Max Payne 3 Review
Max Payne 3
Rockstar Vacouver recently released the third installment of Max Payne. A down on his luck ex-detective finds himself working as a body guard for a prominent South American family. After a few kidnappings, gun fights and haircuts later, Max finds himself in the middle of corruption and scandals as he uses a shoot first ask questions never tactic to figure out solutions.
Story: Don’t need it. The story is the weakest part of the game. The story is told in a non-linear fashion jumping back and forth between the NY area and southern America, and it’s difficult to keep track of what’s going on. During cinematics there are words that pop up from the dialogue, and at first I thought they were relevant to the story, but it quickly became clear that they’re just chosen at random. There are friends that you trust way to quickly, then you find clues hinting that they’re bad, but when they say “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” you immediately trust them again… If you pay attention to everything that is going on during the story it might be more clear, but my advice would be not to stress about it. I actually liked Max less, when it seems like he’s bitching that he’s screwing things up cause he’s a drunk, yet is constantly drinking. However even when he stops drinking, he still manages to screw up. It was frustrating and a lot of Max’s decisions will leave you wondering.
Gameplay: A lot of fun. The game plays just like a first person shooter, with the relentless enemies and limited deviation from the standard clear out an area, and move on to the next one. After clearing an area you can look around and fine some extra pain meds, that regenerate health, or gun parts. Finding 3 parts of the same weapon will make the weapon golden when you pick it up. It breaks up gameplay a little bit, but overall not really worth the effort. The added bullet time is a nice effect, being able to slow down time for a few seconds and dodge bullets and be able to target enemies easier. Triggering bullet time while jumping through the air is pretty awesome, although in some situations I found that it was more of a crutch than a fun add on. There were many firefights were after a few rounds of dying, I’d resort to blind firing and waiting for the bullet time meter to run up and pop off a few head shots. Although doing the same shooting seems like it could get repetitive, Rockstar breaks up the pacing with different enemies, and some scripted bullet time where you automatically make an epic leap through the air to wipe out a whole room of enemies in just a few seconds.
The game is also exceptionally brutal. Killing off the last enemy in an area will follow the last bullet in slow mo for the finishing shot, and you can either watch your foe fall, or you can hold down the trigger and the ‘x’ button (PS3) and pummel your advisory with more rounds until the cut scene. This works both ways though, if Max is out of pain killers you’ll get three different camera angles of your death shot. Another part of the game features a quick time event, where you have to push certain buttons in order, with the final push being a machete turned on your enemy in somewhat unpleasant way. The game could have used a few more of these to break up the constant gunfire, but it doesn’t suffer too much with out it.
Multiplayer: The multiplayer has taken some good tips from past games like Call of Duty, allowing players to choose and edit different load-outs. The action is fast paced, and pretty hectic. In the maps that I played there wasn’t a reason to play cooperatively, it was really just find an enemy and try to shoot them before they can get to cover. Grenades are also added to multiplayer, which were not available in the single player campaign, and although useful feel awkward to equip and throw.The games move fast, but the developers allow longer time for this by having a high cap for the winning team (100 kills compared to Modern Warfare 3’s cap of 75). The bullet time effect is a new mechanic to multiplayer. Rockstar included something similar in Red Dead Redemption with their ‘dead eye’, but where that allowed you to ‘tag’ enemies, bullet time actually allows you to slow down time for a period.
Look and Sound: The variety of areas is really good, going from slums of Brazil to the streets of Hoboken, NJ gives the player a nice mix of environments. The areas within the levels are all believable as well, having a good blend of destructive cover and non destructive. Just looking at cover you can figure that the cement pillar will probably be able to hold while the wooden fence will fall apart after a few shots from enemy fire. The destructible environments are always a nice touch and make everything feel immersive.
Graphics and effects are all well done. Apart from some texturing issues coming out of a load screen there isn’t anything to really complain about. Explosions all look and sound pretty spot on, as well as gunfire. Everything in bullet time is slowed as well and witnessing a propane tank or car explode during it is pretty awesome the first time.
There is a solar flare/ distorted camera effect that goes on during cinematics, and when you take pain killers. I thought it would be a cool thing to do, while your character is drinking all the time, but about half way through he decides to sober up, and I didn’t understand why everything was still distorted.
The sound is well done also. The voice acting is believable with the different accents when you travel to different countries.
Replay Value: Pretty High. Replaying the whole game so that you can experience the story, is not recommended. Rockstar does give you the option to replay any of the 15 chapters though which is a good idea to re-visit some of your favorite shootouts. The multiplayer doesn’t seem too competitive, and most will probably not strive to get all the achievements but being able to use bullet time and blast your enemies away will provide you with hours of entertainment.
Gameplay: A lot of Fun 8.5
Story: Could be non-existent 6
Multiplayer: What it should be with a little extra 8.5
Look and Sound: Very Well done 9
Replay Value: I won’t return it for a while 8
Overall Rating: A first person shooter, with a 3rd person camera, that was more fun than expected 8