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Max Payne 3 360 Review - -
Max Payne 3
Reviewed by
Edwin Millheim
Max Payne 3 360 Review. Max Payne 3 is a violent thrill ride with an action hero that does not know at times that he is the hero. With slick visuals, and blood spraying violence it may not be for everyone. For those fans of Max Payne, and those action film fans, I think this one is for you.

Gameplay 9.0
Graphics 9.5
Sound 9.5
Value 10
Distributor: Rockstar
Review Date:
May 2012
Edwin Millheim


Max Payne 3

One software update since playing the game and only one crash to a dark unresponsive screen after the character died and I tried to hit the retry.

First off let me rant a little. Anyone used to my write ups is used to it anyway. Now long ago when Max Payne 3 was just a rumor blip on the radar and Rockstar Games was saying that the series star James McCaffrey would not be coming back as Max Payne for this game. I was just thinking ok, thatís a mark against it. Hate to say it. But that would be like the Die Hard series with out Bruce Willis as John McClane! It just should not happen. Thankfully however it came to pass; the man that IS Max Payne; Mr. James McCaffrey not only voices our flawed hero, but thanks to motion capture, he now embodies Maxís movement as well. And a spectacular performance it is.

Max Payne is one of those tragic heroes, the old school kind that never goes looking for trouble. But for whatever reason ends up swimming in it. Never shyís away from it and takes care of business in the classic Max Payne kind of way we all know and love. Jon Woo may have brought the stylized slow motion two pistol ballads to the movie screen, but it was Max Payne that brought it to video gaming in such fantastic style. Many have tried to imitate it or use the ground work premise of these fantastical gun battles, but none have delivered it like Max can. With Max Payne 3 the title of king of the adrenalin rush combat still stands.

Max Payne 3 kicks off several years after the events in Max Payne 2 the Fall of Max Payne. Max canít shake the tragedies that stole away his wife and child and all the violence that seems to find its way into his life. You may see him in the here and now of the moment, but he lives in the past. He is a man with raw wounds on his psyche that refuse to heal. He fights those unbearable memories with booze and painkillers. This is emphasized a lot as our hero hits the bottle and the pills pretty hard. Throughout the adventure you often wonder how can this guy even stay alive as long as he has, let alone shoot straight?

This is a flawed character and gamers may have a love hate relationship with him. Youíre heart (if you have any) tears for the manís pain. On the other hand the path of self-destructive behavior makes him someone that may invoke feelings of despise for what he has become. Though out the adventure, weather the writers intended to or not, one begs to wonder since Max is on such a self-destructive path, and places himself in harmís way, is he looking to commit suicide because he canít bring himself to do it? Or is he in some way seeking redemption? He could not save his family, so he goes to extremes to save these people in this latest adventure.

We catch up to max and find he has left the NYPD and through a friend from the force he is convinced to head on down to S„o Paulo, Brazil and take on work as private security and ends up on protection duty for the wealthy Rodrigo Branco family. What could possibly go wrong? Max is soon in a strange city, with an unfamiliar ebb and flow of the local crime, searching for answers and a way out.
Well as we blast our way through the bad guys, and there are a lot of bad guys, we see that the slow motion bullet time is alive and well. It gets down to violent business in no time at all.

There is a lot of story here, nothing deep mind you, but it is an action thriller. A noir style thatís not meant to be spectacular dialogue, sometimes its cringe worthy, sometimes the humor and comradery is evident between comrades in a dangerous situation. Itís called gallows humor and the writers display it well. If this was a summer movie it would be deemed what we call a popcorn movie. Something aimed to entertain, not provoke overly deep meaningful thoughts. Max Payne 3 is pure action hero escapism at its best, delivered in an unrelenting hail of bullets and a never ending supply of underlings with guns. The enemy organization has a special discount to the special minions R us hot line, because players mow through plenty of them by the time this adventure is over.

Itís the basics of story lines for heroes like this. With bullets, guns, helicopters, snipers, kidnappings, double-crosses and a ballet of violence cultivating this standard of the action genre. After a while you canít look away, you wonder what will happen to this guy next?

The cut scenes flow well. At times there feels as if the story is too much, it makes you itch to just get in there and take care of business. As the cut scenes play out, they flow darn near seamlessly into the game play action. So much so that you may not catch right away that you have control of the character again.

The story is further moved along by the narrative, Max continues to state his opinion on the situation as well as hind sight as if our hero is going over the events that happened days ago, to mere moments ago. Weighing over in his mind the enormity of the situations he finds himself in once again. His voice over also prompts the player on, reaffirming the urgency of pushing on.

On top of the cut scenes giving out dramatic and action packed information, the Non Player Characters in the game at times take the lead, weather you want them to or not. This is another design implemented in the game to point the player in the right direction rather than lolly-gagging around and not getting on with the adventure.

