics in Max Payne 3 are much higher (nvidia owners will enjoy this).
My largest gripe with Max Payne 3 is not a large one, but it does rear it’s ugly head much too often. Performing a bullet time jump needs to be a little more thought out on your part. If you turn a corner and are caught by surprise by a hail of gunfire and attempt to “bullet time jump” into a direction where you might collide with a chair, wall, or any random object, you are immediately ejected from bullet time mode and are caught laying on your side like a man caught with his pants down, usually ending in death.
Overall I did enjoy Max Payne 3 and I do have to reiterate that the grossly violent visuals and vulgar language make this a absolutely perfect combination that will keep you playing it until the end, but only once.
Video Review coming shortly!