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on May 15, 2012
I must say I am impressed and a little surprised with what they have done with Max Payne. I have been building this game up in my head for the past few years since I first caught wind of it and I must say it has met and beat my expectations. The game is very well put together. There is intense action, a lot of violence, and a carefully woven story that is peppered with flashbacks and poetic cut scenes. The single player campaign is roughly 10 hours long and the trophies are split up between single player and multiplayer, though there are a few more single player trophies. Fans of the original games will enjoy this very much. I have a feeling that newcomers may gravitate more toward the multiplayer side of the game, while us old timers play Max Payne for the gripping story and the depressed main characters drunken inner monologue.

The full installation size is 5.5 gigs, there was a 25mb update on release day and a 59mb update on 5-21-12 which may have corrected some of the below issues gamers have been having. You DO NOT need to be connected to the internet for Max Payne 3 to save your game, as others have claimed you do. I unhooked my network and played for an hour, quit, restarted and it went right to where I left off. You also will earn trophies, but you need the internet to sync them to the PSN. Some players have noted that there are audio interruptions throughout the game, I have noticed this as well, however they are very minimal and random throughout the game which does not hinder the game playing experience. My only issue was that the voice did not match the characters lips moving in a short cut scene, again, a very mild issue which may have been corrected with the most recent update as I have not had any issues since.

+ Beautiful natural feeling graphics. Fairly well detailed and smooth running. It has a unique style that is very entertaining.
+ There is a very nicely woven storyline that really holds your interest throughout.
+ The A.I. is very good in my opinion giving us smart challenging enemies.
+ Music is classic Max Payne, but with a modern twist. Sound is very clear and strong. Voice acting is top notch and funny at times.
+ Bullet time is very well crafted. 360 shooting while on the ground is a nice touch. Shooting from cover is also well achieved.
+ Multiplayer does grow on you after more plays. It is fast, simple and smooth.

- Multiplayer is not as great as I was hoping. It is a bit clunky and only mildly entertaining. Bullet time is fun, however easily becomes a mess with many players. I would not recommend this game simply for multiplayer.
- Control in single player and multiplayer takes a little while to get used to. It is good, however it needs to grow on you. Sort of reminds me of the Alan Wake controls and the aiming system reminds me of Red Dead Redemption.
- I found that the game does get slightly repetitive after a while, however with the regular scenery change and story jumping it is very minimal.
- Bullet time can sometimes actually hinder your game play. If an enemy shoots you and you are near death, you are forced into a locked bullet time, which is cool, but if you need to reload or an object is in your way you will die and you have no control. Very frustrating.
- There a few weird clipping issues. Sometimes when you shoot an enemy they will just stand there frozen, and eventually fall.

One little pet peeve of mine in games is when they take the control away from the player, well due to all the loading cut scenes they do take the control away quite often and have varying length cut scenes. It does get annoying after a while and for the most part you cannot skip the cut scenes as it is loading the next section. However I rather sit through a cut scene than a empty loading screen.

As a huge Max Payne series fan, I was a little insulted by them adding multiplayer, though it is mildly fun and entertaining and like any multiplayer game it greatly depends on who you are playing with. Other reviews are saying this third installment in the Max Payne series has drifted from its roots. I agree and disagree. It has been almost 10 years since Max Payne 2 came out and the game needed a facelift. It is still Max Payne, however they have gone above and beyond to make this a new gaming experience yet still hold on to the classic aspects we look for. Max is old, I felt as bad for him as I did for Bruce Willis in Die Hard 4. He still has it though! Max's sad poetic dialogue, painkillers, and bullet time are all here. The game is very violent and intense, mostly seen in bullet time slow-mo kills showing the bullets flying through your enemies like a grapefruit.

The game is very smooth and stable and I have had no issues with glitching or lagging. At one point a multiplayer game did freeze up (the game, not the system) on me and it restarted within 30 seconds and took me back to the multiplayer menu.

