on May 15, 2012
It was 2003 when Max Payne 2 came out, a sequel to a bloody, faul language game that had me go through its campaing at least 12 times. Bullet time was my old time favorite, and going through some of Max's darkest dreams was always a riddle on its own...
Now Max Payne 3 is here..we find an older Max, boozed and high on pills, the same old demons inside his head...His old self in a brand new game...Max Payne 3 will take you for a wild ride from the minute you start until the very end. I started playing the game last night at midnight and haven't been able to put it down until now; a solid single player will keep you on your toes and the various multiplayer options will keep you occupied for many hours to come.
The story begins with Max finding himself working in Brazil for a private security company looking after a real state big shot, whom puts Max in charge of his wife's security..of course, she is kidnapped..and that's as far as I will go...NO SPOILERS here. The main story is great, it will keep you intrigued from start to end, I can't go into much detail, but I can promise you this, it is a wild ride. You will be taken from Brazil to the US and back. The story will unfold in ways you won't expect and I guarantee you will like every bit of it, I can't say more without spoiling it, so I'll stop with one phrase, get ready, this is the best Payne so far. An explosive end awaits you.
The game looks amazing, from face animation to environments, everything has been done with extreme detail and it truly paid off for Rock Star, this is an A++ game. From shadows, to night lights, to gun battles, you will have plenty of eye candy to enjoy; it is a gorgeous game.
If you have a surround sound system, get ready to get your face melted; the deep bass and sharp bullets sounds make this an experience like no other. The voice work is top notch filled with plenty of faul language and taunts, it's the old payne we knew from before. One of my favorite aspects of the game, sound wise, is the background music, a bit slow mo samba, with a twist of drama, keeps the atmosphere in suspense, the music caliber of hollywood big budgets; the voice work, specially from the locals, is dead on, Portuguese is spoken and NOT translated, giving the game a true authenticity the reflects what you would feel in that situation when you find yourself in a foreign land not knowing the language and its slangs. A true masterpiece.
I'm happy to report that the controls are solid, I had no issues popping fools left and right and best of all, BULLET TIME is back! oh yeah, fans of the series will be pleased and new comers will know what's all about. Bullet time gives Max the ability to slow down battle time and shoot your way out of tricky situations. You basically have a Bullet Time meter that gets used every time, but can be filled by killing enemies or when you're getting shot at. The covering systems is as good as always, but this time be careful, some cover can be destroyed and will leave you out in the open, so be prepared to move quickly. Rockstar added a "Final Kill Camera" which basically will let you know that you've cleared and area, you can slow the camera down for a more intense view :)
The game is rated "M" for mature and for good reason, there's plenty of booze, pills and sexual themes to go abound, so make sure under age kids don't play this. Max has to actually take pain killers as means to recover health (like good old times)
Targetting is has three stages, Hard Lock, which will lock whatever enemey is closer to you; Soft Lock, requires you to aim closer to targets and OFF, which basically turns targetting assistance off.
Enemy AI, I was worried at first, but again, RockStar has pulled it off, there's nothing dumb about those fools. They will take cover and try their best to make you bleed.
Multiplayer: The multiplayer aspect of this game is fun and addictive and it has the following modes and sub-modes:
Matchmaking: Join or creat your own party/game.
Traning modes...deathmatch and team deathmatch for players new to the whole Max Payne MP experience (basically all of us)
DeathMatch: every gangster for himself
Team DeathMatch: Work with your gang to kill your rivals
Payne Killer: a blend of co-op and competetive play. The game starts with a standoff, whoever kills first, gets to be Max Payne and Raul Passos.
Large DeathMatch: up to 16 players killing each other.
Large Team DeathMatch: same as above, but in teams.
Gang Wars (my favorite:
Key events from the single player story are used as start off points. Gang Wars has the following:
Warfare... all out battle for supremacy
Showdown... battle to the death, the gang's strength depends on the previous rounds
Survivor....limited team lives
Last Stand... each gang member has only ONE life.
TakeDown... a target based mode. Take out the target and kill everybody else.
