Posted: January 21
Max Payne 3 was Rockstar’s attempt at making a Max Payne game, as before it was Remedy who had done the previous two. Now right off the bat let me mention that fans of the previous 2 may or may not like the new Max Payne character as Rockstar seems to have changed him or at least the game’s tone from at times a 4th wall breaking humor to an ultra depressed middle aged man with a serious substance abuse problem. Max is still voiced by the same VO which is good because honestly I can only picture him doing Max’s voice. I can see where some of the criticism is coming from as far as the seemingly negative way Rockstar has changed Max’s character and tone towards life. However I can also appreciate the changes; Max is older, he has been dealing with the loss of so many of his loved ones that you can not deny what that could do to a person mentally. The still framed pictures or comic book type loading and cut-scenes have been replaced with fairly well done but good looking in-game cut-scenes, which some people hate because well if you die a lot then you have to rewatch every single one multiple times and sometimes it just seems to take the game forever to load that section of the level. Much of the cut-scenes have an odd video interference effect which some people complain causes headaches because it can cause the screen to flash different colors and tones rapidly. It was honestly an odd choice because it happens throughout the entire game, not just when Max is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The combat however, at least to my memory, I still have my old Max Payne 1 and 2 disks here, has not changed in fact to me it has been improved dramatically, some ways it is a step back but I’ll get to that. The animations, Max’s movements are very fluid and stunned me when I first saw them, Max no longer rigidly flys through the air and clips through walls and other objects, his body reacts differently to what he hits or slides along. The gunplay and shooting in very pleasing however it seems to be more geared towards being somewhat realistic as far as weapon damage. No longer can Max take hit after hit and a headshot from the enemy is an instant death, which is something very new to the series, at least as far as I can remember. The slow motion gunplay as well as gunplay outside of bullet time is quite enjoyable and a vast improvement over what it was in the past, movement and aiming is much more fluid and responsive. That being said one addition to the slow motion bullet time system that Max Payne has been known for is what amounts to a last stand, or rather if you are mortally wounded but still have painkillers in your inventory, the game will automatically pop the pills and you will fall in place while in slow motion in an attempt to kill the person who brought you own. Doing so will allow you to recover from what would have been a death, failing to find any target let alone return the fatal shot to the enemy who shot you will result in death. This plays into both this game’s improvement and a potential and constant problem; sometimes when you are put into last stand you quite literally can not see the person who shot you OR what normally happens is that Max falls in such a position that he can not actually get a shot at the target thus ending in a very frustrating death. This unfortunately happens rather consistently throughout the game so that is one major negative that I can readily ID and say “I am honestly not sure that they REALLY play tested that idea”.
The story and setting are fairly different from what most Max Payne vets are used to playing, rather then New Jersey or New York apartments, side streets and allyways, fighting mobsters. You are now fighting in Brazil against gangs, paramilitary organizations and state forces. The settings are quite well done as is the atmopher, gone are you abilities to readily understand the NPCs within the game unless they speak English or unless you speak I believe Portuguese (I could be very wrong sorry) which makes you feel very isolated and even more alone many times. The story can be either good or bad depending on how you look at it or what kind of story that you enjoy, some will like it, others will hate it, I happened to like it.
The music is another major factor to me if how I feel while playing, if a game has bad music while I’m trying to do action rolls and dodging the experience may not feel as good as a game that has a good sound track. This title however does have quite a good sound track and the music fits many of the situations that you run into especially the last level song, it really gets you pumped to finally see the end to this story, to me anyway, others have said it was too house or techno and not fitting of Max Payne. It will come to personal opinion honestly. The sound effects are really well done, from the weapons fire, the explosions and the ambient environments everything feels like a lot of effort was put into making it feel right. The past 2 Max Payne titles never really had any problems with this however I was happy that despite Remedy not making this game that Rockstar was able to keep that feeling.
The game also hits that little part of the brain for completionists, collectables for golden guns that actually have an in game benefit (mostly ammo capacity). So depending on what kind of person you are, you may end up playing through this game several times trying to get all of the little bits and pieces which can further extent your play time. It is however optional.
The multiplayer aspect is a different story as far as my enjoyment; while it is well fleshed out and not just some tacked on addition to meet the new generation requirement that every game needs multiplayer it is however not very fun. I did try to enjoy it, I even played with a friend but after maybe 4 or 6 hours of total time in the multiplayer I had had enough and to me the combat did not transition well from singleplayer to multiplayer. There are no dedicated servers so again PC gets a not so stable port for the multiplayer side of this game, it is Peer to Peer and in a game which revolves around slow motion and good aiming that is not a winning combination. Some people may enjoy it others do not, and on top all of this from what I understand there is a serious problem with cheaters and hackers.
Over all at least for the main story, not the multiplayer aspect of this game, I quite enjoyed the third iteration of Max Payne even if it was done by Rockstar. I enjoyed it and I felt that it was a worthy number to add to the franchise.