Hard mode doesn't mess around...

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#1 Posted by Barrock (3533 posts) -

I've found myself incredible frustrated with Hard mode. The achievement whore in me is probably taking the fun away from the game for me instead of playing on Normal where it isn't as brutal. Finding some checkpoints are placed a little too far a head. Just completed the Panama mission and I'm hoping I can complete the game without bumping down the difficulty. Max is so damn fragile and the enemies almost always get headshots. It really changes the game and almost makes it tactical. If the game didn't take pity on me for dying so many times by giving me a bottle of pills when I reload, I don't think I could do it.

Anyone else playing on Hard mode?

#2 Posted by Ksaw (343 posts) -

Honestly, I found the game frustrating on medium. Hat's off if you can beat it on hard without breaking something.

#3 Posted by RoyCampbell (1096 posts) -

Difficulty achievements will be the death of your enjoyment of video games. Tone it down if it gets any more horrific.

#4 Posted by resifreak (25 posts) -

i know how you feel im on a sort of boss battle that he can hit you from behind cover with a head shot,but i wouldn't say its to hard you just need to take your time really. thats how im doing it

#5 Posted by Gravier251 (217 posts) -

Yeah hard on Max Payne 3 seems pretty rough. Not played much of the game yet so just on the stadium part. Tend to get swarmed by people with next to no cover.

Might eventually tone it down, usually I play things on hard because I like a challenge and some games are actually more interesting that way. Some though have a fairly dull/annoying hard mode in which case I just go down to normal instead.

#6 Posted by Village_Guy (2575 posts) -

Man, I'm planning on going through Hardcore and Old School, but I found it fairly difficult on Medium even.

#7 Edited by Doctorchimp (4076 posts) -

@Barrock: I thought Hard wasn't too challenging, I especially loved the second to last part in the airport with that Health song playing. I'm glad I went Hard first, Normal probably would have bored me.

The trick is, or at least what I've noticed, is people talking about cover and talking shit about the shootdodge. Yes, Max is more fragile, but the bullet time is unlimited when you do a shoot dodge and chances are you won't get hurt in the shoot dodge, only when you land and get up without shooting. You definitely can keep shooting getting up, you just won't be moving much. Also stay on the ground until you kill the enemy. When you're on the ground enemies tend to miss a lot.

So Shoot dodge and get as many as you can and if there are stragglers, calm down and just shoot them while you're on the floor. It takes some practice to not just immediately jam on the left stick to get moving. But if I can do it, you definitely can.

Shoot dodge strategically to give you a good view of everyone's heads and shoot them there, turn off Soft Lock or Hard Lock, that shit makes you aim for chests. Cover helped a little bit, but to give you an idea how my pretty easy Hard run was done, I don't think I got 500 kills from Cover. But I definitely had more than 500 headshots and more than a thousand bullet time and shoot dodge kills.

EDIT: That being said, my playstyle definitely hurt in a few spots in the game. The one I can remember the most was that dock/swamp part. For some reason I was stuck at that for a couple of hours. Something about those piers the way it funnels you and shoot dodging into water kept killing me.

Any spot that was tight and dependent on cover like a small hallway gave me trouble too.

But a big room with some space and the game was a cake walk.

#8 Posted by zaglis (910 posts) -

Can you change the difficulty at any time?

#9 Edited by hbkdx12 (779 posts) -

I literally just started my hard run. Biggest problem i have so far is adjusting to free aim after beating on medium/soft aim and playing all mp and arcade with soft aim.  
 
Even with having a really good grip on where enemies spawn i know im still gonna be in for a tough time. The first couple of chapters i'm finding it pretty easy to play somewhat aggressively. I know that mindset is gonna change real quick.  
 
@zaglis: yep but of course you jeopardize any difficulty related trophies/achievements in the process

#10 Edited by DharmaBum (1049 posts) -

First playthrough on normal must've built my confidence because second time through on hard is a breeze.

Doctorchimp has some good helpful tips above. If I had to be reductive about it, nearly every encounter you can rely on horizontal shootdodge to take out several dudes per jump. Once you've seen a few level layouts, you'll realize cover is intentionally arranged so you can choreograph moves as such.

After each jump it's important to decide whether to keep shooting from the ground or risk getting back on your feet in time to dodge again. Using the cover button directly from the prone position can speed up the animation process, or you can keep your momentum after each dodge by holding the stick in the same direction. And as a general rule of thumb, if you're being shot at chances are your adrenaline will greatly benefit, so activate bullet time manually whenever it's available to turn the tide.

#11 Posted by BigChickenDinner (766 posts) -

I love realistic shooters. I hate soaking up more than 2-3 shots in a game. Realism, it rocks my socks.