Short Fuse... arm a bomb and protect the one doing it.
Delivery...both gangs must collect and deliver items to a location
Grab....gangs fight to capture two bags and delivery them
Turf Grab....battle for turf
Total Turf...fight for multiple turf sections
Siege...pinned, one gang must hold on to 3 territories.
Passage... one gang runs for their life while being hunted by the other (one of my favorites)
If you want sex, alcohol, drugs, psycho episodes and plenty of blood, then Max Payne 3 is for you; a complete game by all means. Great story, awesome mechanics, gore and Bullet Time...Max is defenitely back.So there you have it, another solid game from the dudes at Rock Star, these guys have been in business for a long time and they always deliver. Kudos to them.
on May 15, 2012
I've been eagerly looking forward to the new installment of Max Payne for quite awhile. I even went to PAX East this year to try it out in person. I'll pair the good against the bad and you guys can decide for yourself from there.
The Story: Max Payne's saga is a sad one as you well know if you had played the previous two installments. In this entry, Max has his rock bottom and he's a pill popping alcoholic. Rockstar knows how to craft a tight story and show some serious depth to characters. Max is no exception and his bleak story draws you in from beginning to end. His one liners and quips are also fantastic. He's a noir character through and through.
Graphics: The environments, character models and areas look amazing. All of them are highly detailed, always fresh, and a lot of fun to blow guys away in. The slums of Sao Paolo look particularly amazing. It's a really amazing set piece and Rockstar has delivered a beautiful games in spades.
Sound: The acting in the game is top notch, the characters all sound great, the action is intense, the music is cool and overall it's a strong showing.
Multiplayer: The multiplayer is fast, intense and really cool. The various loadouts you get to use really make for a variety of ways to play. The updated Rockstar Social Club is great for setting up your crew and checking out your stats. The multiplayer modes vary a bit as well, making for some different, fun experiences. This will likely be where the majority of people spend their time.
Bullet Time: It's back and it's still as cool as you remember. For awhile. Once the nostalgia and novelty factor wear off you'll find that it's sometimes easier to do things in real time rather than diving all over the place. I don't know if it was just me but the enemies in this have some seriously pinpoint accuracy and if you dive out, you either hit everyone and kill them of you're screwed.
Checkpoints: I found myself replaying a lot of areas after a stupid death because the checkpoints don't come as often as I'd like. I'm sure I'll get BETTER in time, but, it was still pretty annoying to do the same "super cool jump through the window into the kitchen" move three times.
Repetitive: The game is a linear shooting gallery through various locations. If the story/graphics didn't fall under "good" this would be a major blow to the game. There isn't a ton of variety, but, the strength of the story, acting, sound and graphics carry it though.
No Grenades: The bad guys get grenades. I want grenades.
on May 19, 2012
There's a moment in 'Max Payne 3' where your character is in a drunken stooper, looking at himself in a mirror and reflecting on his personal failings..then in the most badass fashion swears off drinking, shaves his head and prepares for a one-way, revenge induced trip through the slumbs of Sao Paulo, Brazil. It's that "moment" I live for in an action movie, where the hero gets their crap together and nothing's going to stand in their way. Max Payne 3 does such a great job replicating the action-movie experience with excellent production value that I could forgive it's simplistic gameplay.
'Max Payne 3' take place 12 years after the original Max Payne and eight years after 'Max Payne 2'. Max, the now drunken, pill-popping ex-cop is working security protecting the wealthy Branco family. Eventually Rodrigo Branco's trophy wife Fabiana is kidnapped and Max finds himself mixed up in conspiracies involving human-trafficking, crooked cops, paramilitary forces and being forced to confront things from his own violent past. The story of 'Max Payne 3' is vicious and uncomprimisingly brutal, but much like Rockstar's previous 'Red Dead Redemption' the writing's very sharp and none of the violence is ever treated like a sick joke. Max's world is a serious and depressing one, and he finds that even trying to do the right thing can get innocent people killed.