Over-all I am very happy with Max Payne 3. It has lived up to my expectations and the hype. However keep in mind it is a single player game, with a less than perfect multiplayer game latched onto the single player for survival. The style is great; it is like a Heavy Rain and L.A. Noire and a Tony Scott (especially Man on Fire) film all in one. It is highly entertaining and the dialogue is fun and holds your interest throughout the game play. The loading times are hidden in the cut scenes, so there are many long cut scenes and they do seem to interrupt often, so if you are looking for a shoot um' up style game you'll get it with MP3, however you'll have to sit through the cut scenes first.

Highly recommended.
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on August 31, 2012
Dark, gritty, and incredibly violent, "Max Payne 3" was clearly inspired by the works of the late, great Tony Scott. Spoken words of dialogue sporadically popping up on the screen as white text... color distortions and filters... multiple frames split with bold lines... a muted color palette... all of these elements of style summoned Scott's films to mind, while playing MP3. More than anything else, however, it was the gritty storytelling and the darkness of character that reminded me of Scott. The first thing that popped into my mind when I began playing MP3 was "Man on Fire", the great Denzel Washington revenge movie. And at its core, that's exactly what MP3 is: an interactive revenge movie.

I can't think of another game I've played that's as atmospheric as MP3. You can feel the suffering of this man, and all his many follies. The other characters are also richly drawn, and the settings of Brazil (both the impoverished areas and the wealthy ones) are created effectively and convincingly. The various chapters are oftentimes brilliant, with some of the standouts being an enormous soccer stadium, a river traversed by speedboat, and a siege upon a luxury yacht in the Panama Canal. The story, voice acting, and cut scenes are all surprisingly good, and they paint a story that at first seems generic, but slowly becomes a riveting force that propels you forward through the campaign, eager to see the next chapter.
I feel like Rockstar Studios would have been better served by creating a new IP for this game, because it's so much more advanced and sophisticated than the other two titles in the series... but that's far more of a compliment than a complaint.

I took off one star for some issues: Foremost, the violence. I understand this is a violent story, and a mature title designed for adults, just like an R rated film. But some of the violence is simply gratuitous, particularly the slow motion, close up kills that signify the clearing of enemies in a room- and to make matters worse, this is hardly a new "trick". "Stranglehold" was doing this way back in 2006.

Second, the mechanics are a tad dated, and not quite as smooth as the best of the competition. Rockstar insists on mapping their aim and trigger inputs to the bumper buttons for some reason (just like in "Red Dead Redemption"), as opposed to the trigger buttons. This is fundamentally inconvenient for a couple of reasons... it defies the industry standards, and makes it difficult for gamers who are hardwired for conventional controls (alternate button mapping is possible, but you can't use the triggers for triggers, no matter what you choose). There is a very good reason why the trigger buttons on your controller are called trigger buttons... it's because they replicate triggers!

The slow motion trick (otherwise known as "bullet time") has not aged particularly well. The combat of this game is at its best when it relies upon the stop and pop, cover based shooting. Diving around in slow motion feels forced, and is not very fun. I only used slow motion when I was absolutely forced to, because there was no cover around.

These shortcomings, however, cannot undo what is a fantastic game, a credit to Rockstar Studios, and a fitting homage to Tony Scott.
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on December 26, 2012
The terrible pun best describes my experience with this game. Really it's a good game (for $20 anyway) but boy does it annoy at times. The story is lengthy and engaging and the acting fantastic, but the main character's bout of depression and self destruction got tiresome. Gameplay is fun but glitchy. As many here have mentioned, you do occasionally get stuck while in cover, forcing a checkpoint reload. Another gripe of mine lies with the game being cinematic to a fault. Whether it be a lengthy monologue while strolling sloooowly towards your destination or a particularly long cutscene (of which there are many), the game is determined to ensure you experience every agonizing second of it, New Game + or not.

The biggest payne though is the difficulty which tends to skyrocket at various moments, leading to retries after retries after retries. I'm not opposed to a game using health items instead of a recharging bar, in fact I prefer that to the tiresome blood-splatter-color-fading screens that accompany rechargeable health. But it takes so little to put Max down that you'll be spending most of your shootouts on the ground writhing in payne than on your feet.