#12 Posted by dropabombonit (1490 posts) -

I found it tough enough at times on Normal so I can only imagine how much worse it would be on Hard. Going to start my hard playthrough at some point this week but going to get back SSX first

#13 Posted by ShaggE (6452 posts) -

Now that I've gotten the shoot-dodgy fun out of my system (mostly), I kind of like how different it plays on hard mode. Almost like a tactical shooter. Of course, I'm still on the Stadium. We'll see how I feel about it once I'm at the docks, dying over and over and over.

#14 Posted by FritzDude (2263 posts) -

I played through the game on hard with free aim on and I had a blast! The best thing you can do is to take chances and jump and bullet time like a madman. Camping behind a wall always got me killed.

#15 Posted by MEATBALL (3238 posts) -

I decided to play the game on easy after hearing about the amount of time you have to spend in cover in normal and above (that's not the way I wanted to play the game). Maybe I'm just terrible at it but I've been finding that easy mode is not without challenge itself (the difficulty level feels about right for my tastes), so I can certainly imagine Hard living up to its moniker.

#16 Posted by JimF (10 posts) -

I just finished hard mode and yeah, it was no joke. Shootdodging actually helped me in the tough parts more often than staying in cover did, which is not what I was expecting. Now to attempt old school mode...

#17 Posted by Barrock (3533 posts) -

This roof top section with the tremors is now making me want to toss my controller through a window.

#18 Edited by Strife777 (1579 posts) -

Dude, try going through the whole game thinking you were playing on medium, only to realise when the achievements pop up, that you were playing on hard all this time.

I simply couldn't believe they would make the game that hard. The average gamer who doesn't play that often would just hate it. I felt pretty stupid.

#19 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

@RoyCampbell said:

Difficulty achievements will be the death of your enjoyment of video games. Tone it down if it gets any more horrific.

They're actually my favourite, I love the challenge. I hate trophies/achievments that are time consuming those are the ones I fear.

Also fuck multiplayer ones, I'm going to play it anyway don't make me have to play online a certain way jesus.

#20 Posted by Harpell (168 posts) -

Beat it on Hard the other day. It was seriously tough, but I found that the shootdodge was really the solution to most problems. That and blindfire.

Going through Old-school right now, and the same holds true. It's tough as hell, but you really feel like a badass when it all comes together and you wipe out a room of goons in bullettime.

#21 Posted by fraser (478 posts) -

I found some areas insanely frustrating on Normal. Really struggled on some sections, notably the organ-trafficking rooftops and the final airport section.

I'm toward the end of the police station on Hard now and I'm not finding it too bad. Practice makes perfect and all that! I'm having a similar experience to Skate in that, whilst not technically getting stronger in-game, I feel like I'm understanding how the game wants me to manoeuvre a little more.

#22 Posted by Barrock (3533 posts) -

I find the laser sighted guns to be completely useless. Anyone else?

#23 Posted by altairre (1191 posts) -

@Barrock said:

I find the laser sighted guns to be completely useless. Anyone else?

You just can't see the fucking dot. It's terrible and I'm completely baffled that no one at R* noticed this.

#24 Posted by Mikey2D (218 posts) -

@Barrock said:

This roof top section with the tremors is now making me want to toss my controller through a window.

Hang in their dude - I felt that exact same way about that section. I played through hard mode / free aim and some parts are as you say just brutal. I like you did it for the achievements...overall it was worth it but i feel as MP3 is such a cinematic game it warrants a second run through after on easy just to let it flow naturally.

#25 Edited by hbkdx12 (779 posts) -
@Barrock: If you hit select/back while you have the gun out he'll turn the laser/flashlight/scope off and you'll be back to the normal aiming reticule
 
Simple and yet important shit that the game decides not to tell you
#26 Posted by rolanthas (242 posts) -

I noticed no difference between normal and hard. Max takes regional damage so I can't be sure if the bullets hit harder, or it's just my positioning. But AI doesn't really aim any better ( they already have their magical aim ), or flank better than they used to.

If anything, painkillers heal me fully on hard, whereas in normal it was like 3/4.

#27 Posted by CaptainTightPants (2834 posts) -
@hbkdx12 said:
@Barrock: If you hit select/back while you have the gun out he'll turn the laser/flashlight/scope off and you'll be back to the normal aiming reticule Simple and yet important shit that the game decides not to tell you
Haha holy crap, that would have helped. The laser sight is useless when you start shootdodging and move around in gunfights.  It's something you learn much too late.
 