While the writing goes a long way to selling the feel of 'Max Payne 3', it wouldn't be nearly as impressive without the visuals to back it up. The graphics and atmosphere really bring Brazil and New Jersey to life but it's the character models and technical tweeks that really impress: Max is a grizzled, weighty guy and every movement seems to take effort. The screen fuzzes as he pops painkillers (no regenerating health here!) and the levels load during cutscenes which "glitch" to reflect Max's burned-out mindset. The game goes a long way to make you feel as weary and drug-addled as Max himself.
The grim atmosphere in 'Max Payne 3' also carries over to it's combat. The usual bullet-time is back, letting you slow down the action but the violence has been cranked up for maximum effect. Bullets tear through flesh, spraying blood and shattering bones. When Max dives he doesn't just slide along the floor, he crashes into walls and boxes and you feel every gravel-chewing impact. The added cover mechanics are a welcome sight in firefights...until you realize everything in the environment is destructable and enemies will rush you from all directions. Just getting through these encounters can be draining, but like Max Payne 3's writing it all adds to the immersion making the experience truly unique.
While thematically Max Payne is much more fleshed out than, say Nathan Drake of 'Uncharted' he's also a one-trick pony. In fact it's when 'Max Payne 3' tries to change up the bullet-time running and gunning with levels of forced-sniping and vehicle shooting that things become tedious and uninspired. There's nothing wrong or out of place with these moments (there's maybe three in the whole game) but the lack of mobility became frustrating.
'Max Payne 3' may not be a perfect game with it's limited gameplay and some uninspired ideas, but it's also got a lot of substance to it with it's excellent writing, directing and voice acting (regular James McCaffrey turns in a fantastic performance as Max!). If you're an action-film fan like I am and looking for a quality that seem to be lacking in most movie-theaters look no further than 'Max Payne 3'.
on May 27, 2012
Max Payne met the last generation of consoles and gamers in two installments, both detailing the downward spiral of titular figure Max as he fought through slums, run down apartments, and his very own nature. Key companants to the Max Payne universe have been kept intact and is still ultimately a third person shooter. Rest assure 'bullet time' (slow motion) isn't just a fashion statement, nor are the sleek graphics. Crack open the Xbox 360 version and take a gander at disc two, Max in fact deeply understands satire, sporting a tropical button up and displaying a 'Breaking Bad' baldness, he's back.
I emphasize the feel and look as this is a new premise for the series. There is far more to said about the presentation of the game, than the straight to the point shooting, which wasn't a great leap forward. The gameplay is not particularly intricate. Typical of todays third person shooters a cover system can be found nestled between pavement, objects and corners preventing you from eating bullets (and painkillers). It really might just be the overall projection of everything in motion that gives this title such sweeping charm.
Nearly a decades past and Max is more cynical than ever, no longer a homicide detective, Brazil serves as his new drinking spot and not just when he's an off duty body guard. Sunshine and all this is not a bright game, credit goes to lead writer Dan House who apparently respected the complexity of the characters and the darker qualities surrounding them. Much like his work for Red Dead Redemption, another prolific Rockstar title, characters are charicatures, parodies, capable of expressing far more about our society than most forms of prominent media. Max's engagement to protect a rich family who constantly include him in places he's least likley to thrive only bring out more of his jaded quips. Could one honestly imagine a Bruce Willis like figure lounging in a dance club complete with DJs oonce oonceing the place with house music? Martini glasses sipped on roof tops with glass siding to take in the high life in contrast to Max's desire to grip hard alcohol by his lonesome. Max does have a buddy though, Passos, who helps the player draw out more interesting dialogoue. No amount of yuppie yaht cruises or fevala trailing will keep his memories at bay, expect flashbacks. Expect to enjoy those flashbacks more so due in part by the dynamic Euophoria engine that throttles the animation(s). It's like revisting the past with gifts from the future.
