Max is back and he is ready for his next gen console debut. And what a great job Rockstar Vancouver has done.
So, for the people who are not familiar with Max Payne, Max is an ex-NYPD cop who is now working as a bodyguard in Brazil. His job is to protect the Brancos, one of the richest families there, keeping them safe. He thought it would be easy money but that turned out not to be the case after party crashers showed up at one of the family's parties. Max is trying to keep the family safe. Does Max succeed? Well, you'll have to play to find out.
OK, I will not spoil the story. It is a really over-the-top story. This story is not for the weak of heart. There are some scenes that will make you go 'wow, that is insane'. It does not go to the levels of Heavy Rain, but it is a crazy story nonetheless. The story keeps you guessing till the end. It is well written, and Max Payne narrates throughout the main story. He says a few funny lines, like this one I like about kids in Brazil: 'The kids in Brazil come out of their mother's womb kicking a soccer ball. It is the only thing that will get them a ticket out of this hell hole'. It is the little things like that which will keep you going, 'yeah, that is different'. You are not going to find another story or experience like this.
One last note - I like the story. I like the over-the-top nature it has, but some people might be turned off. It does go far, but for me, it was the crazy train that kept me going.
Now, there has not been a Max Payne game since the last game, so I will fill you in on what makes Max Payne. In bullet time, the action slows down so you can get a better shot. I played the first two games, and this bullet time is easier - just click into the stick and you are in bullet time. And the dodge button is on another button, thank God. Max can hide in cover. And, get this, something new is auto save. If you played the originals, you'll know they did not have that. Ah, advancements of the modern age.
Bullet time is what makes Max Payne great. There is no other game that does bullet time like this game does. The added time to a shot can be very helpful. Without bullet time, Max Payne would still be an enjoyable game, but it really sets this game apart from the other third-person shooters of the world. And one last thing, in a gaming world where there is recharging health, they kept this old school. You have pain pills to keep you going, so you can't just go and hide and wait. You've got to be careful and use the pills wisely. I like this. It makes you think instead of just waiting for your health to go down. You've got to watch what you do.
Well, the graphics are really nice, but really, the star of the graphics is all the detailed gore. When you shoot an enemy, depending on where you shoot them, you can see bullet shots. What I love about this game is that when you shoot a person in the head, you can see the bullet exit their skull. It makes you feel something when you are playing it. In other games, you can kill hundreds of zombies and not care. Almost everyone I killed in this game, I felt something. I know they are not real but it was something, and that is saying a lot. I've been playing video games for a while, and I felt bad killing these people, and that is a real testament to this game.
Here is the thing, when you go to a party or a nightclub in Max Payne 3, they play Brazilian music. It is nice and adds to the atmosphere. It makes you think you are at this nightclub getting down. The music is mostly ambiance, but that is not a bad thing. It ties you in with the story and what is going on. Rockstar Games always had the best ear for music like in the Midnight Club series, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City to name a few. They know what is good music, so this game has a rocking set of tunes.
Max Payne 3 brings it with the online. There are a lot of modes to play the game online. There is Team Deathmatch and objective matches. I will play a lot of Team Deathmatch.
So here is a little bit of history, Midway is no longer with us. They tried to put bullet time in online with Stranglehold, but that was not good at all. I do not know how Vancouver did it, but they put bullet time in and it works. And not in a crappy kind of way, but in a way that I thought, 'OK, that works out'. When someone presses their bullet time, if it is their perk, everyone goes into bullet time. It evens out everything.
The online has a leveling up system. So to get more things, you've got to level up. And yes, Max does narrate the online when your weapon gets upgraded. It adds to the online experience.
Remedy, you should be proud of what Rockstar Vancouver has done. They made a Max Payne game that, if I did not know better, came from Remedy. They kept it faithful to the original two games. The second game started the narration, and I am glad that this game has it too. It really makes the game different. What also makes this game different to other games is that Max has a pretty detailed past. He has hurt a lot of people, and he is not wooden at all. You really feel Max's pain from what he went through. And Max is not a bad guy. He just wants to make things right, but how he does that is with a bullet to the skull.
One Last Note
This game is over-the-top violent. I like over-the-top violence, so this did not bother me, but if you do not like that kind of Dirty Harry or Rob Zombie's Halloween type gore, then you might not like this. For me, I could not get enough. There were a few times in the game where I went 'that is crazy'. The game is very enjoyable though, and after you beat the Score Attack mode, you can compete for a better score.
There is really nothing wrong with the game as in mechanical. Everything works, in my opinion. What might hold some people back is the over-the-top nature of the game, but I will say that's what made me go through all the way to the end. If it was not crazy, I wanted to see what happened next, and I was very happy with the end.
So it is a five star game.