Max doesn't seem like such a bad guy to me?

#1 Posted by Czarpyotr (293 posts) -

I'm only on chapter 10 so maybe I haven't seen the worst, but so far I don't really get why everyone who talks about this game says Max is a complete bag of shit. He is a drinker and drug abuser but that is just personal shit he does to deal with all the death in his life. When he has been dealing with the family members he has tried to protect he has been really kind and caring, despite being unable to protect them. He only kills "bad guys" anyways so he just seems like a dude in a tough situation who is still totally relatable to me. Just curious on other people's thoughts on this.

#2 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4847 posts) -

@Czarpyotr: You're right. Max is not a piece of shit. He's a decent person struggling with his past as well as his stranger in a strange land situation. You're coming up to a point (about Chapter 11) where all the pieces will start falling into place, but I also don't understand where this "Max is a piece of shit" mentality is coming from. If anything, he's far too hard on himself. He is a drunk, yes, and you could argue that because he was half-cut most of the game the CS were able to kidnap Fabiana and Cracha Preto were able to assassinate Rodrigo, but the truth of the matter is that Max, even shit-faced, is an uncanny shot and more than willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to do his job. Chapter 11 shows this in spades (and also has the best song in the soundtrack, in my opinion).

Max is a broken man, but a piece of shit? No. If anything, he's the sole bright spot in a sea of scumbags.

#3 Posted by Czarpyotr (293 posts) -

Couldn't have said it better myself. Also I just hit the music you are talking about and it is dope. Kind of reminds me of Drive.

#4 Posted by MaskofMan (5 posts) -

I haven't come across any complaints about Max' personality or character... hmm... If there are, they haven't watched The Shield, or Breaking Bad, or played a GTA game (where the protaganists may have a sense of justice they use, but are still murderers and crooks universally). He's pretty much the standard modern anti-hero archtype: proud, capable, American, protective of the meek, willing to resort to violence in the name of justice and most importantly deeply scarred and emotionally flawed. For further examples see nearly every cop drama in the last 10 years or super-hero comic in the last 30... lol

#5 Edited by willyleeks (12 posts) -

In some circumstances he's in a tough spot and forced into violence, but in others he's dangerous because he's drunk and feels he has little to lose. Does he really need to shoot the New Jersey gangster's son in Chapter 4? Maybe a better man would've walked away and not shed all that blood.

#6 Posted by TeamJersey (341 posts) -

@willyleeks: That jersey shore reject douchebag had it coming.

#7 Posted by Sdoots (205 posts) -

@willyleeks: The kid talked shit to Max about his family getting murdered. Considering that event is the starting point of Max's life going downhill, him gunning the kid down was easy to see coming.

Max was a cop, and a damn good one. Having your life go downhill fast enough to break the sound barrier changes a person, but things like a sense of justice stick around. I just got past the machete scene, so maybe something happens later on, but so far it's clear Max still has feelings, and he means well. Just to give a few examples, his interactions with the IT guy, and the short bit with the graveyard employee.

#8 Posted by willyleeks (12 posts) -

@Biohazardous: I totally agree that you could see it coming and that Max wasn't going to stand for it. But that's kind of my point, Max solves his problems and vents his frustrations with violence and murder. Max laments the loss of his wife and child, but that doesn't stop him killing other people's children.

#9 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4847 posts) -

@willyleeks said:

@Biohazardous: I totally agree that you could see it coming and that Max wasn't going to stand for it. But that's kind of my point, Max solves his problems and vents his frustrations with violence and murder. Max laments the loss of his wife and child, but that doesn't stop him killing other people's children.

When that happens, Max reacts on instinct. When the Jersey Shore Pauly D looking douchebag talks smack about Michelle and Rose, Max takes it in stride. He's not going to fall for it. It's not until that the guy comes back waving a gun around and striking a woman with the clear intent to kill her if she mouths off again that he reacts. It's a snap decision. Too many women have fallen on his watch to even let an alright, drunken bar fly go next.

Also, everyone tries to kill Max first, which is a very important distinction. Max never raises a firearm except in self-defense throughout all of Max Payne 3.

#10 Posted by willyleeks (12 posts) -

@Oldirtybearon: That's fair, I agree that he pretty much gets pushed to the limit before he snaps and acts out of defence for the woman. Still, death his is solution for most problems - I understand that's his character, life has left him in the gutter, but it doesn't make him any more 'good'.

Also, everyone tries to kill Max first, which is a very important distinction. Max never raises a firearm except in self-defense throughout all of Max Payne 3.

This might be true but he definitely goes looking for trouble. It's all very well saying it's self-defence but by the end he actively wanders into scenarios he knows he's going to have to shoot his way out of.

#11 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4847 posts) -

@willyleeks said:

@Oldirtybearon: That's fair, I agree that he pretty much gets pushed to the limit before he snaps and acts out of defence for the woman. Still, death his is solution for most problems - I understand that's his character, life has left him in the gutter, but it doesn't make him any more 'good'.

Also, everyone tries to kill Max first, which is a very important distinction. Max never raises a firearm except in self-defense throughout all of Max Payne 3.

This might be true but he definitely goes looking for trouble. It's all very well saying it's self-defence but by the end he actively wanders into scenarios he knows he's going to have to shoot his way out of.