Every bullet is traceable in this game, certain executions trigger a cinematic approach to view the last moments of your enemy. Jokes on you though, this same fate can be met. Stay alert the cover system may of been a coveted feature, slowing down the action and leaving one to play whack-a-mole, but with no regenerative health abilities it's a life saver . Slow motion is a concept that sounds good on paper but hard to introduce on am multiplayer game without feeling broken. Think 'Dead Eye' in Red Dead, offline it wrack up dozens of slow motion eliminations, online its cheapened to a tool of quick fire to compensate. The multiplayer portion of the game actually works this in by having a player aim at the intended recipient. Slow motion will only be enabled for those caught in the way, so as to keep matches from constantly being stuck in the Matrix. Modes include a standard team deathmatch, free or all, and an experimental mode that has players fighting to become Max by eliminating whoever is selected as Max (odd I know).
Player customization is faction specific, but what you can do with each model is astounding. There are minor and major character models to be unlocked, expect to see many of the same looking characters at first though. Leveling up uses a currency experience system, buy what you want for weapons, then assituate yourself on the battlefield, your weapon needs experience too. This sounds menacing, but it's surprisingly reasonable and enjoyable, it's a metagame within a metagame.
The multiplayer isn't a true indication of skill, it can be lopsided, camping spots have already made way, it's a simple fun online investment. Accept it for what it is. If you'd like to use auto aim their is a partitioned set of playlists just for you. The only gripe I've had with this option is the pistols having no reticule 'bloom' making it easy to exploit. Other weapons still require one to feather the trigger. Overall the online could have been a lot worse, and it doesn't demand some goofy online pass code to play. It's a pop and play game where the menus feel like a left over from Grand Theft Auto IV and you don't even care.
All in all Max Payne might just make for a better rental if you intend to hit up the campaign, you are a lot closer to disc two then you'd think. For a game series that hasn't been touched upon since the early 2000's, and having endured a rough film now fostered forever to its legacy, Max Payne has made a notable entry for 2012's hottest games. Big titles are scheduled this year, Max Payne more than likely isn't going to win any game of the year (GotY) awards, for what this is it works. The multiplayer may not be anything to write home about but it's entertaining, the story is all over the place, but the writing is alluring. Exchanges between characters are memorable, funny, interesting, things that are like a forgotten art in the world of game lingo tying down to "tango down!". The artsy flash of text on the screen from flashy or stale statements is a nice change, and ultimately while the story may hold similarity to the film "Man on Fire", it's how everything culminates. Shake but don't stir, some elements just work.
on May 17, 2012
I loved the original two games as a teenager, the mechanics, the story, the darkness and voice acting were revolutionary for their day; and it was a long, long wait for Max to return, and given how much I enjoyed the previous two games my expectations where high (given the amount of money and hype rockstar poured into production)
The game is very long, keeping in the Max tradition; I'm a fairly experienced gamer and the campaign took me 11 hours on easy
They kept true to the darkness of the series and Max's self pitying mental state
The number of cut scenes both voiced and filmed were amazing
Max wasn't able to hold 2938012904813 weapons in his trenchcoat and instead rockstar went with the more conventional layout of carrying a couple weapons at a time that has become the industry standard now
The graphics/particularly the scenery is not cutting edge and smacks of corner cutting
The plot is confusing and largely non-sensical (a huge drop off from the original series)
Although the story and max himself are largely as dark as the original, the plot lacks the poetry (if that's the word) of the originals... I wouldn't call it a film noire like the originals
The enemies are not very interesting and largely faceless including the bosses
I realize rockstar was trying to innovate some stuff for 3rd person ( a genre that has largely not kept up with the 1st person advances since Max debuted in the early 00's); but they honestly didn't do a great job. The camera is too close to max creating bad angles and poor vision (vision of surroundings is supposed to be one of the strengths of 3rd person games)
The bullet time due to the camera angles is extremely unweildy and I largely played the game without it
The selection of weapons is extremely bland (think Kayne and Lynch 2)
Max cannot sling any long guns, and if he has a long gun, must keep it in one of his hands, this is maddening... he didn't need the arsenal in the trenchcoat like the old games and limiting him to one long arm is fine, but he should have been able to sling the one long arm he can hold