Despite these problems the game is fun, especially considering that it includes cheats which gives it high replay in my book. If you want a good 3rd person shooter and can find this for under $30, you won't be disappointed.
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on January 14, 2014
I think the best part of the first two Max Payne games was the noir setting. That's gone.

The mechanics were updated, so there's that.

The one liners are there, but not as good as the first two.

Disappointed. Fun enough to play. Still want the noir back. Just felt too generic.
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on December 14, 2013
I originally ordered this to go alongside another game that had my primary interest upon ordering. I didn't expect much from this, but I did always wonder what this game was like. I was very disappointed at the other game I had bought with it, and it turns out I was equally as joyous that I purchased Max Payne 3!

At the time I first played it, I had only ever played Max Payne 1 (which I had forgotten deeply). I was worried that there would be too much focus on past events that would cause me to lose connection to the current one. Luckily, that was not the case. They do mention names and events from Max's past, but rest assured that for new players it's easily just a case of "I wonder what happened back then," and for returning players to the series, it's simply nostalgia. If this is the first time you're hearing about Max Payne, choosing to play the 1st or 3rd one first has no impact on the game, nor the series.

This game features a bit of a heavy focus on Max Payne's narration throughout the game, just like the last two games. For some, this can be annoying, but for me, I enjoyed it. Why? Well, for starters, the story and character development are superb! It's in such a way that you actually *want* to know what Max is thinking.

Max Payne 3 is quite linear, as has always been the nature, so don't expect to roam around and find hidden buildings. With that said, I would prefer it be linear in this sense. I started the game and was immediately connected, and wanted to stay connected until the end (and then some). This game did a fine job at doing that. It also has a high amount of re-playability even after you complete it.

You *will* die a lot in this game, granted you die a lot less as you get better at playing. Something I love about this game is the "cool factor" it has. You can press one button and go into Bullet Time (slow-motion) to aim precisely, or to just get out of a tough situation (since you can't get killed while you're in a Bullet Time dive). The controls are responsive for the most part, but you may die from abnormal movements. Though, like I said above, the more you get used to these abnormal movements, the less you die from them.

Almost whenever you pick up "Painkillers" (used to heal yourself), Max will say a line, almost as if letting the player know why he picked it up. It was nice seeing what he'd say the next time. Also, if you take a fatal bullet while you're carrying a Painkiller, instead of dying right away, you'll slowly start falling to the ground; at which point you gain the ability to kill the person that shot you. If you kill him, you won't die, and will instead fall to the ground and get back up.

For multiplayer, I was pleasantly surprised. At first, I didn't play it for a while because I didn't really want to join the multiplayer of a game I didn't know. Hence, I played Single Player for a good long while. When I first started playing the multiplayer, it was confusing in the beginning, but I slowly got the hang of it. It requires you to be quick with your on-screen reflexes (and a decent internet connection can play a heavy part in it as well). If you have neither of the above, then your experience may differ. There are, however, some annoyances within Multiplayer; such as a particular pistol being more accurate than generally any rifle could hope to be, and being just as strong as well. It doesn't cause other weapons to be useless, but it does cause the pistol to be favored more than any other gun, especially with how light it is.

You can choose between Faction characters or characters from the story mode to play as, including Max. (There is also DLC available that adds additional Faction characters as well as previous characters from the earlier Max Payne entries.) Faction characters are basically the simple enemies you kill in story mode, the "bad guys." It has an average character customization for those Faction characters -- nothing too in-depth, but you can make a character "yours" easily enough with a higher rank to unlock more customization options. The ranking system also includes a "Prestige"-like mode, allowing you to reset all your earnings once you get to max rank, and then start all over with a new Prestige rank icon.

I didn't buy this game for multiplayer (and I probably wouldn't), but it's a nice addition. One thing to note, is that now, the servers aren't loaded with people; meaning that it won't be a plethora of matches to find in the Matchmaking. At times, it can go a while without finding a game. Sadly, this is amplified with DLC maps since not everyone buys them. But that's mainly at the dead hours. There are still people playing and enjoying the multiplayer, though it's just not what it used to be.

The heart of this game resides within the Single player mode, and what a great heart it is. I feel for Max as he goes through the game. The story that the developers try to present is presented well, and there is never a feeling of a rushed scene or a "downgrade" in quality anywhere throughout the game.

