Review – Max Payne 3

It’s been 9 long years since we last saw Max, he’s now a retired NYPD officer with a real sweet tooth for alcoholism and pain killers. His life begins to take a bit of a turn when he gets into an altercation with the local Mob Boss’ son. During the Altercation, a guy by the name of Passos, who was trying to recruit Max to join him as a wealthy families personal security in Brazil. Without going into too much detail so as to not spoil the game, Max eventually goes to Brazil where he’s thrust into a web of conspiracy between two warring underground factions.

The game plays out just like previous titles in a 3rd person perspective with a heavy emphasis of using cover for protection, which slows the action down considerably and I feel, takes a little of the thrill away from running into a room guns blazing while using bullet time. Peppered throughout the levels, Max finds painkillers to help alleviate any discomfort he has from being shot at. One of the new features  is called “Last Man Standing” which basically allows Max a small window of time to kill the son of a bitch you last put a bullet into him to keep alive. One thing to note is that” Last Man Standing” only works if you have painkillers on hand.

Previous games int he Max Payne series told the story through a series of comic book panels and voice overs whereas Max Payne 3 has a more cinematic feel this time around, which, help to bring the gamer into Max’s world and actually care about what happens to him. That brings me to to the graphics – WOW! This game looks beautiful – RockStar’s own Rage engine is an incredible piece of technology that absolutely captures the beauty of Brazil and the grit of the underground you almost forget that this is a game. I’m extremely excited to see where this tech goes as it matures. From the claustrophobic confines of a burning office building, a luxury Yacht,  to the dirty grimy Favellas and everything in between, the levels feel fresh and varied.

The gunfights in May Payne 3 don’t feel so cookie cutter like most games out there. Each faction actually exhibits a different style of gun play making each fight feel just different enough to keep the player from getting bored or being able to predict what the bad guys will do next.

The multiplayer games in MP3 is Rockstars first real implementation or a true multiplayer experience. The standard Deathmatch and TDM types are there but they feel more distinct that other titles through the use of  an adrenaline gauge that’s built up over the course of a match from killing other players or looting their dead bodies for cash to buy  weapons and weapon upgrades. Admittedly I’ve not had too much time to play online but I will say that I loved my limited time with Payne Killer and the Gang Wars modes. Payne Killer has 2 players controlling Max and his partner Passos in a king of the hill style game.

Gang Wars on the other hand is a different beast all together. Max narrates a story that spans across 4 game types pitting rival factions against each other in turf fights or as they deliver packages to a designated location on the map. No matter how the previous levels turn out, there’s still a chance for the losing team to come out on top during the final round in a winner-take-all team deathmatch where the scores from the previous carry over.

I found this kick at the can to be the most fulfilling game in the Max Payne series. It feels like Max has finished everything he needs to do and can finally retire with some piece of mind and not so many personal demons. As much as I’ve enjoyed all the Max Payne games, I’d be content with Rockstar  letting this cowboy to ride off into the sunset and retiring for some old fashioned R&R for good or relaunching him in a new manner with a new set of stories.

Pros
– Graphics are simply stunning
– Multiplayer is tense and familiar but different enough to make it stand out from the rest
– Games narrative feels more like a movie forcing the player to care about Max
– The game had a fulfilling finale feel to it.

Cons
– A little too much emphasis on cover style gun play slows the action down

Feed Your C0nsole gives Max Payne 3 an 8.5 out of 10

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