I came to Max Payne 3 with the "baggage" of Max Payne 1 & 2 being my two favorite games to date. After struggling with with the combat for a good number of chapters and giving up once the favela chapter rolled around, I came back to the game about a year later and it became my favorite cover-based shooting I've ever played.
My personal verdict: not nearly up to the standard of the first two games, but if you meet it half-way - fantastic!
@dizzyhippos: Everyone is entitled to their conspiracy theories, but I highly doubt Vince's thought process was, "I'm going to bury this guy and send a message to the smarks by putting him in the MAIN EVENT of our weekly programming against John Cena."
I am the type to go for slower paced games every once and a while too. I (somewhat shamefully) grew to love Euro Truck Simulator 2 and played that a bunch not just to wind down from other video games, but emotionally tough days as well.
Speaking of "walking simulators" I also like The Elder Scrolls games for decompressing as well *rimshot*. I keep Morrowind installed on my laptop at all times just for that purpose.