-Engaging storyline
-Great character development (storyline-wise, not customization)
-Near flawless presentation
-Responsive controls for the most part, may die some times due to them, though
-Decent multiplayer
-A good amount of re-playability

-Inability to skip cutscenes (the function is there, but 75% of the time, you can't skip the scene because the game is "loading" the next map)
-Slightly unbalanced multiplayer weapons, favoring towards pistols.


The cons are in no way game-breaking, but are worth knowing. Another thing to note for returning players, is that this Max Payne does away with the comic-strip story telling, and just uses cut-scenes. Load screens are of comic-strip pictures of scenes related to that level, though.

Overall, I'm very glad that I unknowingly bought the game that I consider a favorite of mine. If you've played the past two Max Payne games, or even if you haven't, you just may enjoy this a lot. If it helps any, had I known what this game was at the time of release, I would have gladly payed full price for it. It's definitely a great game at this price!
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I went into Max Payne 3 ready to give it a fair shot at impressing me, but there are some things here that hold it back from being as good as its forefathers.

Both Max Payne and Max Payne 2 had a certain style and flair to their presentation, because Sam Lake, the face of Max Payne in the first game, gave the story and character meaning. Max Payne 3 sometimes succeeds at feeling like a true sequel to Remedy's work, but sadly, somewhere along the way, it also feels like a Grand Theft Auto game in terms of characters and such. You'll meet many annoying and hyper characters that wouldn't feel out of place in Grand Theft Auto, but they do feel a bit out of place in Max Payne. The story itself has highs and lows, sometimes hinting at something greater while settling for something that's not on the same level as Max Payne and Max Payne 2. Some of Max's dialogue is very smart and entertaining, but a lot of the game contains dialogue from characters that feels a little out of place in the Max Payne universe. Another critique of the game's presentation is the distorted cutscenes that plague the entirety of the game and can become very annoying to sit through and watch, because there are so many cutscenes and they're quite lengthy. With all that said, the game's actual graphics and seamless nature with no loading once you're in a level is very impressive.

The gameplay itself feels great when you're mastering the controls, but they can feel clunky and not very user friendly at times. This is a very mechanics heavy shooter where every button on the controller will be used.

Despite my complaints, I enjoyed the combat in Max Payne 3 . My review may have focused more on the negatives than positives just because I feel they should be addressed. Remedy's Max Payne was much more impressive.
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on May 16, 2012
I was so incredibly excited for this game, and was hoping that it would live up to its hype. Trust me, it will exceed your expectations and beyond. It has the feel of the original Max Payne, with obviously updated stellar graphics.

STORY - not much has changed for Max in nine years. He's an alcoholic and frequently finds himself in against all-odds situations, still deeply traumatized by his wife's death. He starts out as a bodyguard for rich people, and then ends up in a much more sinister plot. And Max is a mixed bag - you'll never know what he's going to do next.

GRAPHICS - this game doesn't have the BEST, but is in the top-tier when it comes to graphics. The ambience is very moody and gritty, and the gameplay is so awesome that it's one of those things where you can barely tell it switches from cutscene to you playing. You won't be disappointed in this department.

The game is very stylish. It seems very glamorous, especially when starting out at a ritzy Brazilian nightclub. Even though it may seem obnoxious to some, it's rather cool and you'll get used to it. What I mean by stylish is lots of flashing words, changing viewpoints, loud music, etc.

SOUND/VOICE WORK - James McCaffrey is just the perfect Max Payne. He captures the cynicism, pain, and bitterness of Max, and he makes you feel like you're watching a movie. It's all very convincing.

GAMEPLAY - there are a lot of cutscenes, which some may find intrusive, but like the "stylish" look of the game, it's something you can get used to if you find annoying. I personally enjoy Max's story, so if you do as well, you will love it.

Choosing guns is made simple for you. You can have two side-arms or one two-handed weapon. And like we all wanted, Bullet Time and Shoot Dodge are back, and sweeter than ever. They are easy to master, but sometimes you get a little caught up in all the fray that you might forget to use them. However, when you do, it really makes the game more thrilling than ever.

