5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A gun-toting hangover,
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This review is from: Max Payne 3 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
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'.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 26, 2012 7:20:51 AM PDT
George Jacob says:
copy, paste much?
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2012 8:39:39 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 27, 2012 9:14:06 AM PDT
Actually I thought the levels and design were pretty diverse. It was the gameplay that felt redundant.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2012 10:26:15 PM PDT
The Accidental Druggist says:
I was thinking of checking out this game but still am hesitant. I heard it was difficult. I also heard the gameplay is very linear and that it doesn't bring anything new to the table. Is it worth the purchase? Hmm...
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2012 10:39:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 20, 2012 11:06:22 AM PDT
I thought it was worth a purchase. Yes, it's very linear but the environments were very diverse. Also has different difficulty modes if you're worried about it being too difficult. Perhaps rent it first?
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2012 10:46:27 AM PDT
The Accidental Druggist says:
Man, you have a TON of reviews on here. What's your incentive for writing so many - are you a journalist by heart? I might wait until the price drops even further before picking it up.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2012 11:09:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 20, 2012 11:09:38 AM PDT
Probably a wise choice. I wish they would release a demo of the game so people could get a feel for it since it's kinda hard to describe the feel for the game without playing it.
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