 
Also yes I set it to hard the first time through and it is no joke. I died multiple times by rounding a corner, and getting shot in the face. Sometimes I would get killed by a small graze from a shotgun blast.  I was killed repeatedly even behind cover, a lot of lucky headshots.
#28 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@altairre said:

@Barrock said:

I find the laser sighted guns to be completely useless. Anyone else?

You just can't see the fucking dot. It's terrible and I'm completely baffled that no one at R* noticed this.

It's fucking terrible. It's supposed to add to your precision but the whole thing starts bouncing when you shoot? WTF!? Besides, you can't even see where you're shooting, so you aim at the body and press the trigger hoping that it hits.
#29 Posted by Vinny_Says (5708 posts) -

@Barrock make sure you're on free aim mode if you want that achievement

#30 Posted by Gravier251 (217 posts) -

played a bunch more on hard and have had some awkward moments but for the most part it has been alright. The whole "shoot someone to recover life before you die" mechanic can sometimes be annoying though I found, often (especially when in cover) Max just falls and starts twirling around, you can point the reticle at people but when you press the trigger Max just keeps twisting around firing wildly into his feet or into the air overhead until you finish falling and die.

A minor complaint, though watching it flail about eerily like that can break what is otherwise a rather impressive, stylish combat system.

#31 Posted by Barrock (3533 posts) -

Just finished. Man the airport section in the baggage area was brutal, and so was the last shoot out.

#32 Posted by jillsandwich (762 posts) -

@xaLieNxGrEyx said:

@RoyCampbell said:

Difficulty achievements will be the death of your enjoyment of video games. Tone it down if it gets any more horrific.

They're actually my favourite, I love the challenge. I hate trophies/achievments that are time consuming those are the ones I fear.

Also fuck multiplayer ones, I'm going to play it anyway don't make me have to play online a certain way jesus.

That's usually not that big a problem. The ones in MP3 aren't ridiculous anyway. It's not like getting first place in a Deathmatch game is something that disrupts the game for people.

#33 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5138 posts) -

@hbkdx12 said:

@Barrock: If you hit select/back while you have the gun out he'll turn the laser/flashlight/scope off and you'll be back to the normal aiming reticule Simple and yet important shit that the game decides not to tell you

Oh man, thank you for posting this. I would have never figured this out.

#34 Posted by Redbullet685 (6044 posts) -

Max Payne 3 on normal doesn't mess around, especially during the last 2-3 missions.

#35 Posted by Commisar123 (1792 posts) -

I haven't, I had a hard enough time beating it on normal. I can't imagine it being any fun at all that way.

#36 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

@jillsandwich said:

@xaLieNxGrEyx said:

@RoyCampbell said:

Difficulty achievements will be the death of your enjoyment of video games. Tone it down if it gets any more horrific.

They're actually my favourite, I love the challenge. I hate trophies/achievments that are time consuming those are the ones I fear.

Also fuck multiplayer ones, I'm going to play it anyway don't make me have to play online a certain way jesus.

That's usually not that big a problem. The ones in MP3 aren't ridiculous anyway. It's not like getting first place in a Deathmatch game is something that disrupts the game for people.

Im leaning more towards the "place first in the all time leaderboards" sort of ones. Placing 1st in one game is no big deal, even someone awful will do it eventually.

#37 Edited by EpochError (75 posts) -

Hard was really tough, so the fact that there are two difficulties above it is kind of baffling. I don't know how that would even be possible. But mostly I tried to shootdodge as much as possible, since that works even when your meter is empty, and being in cover when I WASN'T shootdodging. If you land in relative safety behind a desk or something, sometimes it's better to just stay on the ground and blow the heads off guys as they peak over/walk around it to get to you. Also, if you hit X while on the ground after a dive, you'll immediately slide into the cover you're near, which is better than getting up and being exposed for a couple of seconds while trying to get into cover. And like someone else said above, hit the back button to turn off the useless laser sights and get your regular retical back. Really, though, just playing on normal seems best. It's not like there's no challenge to it.

#38 Posted by hbkdx12 (779 posts) -

Just beat it on hard with free aim. 
 
Gotta say, it really wasn't as problematic as i was anticipating. There wasn't a single checkpoint that i had to do more than 3 times. Overall maybe died about 10 times.  Didn't even die on the last boss
 
If hard is your first or even second playthrough i can see how things can be really difficult but once you know where enemies spawn in from and what the best piece of cover is in each scenario, things go pretty smoothly. 
 
Didn't do a lot of shootdodging at all. Played it safe in terms of staying in cover and popping out with bullet time. 
 