They went a little old school with health re-generation; there is none. Well, if you die it comes back, but it never regenerates over time, even on easy mode. You'll love or hate this, but you can't stand behind a wall and wait for your health to regenerate. It adds to the realism of the game, but also the difficulty.

Gameplay is about 12 hours. But there are other things you can do when you beat it. You can do score challenges, speed runs, play on different modes of difficulty, and...

MULTIPLAYER - I wish there was a way the main story could have been multiplayer, but that wouldn't have been possible. Instead, you can play online with people. It's really just total chaos, but it's fun. They tried to add some narrative in there which is kind of weird, but the multiplayer mode can get a lot out of the game for you once you've finished the single player storyline.

This is definitely a home-run and I would recommend this to anyone who wants to shoot lots of people, feel and watch Max Payne's plight, and have a gaming experience of a lifetime.
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on May 17, 2012
Since Max Payne 2 came out in 2003, many of us have been waiting for another Max Payne game. Meanwhile, there has been a lot of hype, which surrounds this game. Does it live up to the hype?

CAMPAIGN/STORY: Well, since Max's hiatus, he is still the same, alcoholic, pill-popping we have grown to love. The story surrounds over-the-hill ex-cop, Max Payne being a bodyguard for a group of rich youngsters in Sao Paulo Brazil, and things go awry. After that, the story grows deeper and deeper, as if watching an action drama/thriller. Keep in mind, it is 11 to 12 hours long.

GAMEPLAY: Warning! This game is NOT for kids. The shooting scenes are VERY graphic and gore. Also, keep in mind, Max Payne 3 is a very hard game. Many deaths WILL come. The game play of Max Payne 3 is very immersive, responsive, and VERY addictive. In fact, in many ways, the game is very realistic. For example, some enemies react, based on where they are shot. For example, I shot an enemy in the crotch, and he immediately held his mid-section with two hands, while he was going down. That was surprisingly funny to see on a video game. Also, some enemies don't go down as quickly as others, depending on what they are wearing. I played one chapter, which many enemies had vest on. Of course, I typically shot them in the chest, so realistically; it took a while to take them down. Also, players will know that an enemy has been killed, once he sees a quick, white "X" mark pop up over the enemy's head. That means, stop shooting!!!

Max Payne's movements during gun-fights are very fluid. He can look and move with his weapon at a 360 degree angle. Of course, with the amount of enemies that he will face, positioned at different angles, that's vital. Shooting an enemy on a game never felt so good. I can never get enough of the slow-mo cut scenes of shooting down the last enemy. Just seeing that bullet going into an enemy on those cut scenes is a thing of beauty. Also, during this scene, Max can pump additional bullets into the enemy, until he falls. There are sometimes and overwhelming amount of enemies, but once you get used to the controls, it becomes easier to take down enemies, no matter the quantity. Speaking of controls, there are several varieties. Therefore, don't freak out if you don't like the default controls.

The enemy AI varies. Some enemies act differently than others. Therefore, encounter each enemy, differently and carefully! Some are just stupid and play kamikaze and will run right towards Max. Others will shoot, wait, and find the right time to flank you. Therefore, do not get too comfortable, when Max gets to cover in certain circumstances. By the way, getting access to cover is a new edition to the game.

The aiming sensitivity can be changed. There are three targeting options. Of course, there is the free-aim. This allows the Max to just freely aim with the white dot reticle in which the color does not change, when sighting an enemy. The next is the soft-lock. This shows the dot white dot reticle. When depressing the button, it automatically locks onto an enemy and turns red. However, the reticle can also be moved, freely ala Grand Theft Auto. The last is hard lock. This targeting option locks onto players, until the player switches to another. Keep in mind, when selecting hard lock, many trophies CANNOT be obtained. The shootdodge and bullet time is the same as the other Max Payne games. There are certain gunfights, which this is going to need to be used, very tactfully.