Max drops all or most of his weapons in dozens of cut scenes for a variety of explained or unexplained reasons which kills continuity and is very frustrating
The maps are completely liniar and there is absolutely zero free roaming
The find bonuses/painkillers part of the challenges are not interesting
The crouching/prone aspect is useless
Max's entire movement is slow/awkward as is his "going into cover" which routinely puts you behind objects you didn't want to go behind or from angles you didn't intend; because of the poor camera angles, and being too close to max you largely spend half the game rotating the camera which is stupid
The aiming system is also largely terrible no matter what sensitivity you set it to
Max tells his story largely in a drunken stupor, and Rockstar thought they should make the camera fuzzy and blinking every 2 seconds as he talks or is cut scenes, huge waste of time, does nothing for the story and just gets annoying as hell within 5 minutes of start up; and you have to deal with it the ENTIRE game
If you love max, it has max, hours and hours of him
However as a 3rd person shooter it falls grossly behind games that predate it including Brothers in Arms Hell's highway, previous splinter cell games and Army of 2 40 days (which employ similar concepts of duck and cover) even infamous 2 has considerably more finess and open ended activity than bringing Max out of retirement. To me this is largely a play control copy of Kayne and Lynch 2
IMO... if you loved the originals you can buy this BUT I would advise to wait till prices come down in the secondary market, as there is nothing at all earth shattering in the game that says buy me immediately that is worth the extra 30 dollars
on March 20, 2013
Max Payne is back..yay! Who cares if the story makes absolutely no sense? Who cares if it's needlessly told through flashbacks? I would have gladly accepted that if the game was more fun. And it is a good game. It's not a great game. It gets better as it goes, but by then I had a bad taste in my mouth.
It's linear like all Max Paynes. Especially at the beginning, you shoot a guy, there's a cut-scene. You shoot two guys. There's a cut-scene. You shoot three guys. There's a load scene followed by a cut scene, followed by a load scene. I felt like I was watching a movie instead of being interactive through most of it. I played through it all, earned some achievements, was glad I did, but have no desire to play it ever again. It's sad, because I was looking forward to seeing Max again.
on August 18, 2013
Max Payne 3 offers the kind of sarcasm that can only come from a drunken killing machine who's addicted to depressants. Although the game is heavy on story and repetitive on action, it still manages to be entertaining, but the amount of cutscenes and lack of boss battles will alienate a lot of people.
The story is well told and well acted through a plethora of cutscenes that span more than a decade of Max Payne's life. The story is engaging, very grim, darkly humorous, and compelling. But the sheer amount of breaks in the action for unskippable cutscenes really make you feel like you're watching a movie rather than playing a game. If you just want to jump into a level and kill bad guys, you're going to need a lot of patience. The story is also disturbing and many people may not have the stomach for it.
It's a shooting gallery with a lot of features to polish the gameplay. Max primarily guns down low life bad guys with guns. He can do this from behind cover or in bullet time, where it's much easier to take out the bad guys with a clean headshot. From cover, Max can duck and shoot, blind fire, and quickly move to other cover. A few shots to the body will down most enemies, a lot more shots to the body will down bad guys in body armor, and a head shot takes care of just about everything. Max can also enter his trademarked bullet time mode, which slows the action and allows the Player to take aim and quickly dispatch enemies. Max can also initiate bullet time from a diving roll, where he jumps into the air, time slows, and he guns everyone down. There's an assortment of weapons from hand guns, dual wielding, sub machine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns, and the occasional explosives. The AI is pretty good and will duck and shoot and occasionally charge and flank. One nice feature deals with Max's Pain Killers. If your health reaches zero and you have some in your inventory, you get a chance to save yourself. Max falls to his back and if you can kill the guy who is shooting you in a few seconds, you recover. If you cannot shoot him, you die. Unfortunately, sometimes, due to camera or animation issues, it is impossible to shoot the guy in time.
The voice acting is great and a large portion of the story takes place in Brazil. Many of the actors were recorded in Brazil, so it's authentic. The soundtrack is moody and grim, which fits the tone of the game. There are also some action tracks to highlight the action.
