Max Payne 3 review
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Cover isn’t the only thing that got an upgrade. While your cover is quickly being turned into swiss cheese, the enemy AI is closing in. With incredible aim and strong sense of urgency, the AI keeps you on your toes. In one level I was pinned down behind a pillar reloading my shotgun as soldiers poured into the room in front of me. Some rushed forward as the men in the back layed cover fire.
The health system took the fresh approach of not giving the player regenerative health. You will keep tabs on your painkiller stash. This adds even more excitement to the already frantic gunfights. When Max pops a painkiller the screen warps and bends for a moment visually pulling the player in for a brief moment while Max’s health regenerates. Max can pop a pain pill pretty much at any time, even mid bullet dodge...which looks hilarious.
To say Max Payne 3 is violent is an understatement, but the violence is and always has been a part of the series. This one though is by far the bloodiest. Bullets enter and exit enemies with grim detail. Max’s wounds are clearly visible and accurate where he has been hit. And enemies are not immune, they display entry and exit wounds. A rifle makes a big hole and a shotgun makes many little holes depending on how far away Max is when he fires it.
The new Kill Cam does a great job of dramatizing the final shot in a firefight. As Max pulls the trigger the camera cuts to a cinematic view which can be slowed down even further by pressing the action button. From there you can follow the bullet as it passes across the battlefield and straight into your target.
The most gratifying aspect of this mode is that you can continue firing during the event and Max will automatically follow his target to the ground. Something some players may remember from MP2 that was a great feature but after the first shot the enemy would fall and Max would miss with any additional shots. This change is well received and puts a sweet ending to a fight.
The set pieces for Max Payne 3 are detailed and gritty. Though much of what made Max Payne 2 great has been left out. While they are visually beautiful, the interactivity is mostly gone. Max could ‘play’ with his environment in MP2 by turning on TV’s and watching shows, turning on forklifts to gain access to hidden treasures, and knocking over red barrels to drop onto unsuspecting enemies. While all games in the franchise have a linear progression, this latest installment feels more strict than the others.
Story mode has its good and bad but overall is very fun and satisfying. The load times are conveniently hidden in the cutscenes, however on your subsequent playthroughs you will find you can’t skip cutscenes since the game is “still loading” behind them.
If you are looking for a game with challenge I highly recommend beating MP3 on Hard then on Hardcore. I recommend Old School mode which is just Hardocre mode without Last Stand.
Think Dark Souls with guns.
Arcade mode has plenty of variety to keep ‘unplugged’ players and online players alike happy. Test your skills against your previous best or global online ranks in Score Attack or go fast and hectic in New York Minute where you have to take out enemies to gain time and survive the level starting with just one minute on the clock. Kills are worth 3 seconds head shots are worth 5.
As a nod to the hardcore fans who have been downloading multiplayer mods for years, now MP3 offers it. There has certainly been a demand for multiplayer and Rockstar pulled it off nicely with fresh game modes and a deep loadout system with perks and boosts that ensure it’s anyone's gunfight.
All the game mechanics of story mode are in multiplayer. There is even a game mode called Gang Wars which tries to weave its own small story through a best of five match using the different game modes.
Multiplayer is sure to give competitive players months of game play to come after beating story mode, and while Max may have been taken in a not entirely perfect direction, he certainly entertains and with new DLC coming as early as June, we don’t expect Max Payne to run out of ammo anytime soon.