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Average User Score: 7.7Jul 29, 2012Max Payne 3 is an odd beast. It may be just what some fans wanted, but it may be hard to like for new-comers. At times its mechanics comeMax Payne 3 is an odd beast. It may be just what some fans wanted, but it may be hard to like for new-comers. At times its mechanics come together to make a pretty good action game, and at other times, they collapse on themselves. The story mode is about a broken, alcoholic, painkiller addict with an irresistible urge to kill bad guys. It's not pretty, and certainly never happy, and the writing does well to deliver an engrossing tone which is very well supported by the good voice acting. Meanwhile, the presentation is stylistic, and the graphics are quite nice. You'll find yourself in various environments which display the graphics engine's staying power, but not much in visual flair or varying colors. The levels just look like the places they're supposed to be, no unique art style or tone; you've been to these places in other games, making Max Payne 3 overall a bit bland to look at. On the PC, the additional settings available are very welcome, including DX11 support and an actual counter to tell you how much VRAM you're using. Its Rockstar's GTA IV engine essentially, so you'll see the aging this time around like low poly edges, less roundness in the environments, and not-the-best facial animation. Additionally, watch out for the install size which nears about 25GB of space.
Throughout the game, you'll be treated to extensive cutscenes that merge pretty seamlessly into gameplay. Unfortunately, extended play will reveal that these cutscenes seem overdone: Max's monologues, though well-written and voiced, are consistently pessimistic, sarcastic, and just self-defacing, all the time. Max hates himself, and is fully aware of the terrible situations he's in, which is fine until he decides to tell you about how crappy things are over and over again. It's gets annoying, often I found myself wishing he'd have something else to say, like something more creative than another sarcastic line about how these rich people were terrible or how crappy the situation was. The next things to get irritated were my eyes. The game does 2 stylistic things in its presentation: words from the dialogue pop up on-screen and the screen often wigs out of focus or has TV lines obscuring part of it. This makes the game look unique, sure, but they irritate my eyes. The screen falling out of focus and such so often was not comfortable to watch, and as much as it could be selling the hung-over old dog in an overstimulating world experience, it becomes too much for tolerance. Then there are the words that pop up: they tend to be emphasized words in the dialogue and they pop up for no discernible reason, there really isn't any gameplay significance at all and unless you're dying to see what gets pointed out next, it's a pointless novelty. At least the music is okay, but nothing that really caught my ear.
Basically, the game goes cutscene -> linear cover-based shooting level -> cutscene, and there isn''t much deviation from the pattern. As a game, Max Payne 3 still has the trademark Bullet-time mechanic that's essentially a limited (be refillable via killing and waiting) supply of player-triggered slow-motion. You also have the shoot-dodge jump which slows down time as Max dives in a chosen direction, but stops abruptly once he runs into something, leaving him to awkwardly take his time to stand back up. As opposed to other 3rd person shooters, there is no regenerating health in the single player, so you need to rely on consumable painkillers which will not heal you 100%. If you're shot fatally with a painkiller in your inventory, you'll go on a Last Stand sort of slow-motion event where you can kill the guy who shot you to live. It's nice to have seeing as how easily you'll get shot from people out of nowhere. You can't take many hits to begin with, and enemy AI is often aggressive and flanking. You'll need to take cover to survive. This is where Max Payne doesn't feel like Max Payne. You WILL need to take cover, lest you die. And you'll often be using bullet-time to peek out of cover just land a shot without getting hit, instead of diving or running-and-gunning, as you would expect of this franchise. Do anything else, and you'll probably die. This game is pretty strict and doesn't allow much for creativity. Enemies spawn in unfair places, and the slow-mo final kill cams can be misleading when you walk a few steps and find yourself in another encounter with no cover. No cover traversal means you'll get shot trying to get to cover, which is extra annoying with the unusual controls, and Max's own lumbering but well-animated movements. Sprinting is slow, and Max stands up completely after a roll before moving again. The Rockstar atypical single-white-dot aiming reticule makes a return, and at times can be indiscernible in the scenery, thou… Expand