Does the gritty world of Max Payne 3 worth offer enough action-packed fun to make it worth purchasing for your PS3, or should you give it a pass? This review will breakdown the game’s various features to help you make that decision.
It has been quite a while since Max Payne has been seen roaming the third-person shooter gaming circuit, and his absence undoubtedly left many fans yearning for a new release to finally hit shelves. Luckily, that long awaited day has come with the release of Max Payne 3 for the PS3 and other major consoles.
With that being said, the real question that comes to mind is whether or not this latest installment is good enough to revive interest in the franchise, or is it too little, too late? Well, I can say without fear of equivocation that Max Payne 3 is certainly strong enough to give the franchise a boost, and the multitude of reasons behind this feeling will now be explained.
Max Payne 3 showcases its rough and tough protagonist with approximately eight more years under his belt since the last time we saw him. The lapse in time and absence of his wife and child has apparently made Max more cynical and powerless to the demons of alcohol and painkillers, which adds to the game’s overriding dark feel.
No longer in New York City and out of the police force, Max finds his way to the flavorful, yet dangerous setting of Sao Paulo, Brazil. His skills have granted him the opportunity to work as private security for a wealthy family headed by a real estate magnate who goes by the name of Rodrigo Branco. Once Branco’s wife is kidnapped by a ruthless street gang, it lures Payne into a whirlwind of violence and trouble that he had hoped to escape in his new South American setting.
While most games are characterized by their gameplay, it seems as if Max Payne 3 is dominated by its overly interesting plot line, characters, and setting. If you love crime movies or series that show the dark side of humanity and the criminal underworld, this game is for you. The cut scenes vary in length, but all share the common theme of immersing you completely into the game’s flow.
As for the actual gameplay in Max Payne 3, to say that it is fun and addicting would be an understatement. Gameplay is pretty simple and highlighted by the signature Bullet Time and Shootdodge features. It takes very little time to get hooked on the slow motion effects that kick in while shooting, and action scenes are really a treat for the eyes. You even get to follow bullets as they fly through the air and yield death to your enemies with the innovative bullet cam.
The controls are rather easy to pick up, allowing you to fearlessly jump into the action. You can choose between one of three options when it comes to shooting: hard lock, soft lock, or free aim. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is up to you how to select your style. While shooting and causing death and destruction is a blast, it should be noted that Max is not Robocop, as his health does not magically regenerate. This forces you to employ cover tactics while playing, which adds to the overall strategical aspect of shootouts.
Helping to add to the overall realism of Max Payne 3 is the inclusion of destructible environments. Want to hide behind a wall? Go ahead, but it might not be standing for long as ammunition penetrates it and converts it into rubble. Each shootout comes to life thanks to these destructible environments which boost the game’s intensity into overdrive.
The graphics and setting of Max Payne 3 are superb. The game’s creators did a great job of recreating the sometimes ruthless South American landscape, and it is a nice departure from many games that are set on American soil. It’s a joy to watch Payne and the game’s other characters on screen with their various mannerisms that accompany the script perfectly. The different locales used in the game come alive with plenty of detail as well. Those who are familiar with the Max Payne franchise will notice that this edition has a bit of a lighter took thanks to the sunny Brazilian backdrop. That does not change the fact that the game exudes a complete feeling of darkness due to its subject matter, however.
If you are looking for firepower, Max Payne 3 brings it by the boatload. A Max Payne title would not be authentic without violence, and that violence is achieved through a wide variety of weapons. You can choose from semi-automatic pistols, assault rifles, submachine guns, shotguns, and various explosives. Each have their own perks, and using them on enemies is quite enjoyable. You are limited by carrying one large two-handed weapon and two sidearms, but having the ability to go into dual-yield mode to inflict pain on opponents is satisfying.
The single player campaign in Max Payne 3 is where the game really shines the most, but it also boasts a multiplayer side that should attract those who enjoy online interaction with others. There are the typical modes of Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, but you can also partake in the Payne Killer and Gang Wars modes that offer twists on the multiplayer experience. Regardless of which one you choose, all provide plenty of chaotic fun.
Like many games being released nowadays, Rockstar Games has Max Payne 3 slated for plenty of downloadable content to help you extend the games overall replay value. As of right now, the Gorilla Warfare pack is available, which comes complete with the following items to help beef up your loadout: the Booby Trap Item that converts your dead body into a booby trap, the Gorilla Mask Item that increases your adrenaline, and the Lucky Coin Item that boosts the cash you get when stealing from dead bodies.
Rockstar made this DLC pack free as a way to whet your appetite for upcoming releases set to become available later this year, but you can bet that others will cost a fee to download. June will feature the Local Justice map pack, while the Disorganized Crime, Hostage Negotiation, Painful Memories, and Trickle Down Economics map packs will be released during the summer and fall. Other DLC releases include the Deathmatch Made in Heaven mode pack and the New York Minute co-op pack.
When all is said and done, is Max Payne 3 the game for you? If you are a fan of the franchise, then yes, it is an absolute must-have. You do not have to be familiar with the Max Payne franchise to pick up this third installment, however. The game provides an engrossing story, fun multiplayer, and plenty of action to keep any fan of the third person shooter genre satisfied.
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