GRAPHICS/VISUALS: The graphics are PHENOMENAL in this game. I can also say that they are probably the best of any Rockstar game, as well as some other PS3 games known for great graphics, such as Uncharted. The graphics really showed their beauty during the cut scenes. The character models look very good. Their facial details are very L.A. Noire-ish. On many cut scenes, the player will see some of the words during conversations just flash up on the screen, similar to Denzel Washington's movie, "Man on Fire". In addition, the dual screens will pop up. In addition, the color of the screens may change, and words will flicker, just like on the movie. It is really cool. Don't get too caught up in the cut scenes because some can lead you right into the action.

The maps on the game are very lush and vivid, especially on the Favela in Rio De Janeiro. Keep in mind to look around on the maps for extra painkillers, as well as parts to gold guns! The blood and gore on a game couldn't be much more realistic. In fact, on some slo-mo killings, I found myself just staring at the blood, as it splatters out of an enemy's head. Also, it is very cool to see various structures be destroyed by gunfire and explosive devices. The animations rival EA's infamous Frostbite Engine.

MULTIPLAYER: I haven't played multiplayer much, but it is wild and has many modes. This is NOT the reason I purchased this game, though.

SOUND/VOICE: The sound is awesome. Players will just love the sounds of the weapons, while being fired. The man (James McCaffrey), who does Max Payne's character makes a player have a true feeling of Max's mood, rather during a cutscene or some one-liners during gameplay.

VERDICT: If you are a fan of Max Payne, this installment is DEFINITELY for you. The graphics and the gameplay are just great. The player will have the feeling of playing in their favorite action thriller/drama. This is why this game gets a definite five-star rating.
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on May 16, 2012
Max Payne 3 is absolutely amazing. The story and character development is top notch. The graphics and gameplay is amazing as well. There is a lot of detail in the environments. The game has no loading time and transitions from one action scene to the next. If you like story driven games, this is a must buy. This is one of my favorites along with Uncharted 3 and Metal Gear Solid 4. The Multiplayer is quite fun as well. Bullet time is awesome and makes you feel like a movie star. The music and acting is excellent.

1. The shooting gets very repetitive. Rockstar should have added more melee attacks and other ways of taking out enemies besides shooting over and over again. There is one way to melee with your weapon, but that is not enough. The game could have been better adding melee like either Uncharted 3 or Metal Gear Solid.

2. No stealth areas. This game needed a few areas for sniping and stealth to break up the action.

Despite these minor cons, Max Payne 3 is still amazing.
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on July 15, 2012
Boy, did this game turn out to be a HUGE disappointment for me. Loved the series when Remedy had the reins.... should've known that Rockstar would change things up for the worse.

To begin with, as many other reviews have noted, this game is about 40-50% cutscene. A few of them are interesting and fun to watch, but even these drag on for way too long (sometimes as long as 15 minutes each). Even worse is how some of the longer ones aren't skippable (seriously?) A good number of them are meaningless and add nothing to the story. For example, upon reaching the exit to an area a cutscene will start which shows: Max slowly opening the door, peeking through, walking through the door, carefully creeping down another alleyway or hallway, stopping behind a wall while guards walk by, moving across the road and down some stairs, hiding behind another wall, waiting for a vehicle to drive by, crossing another road, and then dropping into the next area. This is the kind of stuff that the player should be doing. Why in the hell are we sitting here watching the game play itself?

I found the gritty, depressing story mysterious and interesting at first, but once the game tells you what is going on (which wasn't too far into the game), I started losing interest. There's also quite a bit of brutal violence, drug use, dance parties, bikinis, and the occasional racial slur, which confirms that this is a Rockstar game, if you had any doubts.

The graphics are nice, but so what, a lot of games these days have great graphics. The animations are also well done. The voice-acting is top-notch, especially Max, but his lines of dialogue feel really forced this time around. In the previous two games, Max's comments about his environment and situation were snappy and witty, which I generally didn't find to be the case in MP3. Most of the time I found myself just ignoring what he said, which I found surprising as I used to hang on his every word in MP and MP2.

But of course, what really matters is how the game plays and whether or not it is any fun.

