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 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 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
People can bicker all day long about what makes a video game, "fun", and I'll leave you guys to keep doing that. I am here to give you my very brief opinion on Max Payne 3.
If anyone out there is more like me, meaning, you absolutely love shooting humans (not aliens) with guns (not outer-space lazers) then hear me now: No other shooter on the planet will give more satisfaction than Max Payne 3.
1) Enemy bodies and how they react to the bullets is the best i've ever seen in a video game. Most realistic to date, in my opinion.
2) With the music turned off (which i almost always do in video games), the gunfire sounds, environment damage from bullets, enemy gunfire, etc is "hard-hitting & pacts a punch". Sound is huge to me, and May Payne 3 delivers.
3) Bullet-Time/Dodge + minor cinematic slow-mo's of deaths to showcase some brutality. Simply fun to see, and adds that final layer of "hell yea" to the experience.
From just a pure "shooting guns" experience (single player), this is the cream-of-the-crop. Everyone else can keep your COD's and ultra-hollywood "set-pieces, i'll take a more mature-feeling, raw-hitting, powerful & gritty, gory "balls to the wall" shooting experience in Max Payne 3 any day of the week.
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 May 23, 2012
By the time I finished this campaign, I had fired 25k bullets (there are in-game accomplishments like x number of people killed while using cover etc). So basically, if you like to be guns a blazin', this is the game for you. The story starts off slowly but becomes intriguing by the end, so don't quit after the first few cut scenes. It has a definite old school feel, because the maps aren't completely determined and guess what, you don't have infinite health! If you're picking this up expecting RDR or GTA, forget it this game is nothing like those.
I played through on medium and felt like it was a tough medium, and there are actually 3 additional levels of difficulty (not gonna try those methinks)...but it is manageable because the spawns are not infinite. Players just gotta calm down, use cover, and go for headshots (body shots take forever to down a baddy!).
Overall, I was impressed with Max Payne 3, and am glad I picked it up.
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 15, 2012
So far So Great
As always Amazon does a great job of delivering on time
-A few hours into the game and I am hooked the gameplay is pretty fluid and fun but challenging at times enemies can and do flank/charge you. Though I also lose if I explore too much looking for golden guns and clues.
-Rockstar did a damn fine job with the animation and narration its so awesome slow mo killing the enemies but if you wanted noir well you might be a tad disappointed about this aspect or lack off.
-The game is pretty long took about 10 hours to finish made even better with an awesome soundtrack never heard of HEALTH before but they did great.
-A few minutes with multiplayer and it is quite a refreshing change and yes it is reminiscent of call of duty at least the pacing is anyway you don't see bullet time or players shoot dodging each other maybe in blacks ops maybe...
-No the multiplayer does not feel tacked on like Mass Effect, Bioshock, etc. Rockstar did put quite some thought into building the experience but it is a level up system playing more gets you better equipment, abilities much like CoD, BF.
Issues: -Cover system is a little clunky though I play like I did with the previous Max Payne games so its not too bothersome
-Some might be bothered by the scenes being too colorful by that I mean it flashes shades of color in "cutscenes" and the warnings about seizures come to my mind because of it.
-A little too many cut-scenes you can't skip all of them makes the game feel a little too linear at times
Tip: Play single player first to get a feel for the mechanics or you may find yourself frustrated in the multiplayer as its a little tricky to use the shoot dodge use it wrong and you become vulnerable. It's easy to burn through ammo fast I still play as if I am playing Call of Duty.
4.5 out of 5. Fun, great game glad I preordered
on September 16, 2012
I enjoyed the previous Max Payne games on the "lesser" platforms and waited quite a while for this latest installment to finally hit the street. Rockstar basically took WAY too long just to bury this legacy. I didn't get very far into the game but, I decided to write this after I had enough of the monotony. This game should be titled "Shooting Gangstas Wearing Ski-Masks (in Slo-Mo)". You get to SIT BY AND WATCH some really cool action in FMV's (at the beginning, were so long, I fell asleep) which you did yourself in previous games, then you get to finally play and...more shooting at dudes in ski-masks. There are already dozens (hundreds?) of games where you run around and do nothing but shoot things, we didn't need to wait YEARS for one more. The getting-around-the-environment, the detective element, mood, feel, etc. is gone. And the artwork/concept is basically Grand Theft Auto now. Maybe something improves later in the game but, I don't feel like wasting any more time to find out. I really wanted this game to be a technical improvement (it definitely is, reason for 2 stars) while retaining the integrity of the previous games (nope). However, it ended up being a major disappointment. Attn Ebayers: a clean copy of Max Payne 3 up for sale very soon!