Max Payne 3 Review
The Good:Easy pick up & play single player campaign, some of the best narrative you will find in a game and fun multiplayer
The Bad:Gameplay may not have evolved enough for some
STORY Nine years have passed since our last outing with troubled NYPD detective Max Payne, only this time Max is no longer a member of the police force. Still struggling with the death of his wife and child and from an unlikely opportunity Max fled to the mean streets of Sao Paulo in the hope [...]
Nine years have passed since our last outing with troubled NYPD detective Max Payne, only this time Max is no longer a member of the police force. Still struggling with the death of his wife and child and from an unlikely opportunity Max fled to the mean streets of Sao Paulo in the hope that he can escape his recurring demons and start again with a fresh start and new life. He lands a very lucrative job being the personal body guard to a wealthy family known as the Branco family and Max finds the most of his time is occupied by looking after the three spoilt children and Fabiana the trophy wife of the head and father of the family, Rodrigo Branco.
Sao Paulo is very dangerous, especially when you are a wealthy family and kidnapping rich family members can be a very profitable business. Max already successfully protected the Branco family from one attempted kidnapping and with an unexpected and successful kidnapping of Fabiana; Max soon finds his semi-retirement is put on hold as he fights against the criminal gangs of Sao Paulo, desperately trying to bring Rodrigo’s wife back home to her family. But as usual for Max things are not always what they seem and it is about to get a hell of a lot worse. Will Max bring Fabiana back home safely or for that matter, will Max come back home at all?
As you have come to expect from a Rockstar production, following the hugely successful GTA4, Red Dead Redemption and more recently L.A Noire, Max Payne 3 follows suit in the visual department and looks the business. Max Payne 3 holds its own in the and compliments the Max Payne games of the past very well on the current gen console. I particularly like how some of the cutscene’s are presented with a multi angle view point, reminiscent of the series 24, if you are familiar with this series, you will know what I mean when you come to play Max Payne 3. All the characters in the game move and talk very believably and from the dark mean streets, the towering sky scrapers, disco lights at the night club to the bright and enclosed alley ways of the Favela, Max Payne 3 comes to life in so many ways. Rockstar have set very high standards with their iconic game L.A Noire and in many ways its set expectations a little too high for whenever Rockstar release there next blockbuster, Max Payne 3 manages to capture its own signature identity and is a very powerful tool in supporting the games superb narrative.
From the moment the game started and I first heard the haunting Max Payne theme song from the original, I instantly had a smile on my face and a great feeling of video game nostalgia. But the great musical score doesn’t stop there, throughout my Max Payne 3 experience, Rockstar have clearly gone to town to make the game’s soundtrack to be of a very high standard. I’ve listened to half the game’s soundtrack already via iTunes and you’d think that it has been produced from an industry giant, so a big thumbs up goes to the band ‘Health’ for their work done for the musical score. I had not heard of this band until now and I’m sure as a result of the excellent work, a fair few more people will also now be familiar with their work.
One of, if not the most iconic feature of the Max Payne franchise is the excellent narrative, high quality voice acting and its signature method of storytelling. When I played the original Max Payne all the way back in 2001, the narrative style has always been a stand out feature, back then there was no game like it and it set the standard of video game storytelling. Max Payne 3 returns all guns blazing, telling a story the way that only a Max Payne game can.
The Max Payne franchise has always stuck with its simple yet winning formula of gameplay, run and gun and kill everything that moves with style. That winning formula has made its expected return to Max Payne 3. Other then The Matrix movies, the slow down effect was made famous in the video game industry with the original Max Payne and this is called “Bullet Time”. If you don’t know what this is, it’s when time is slowed down so that you can take down you victims with precise aiming with a dramatic effect, the only major difference to the Bullet Time in Max Payne 3 is that when gunning down an enemy, if you press ‘A’ you will get an even more dramatic slowdown camera visual and also after you have left the Bullet Time you can have Max Payne remain down on the floor to gun down your enemies from a lower vantage point, this I believe is something that has also been included in the up and coming Resident Evil 6 game (but that’s a review for later in the year). In so many ways, the gameplay of Max Payne 3 is great, as it makes for an easy pick up and play game. But for those of us who are familiar with the franchise, it might just be a little too familiar after a while.
Max Payne delivers and then some in this department, not only do you get a long and fulfilling single player campaign which should give you at least 10+ hours of gaming time and to coincide with the single player campaign, you can relive the levels in the “Arcade Mode” which requires you to beat the stage in as fast of a time as possible and accumulate the highest score possible. This is a great way for you to replay some of the games finer moments, especially if you are in the quick fix gaming mood and like to go for the high score.
Max Payne 3 also gives you a vast in-depth multiplayer experience. You have all the usual suspects such as “Free for All” type Deathmatch, various Team Deathmatch modes and two other new modes called “Payne Killer” and “Gang Wars”. Gang Wars requires players to work together and complete certain objectives taken from the story campaign. Pain Killer is possibly the most interesting mode, how this works is that when a player makes the first kill and the first person to be killed, they become Max & Passos (Passos is Max’s trusted sidekick from the story campaign) . They then must work together to kill off all the remaining players in the game, then anyone who kills Max or Passos must take their place and fight against the other players as they try to stay alive as long as possible. With all these gaming elements rolled into one big ball and the pending multiplayer DLC, you should be playing Max Payne 3 for a very long time to come.
Max Payne 3 won’t be to everyone’s gaming tastes, so to be on the safe side you may want to try it via a rental first. But if you do decide to make the purchase, you will find a game that has many levels of depth, offering great value and most importantly whether it be through the single player campaign or its highly enjoyable multiplayer, you will have a blast with Max Payne 3.
Max Payne 3 Review,