That's kind of how hard-boiled heroes go, though. It's ingrained in the DNA of the genre. Hard-boiled heroes are mostly people abandoned, left in the gutter and the only way they will see justice done is by their own hand. That said, when Max shaves his head and actively goes "looking" for trouble, he's made peace with the fact that he's probably going to die. It's not about saving people at that point, it's about paying the piper for the lives already taken. The villains in Max Payne 3 are truly, truly evil people. They deserve everything that Max has coming to them. If you want to argue that he should've found another way, that's possible, I suppose, but it wouldn't be hard-boiled at that point.

It's why I love the genre, personally. Blood-soaked, hard-nosed heroes and truly despicable, vile creatures for villains. It's made all the more enjoyable when you have a man like Max Payne as your protagonist.

Although I'm wondering exactly what we're discussing at this point.

#12 Posted by Sdoots (205 posts) -

After finishing the game about an hour ago, I still think Max is a "good" guy.

#13 Posted by willyleeks (12 posts) -

@Oldirtybearon: I totally agree, I was kind of playing devil's advocate but it does fit the genre perfectly, and I enjoyed the game more for Max being a badass.

That said, I guess we're discussing it because the thread title was 'Max doesn't seem like such a bad guy'. Seems the conclusion we've reached is: this is hard-boiled, everyone's a bad a guy, and Max is just a little less bad than the rest.

#14 Posted by SeanFoster (878 posts) -

I just got to Brazil and yeah, he totally just seems like a downtrodden person wallowing in his own self-pity. I don't think he's evil or a piece of shit. He reminds me of John McClane (particularly in the 3rd Die Hard movie).

#15 Posted by Korolev (1714 posts) -

He's not evil. He's not even a bad guy. He's just miserable, depressed, angry and gives little thought to what he is doing until Chapter 9 or so. He does kill an awful lot of people, but no one who didn't either shoot at him or wave a gun directly in his face. He legitimately tries to protect the Branco family, even if he despises most of them.

I thought he was a good guy. Not one to cross, but not a fundamentally bad character. And in the end, he does the right thing.

#16 Posted by Commisar123 (1796 posts) -

I mean he isn't supposed to be the bad guy, just a sad loser

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#17 Posted by ShockD (2409 posts) -

I think he has an alcohol problem.

#18 Posted by Grixxel (768 posts) -

@SeanFoster said:

I just got to Brazil and yeah, he totally just seems like a downtrodden person wallowing in his own self-pity. I don't think he's evil or a piece of shit. He reminds me of John McClane (particularly in the 3rd Die Hard movie).

This. This game feels alot like Die Hard meets Man on Fire which is why I really like it.

#19 Posted by Frag_Maniac (107 posts) -

@Czarpyotr said:

He only kills "bad guys"...

As Passos said, the kid at the bar started the gunfight. It doesn't matter that he didn't fire first. When you pull out a gun and start making threats, you can't expect things to go well.

#20 Posted by jerseyscum (888 posts) -

@Grixxel said:

@SeanFoster said:

I just got to Brazil and yeah, he totally just seems like a downtrodden person wallowing in his own self-pity. I don't think he's evil or a piece of shit. He reminds me of John McClane (particularly in the 3rd Die Hard movie).

This. This game feels alot like Die Hard meets Man on Fire which is why I really like it.

With a LOT of City of God and Elite Squad thrown in for good measure.

#21 Posted by jillsandwich (762 posts) -

I refuse to believe that anybody actually used the phrase: "half-cut" before Max Payne 3 came out.

#22 Posted by mr_woo (38 posts) -

I love Max's personality in this and it feels like he goes through a full character arc the further the game progresses. Maybe it's just me but there's one thing I've noticed in general, and it's that if a character is even remotely negative or a bit of a fuck up he's all of a sudden unlikeable or a shithead to a lot of people. It feels like to me a lot of folk just want Nathan Drake constantly or some bland military lead character. I love fucked up characters in games, they are the most entertaining to play as. Hell I adore Kane and Lynch, the games themselves are flawed but I adore the characters. They are complete and utter fuck ups who just constantly get themselves into bad situations and yet I still feel bad for them. The whole of Kane and Lynch 2 wouldn't have occurred if they weren't utter idiots and I love it because of that.

Does Max wallow in self pity ? Absolutely. But so what ? The guy's had an incredibly hard life, he's lost everyone that's close to him and he's just trying to keep on living. He doesn't even put himself down THAT much either, he's always commenting on the situations around him and yeah some of those comments are about him failing or whatever. That's why I love the way the game progresses. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't played it, but Max feels like a hero trying to do things right with many bad things going on around him. The way certain things happen later on to change his character is great and I was really satisfied with the ending as well.

Great game, my favourite this year and easily one of the best shooters this generation.

#23 Posted by Frag_Maniac (107 posts) -

@mr_woo said:

Great game, my favourite this year and easily one of the best shooters this generation.

Totally agree, it's easily best shooter if not best game of the year so far, and Max is justifiably dysfunctional in this one. So many on the outside looking in are mocking his persona in this one. They probably can't relate because they haven't faced such tragedy in their lives, or anything close to it.

Sure it's a bit over the top in it's onscreen effects and cutscenes, and certainly more scripted than the last two, but the combat itself is also more dynamic in the many tactics and environment objects you can use. In fact I think the environment objects alone make up for the lack of grenades and Molotovs in sp.

Kane & Lynch 2 was indeed another dysfunctional joyride, obviously more so than this one due to the side of the law they were on, but both games have that addictive visceral nature with challenging combat that makes you want to come back for more. Despite the brutality getting through it, I played Kane & Lynch 2 several times through on Extreme, and as with Max Payne 3, I found ways to improve my tactics each time.

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