Max Payne 3 Review
Developer: Rockstar Vancouver
Publisher: Rockstar Games
North American Release Date: May 15th, 2012
European Release Date: May 18th, 2012
Trophies: Yes, 1 | 3 | 5 | 38
Trophy Guide: Max Payne 3 Trophy Guide By Marccap
Max Payne has left the NYPD and is now located in Brazil where he is working as private security. See how Max deals with being an ex-cop with nothing to lose in the next installment of the Max Payne series.
Max Payne is mostly recognized for it's bullet time sequences. And by god is it pulled off extremely well. Upon being shot at, you can initiate a bullet time sequence where everything is in slow-motion, giving you the opportunity to survey the area and pick off certain enemies (or just have fun shooting guys in slow-motion like a normal person). In addition to just initiating this, you can also "shootdodge"; dive in slow-motion while shooting the baddies and feeling like a bad ass. The most gratifying feeling is doing a shootdodge and nailing 4+ enemies in the head.
The bullet time sequences are also initiated in certain parts of the game automatically, giving a more cinematic feel to the "shoot all enemies and advance" game that it is. Cars bursting through walls in slow-motion, and grenades flying through the air that you need to shoot before it hits you. This is the definite high-point that Max Payne has, a great feature that the game (and series) was built around.
If you don't feel like the ultimate badass doing this, something is wrong with you.
You have a health bar in Max Payne 3. The only way to gain health is to collect painkillers found throughout each level (naturally they relieve the pain). This gives it a grasp on reality in between slow-motion shootouts with 10+ enemies. If you do happen to lose your health though and you have at least one bottle of painkillers left you enter a "last stand" mode. This gives you a chance to kill your attacker in slow-motion and if successful, you automatically take the painkillers and are ready to get back in the action. This feature gets a little frustrating though when you are shot by someone and then you can't see them when in the last stand mode (if you are in cover, a wall or two may be in between yourself and the guy).
Taking cover is also one of the main features in Max Payne 3. While I myself am not a complete fan of cover-based shooters, at least Max Payne 3 doesn't center entirely around cover (it's second to bullet time). There was a problem I had though where I got shot and killed when behind cover, through a tiny space between connecting walls. I know there's a chance you can get shot between a space, but I went from 1/3 of health to dead in a matter of two seconds (granted I was playing on hard).
Max Payne is now a drunken, miserable, depressed and depressing ex-cop. You follow him as he narrates his latest job through hell as private security for the rich family the "Broncos". The story goes back and forth, between when you were working the job and how you came to it. It's a nice mix that gives some backstory to the story which is always a good thing. My only real problem with the story is that Max Payne is so miserable that you feel like telling him to suck it up and move on. Watching a sad sack mope around for over 10 hours isn't entertaining, but this is balanced out with the sarcastic humor found in the narration.
Max is just a lonely, depressed man.
The entire game you basically just keep seeing how things can screw over Max even more, and I'm not sure this was the best way to go about it. Most of the game you are either trying to find someone, or doing something that still continues the story but seems random. The story itself is quite bland, but that isn't exactly the focus of the game. Since all Max Payne is doing is private security work, it shows everything that can go wrong in an "actiony" way so as to entertain the player. If the story was a little stronger though, it would've been a gem. Like I said before, the game explains the backstory to the game and that's probably the best thing about the plot.
Max Payne 3 feels a lot like Kane and Lynch, where you are thrown into a world where everything is turning into madness (seemingly) and you are just stuck in the middle. I can say however that Kane and Lynch doesn't come close to the quality of Max Payne, the games are just similar if you know what I mean. A gritty story with hardly likeable characters shows this.
If the singleplayer game would have been co-op (with a different story, or altered story so the co-op fits) it would've been even better. Some sequences seemed like it was asking for co-op, quite notably a part when Max and his friend Passos are riding in a boat. Max shoots the enemies that are attacking the boat, but cooperatively a friend could've been Passos driving the boat.
Now onto the actual multiplayer. Someone's first thought about there being multiplayer in Max Payne 3 might be that it seems "tacked on" so it has a wider appeal. I personally don't think this is the case, as you can see some effort in the multiplayer, with all of the grinds, guns, and other unique things thrown in (like looting bodies for valuables and slow-motion with another player).
Like most games' multiplayer, you have the ability to create custom classes (after achieving a certain level, or rank) with many things to choose from. There's two-handed weapons, two single-handed weapon slots and many different perks and equipment that really just gives the player the ability to play how they want. If the multiplayer seemed tacked on to you before, it shouldn't now.
In terms of game modes, it doesn't stretch far. You've got your Deathmatch, your Team Deathmatch, larger versions of the two and then two unique modes. These being Gang Wars and Payne Killer. Gang Wars has you progress through "chapters", in different modes that are unique to this one mode. Payne Killer allows the player to be either Max Payne or Passos in a multiplayer game. They are overpowered, with lots of health and start with two bottles of painkillers. When you kill either, you become them.
I only ran into a few problems in Max Payne 3. One time during a between-level cutscene, all of the sounds disappeared except for obnoxious footsteps whenever Max would step. I'm one that likes subtitles so I know that there was monologue occurring, it wasn't just a silent cutscene.
Another was stated above, but I would get shot through walls (more than just one time) and would be in last-stand, while not able to see, let alone shoot, my attacker. It felt cheap and unnecessary.
My last problem with Max Payne 3 was the matchmaking. I got kicked from lobbies due to connection errors more times than I got in them. It meant that I couldn't quickly start the game up and play one match of multiplayer within a small time limit and be ready to go once the match was done. It took me maybe five minutes one time to actually find and join a game.
Other than those problems, the technical aspects of Max Payne 3 are great. The levels and environments look great and diverse. The character models are well animated and detailed, with fluid movements. Even the voice acting is quite top-notch. If only those hiccups wouldn't have been present, the technical aspect would've been perfect.
Also, Max Payne 3 has a weird sort of video-effect thing that it does every few seconds, with text coming up about keywords being spoken. I'm not sure what this symbolizes, that Max is a drunk and is going crazy? I'm not sure it was necessary.
I'm just not sure if this was needed, but it does give Max Payne 3 even more character.
Max Payne 3 isn't a walk in the park. To get all of the trophies takes many hours and multiple playthroughs. A minimum of four playthroughs to be exact. You first need to start off on hard (which I did, and got frustrated countless times). You need to actually beat the game on the hardcore difficulty setting without dying once all while completing each level within a certain time frame! It's madness.
In addition, there are plenty multiplayer and collectable trophies to keep you occupied. Reaching level 50 in multiplayer will take a long time. All in all, if you are looking for a fun game that you expect to earn the platinum in within a weeks time, you should look elsewhere.
I also experienced a trophy glitch with looting a body in multiplayer. I looted maybe 40+ bodies before I got the trophy after looting a single body in a different game mode. If you are having trouble with any of the trophies, consult this wonderful trophy guide by Marccap.
Max Payne 3 is another beauty from Rockstar. Anyone who is a fan of action movies will absolutely love this game, as you are basically in one. If you like Grand Theft Auto's gameplay, then this is just a glorified version with less stealy stealy scenes, more adrenaline rushing slowy slowy scenes.
What a game should be in terms of gameplay. Just pure slow-motion fun.
A mediocre story, but it was still fun blowing stuff up along the way.
There was nothing really there to grab you, but if you liked the singleplayer you will still like the multiplayer. It's great but it's more of the same, with the exception of great custom classes.
A few hiccups prevent a perfect score unfortunately.