Finished this last night. What a ride.

#1 Posted by Demoskinos (15010 posts) -

So, I think my full list of thoughts might be coming in the way of a review or at the very least a more detailed blog but right now I'm saddled with 15 minutes to kill before I walk out the door to work and having beaten this just before I headed off to bed last night figured I'd share my initial thoughts. I'm really really glad I was wrong about this game. As soon as I saw South America as soon as I saw a balding fat Max Payne like a gag reflex I just rejected it. I thought rockstar didn't know what they were doing that they didn't "get" what made Max Payne or what Remedy did with him. And yes... in some ways this isn't the max payne who mumbled flowery verbose one liners while shooting bad guys in a rainy/snowy city backdrop.

The noir is still there Max's self loathing is still there. This IS still Max Payne. Its just got Rockstars stamp on it. And yes...I guess that might be a deal breaker at the get go for some people. The presentation is absolutely amazing some of the best VO work I've heard in years and the details in the game are fantastic little details like max carrying all his weapons and not becoming a walking gun cabinet and the seamless loading times really help to remove the layers of suspension of disbelief. Also very shocked that the multiplayer isn't garbage. I fully expected that even if I did like the campaign the multiplayer would be throw away garbage like RDR and GTA IV. 14 hours later again...wrong.

And even being done with the campaign still so much to do. Arcade mode beckons with Score attack and New York Minute and then of course more multiplayer. Overall fantastic game. Can not wait to play more.

#2 Posted by DharmaBum (1049 posts) -

I had similar skepticism leading up to release, with all the marketing videos seeming desperate to emphasize "innovations" in the genre. It wasn't until I actually played the game that I realized this is Rockstar's most polished work to date. It's as if leaving out the open-world afforded them so much more attention to detail and diversity to every environment. You can really tell how much their real-world research paid off in creating an authentic look and feel.

I can see how the contemporary noirish presentation might be off-putting to fans of Remedy's style, but there are enough references made to the originals that you walk away feeling like they treated Max's legacy with respect while still managing to modernize the game elements.

#3 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

I beat it today, after starting it yesterday afternoon can you belive. Thats not to say its a short game, I think I have spent 10-12 hours playing through the game. I was just so absorbed into everything that was going in, I loved the character of Max Payne and how his character develops throughout the game. I went in this not playing or seeing even footage from the previous Max Payne games so I didn't know what the character was like, despite his alcoholism and drug abuse I still liked him. As he got over his issues I found I liked him even more.

Playing through this was like playing through an Uncharted game for the first time, that sense of thrill of all of these awesome spectales. But it wasn't so over the top as Uncharted which is why I think I liked this more, with Uncharted's its like a real person would never do that. Max's one generally were do able. I liked how they went for health packs instead of regenerating health, it completely changes the way you approach the game. I went in assuming I could run forward shoot a bunch then run back and recharge.

That was not the case and I think it was a good choice because most games now in this genre don't do that, makes it refreshing. I liked the overall plot and there were some surprises in their, I was shocked when the people you were trying to save got killed. I haven't really touched the multiplayer, but I may try it next weekend.

Overall I am very surprised I enjoyed it this much, seeing as I had not played any of the originals and I hadn't followed anything about this game. I was never going to buy it so didn't watch any trailers of anything, I was going to get Diablo yesterday but it had sold out, hence the Max Payne buy.

One of if not the best game I have played this year.

#4 Posted by Deusx (1910 posts) -

I´m glad to read these opinions. Can´t wait to get it for PC next week!

#5 Posted by UnsolvedParadox (1863 posts) -

Finished the campaign last night, I'm really happy with the game. Remedy had something special with the first game (I still have the large boxed copy kicking around), but the new one is a much needed overhaul of the game mechanics and storytelling that feels fresh and interesting.

#6 Posted by Mikey2D (218 posts) -

I completed the game today too. I really enjoyed it. I played it on Hard which did make a few areas extremely frustrating as i kept dying over and over again thanks in part to the AI having near perfect aim and also in part due to the 'last stand' mechanic. Did anyone else have issue with that? I thought that generally it was a hinderance more then a helping hand - I mean its great to present me with a last second shoot the guy that shot you, but then to leave me lying on the floor for everyone else to shoot - sometimes I'd get up with next to no health again which sucked.