The Max Payne comic panels have also went through some upgrades, rather than static art and voice balloons, there are animated comic panels/cut scenes and full voice overs only with no thought and dialogue balloons this time. Itís a nice upgrade to an old friend, even with the cut scenes as well as in game action, there are times when things are chaotic and the picture stutters, showing the booze addled mind of Max as he tries to bring things into clarity to take on the situation. Itís all done nicely and you almost forget that everything has a linear pattern and follow the story you must, and itís a lead you are so willing to follow. Well almost forget, sometimes you just want to continue the action and things slow down when the cut scenes hit.

Shooting has always been one of the main stays of a Max Payne adventure, along with character animations. Everything has gotten the proper upgrades here to go with the times. Character animations have gotten the full motion capture treatment. Actors got to relay not only voice to characters but also actions and movement. Rockstar Games went all out, making huge sets for actors to do scenes in and capture their movements. It shows in every walk and run, and dive and jump, even with bullet hits on enemies as they move with the impact and fall to the ground. Everything moves and flows with a natural look. At times the story jumps back and forth in time to tell Maxís story and we would not have it any other way.
Graphics look spectacularly appropriate for each scene, from dark and dingy scenes to bright dance club atmospheres they all lend themselves well to each environment.

Shooting it out with the bad guys is given some assistance depending on how much the player wants the help. If you choose free aim, well your own your own with your own skills, there is also a snap to target option that helps you just enough to give you an edge, but be warned it does not mean you will run through this game and be unstoppable. Hails of bullets will still bring you down if you do not watch your health. And use the cover system, popping up to shoot as you get a clear shot.

That bullet time and shoot dodge are back as well, as Max flings himself into a slow motion desperate attack, he can let loose with several gunshots and maybe dodge some incoming gunfire in true Max Payne style. One of the things I like is that as he lands you do not automatically pop back to your feet, he lands and stays down till you get him back onto his feet. He can even fire from that laying position. Often it can be the little nuances that make the game. Here it is the big things and the little things, such as when Max lands from a dive, you hear him exhale and grunt with the pain of the fall. Like I said, itís the little things.

As noted the bad guys spray down some gunfire just as much as Max, If Max is close to death but he has some pain killers on him (Health Pack) he goes into slow motion mode as he is so close to death. If he takes out the guy that sent that fatal shot, he has one last chance and can take the pain killer and live to fight on.

There are new modes in the game that brings more to single player experience thankfully. Arcade mode brings a bit of the gun slinging fun, without the worry of a story line.

New York Minute (this is the classic mode from the original Max Payne)and Score Attack (After completing a level in the single player campaign you have access to it in Score Attack) these modes are two single-player Arcade Modes that tests players to beat their own top scores in the middle of all the crazy gun battles. All of this can tie into the Social Club; you can work at besting your friends and Crews Scores as well. High scoring in Arcade Modes also reward exclusive multiplayer avatars and XP benefits.

As Rockstar Games puts it ďEach level has the potential to unlock its own exclusive avatar available to you within a multiplayer Deathmatch. So after you've earned a Platinum ranking for your historic Score Attack and New York Minute runs from level to level, you will not only earn a boat load of XP, but also unlock coveted character avatars for Multiplayer Deathmatch like Fabiana Branco, Passos and more.Ē

Ah and then there is the multiplayer gaming, complete with multiplayer bullet time. Max Payne 3 brings all the cool stuff that makes it a Max Payne game and places it in a space for everyone to enjoy together. There are a few different modes in the multiplayer that keeps the adrenalin pumping, like Pain Killer and Gang Wars. It all works smoothly, as you can see your character in this third person perspective and have such intense and sometimes unpredictable action with so many other players. The controls respond well even in multiplayer. Bullet Time in multiplayer works in an interesting way, when you go into bullet time; anyone in your line of view slows down as well. While others not in view will continue onward as normal.

As long as Rockstar Games, plans to do some support for the game then Max Payne 3 will be delighting players for a long time to come. The company has already let out its information on the DLC to come. It looks like from the list that the single player experience, as is. No love for the single players. No extras at this time. The DLC seems to be aiming at the multiplayer experience.

The DLC as schedule:

  • Local Justice Map Pack

  • Disorganized Crime Map Pack

  • Deathmatch Made In Heaven Mode Pack

  • Hostage Negotiation Map Pack

  • New York Minute Co-Op Pack

  • Painful Memories Map Pack

  • Trickle Down Economics Map Pack

Max Payne 3 is a violent thrill ride with an action hero that does not know at times that he is the hero. With slick visuals, and blood spraying violence it may not be for everyone. For those fans of Max Payne, and those action film fans, I think this one is for you.

This is Edwin Millheim for Impulse Gamer, I AM a gamer and I like this game.

Have fun play games.


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