Also, corner shooting is a life and ammo saver. Got through a very big chunk of the game taking advantage of this tactic. Only downfall to this method is if you actually get put into Last Man Standing you're probably screwed as your stuck on the other side of the corner from your enemy
 
Now to enjoy my TERMINATOR run. Turn on infinite ammo and infinite painkillers and just keep moving taking everyone out 1 by 1 with no cover. Go into last man standing, take out the enemy and just keep on trucking
 
FUCK YEAH

#39 Posted by Demoskinos (14826 posts) -

I might attempt hard at some point. Normal is even a hefty challenge at some points. And fuck man... the last gun battle. Good Luck!

#40 Posted by MeesterO (26 posts) -

I have already gone and done finished all three of the hardest difficulties with no issues really, in fact I found the game a whole lot more easier/smoother on Old School than Hard and Hardcore, almost as if it was supposed to be played in that difficulty in the first place

#41 Edited by Flawed_System (388 posts) -

Beat Hard, Medium, and Old School [Free Aim...I don't like lock-on in any games I play]. I wish you could skip the cutscenes a little faster...I end up having to waste 5 minutes sitting through the same scenes over and over.

#42 Posted by rolanthas (242 posts) -

yeah, hopefully cutscene skips will be faster on the PC version.

#43 Posted by DeF (4887 posts) -

@RoyCampbell said:

Difficulty achievements will be the death of your enjoyment of video games.

As evidenced by me still missing the trophy for beating Dead Space on professional. It's the last one left but I just can't bring myself to do that.

#44 Posted by Triumvir (478 posts) -

Cause I wanted to play with free aim anyway, I played the game until Act 3 without even noticing that it was on hard instead of normal. For the longest while I thought this was the most insanely difficult game I'd played in a while, if this was the normal mode. So, when I found out I just ran with it. The showdown at the end was obscenely tough.

I learned several things that really help:

1: Blind-firing is really useful, especially when suppressing guys before you popout of cover/use bullet time. Machine pistols are simply the best for this.

2: Dual-wielding can really help you out of a jam, if you have the ammo to spare.

3: Save assault rifles and shotguns for guys with body armor.

4: Use the d-pad to switch over-shoulder view whenever you are going around a corner where there are enemies

5: On guys with helmets: aim for the goggles, mouth or neck. They are still vulnerable there.

6: Shoot Dodge is your friend. Love your friend and do not neglect him.

I'm replaying the game on hardcore now. I actually think it's a little easier, but that could be because I know what to expect and have increased my skills drastically. I've been meaning to look up what's going on there: you have less health and you get less ammo from enemies, but they seem to have less health as well.

#45 Posted by fraser (478 posts) -

@Flawed_System said:

Beat Hard, Medium, and Old School [Free Aim...I don't like lock-on in any games I play]. I wish you could skip the cutscenes a little faster...I end up having to waste 5 minutes sitting through the same scenes over and over.

I'm with you on this one. Just did a free aim Old School run and I'm planning to go back in to finish up collectables and do it on Hardcore - but the thought of watching the cutscenes (which are undeniably great) for the 4th time in under a week is putting me off.

#46 Posted by ds8k (412 posts) -

All this talk of it being hard pleases me. Anyone that played the original games knows that Max Payne ain't no fucking joke when it comes to difficulty. Nice to see Rockstar kept that tradition. Can't wait for the PC version to come out.

#47 Posted by alexisg (383 posts) -

@hbkdx12 said:

@Barrock: If you hit select/back while you have the gun out he'll turn the laser/flashlight/scope off and you'll be back to the normal aiming reticule Simple and yet important shit that the game decides not to tell you

This made a world of difference especially once you are playing free aim. I find that changing the gun reticule to gun specific makes it a bit easier to pick up your target point as well (although this is useless when using the handguns).

@Triumvir said:

1: Blind-firing is really useful, especially when suppressing guys before you popout of cover/use bullet time. Machine pistols are simply the best for this.

4: Use the d-pad to switch over-shoulder view whenever you are going around a corner where there are enemies

+1 on these two points. The more you use blind fire the better you will get at aiming when you come out of cover. Proper setup seems key to making a good shot.

This game is definitely harder than most. The most comment argument has been wether or not R* balanced your ability to play like Max Payne and have fun right off the bat vs. creating a game which really only rewards you of playing like Max Payne after a significant increase in your own abilities. Most people don't have the patience to sit through multiple play throughs (especially with the long un-skippable cinematics).

Staff
#48 Posted by Vinny_Says (5708 posts) -

Played through the campaign twice, got every collectible, every grind and finished NY minute and I still want to play more SP on Old School on top of the awesome MP.....no game has done this to me in a while :D

#49 Posted by PhilipDuck (548 posts) -

Yeah i started the fucka on hard and just had to give in and play it on normal, thought i'd rather enjoy my first play through.

#50 Posted by Nilazz (613 posts) -

Hard is HARD!

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