But yea - it was a great game with such amazing environments that were just full of atmosphere. The cinematic moments were awesome and overall its a great return to form for a beloved video game franchise.

I also really like the fact that in New York Minute mode (unlocked after you complete the main story) you can choose to play as the character models from Max Payne 1 and Max Payne 2. MP1's model especially looks hilarious :P

#7 Posted by CaptainCody (1508 posts) -

@Lebensbaum said:

I had similar skepticism leading up to release, with all the marketing videos seeming desperate to emphasize "innovations" in the genre. It wasn't until I actually played the game that I realized this is Rockstar's most polished work to date. It's as if leaving out the open-world afforded them so much more attention to detail and diversity to every environment. You can really tell how much their real-world research paid off in creating an authentic look and feel.

I can see how the contemporary noirish presentation might be off-putting to fans of Remedy's style, but there are enough references made to the originals that you walk away feeling like they treated Max's legacy with respect while still managing to modernize the game elements.

Great post.

#8 Posted by realph (261 posts) -

I felt the same as the OP last week. Was totally put off by everything I saw pre-release, it looked like Rockstar were changing Remedy's unique IP for the worst. But I planned on picking it up anyway, since it's a Rockstar game, and even crap from R* is half decent.

I came away from those credits pleasantly surprised, and it's worth noting that I finished it in two sittings (which is unlike me) because I was so wrapped up in it. I'd definitely recommend it to the skeptics.

#9 Posted by tphickma (62 posts) -

After getting the game yesterday im only on the third chapter but still throughly impressed with the mechanics, story, and graphics. At this point my only complaint is time between checkpoints. On hard difficulty ive found it to be surprisingly easy to die, and having to start ten to fifteen minutes back presents itself as more of an annoyance then a challenge or incentive. All things considered im still only about four hours or so into the game so im sure the story will overtake my complaint. So far, excellent game from rockstar, most impressed ive been with the studio since GTA:SA.

#10 Posted by Mikey2D (218 posts) -

@tphickma said:

After getting the game yesterday im only on the third chapter but still throughly impressed with the mechanics, story, and graphics. At this point my only complaint is time between checkpoints. On hard difficulty ive found it to be surprisingly easy to die, and having to start ten to fifteen minutes back presents itself as more of an annoyance then a challenge or incentive. All things considered im still only about four hours or so into the game so im sure the story will overtake my complaint. So far, excellent game from rockstar, most impressed ive been with the studio since GTA:SA.

Take it from someone that's completed it on hard mode - there will be some insanely hard moments during your playthrough. Overall i'm glad i completed it on hard but I will be going back to replay it on easy or medium simply because its such a cinematic game that failing really kills the momentum and this game really needs to just flow.

#11 Posted by stryker1121 (1521 posts) -

@Demoskinos: How was the gunplay overall, and what difficulty did you play on? I'm very interested in picking this up and would likely play on veteran, but I am wary of reviews talking about bullet-sponge enemies w/ perfect aim. I would get bored of that fast, although I still want a nice, fair challenge.

Online
#12 Posted by Demoskinos (15010 posts) -

@stryker1121: I played on Normal with Free-Aim and even that was a pretty good challenge. Later on some of the enemies do take some bullets but that is also because they are wearing body armor if you slow-mo and aim for their head or legs instead of the torso they still go down pretty easy you just have to target the weak points. The nice part is every 3 deaths they will give you a bit of ammo and a pain-killer so there should never be a obstacle you can't overcome. The controls will most likely feel weird to you at first but if you stick with it you will get used to them and once you do it feels really good. The cover system isn't as graceful as like say...gears or Uncharted's is but it still works plenty well.

#13 Edited by Ehker (235 posts) -

@tphickma said:

After getting the game yesterday im only on the third chapter but still throughly impressed with the mechanics, story, and graphics. At this point my only complaint is time between checkpoints. On hard difficulty ive found it to be surprisingly easy to die, and having to start ten to fifteen minutes back presents itself as more of an annoyance then a challenge or incentive. All things considered im still only about four hours or so into the game so im sure the story will overtake my complaint. So far, excellent game from rockstar, most impressed ive been with the studio since GTA:SA.

Oh man, wait until you get to the docks which are coming up soon for you. This one area of walking between boats goes on a very long time and has very little cover. I'm on hard also, and had to restart my journey on the docks from the beginning many times. On the positive side I've gotten much farther and luckily haven't had any moments like that one since.

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