Release Date: May 15th, 2012
Developer: Rockstar Studios
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360], PlayStation 3
Rated: M for Mature
Well, here we are after nine long years. Rockstar Games have finally caught up with one of the most stressed characters today, Max Payne. Previous creators of the series was led by writer, Sam Lake and Remedy Entertainment, known for their recent and creative title, Alan Wake. However, the story is now in the hands of Dan Houser and Rockstar Vancouver, well known for their previous work on Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto.
Max seems to still dread everything that happened years ago. The memories continue to haunt him, which opens the doors to the booze and meds.
Story begins in Sao Paolo, Brazil with Max Payne doing some private security work for Rodrigo Branco, a big shot that’s well respected for his duties. His most prized possession is his wife, Fabiana. A good looking girl that lives on the edge. She finds the fun side of life is hanging with Marcelo, his younger brother with a huge drug addiction and her sister Giovanna.
At a party, a group of thugs (Comando Sombra) decide to crash and take hostages. Just so happen, it’s Rodrigo and Fabiana. Max worries of having ring rust, being where everything is put to the test. For you, it’s the tutorial. Here you will learn how to once again use bullet time, cover and the final cam kill.
Max Payne 3 is by far the best damn game to release for the first half of this year. Throughout gameplay, there are so many twist and turns that you feel the buy in, craving to finish what you’ve started.
Shooting from a distance is exciting, but that’s not all you have to be ready for. On this rollercoaster you can expect times where you’ll need to use a pistol to aim down objects and rockets. It’s the U.S. National Anthem with you destroying the rockets before they destroy you (the bombs bursting in air).
Final Cam kills are activated when you pick off the last enemy and tap your face button to initiate the slow motion camera. Shotguns and sniper rifles are a few of the best as you see the buck shots flee from the barrel and penetrate through the enemy, becoming a lifeless body on the ground.
When using Bullet Time and Shoot Dodge, you’ll also progress Grinds. Grinds are all of the special task you can achieve within the story like performing certain kills and collecting weapons. In your arsenal will always be two different handguns and a larger weapon like the SMG or shotgun.
There’s plenty of cinematic scenes, but it places you directly in the action. Rockstar seemed to make sure the player understood this is more than a game, it’s a story. It’s corruption, and what people would do for power. Depending on the gamer, the cinematic parts may become a bit overwhelming. But when you think of the intense moments in Max Payne 3, you think Michael Bay!
Narration was one of the smoothest and realistic feel compared to other recent games. Even if you pause for a second or search areas, Max’s voice, performed by James McCaffrey, speaks on procrastination and time, telling you in other words, stopping is not an option.
One of my favorite quotes was Max referring the team work as a “Drunk American has been and a Brazilian never was.” The Brazilian referred is Max’s partner Raul Passos. Briefly shining light on Raul, he’s your partner in the private security work you perform. You will later learn he has an interesting past himself.
There are plenty of interesting things to do while living on the edge. Take some time and watch the adventures of Captain Baseball Bat Boy. Upgrade your weaponry by finding golden gun parts scattered around chapters.
Controlling Max Payne will take some getting used to as mechanics such as Bullet Time and Shoot Dodge requires a bit of patience. Jumping toward objects will pull you out of bullet time, while properly performing will make use of it becoming your favorite combination.
When considering replay value, remember that completing each chapter unlocks chapters for the two arcade modes, Score Attack and New York Minute.
Score Attack is all about skill. Select a chapter and score your way up the leaderboards and earn a platinum ranking. You have a multiplier that increases your score based on your accuracy and killstreak. When you’re eating the bullets, your score will begin to decrease.
New York Minute definitely proves to be the better of the two as you’re placed under a watch and kills are the only way to keep the meter running. The object is to complete a mission with plenty of time to spare. The more time left over, the higher your ranking.
Then there is the online game modes. DeathMatch is simply the must have in any shooting-based title. You have the choice of either going solo or joining up with a team. Next is Payne Killer. A player will take the role of Max Payne and try to survive the longest as all the other players try and take you down. Lastly is the crew favorites, Gang Wars. Team based objectives are handed out and it’s up to your crew to complete the task.
Rockstar has been on a winning streak with their releases, and Max Payne 3 takes it’s deserving spot within their roster. Other than extra-length cinematic scenes, there’s no reason Max Payne shouldn’t be added to your game library.
Overall Rating: 5/5