The famous Max Payne returns but with a new developer, Rockstar, who have taken on the challenge of bringing the series back to life for the fans and new players. I’m glad to say that Rockstar have done an impressive job keeping the what made Max Payne famous and still bringing their own flare to the title.
Almost a decade has past since the previous game was out and not much has changed during that time. Max is still angry as ever since the death of his wife and daughter and he has taken to the bottle and pills to ease the pain. Max has also aged quite a bit yet still has managed to remain fairly youthful and has taken up a body guard job in Brazil.
Working for a wealthy businessman Rodrigo Branco in the heart of San Paulo, unsurprisingly, things don’t work out for Max. Rodrigo’s trophy wife, Fabiana, is kidnapped on Max’s watch, which sets off the domino of chain events that draws Max into a much larger, more sinister story.
The story is told via a very interesting and artistic manner, things such as blurred colours, scan lines, jagged film and random words that pop up during the various conversions and cut-scenes. This is all to help transmit the feeling of how Max sees the world as in a drunken haze. At first it is a little distracting but you soon become accustomed to the feeling and it adds to the overall experience.
Max Payne wouldn’t be Max Payne if it didn’t have the famous bullet time. Which I’m glad to say hasn’t changed and is still awesome as ever. The new edition of the bullet kill cam is a great reward when you manage to survive past the very tough gun battles. What happens is that once you kill the last guy of the area you are treated to a reverse angle of the final bullet that kills him, you can slow the camera down and then continue to fire watching as the bullet rips through the body in a surprisingly gruesome yet satisfyingly awesome visuals.
The one thing that we all know about Rockstar games is that they are really deeply story intensive and a great deal of realism. The same can be said for this title. So much in this game from the smallest detail shows off the realism and work that gets put into this game. The way the enemies die, the voice acting, the surroundings and the environment. Shoot a guy in the arm and he reacts accordingly, when they die it’s even done well.
The AI in the game is really impressive as well, as they will do their best to flank you, charge you and spread out, keep moving making it really difficult for you to kill them. Some times they seem super human with almost god like aim and the ability to soak up bullets. Thank goodness for the bullet time feature which fills up with every bullet shot, allowing you to slow down the action to get that pin point head shot. The other move you have aside from your bullet time is the diving bullet time, when you will dive to the ground in slow motion. However you will need to think about when you want to use it as when you land you stay on the ground lying down. You can turn around but getting up takes a little time, remember Max has aged a little and it’s realistic, this leaves you open to gun fire. The gun battles in the game are excellent and there are a bunch of memorable ones.
The other modes in the game seem to be more fun than the the main story mode, especially the multiplayer. You can play the story mode in arcade where to try and build up the highest score for each level and post it to the leader boards and then in multiplayer the new gang wars mode is awesome. You are part of a gang and during the match there are four rounds with different objectives that alter depending on the out of the others. Claiming territory to defusing bombs and assassinating random targets. Points are accumulated and takes you to the fifth and final round of death match. Bursts are the perks of multiplayer and they usually help your team mates more as this is a very team driven mode. Multiplayer is a great surprise and must be checked out if you can.
The presentation of Max Payne 3 is top notch, and there’s a certain set of realism that draws you in to the game and Max’s hangover even more. From the interesting cut-scenes presentation to the excellent graphics of the surroundings and environment as well as the animations of the enemies is simply brilliant. Voice acting is superb as you would expect from a deep story driven game and from Rockstar. Music is also something that deserves a mention as it truly works in the various situations you find yourself in, simply awesome.
Rockstar have always been known for bringing something new to their games as well as having great story telling. Max Payne is no different with intense and action pack gun battles, gorgeous environment, realistic animations and surroundings we have another winner from Rockstar. Fans and new comers to the series will love the game hands down. Get this game!
A big thank you to Megarom for supplying the game for review.