Well, if you filter out the excessive cinematics, the rest of the game is basically one giant linear series of rooms and hallways filled with bad guys. There is the occasional on-rails shooting scene (what's new...), but the rest of the game is the same repetitive shooting from room to room. At least the first two games had larger areas to explore like apartment buildings that gave you the illusion of nonlinearity. There's no illusion here: Walk into a room, kill 15 guys, enter the only hallway available, kill 5 guys, enter the next room, kill 12 guys, etc/etc. Every level is the exact same experience, except for a different locale and enemies that take an increasing number of shots to kill. It got really old for me really, really fast. And these stinkin' levels seemed to go on forever, which only added to my exhaustion and loss of interest.

For some reason, the developers also felt the need to add in cover-based mechanics, which is curious, as there really is no place in the Max Payne universe for cover based shooting. However, as it turns out you're gonna need this cover, because the enemies in this game are so effin' accurate you'll be instantly taking damage any time you step away from it. Even in slow motion WHILE MOVING you'll get lit up, which is irritating. Hanging out behind cover and blindfiring is often the best choice when faced with up to 10-15 guys blazing away at you, but even when you do your arms will still get easily hit and you'll fill up quickly with damage. This does not change on lower difficulties (easy/medium), which is dumb.

I also found the controls to be of VERY poor quality for a third person shooter. I tend to enjoy the genre and have no trouble with most of its games. Dead space 1 & 2, uncharted 1/2/3, etc, all have very well- and carefully designed analog responsiveness and control. I don't recall ever having major issues with the controls in these games, even on their hardest difficulty levels (hardcore/crushing), but Max Payne 3 was an absolute nightmare for me. I tried every sensitivity option available and could find nothing that works. Even in Bullet Time I found myself constantly overshooting my aim back and forth trying to dial in my shot. Why some people have this problem and others seem to not baffles me, but I consider myself an experienced player of 3rd person shooter games, and I found the aiming in this game horrendous. Beware.

Other game design flaws include shoot-dodging that is now completely nerfed in that it leaves you openly exposed after landing, with the player watching helplessly as Max struggles to get back up while the army of enemies fills him with lead. A newly added mechanic known as "last man standing" allows you to get an instant revive if you can shoot the guy who just "killed" you; however, it is not uncommon for an enemy standing 75-100 feet away to be the one who shoots you, which makes shooting him unnecessarily difficult. Alternatively, if an enemy shoots you from your side or from behind and puts you into this mode, you're pretty much hosed as the game only gives you a limited horizontal range to hit your target and you may never even get to reach him. More flaws include a tiny white dot reticule that makes aiming incredibly difficult, particularly against a light color background or when trying to hit an enemy from 100 yards away, a grenade launcher that farts out grenades 10 feet in front of you instead of shooting them 30-40 feet ahead, a useless AI teammate who almost never provides any help in combat, NUMEROUS insta-kill moments that require you to make a perfect shot under time pressure, and widely spaced checkpoints that have you replaying long stretches of gunbattles over and over again. I also still can't figure out why it takes 2 minutes for the game to load the title screen, similar to GTA IV.

And who could forget the numerous glitches, audio bugs, and crashes? I had the game freeze on me 5 different times, each one forcing a complete reset of my PS3. I remember GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption having similar problems. For comparison, Mass Effect 3 (which I had played through right before Max Payne 3) had not a single crash, and that's a big game. I love beta testing a team's game for free instead of having them do the necessary QA work. Nothing a series of patches won't fix after the fact, right? Thanks for crapping out another a half-tested product, Rockstar.

If not for the overall quality of the animations, voicework, and music, I would've given this game one star. There really are some cool set piece moments in Max Payne 3, but unfortunately I was so burned out on playing the same damn shooting gallery experience over and over and dying from boatloads of cheap, divinely accurate enemies, I didn't even care. I think I only smiled once during the entire game, which was in response to Max reflecting that "he had killed more cops than cholesterol". And once I saw the short, disappointing ending, I was sorry that I pushed myself to even finish the game. I should've quit on Chapter 3 like I had wanted to. I can't even honestly say I had any fun at all.

I know I'll never buy another Rockstar game, but now I think I may never even rent another Rockstar game.

So long, Max. Your good days will live on in my memories.
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