My Best Attempt at a Review
You know, I was just starting to slightly lose hope in video games. Do game companies now expect us to pay 60 bucks for an essentially glitch, unfinished game and shell out an extra 30 bucks to pay for DLC? I remember a time when games took their time at perfecting a game to the best of their abilities and, sure, there were occasional glitches but, at least we felt like we got our money’s worth.
Then, Rockstar games came along with Max Payne 3 and reminded me why they made me fall in love with games in the first place. Now, I’m going to start off by saying something that may anger some people. I did not play the first Max Payne games. I can only really give my opinion on the game based on what I’ve seen in game play videos and heard from reviews. That being said, since Max Payne 3 was developed and published different developers, this questions may be popping in some heads: Is Max Payne 3 as good as the first two May Payne games?
Short Answer: Seems like it. However, I’m sure you guys want to hear a bit more so, here we go…
Max Payne 3, or Awesome Shit Simulator 2012 as I like to call it, is a Third-Person shooter that lets you assume the role of Max Payne. Max is a badass, pill-popping, alcoholic ex-cop who now serves as a bodyguard for the spoiled and rich in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The good news for people new to the Max Payne series is that it doesn’t take much to figure out exactly what was is going on and the game does a pretty good job of informing you about Max’s dark past. The game mainly will take place in Sao Paulo but Max will occasionally have flashbacks to his older days in New York and there is also a nice level at the Panama Canal.
I love the game’s style. It’s very dark and gritty. Think Kane and Lynch 2 but without the nauseating camera during game play. Everything is just fucked up and you are in the middle of it. There were some bloody, gory cut scenes that just really added to that fact. I also liked the glitch effects they added to really play on the fact that Max Payne is most likely drunk or feeling the side-effects of the pills.
Speaking of the pills, this is one of the many interesting game play mechanics added to this game. Max Payne is a bit older than he was in the first two games and, as a result, is a bit more fragile and loses health fairly quickly. You constantly have to find and take pills in order to regain health. You might want to keep a few pills on you at all times, however, because if you get shot an go down, you will be able to kind of take a last stand and try and kill one of your enemies before you hit the ground and die. This is quite cool but sometimes you fell behind cover, none of the enemies were in your line of sight, or you just emptied a clip and can’t reload and it sometimes became a waste of time. The other thing they have is the bullet time which can be triggered by pressing a button or diving. You can replenish the meter by shooting enemies. This really helped in a lot of the gun play when you needed to clear rooms and you had a very limited supply of ammo and needed to take headshots. Although both the pill-popping and the bullet time were in the previous two Max Payne games, they were really fun to do every single time and made you feel like an absolute badass when you were able to pull off insane kills. I felt like I was in an action movie when I was able to dive 20 feet off of a helipad, pop a pill, take out 3 guys with head shots, and land with only a little bit of lost health.
One of the coolest/most disturbing parts of Max Payne 3 was the kill cam (which has also been in previous Max Payne games). Basically, when you clear out an area and you take out the last guy in that area, you get this cool little kill cam effect that shows the bullet going through the guy. It was pretty cool seeing the bullet go through the enemy’s skull but, man, this game is gory. What’s worse, or better depending on how you look at it, is the fact that you can keep pulling the trigger after the kill cam and watch the bullets and they completely rip your enemy apart with your bullets.
There is also an arcade mode which is really cool. It basically does what you would expect, times you and scores you. It’s really fun and, if you are looking for a bit of a challenge, I highly recommend you try it out.
In each level, you can collect golden gun parts which, if you collect all the parts of each gun, turns that gun golden for the rest of the game. I believe it gives the gun a bit of a damage increase but it isn’t completely apparent.
Overall, the single player experience of Max Payne 3 has enough collectables and stuff to do to keep you busy for a while. It took me about 10-12 hours to complete the game on Normal but take into account the difficulty and amount of times I died (which was a lot) and it may take you longer or shorter depending on how much better or worse you are at the game.
As great as the single player experience is, the multiplayer experience is that much more awesome. The modes you get in multiplayer are Rookie Deathmatch, Rookie Team Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch, Gang Wars, and Payne Killer.
The first four modes are what you would expect. In Deathmatch, your goal is to kill as many people as you can in the allotted amount of time and Team Deathmatch is basically the same except there are two teams. I’m not entirely sure what the rookie versions are but I assume they just have hard lock instead of the soft lock or free aim option.
The other modes, Payne Killer and Gang Wars, are very interesting concepts though. In Payne Killer, there are two players who will be Max Payne and, one of Max Payne’s buddies in the story, Raul Passos. The goal of those two players is to work together and get as many kills as they can while the other players must work together and try and kill the other two characters. However, if you are able to take out the Passos or Payne players, you assume the role of the character you took out. I like how your allies are constantly changing and you are under constant threat no matter what side you are on. Now, it may seem hard to have to take on several other players at once with one other partner but it appears that the Max and Passos players are a bit more powerful and can take out other people more easily. I had a great time with this mode.
The other mode is called Gang Wars. Gang Wars is interesting. Basically, you play through story missions and must complete various objectives like plant a bomb or prevent the enemy time from taking a position and escaping. And it isn’t just one objective per game. You will play five games in a row and the outcome of each game will affect how the rest of the story plays out. I had a lot of fun with this mode and it certainly is one of the more interesting modes of Max Payne 3 that I recommend all who play should check out.
Despite all the fun I had with Multiplayer, I had one HUGE problem that really almost blew the whole experience for me. The spawning. A lot of the time, I ended up spawning right near my enemies or my enemies spawned right near me. The worst was getting shot at from behind because an opposing player was able to take me out. It got extremely frustrating at times and I hope some sort of patch comes out to fix this situation.
Max Payne 3 is a fantastic game and is, by far, an early contender for game of the year. I only wish I had played the first two Max Payne games before I had played this one so I at least knew a little bit more going into this game but, as good as this game is, I think I’ll go play the first two games just for fun. So game developers, take notes from studios like Rockstar. It took them a couple years, but the outcome was an extremely polished, fun game as well as the positive praise of several gamers worldwide.