Replay Value: 5/10
The campaign has 4 difficulty levels, but it is so deliberately paced, I can't imagine anyone wanting to play the 12 hour campaign more than once. There is a level select, so you can go back and get achievements. There is also an arcade mode with a very complex scoring system which rewards risk taking, aggression, and defense. You can compete on leaderboards for bragging rights. Max Payne also has Multiplayer with a character advancement system.
This is for adults. The game features porn, drugs, gore, very disturbing scenes, glorified violence, language, and a bleak outlook on life. Having a kid play this is a very bad idea... unless he's already in Juvie... then he will like it.
At times it feels like you brought an airsoft gun to the movies to watch some Hollywood Blockbuster and you're firing at the screen during the action scenes. Despite the grim atmosphere, the ton of cutscenes, and the repetitive gameplay, Max Payne 3 is still a memorable experience. It's fun and it will have you cringing and laughing at some of Max's one liners. For the price, it's worth playing.
Buy this game if you like really dark stories like Breaking Bad, Sin City, Oldboy, or Dexter.
Buy this game if you like the series and the shooting mechanics of the other games.
Rent this game if you have 10-14 hours to finish the campaign.
Avoid this game if you don't like really dark games or stories.
Avoid this game if you need a variety of gameplay.
Avoid this game if you need skippable cutscenes.
If you liked Max Payne 3 for its gunplay but want a more open ended experience, you should definitely play Red Dead Redemption or Far Cry 3.
If you liked Max Payne 3 for its adult themes, check out the Darkness 2 or GTA.
on July 23, 2013
I have to say I was blown away by how much I enjoyed this game.
I purchased this game on sale soon after it came put and after listening to some sour reviews I shelved this game. Now that its the dregs of summer I have unearthed this gem.
I must first state that I never had too much of a relationship with the first few max Payne games but this one is amazing. I don't know if nostalgia scared people away from this one or not.
This game has the feel of a summer action blockbuster. The storyline isn't groundbreaking but it is engaging.
The play style can be repetitive at times but for me it was still fun. There are also many guns to choose from which should keep your interest.
The graphics are amazing the game is so bright and colorful it really adds to the excitement.
The controls are fluid and definitely easy to use.
I think you will enjoy this game if you are looking for a fun slightly different shooter or if you are like me and you are a sucker for bullet time.
on February 11, 2014
Okay, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out the plot here. And as our hero slowly starts to realize what's going on you can't help but say, "No duh dude." Some of it can be attributable to Max's drug/alcohol use/abuse but still...this is a former detective?
Any way, this is a game. And it's a damn good one. The atmosphere is great. You've got the locals/npcs speaking Portuguese intermixed with enough English to keep you from getting completely lost. The gun battles become relatively rote after a while but the slow time and other similar feature keeps it from getting boring. But really the gun play, despite being wholly unrealistic, are just a vehicle for moving the story along.
Great game. Get it.
on January 31, 2013
I got Max Payne 3 and Dishonored at the same time (even though MP3 was already 6 months old). I'm glad I did because it gives me a great frame of reference.
Dishonored feels just like every other first-person adventure I've ever played. It suffers from the same wonky motion mechanics, the same hands-in-front-of-your-face POV, and the same poorly performed, context-ignoring voice acting. There is nothing artful or engaging or cinematic or *next-generation* feeling about this game (or most any other I've mistakenly spent my money on in the past few years.
Max Payne is different. The thoughtfulness, polish, tongue-in-cheek dialog and storytelling, pacing, rendering, voice acting... I can't find a flaw with this game. Some will complain that the game is "on rails", rather than allowing you to roam an open world and do as you please. That's not a problem for me. Open world games are wonky and buggy and necessarily suffer from poor story telling, simply by virtue of the fact that it's impossible to create AN ENTIRE WORLD that can adapt and respond to story and the context. Max Payne 3 is like playing a movie, in the very best way.
This is easily my favorite game in recent years. Buy it.